Do you already have a dog at home and would like to have a cat or vice versa? If that’s your intention, but you’re worried they won’t get along, don’t worry. Your dog and your cat can become good friends.
More than likely, you’ve heard it said that two people get along like cats and dogs. That is, they get along terribly! So it’s no wonder that more than a few of you are wondering if dogs and cats can live together.
The good news is that they can, and in this article, we will give you some tips to help your dog and cat get along from minute one.
Dogs and cats together: how do i introduce them?
The first impression is always important, and your role will be to pave the way. In dogs and cats together, it is best to get to know each other as puppies.
It is also a good idea to prepare thoroughly for the meeting and set up a space where both feel comfortable. And, above all, don’t lose patience! It is a gradual process, and you know that rushing is not good for you. Here are some tips to prepare for this moment.
Ideally, both should meet each other when they are puppies.
If the cat and the dog are puppies, it will be much easier for them to adapt to each other. If they grow up together, they may even become great playmates, as they have learned to interpret each other’s signals.
That’s why introducing dogs and cats to each other when they are puppies can make it much easier for you to get along.
What to do if they meet when either of them is no longer in the juvenile stage.
If your dog and cat meet when they are no longer puppies, don’t worry, all is not lost. If they have socialized with other dogs and cats and have had good experiences, it will be much easier for them to adapt.
You must also take into account the character of each one of them. And, finally, if they are territorial or have a very developed hunting instinct, coexistence can be complicated. In this case, you will only need to dedicate more time and patience for them to adapt.
Introduce them little by little
Putting dogs and cats together should be done slowly. Follow these steps to ensure a successful coexistence:
- Leave them in separate rooms and show each a rag with the other’s scent impregnated on it. Usually, the dog will show interest; on the other hand, the cat is more suspicious and will not be very interested.
- The moment you see that both are at ease with each other’s scent, it’s time to let them see each other. But, for the moment, from a distance.
- If you see them relaxed, you can move on to the official introduction.
- Before you let them interact, take your dog for a walk and play with him. Releasing energy will make him more relaxed and receptive to meeting your cat.
- Prepare your cat for the moment, too. Trim their nails to prevent them from hurting themselves.
- Keep the dog on a leash for better control. He will probably just want to sniff the cat, but some dogs get a little anxious, and the cat may get scared. The important thing, too, is that you are calm. Otherwise, they can sense your nervousness and catch it.
- Under no circumstances should you force them to approach or sniff each other. The success of dogs and cats together but not mixed is that you have patience. Give them time and space, they may not become friends, but they will learn to respect each other and live in harmony.
The importance of space for each other.
If you want your dogs and cats together, they must have their own space. Avoid them having to compete for resources such as bedding, food, or water.
A good trick is to place the cat’s drinking and feeding bowls in high places where he can easily access them, but the dog cannot.
The cat will eat calmly, knowing that the dog won’t take the food away from him, but don’t let him get close to the dog while he’s eating either. The last thing you want is for him to get angry and think he has to defend his food.
Place your cat’s litter tray in a quiet place that your dog cannot access. The cat must have privacy to relieve itself.
Another aspect you should take care of is the high spaces and hiding places your cat needs to feel safe.
Encourage a positive relationship between cats and dogs together.
Make time for both of them. Offer treats and petting when both are near you. This way, the other will see that getting close is positive and beneficial.
You need to pay attention to both of them and respect their space and their way of being.
As you can see, living with dogs and cats together is possible. Although it is much easier if they both know each other when they are puppies or have had previous experiences socializing with other dogs and cats, time and patience you can get them to respect each other.
However, if you think you’ve given enough of both resources, and they don’t get along, consult an ethologist. This specialist in canine and feline behavior will help you improve their relationship.