The old saying that dogs and cats can't live together isn't true. You can have a pet dog and cat under your roof, not just tolerating each other, but actually enjoying interacting.
But there is some preparation which needs to be taken into consideration; so if you own a cat and dog and they aren't getting along, this article will take you through some of the key phases.
#1 SAFE INTRODUCTIONS
Dogs and cats are complex animals, with emotional needs which can easily be upset.
When a dog and cat are introduced to each other for the first time, if the situation is an anxious, the animals will associate each other with negative feelings.
For both animals, introduce them in a way which shows you are happy and at ease with them, showing that they are in a safe and secure environment.
INTRODUCING A DOG INTO YOUR HOME
Cats can be very territorial.
If you are bringing a dog into your home and you have a cat, you will need to do it in a way where your cat does not feel their territory is under threat.
Try to keep the dog away from “prime” areas where your cat tends to sleep or hide.
INTRODUCING A CAT INTO YOUR HOME
Keep your new cat in a different room from your dog for a day or two. Ensure that your new friend has toys, somewhere to sleep, and everything it needs to be happy.
This will allow the scent of the cat to become a familiar for your dog. Once your cat has heard your dog, but seems relaxed, it's a sign that it is more confident.
If you have earned the trust of your cat, keep the animal in your arms and allow your dog to come over in his/her own time. He/she will be curious eventually and will approach to sniff its new friend.
#2 OBEDIENCE TRAINING
The reason for this is that dogs have a strong chase instinct.
Most dog owners are aware of commands such as “sit” or “heel”, but the command “leave” or “leave it” is a great way to show your dog that you don't want him or her chasing your new pet. It's an effective way to control how your dog will be around your cat.
While some cats can be almost too inquisitive, most are cautious by nature so will hopefully not chase your dog.
#3 IT'S PLAYTIME! OR IS IT?
One of the biggest mistakes a pet owner can make is to assume that when one animal is ready to play, the other is too.
For example, you might have a kitten who just wants to play with an older dog, a great sign from your cat, but if your dog shows any signs of frustration, this can lead to some problem confrontations. The reverse is equally as true.
In the first few weeks, observe the playful behavior of both animals.
Eventually the other animal will come around and enjoy playing, but sometimes a dog can be more ready to strike up a friendship than a cat.
especially true when one animal is very young and the other much larger and
older. That can be a dangerous combination, but with patience they will bond
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