A video of a cat snuggling up between its three canine friends is melting hearts online.
The viral clip, shared on TikTok by user @cutepetsassion, has racked up 3.5 million views in three days. It showed a cat squeezing itself in between two Golden Retrievers resting next to each other on the floor. Before the cat could get too comfortable, a third Golden Retriever—apparently anxious about missing out on the fun—dove into the snuggle pile.
The cat meowed in mild protest as the third dog squished through, but once it had settled in, all four animals lay in one cuddly row.
“Gold nest and silver nest, not as good as dog nest,” their owner wrote in the caption.
Viewers were mesmerized by the bond between animals of two species that are not typically expected to get along.
“That dog was UPSET the cat didn’t choose to sleep on him,” one user said. “But he fixed it.”
“The cat is one of the pack,” gushed another person.
“I could watch this for 50 hrs they’re sooooooo d**n cute!!” a third viewer exclaimed. “How did you get them to love the cat??”
The pets’ owner replied, “Live together, and slowly [they] will get into it.”
According to an analysis published in Frontiers in Psychology in 2020, living together can indeed help dogs and cats form bonds. “As dogs/cats and humans spend time together in a house, they can learn unique communications to the pair/group and probably form bonds with specific individuals,” the study said.
Whether a dog and a cat are capable of living harmoniously together depends to a large extent on the specific animals and their temperaments, according to Best Friends Animal Society. The animal welfare group explained three possible methods for introducing the two animals to each other.
One is slow and steady desensitization, which involves gradually increasing exposure between the animals and using a baby gate so that the dog and cat can only see each other at certain times. This is a good option if the dog is too fixed on the cat and the owner is not sure if they can safely share space.
A second option is face-to-face introduction. In this scenario, it is advised to have one person watch the dog’s body language and another person watch the cat’s. The dog should also be on a loose leash. If the dog is calm and can follow orders such as sit and lie down in the cat’s presence, the owner should praise and reward it.
Thirdly, if the face-to-face introduction did not work, an owner can try more structured training to desensitize the dog to the cat.
Newsweek reached out to @cutepetsassion for comment.