What other pets will cats commonly become friends with?

The question: ‘what other pets will cats commonly become friends with?’ (on Quora.com) probably means other than dogs.

Cat friends with a bearded dragon
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Cat friends with a bearded dragon. Photo in public domain.

Cats (domestic cats) can become friends with a much wider range of animals that simply ‘pets’. This proves that cats can be friends with many domesticated animals as well as wild animals.

Below is an incomplete but quite extensive list of the animals with which domestic cats have been friends. Barring humans all of these animals have been pets of a sort albeit sometimes rarely. Of these, the horse is the answer to the question in the title.

  • Owl (the cat and owl grew up together on a farm)
  • Bearded dragon (the bearded dragon was probably a pet)
  • Llama
  • Chicken (after one of the recent hurricane disasters)
  • Goat
  • Fox (semi-domesticated)
  • Coyote (domesticated)
  • Squirrel (domesticated and sometimes treated as a newborn and raised by a female cat)
  • Bird
  • Mouse
  • Human
  • Lynx (the two formed a friendship at a zoo)
  • Deer (they slept and rested together and the deer was wild)
  • Koi fish (cat nuzzles koi fish as fish pops his head out of the pond)
  • Dolphin
  • Horse (this is probably one of the most common after dogs. There are many barn cat – horse friendships and they are deep friendships)
  • Cow
  • Rhino
  • Parrot
  • Capybara
  • Monkey
  • Ape (well-known zoo ape made friends with cat)

You can click on this link to see articles on these relationships.

Useful links
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FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important
Tortoiseshell cat and beautiful parrot are best friends. Photo in public domain.

Tortoiseshell cat and beautiful parrot are best friends. Photo in public domain.

In fact it is probably safe to say that in each case the exotic pet with whom the cat bonds will also be domesticated to a varying extent.

Often when there is an unusual interspecies friendship both animals have grown up together.

In answer to the question in the title you might answer that other than the domestic dog any domesticated animals labeled a ‘pet’ can be friendly with a domestic cat provided they were raised together.

It is not unusual for a person to love animals sufficiently that he or she adopts and looks after a range of animals beyond the usual cat and dog. It is in these homes that cats form friendships with some exotic and unusual animals as listed above.

Deer and cat friends

Deer and cat friends. Photo in public domain.

Ultimately whether an unlikely interspecies friendship develops comes down to how well each is socialised to the other. Cats can be socialised to almost any animal and the best way to achieve it is when they are raised together from a very young age. Cats can be so well socialised that a prey species such as a mouse becomes a best friend. Socialisation inverts the natural relationship.

The obvious interspecies cat relationship is with humans and some humans could be described as pets 🙂 .

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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3 Responses

  1. Caroline Gifford says:

    Sorry, should have mentioned this: My ginger tabby was rescued at eight weeks, and was very sick with upper and lower respiratory I. He lost his voice and his left eye sight. He became a Voyeur and stayed in the honeysuckle trees bordered along the “back forty,” instead of interacting with the other cat companions. We did have many species of critters in that acre of property on East Campus. Even garter snakes who would wind up the shrubs to safety, when I was mowing. Shrimp probably learned from me to love all spp. But I believe that he already felt this innately.

  2. Caroline Gifford says:

    Oh, Michael, you know how much I love this topic. And you know who I’m going to mention! My ginger tabby Shrimp loved his friends, and they were wild, not raised together. Opossums, raccoons and squirrels, mice and bats and birds. Shrimpie made nose contact with everyone. He was the love of my life.

    • Michael Broad says:

      Caroline I hope you are okay. I know how much you are hurting on the loss of your Shrimp. I feel it in your words and it is difficult for me. Can we write a memorial to your Shrimp?

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