Cats and dogs have an inherent compatibility problem that strains their relationship – they both have the instinct to hunt. Their personalities can also contribute to the problem.
Usually, the best time to socialize a dog and a cat is when they are babies because they are open to new experiences. However, you would have a better chance of cohabiting them at any age if you do the following:
Control your dog
Have your dog on a leash when introducing them to your new cat so you can prevent them from chasing the cat. You should also keep treats handy to reward your dog for good behaviors.
Distract your dog
Attach your dog’s leash to an immovable object when the cat is around and distract your dog with toys and treats. If your dog tries to chase the cat, shorten the leash, but if they remain calm, increase the length gradually and reward them with treats. Repeat this until your dog learns they enjoy more rewards when the cat is around.
Once your dog learns to associate the new cat’s presence with rewards, they would be okay with having them around. However, some dog breeds, such as terriers, sight hounds, hunting breeds, and herding dogs, don’t get along well with cats. It would be best to avoid bringing a cat home if your dog falls in such a category.