Do dogs and cats really hate each other? It is hard to be certain. Dogs love having fun and chasing almost about anything that moves and the reaction of cats to a dog chasing them is quite normal. Even you would run away screaming if a dog chases after you.
Maybe you have heard of the phrase “fight like cat and dog” when referring to two people who are considered mortal enemies. This saying has been around for a long time with good reason. It probably began around the time that cats and dogs were not yet treated as pets. Since they have no home and human to take care of them, they freely roam the street scavenging for food. Dogs, as wolf descendants, can effectively communicate with each other through signals, so fight rarely ensues. With cats descending from lonesome predators, they did not develop skills to detect danger and willingly go into fights. Both species were not gifted with the capacity to communicate with each other over the years.
Well, we hope that this trivia did not put you off from your goal of creating a happy home with your dog and cat. Because it is possible. However, if you have not brought home a second pet yet, these few pointers will surely make things easier for you:
- Before getting your second pet, try looking for a dog or a cat who has been already exposed to each other.
- Do not finalize anything until you have introduced one pet to another and already have a feel of how they will get along.
- It will be better to adopt a kitten when your dog is older. Kittens are very fragile. A young dog might treat a kitten as a toy.
- When taking home a new puppy to your cat, you should make sure that your cat is just as active and fun-loving as your new pet. A younger cat will be much friendlier and playful than older cats.
- If you have an elderly cat, then a slightly more mature dog is a much better option.
Of course, you know your pets better than anyone else. Your puppy might be a far cry from other puppies in terms of hyperactivity. Or your elderly cat might even be as active and strong as a young cat. Observe how they are, so you can get a new pet that will jive with your current pet’s personality.
Here Are Five Tricks to Start Camaraderie Between Your Cat and Dog
1. Prepare your home.
Create a safe space for your old pet by ensuring that they can keep their privacy. This is very important if your first pet at home is a cat. Give your cat a piece of furniture that he can climb on. Up there, he can watch his soon-to-be-friend until he feels ready to socialize.
2. Carefully plan the first meeting.
Imagine what you would do if you are so eager to set up two good friends with each other and you want to craft the perfect first impression. A good time to set up the first meeting is over a meal because who doesn’t love food?
Before introducing your dog and cat place them on opposite sides of a closed door and let them eat there. While they are happily enjoying their meal, the scent of the other will be associated with the smell of food. Do this for a few weeks before setting up a face-to-face meeting.
3. Teach your dog to control himself.
Dogs are cute, but some of them lack the ability to control their impulses. If your dog is too jumpy and perky, there is a chance he will overwhelm the cat or pounce at her excitably Try to put a muzzle on him or keep a leash handy during the first few weeks of the new living situation.
4. Exercise your dog to get rid of the excess energy.
Most people say they train and exercise their dogs, but experts say most likely it is not enough. Most dog owners probably only train their dogs 20% of what they should do. Dogs should be able to channel their energies into something that can make them more relaxed, especially when around the new kitten.
5. Let them sniff each other out.
Well, not exactly one another. But, allowing your dog to take a whiff of your cat’s bedding and toys (and vice versa!) can help prevent World War III when they first meet.
6. Separate their toys, foods, and supplements.
It is such a scary thought to think about what can happen if your cat wanders toward your dog’s dish. Save yourself the trouble by placing their bowls in different areas of the house when feeding them. You should also give them their daily dosage of vitamins and minerals separately to avoid striking jealous feelings for both. Toys can also be a subject of competition. So try to get two different toys when you go to the pet store.
7. Put away your kitty’s litter box far away from your dog.
Cats get stressed when their litter box gets violated. If your dog comes across your cat who is doing his business in his litter box, your cat might up and leave and just bring his business somewhere else.
Also, some dogs enjoy feasting on whatever is in your cat’s litter box. To prevent your dog from eating something gross, place the litter box somewhere where your cat can go to, but your dog will not be able to. Maybe you can find a small space inside your home that the dog can’t enter. Another idea would be to put the litter box in a dark area. The dogs can’t see in the dark, but cats can find their way easily. If not, all is not lost; there are some litter boxes that give the cat a bit of privacy without getting interrupted.
For some dogs and cats, a new friendship can be formed in just days. Sometimes, it does not really pan out. Although, this is quite rare. Usually, by two to three weeks of living together, a cat and a dog has already become the new dynamic duo to watch out for in town.
About the Author:
Charles is a certified pet-lover who writes for RestoraPet.com. He, together with his wife, enjoys doing volunteer work in various animal shelters at his city.