Planning to get a dog but afraid your cat might react badly? The possibility that a cat and dog may not get along is a common dilemma faced by many pet owners.
While there’s no denying that cats and dogs often tend to be quite the opposite in nature. We mean, the phrase ”fighting like cats and dogs” came from somewhere. But this doesn’t exactly mean a cat or dog will never be able to share a space.
However, since cats seem to be reserved in nature and most dogs usually get needy and territorial, you’re going to have to put in some work. With some tips and tricks and a loving and affectionate home, a cat and a dog do have the potential to live together peacefully…. or well, at least tolerate each other!
In this article, we’ll be discussing the 8 Tricks to Help Your Cat and Dog Get Along and make your pet-filled home a happy one!
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1. Personality Match is Essential
Before you go ahead and adopt a dog or vice versa, it’s important to ensure a dog’s personality type is going to match with a cat. For example, an aggressive or possessive dog isn’t likely to get along with an aloof or easily startled cat.
Moreover, a reserved and older dog will also not like sharing his space and attention with a naughty kitten. This is usually where the problems set in. It’s a common belief that certain dog breeds such as Golden Retriever, Doodles, Basset Hound, Bichon Frise are among some breeds that get along well with cats.
So, if you’re someone who owns one of these dog breeds, go ahead and welcome a kitten into your affectionate home. To learn more about which dog breeds are less aggressive towards other pets, there are certain websites you can check, such as We Love Doodles.
2. Obedience Training Goes a Long Way
While it may come as a surprise (since cats are extremely rambunctious), the reason behind cats and dogs not befriending each other easily is usually the dogs. Since dogs tend to have a higher prey instinct and are also territorial, they’re more likely to chase or harass the cat at every opportunity they get.
Although, there are exceptions to this as cats aren’t entirely innocent every time. However, training your dog to follow even the most basic of commands such as ”Sit”, ”Stop”, and ”Stop” can go a long way in restricting unwanted behaviors and prevent them from scaring the cat.
3. Start the Introduction Young
The sooner cats and dogs are introduced to one another, the more likely they are to get along. For instance, pups and kittens raised together are likely to grow up to be BFFS! So, if you already have an aging cat or dog, consider getting a pup or kitten. Since aging cats and dogs are more tolerant towards younger pups or kittens.
However, be cautious if there is a huge size difference as dogs can be aggressive and this may result in them harming a playful kitten.
Desensitization is a technique used to normalize the body’s response to particular stimuli or sensations.
In this case, desensitization aims to reduce certain behaviors or reactions your dog may express when it seems or goes near a cat. As we know, sometimes dogs tend to get too excited or jumpy when they see a cat. Especially when sharing a space with them for the first time. This can cause the cat to feel uneasy and skittish resulting in them being impossible to get along with another.
One way to achieve the goal of desensitization is to install a baby gate. This baby gate will provide an opportunity for the two animals to get familiar with one another without close contact and the potential to harm one another.
However, if you still notice your dog being way too interested in the cat, try to distract it by giving it toys. This will cause the dog to eventually lose any interest in the cat and get used to its presence.
5. Give the Cat its Own Space
Cats are bosses that enjoy their own little space regardless of whether another pet is present in the house. This is why they need to have their space especially if you’re planning on welcoming another pet into the house.
Make a safe space for your cat to escape to whenever it feels skittish or uneasy. For instance, cats love climbing so consider providing them with a cat scratch tree so they can peacefully climb and watch everything far away from the trouble!
Moreover, ensure the cat’s food and litter boxes are kept away from the dog at all times!
You can also install dog gates to prevent them from entering cat areas. This is ideal for small pups who aren’t used to having company in the house.
6. Ensure the Cat is Relaxed
If you already own a cat and are bringing a dog home, ensure the cat is calm and relaxed when being introduced to the dog for the very first time. Pick it up in your home and have someone else bring the dog inside on a leash. Then, bring the dog closer to the cat with one to two steps at a time. Taking it gradually and slowly is key!
7. Exercise Your Dog’s Mind and Body
This is an important trick that is usually underestimated by many dog owners. Dogs are energetic and aggressive that need to let their energy out to prevent them from lashing out at other pets in the house.
Your dog’s energy needs to be released in the right matter through exercise, toy-time, herding-type activities, or high-intensity trick training.
8. Use the Power of Smell
The scent is an important trick to get two animals used to one another. Therefore, trying to bring home the scent of another animal, for example, through a blanket to the pet you own before their introduction could be an ideal way to get them used to each other!
In conclusion, it can be a difficult task to make a dog and cat get used to one another. Especially due to their opposite natures. However, with our 8 Tricks, you should be able to gradually make them familiar with each other’s presence. And remember, a loving and affectionate home is key to keep the pets happy and healthy!
We hope you find our article helpful!