TEL AVIV, Israel, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- The old saw "to fight like cats and dogs" may not accurately describe how the two species get along, a survey by Israeli researchers indicates.
Tel Aviv University researchers said they found two-thirds of the homeowners they surveyed reported a positive relationship between their cats and dogs.
"This is the first time anyone has done scientific research on pets living in the same home," Joseph Terkel of the department of zoology at Tel Aviv University said in a statement. "It's especially relevant to the one-third of Americans who own a pet and are thinking about adopting a second one of the opposite species."
The researchers interviewed almost 200 pet owners who own both a cat and a dog, studied videotapes and analyzed the animals' behavior. The researchers concluded cats and dogs can co-habitate happily if certain conditions are met.
The study, published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, found that if the cat is adopted before the dog and if they are introduced when still young -- less than six months for kittens, a year for dogs -- there is a high probability the two pets will get along swimmingly.
It seems, Terkel said, cats and dogs learn how to talk each other's language -- or read each other's body cues.