We have all heard the saying: ‘fights like cat and dog’ but this is somewhat outdated and if both have been introduced to each other slowly and with consideration, doesn’t always ring true. There are plenty of felines who adore their doggy siblings, dogs and cats who share beds and kisses – well ok then, maybe not kisses, but let’s just say they get along fine!
If you are about to introduce a new pet member into your household and you already have a dog or a cat, here are a few tips to making life as harmonious as possible.
Dogs And Cats. How To Make Them Lovers Not Fighters
Before The Purchase
- If at all possible, try and purchase your dog and cat at the same time. Buying a puppy and a kitten together will make raising and socialising them both a good deal easier. Introducing two young strangers to a home that neither is familiar with or dominant, makes the battle somewhat easier!
- If you already own either a dog or a cat and are bringing home the new arrival, implement these top tips and within a few weeks, you should have a dog and cat with the purfect relationship.
- The main focus on creating a harmonious relationship between your cat and pooch is to provide a calm, safe and friendly environment. Animals, like humans, relax when their home life is positive and encouraging. Both dogs and cats are very susceptible to stressy situations and will react accordingly, try as much as possible to keep your home calm and neutral, especially in the early days of the introduction.
Things To Consider About Dogs And Cats
- Remember not to make the mistake of thinking that because your dog is of a particular breed, they will react to your new cat as a friend. Yes, Labradors are very friendly and easy going, but not all labradors have the same personality. Treat both your dog and cat as individuals and don’t make generalisations based on your dogs breed or what other people say about them.
- Take into account your dog’s age and nature and act accordingly. A Boxer puppy loves to jump and play, and an old cat might not appreciate his eagerness.
Training Your Dog To Be Calm Around Your Cat
- When introducing a dog and cat to each other, make sure that your dog has first been appropriately trained. At the very least make sure she knows the basic commands of stay, leave and sit. If your puppy has not been trained, then keep a lead on her at all times when she is around the cat.
- It is crucial that your dog knows NEVER to chase your cat. A firm “leave’ whenever he is around the cat will tell him that the cat is off limits for chasing.
Before Your Cat And Dog Meet face To face
- Smelling each other. Try putting one of your cat’s blankets into your dog’s bed so that your pooch already knows what smell to expect from his feline companion. Alternatively, take your dog’s collar and place it by your sleeping cat. This way, both animals will be familiar with the scent of the other, which is essential.
- Consider buying an indoor pet den for your new cat. Cats (and dogs) love their own space and like to feel unique and secure. Animals love dens. Give your new kitten or puppy all of her toys and cosy blankets and put them inside the den with her. Let her come and go as she pleases at first so that she gets used to the rest of the house before being introduced to her new sibling.
- Feed your dog and cat separately but jointly! Both cats and dogs love mealtimes and associate this time with happiness! Before your cat and dog meet each other properly, try feeding them at the same time but behind a closed door, this way, although they won’t be able to see each other, they will use their sense of smell and will associate the smell of each other with the good vibes of being fed!
Choose Your Moment For The Introduction
- Slowly, slowly! When the dog and cat do finally meet in the flesh, keep things calm! Don’t lift the cat up and put her in the puppy’s face or vice versa. This will frighten and confuse both animals and they will feel intimidated. Instead, place the cat within the same room as the dog – giving each other plenty of space and keep a careful eye on both.
- The best time to introduce a dog to his new kitty friend is when he is too tired to make a big fuss! Ensure that your dog has been on an energetic walk before the big ceremony. Trying to socialise a dog and cat when your young pup is full of energy is not the wisest thing to do.
Giving Them Both Their Own Space
- Cats feel the safest when they are perched on something high. If this is what your cat wants to do for the first few days of introduction, then let her. Sitting on top of the kitchen units or the wardrobe is not uncommon for a new cat who has been brought into a house with a dog. Let your cat do her thing and don’t rush her, trying to get her down from her safe place in the clouds will cause her undue distress.
- If your pet has an indoor kennel such as a Doggy Denz, then put him into it (with the door shut) while the other animal is in the room. If this proves too much for the dog or the cat, then remove one of them and go back to keeping them in separate rooms for a while. Don’t ever favour one pet over the other, take turns in which one you withdraw from the room.
Cats Will Be Cats…
Without sounding too biased, there is something to remember when you are hoping to create a harmonious home for both cats and dogs to live in together.
Cats must always win.
Think of your dog as the older sibling who ‘should know better’. Train your dog to be gentle and considerate around your cat, and all will be well.
You will be surprised how when left to their own devised and introduced slowly and carefully dogs, and cats can become the best of friends. It is not uncommon for dogs and cats to share the same indoor kennel and food bowls. Take things slowly, always keep your dog on a leash or in his Doggy Denz until you can be sure that there is at least mutual tolerating of each other.