The not-so-harmonious relationship between cats and dogs is well known. After all, there’s a reason why expressions like “They’re fighting like cats and dogs,” exist.
How cats and dogs interact with one another has developed a bad rap over the centuries, but it’s largely because the two often can’t evolutionarily relate. Dogs descended from wolves, so they have a pack mentality, while cats are lone predators. The species’ fighting originated over attempts at acquiring dominance over food sources prior to being domesticated, and thus arose the common supposition that cats and dogs don’t like one another.
However, there are canine companions and kitty compadres that disapprove of this notion — like Jessie and Koda.
Koda, a domestic shorthair, was adopted in June from a Canadian farm with “a few too many cats,” according to his owner, Emily Aubrecht. The feline was one of three outdoor kittens, and although Koda had to leave his siblings behind, he soon found a new pal in Aubrecht’s Australian Labradoodle, Jessie.
Aubrecht adopted the Labrador-and-poodle mix a few years ago when the pup was just “an 8-week-old ball of fluff,” and Aubrecht hoped that Jessie and Koda would become not only friends, but also adventure partners.
Introducing a cat and a dog to one another may seem like quite the challenge, but Aubrecht says it’s not as difficult as it seems. Her plan was simply to introduce Koda and Jessie slowly so that no conflict would arise.
During the first week in his new home, Koda stayed in the family’s mudroom, and Aubrecht brought Jessie into the room on a leash for about 30 minutes every day. She kept Jessie distracted with treats and toys, so Koda could sniff Jessie and get used to the dog’s presence.
Once the two were comfortable around each other, Aubrecht let them prowl around the house with limited supervision. But at night, or when her humans left the house, Koda went back to the mudroom. As Koda got older, he was let out more often and with less supervision. Now, he roams the house whenever he feels like it, and Aubrecht says there’s no aggression between her two pets. In fact, one of Koda’s favorite pastimes is attacking Jessie’s tail.
Despite the difference in species, Jessie and Koda are now best fur-iends who enjoy going on mountain hikes together in Alberta and British Columbia.
“Jessie loves the freedom of being off-leash and being able to sniff everything in sight,” Aubrecht told Adventure Cats. “Koda prefers to climb the trees or watch all of the birds and squirrels around him.”
Koda may seem to defy many stereotypes of the average house cat, but Aubrecht says that, like many cats, he isn’t too keen on going for a dip. While he’s comfortable around water, he leaves the actual swimming to Jessie.
Thinking of taking your own kitty for a hike, but not sure if your feline friend will enjoy it? Aubrecht says to give it a try. “Contrary to popular belief, cats love being taken on walks, she said. “When you take your cat on walks, they are able to burn off energy.”
And walks equal happier pet partners — whether you have a daring dog, a fearless feline or both!
Click through the gallery at the top to see more photos of Jessie and Koda, and keep up with all their adventures on Instagram.