Can dogs and cats get along in your home? The answer you may not like but the answer is maybe. In most cases, dogs and cats can learn how to live side-by-side in peace. With persistence and determination, you might have the ability to teach dogs and cats to get along (or a minimum of to tolerate one another). In many cases, they might even become friendly. Nevertheless, it is very important to understand that some cats and dogs will never totally accept one another and may not be able to live in harmony.
But before you throw in the towel, spend some time to try and make it work.
Why Cats and Dogs Often Clash
Dogs and felines are both predatory creatures. In general, they are genetically hardwired to hunt and go after smaller sized creatures. This prey drive differs from animal to animal. In dogs especially, the breed has an excellent influence on victim drive. For instance, Terriers were originally reproduced to hunt and kill vermin. If one sees a cat, specifically a little feline, this predatory impulse may kick in. Of course, this is not to state that Terriers cannot get along with cats.
On the other side, cats are less most likely to see dogs as something to hunt because of the size of a dog. However, a pup or very small “teacup” type of dog can most certainly set off a feline’s predatory instinct.
Territorial behavior is typically displayed by both felines and pet dogs. The present four-legged citizen of the home may feel threatened by the presence of another animal and become defensive.
To send out the message that “this is my turf,” felines may roar and hiss at a dog. Canines might bark and growl at a new cat. Both species may urinate or defecate inappropriately to mark his/her area and/or vie for attention from the human of the home. When it boils down to it, a resident cat is typically most likely to show territorial and defensive behavior towards a new dog.
When the dog is first it will most likely see the cat as a prey or a toy.
Preventing the Battle of Dog Versus Cat
In an effort to keep the feline and dog from getting off on the wrong paw, it is important to ease them both into the new situation. Do not simply throw the brand-new animal into the mix and hope for the best. Prior to you know it, the fur will be flying and somebody could get seriously harmed. Instead, start slow. The most fundamental part of the process is that you need to directly monitor both animals. There needs to be NO unsupervised direct contact.
Remember to be safe while monitoring your animals. An agitated cat or pet might erroneously reroute aggression to you, and scratches or bites are the last things you require.
Intros should be performed in stages, and each introduction should be done when all animals are as calm and relaxed as possible. After a meal might be a good time for this. There is no specific formula here; it’s just “touch and go.” You can move onto the next phase when you feel the time is right. Just make certain you remain in control. If you remain in doubt, it’s fine to back up a step. This procedure can take days, weeks or perhaps months.
Here’s ways to begin the careful process of introducing dogs and cats so they will (ideally) get along.
Cat and Dog Introductions: Stage One
Your resident dog or cat should be getting the benefit at first. When you bring the new pet in your home, restrict that new family pet to one space of the home, keeping the door to that room closed. Your other pet can have the run of the remainder of the home. When you are far from the house, it might be best to keep the resident family pet away from the closed door where the new family pet is staying at home. This may or may not be reasonable based on your house’s setup.
For the first couple of days, permit each animal to gradually discover the smells and sounds of the other (between the closed door, naturally). Reward each animal with praise and treats if he or she reacts with calm interest or simply neutral behavior. If anyone reveals aggressiveness, anxiety or over-excited behavior, right away eliminate that animal from the scenario.
Attempt to divert his or her attention to something like a toy.
Ideally, after a couple of days of this, each animal will have the ability to endure the presence of the other without overreacting. Be prepared, as this may take longer. As soon as you are comfortable, move onto the next action.
Cat and Dog Introductions: Stage Two
Now that they have been able to sense, smell and hear one another, it is time to allow them to see each other. Get a family pet gate or infant gate that you can set up in the entrance of the room where the new family pet is remaining. This works best if you have another person who can help you. That way, each pet is being supervised straight away
Both animals must be a reasonable range from one another on either side of the door. Feed treats, appreciation and carefully pet each animal while gradually opening the door (with the gate in place and closed). Do not make a big deal about this, just keep the state of mind calm and permit each animal to discover the open door from a distance. Again, if either animal becomes singing, aggressive, distressed or over-excited, instantly eliminate that animal from the situation and divert his/her attention to something like a toy.
Repeat this a number of times a day for several days. Once again, you can move onto the next action when you feel that both family pets can see each other without overreacting.
Cat and Dog Introductions: Stage Three
This is similar to stage two, except that you now want to let each pet approach the gate. As constantly, preserve control over each animal. The dog ought to be on a leash. Lunging towards the gate should be avoided and highly discouraged. If your feline is comfortable with a harness, put him or her on that harness and attach a leash. Otherwise, stay extremely close to the feline. Do not let them over the gate.
Be extremely careful not to get injured. If your cat is hissing or spitting at the dog and you select him up, you could easily be bitten or scratched. The feline and dog should not be able to touch one another, they must only be allowed to get closer together.
If peace and preferable responses continue for both animals over several days, you are ready to move on to stage four.
Cat and Dog Introductions: Stage Four
In this last of introductions, the cat and dog are ready to be in the same room together but while monitored. At this point, the dog must still be on a leash. In general, the feline is at a higher risk of being hurt, so he or must probably have an edge here and be able to escape if need be (regardless of whether that feline lived in the house initially).
Hold short sessions where both animals remain in the very same space. Treat their responses the like you did in previous steps. Gradually increase the times of these sessions, each time letting the pets get a little closer to each other. This final stage may take the longest, and during this time, the pets need to still be separated when left alone.
Long-Term Living Arrangements
In time, you may find that your feline and dog just learn how to accept one another. If you are lucky, they will become good friends. In some cases, the cat and dog can never ever be safely left alone together. Use your best judgment in these situations, and remember: better to be safe than sorry!
Regardless of the result, make sure that your home is set up to allow the feline to have a dog-free retreat. Your feline’s food, water, and litter box should all be completely kept in a location that the dog can not access. In addition, you may wish to crate train your dog to help keep things safe while you are gone. As always, make sure your dog has plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Provide plenty of exercise, engaging toys, and proper training for your dog.