Abstract We address the question of how elegantly to combine a number of different structures, such as finite product structure, monoidal structure, and colimiting structure, on a category. Extending work of Marmolejo and Lack, we develop the definition of a pseudo-distributive law between pseudo-monads, and we show how the definition and the main theorems about it may be used to model several such structures simultaneously. Specifically, we address the relationship between pseudo-distributive laws and the lifting of one pseudo-monad to the 2-category of algebras and to the Kleisli bicategory of another. This, for instance, sheds light on the preservation of some structures but not others along the Yoneda embedding. Our leading examples are given by the use of open maps to model bisimulation and by the logic of bunched implications.