“Fighting like cats and dogs.” This is a phrase often used when two people are arguing loudly or are always angry towards each other.
Admit it; if you know people who fit this description, you’ll do your best to keep them away from each other – unless you enjoy the drama.
However, how true is it that cats and dogs can co-exist in one place? If you own a cat and would like to add a dog in your growing family or vice versa, read on.
All About Cats and Dogs:
Of course, the famous cats and dogs phrase didn’t come about without any basis. Naturally, these two don’t really share a habitat.
Both animals have the so-called prey drive, and this is the reason why they both have the tendency to attack and even hate each other.
The prey drive this is something that is more present in dogs, but cats are still capable of attacking dogs through scratching especially if they feel threatened.
Cats are known to be solitary predators, and some of them can genuinely have a hard time welcoming a companion – even their own breed.
Both cats and dogs are carnivores, and because they are predatory, they will look for meat through hunting. This doesn’t mean that they’d attack each other to eat each other.
These two are intelligent species that would rather go for easier preys, and so the “hate” relationship that they seem to have could possibly stem from having to compete to survive.
There’s no rule or even a law that prohibits cats and dogs from live together because even if they tend to fight and not get along, it still is possible to make things work between them.
Both pets can be trained and guess what? It’s your job as a pet owner to make sure that both of them can become comfortable in terms of cohabitation.
Things to Consider Before Getting a New Pet:
If you already have a cat and a dog will be the new family member, then there are a few things that you should consider. You have the opportunity to pick the dog breed as of this stage, and this is great because it gives you the advantage to choose a gentle dog breed.
Don’t feel like you have a limited choice because cat-friendly dog breeds can range from small to large size. Some of these breeds are Pugs, Collies, and Golden Retrievers. These are dog breeds that are known to be welcoming and playful, even though some might be costly.
Whatever dog breed you choose, it is essential that you are also ready to train these two babies.
Training a cat and a dog to get accustomed to each other may take up to three weeks. This will require your time because, in the course of getting them together, your supervision is necessary.
It will be much better if there are two of you who’ll supervise their interactions, so it’s best to have a friend or a relative present whenever you put your pets in one area.
It’s easier if you introduce both pets when they are young, but it could be unavoidable to have an older dog or cat. For this instance, you need to check on the dog or cat’s background so that you know what to expect between the two.
Cats that were previously attacked by dogs will have a hard time welcoming another dog and dogs that were not trained well will most likely chase after a cat. However, these behaviors can still be changed so don’t feel like giving up right away.
Speaking of having to give up, you also need to understand that getting them together may not end as successful as you want it to be. After all, cats and dogs have their unique personalities and experiences.
Knowing that failure of getting them accustomed to each other is still a possibility, it’s best to check if the pet you’ll adopt or purchase can still be returned. If you don’t want to replace the dog or cat, then make sure you have a back-up plan, like a relative or friend who can take the dog or cat with them.
Preparing to Introduce a Cat and Dog:
Having to introduce the two of them right away is alright as long as you are in a controlled environment. However, it is highly recommended that your dog is accustomed to following your commands. This will make the introduction of the two more controlled and possibly less effortful on your part.
Aside from ensuring that the dog knows how to follow your commands, you should also make sure that both your cat and dog have a space of their own. This is very important because socializing these two can be something that they find tiring, especially for cats.
They will still need time off from each other during this get-to-know stage. It helps because this will make their interactions less forceful.
You can get high cat trees where your cat can stay even if the dog is in the same room. This will allow your cat to observe your dog without feeling threatened since the cat is out of reach. Cats are great observers, so this is something that they would appreciate.
For pet owners who have dogs and will be getting a cat, it’s important that the dog is well-exercised. Your dog needs to be accustomed to focusing its energies in activities so that by the time that you introduce it to a cat, it won’t have many tendencies to put its energy towards chasing after it.
You should also have treats available for both of them. Whenever they show good behavior towards each other, you should definitely give them a reward to make such actions happen again and again.
“How to Introduce a Dog to a Cat – In 5 Easy Steps!”
Getting a Cat and Dog Together:
Getting your cat and dog together is a process. What’s important is their interaction won’t feel forced. The best way to go about this is to gradually increase their time together.
On the first day, you don’t really need to let them meet face to face. You can start by letting them know of each other’s presence.
You can place your cat in a crate and have it set in the same room where your dog is. This way, you can observe how they will react.
You can go about this however you prefer. What’s important here is that you start making them familiar with each other’s scents.
The face to face interaction should be based on your cat’s mood. If your cat seems anxious or if it runs away from the place where your dog is, then it means that the cat isn’t ready yet. Their first face to face encounter should only happen when your cat is relaxed.
If you feel like your cat is ready, then take them to a controlled environment where a chase between the two is not feasible. You can have both pets leashed so that you can easily control them if things go out of hand.
The first real interaction shouldn’t really last long. Just make sure that you give both of them the attention and affection.
Pets can easily feel jealous and threatened. If one of them feels like it is being left out, there will be a more significant possibility that they won’t get along.
After the first encounter, you should have them separated again and let them stay in their own spaces. This will assure the cat that it can still have its place.
The following encounters should then be gradually increased until they seem to get comfortable around each other.
A Few Things to Remember:
Whether your cat and dog are hitting it off or not, if you need to leave the house, it’s best to leave them in a separate room or their crates. If in case you don’t have crates and leaving them in a separate room or space can’t be an option, it’s best to get a pet sitter to make sure that the two of them will stay away from trouble.
When feeding your pets, it’s best to have them separated. Each of them should have their own food bowl.
Both cats and dogs do not really enjoy sharing their food, and sometimes, they don’t even want to be disturbed when enjoying their meals.
Earlier, it is established that failing to get them accustomed to each other can still happen. If this is the case, don’t blame yourself. Your pets just really have personalities that do not match.
Since you know how a multi-pet household works, keeping your pets clean and well-groomed is a must. Make sure that you still have them scheduled for regular grooming and if you notice something is amiss with the both of them, do not hesitate to take them to a vet.
These are the things you should know if you’re preparing to introduce a cat and a dog. Overall, bringing both pets together could be a fun project. It’s an excellent opportunity to spend some quality time with them.