Ensuring Peace between Dogs and Cats
Friday, March 08, 2019 01:19:44 PM America/Los_Angeles
It is possible for dogs and cats to share the same space, but it does take work. If dogs and cats are raised up together in a peaceful, loving, and positive environment, then they could be friends or at least tolerate each other.
Look at Personality, Not Breed: Certain breeds of dogs and cats won’t get along better, even though this is a popular belief. It’s best to look at the energy levels and personality of each animal. If there is a dog that is territorial and aggressive, it may not be the best fit for a house with a skittish cat. If there is a full of energy kitten, it may not want to share space with an aging dog. You should have a backup plan when introducing two new animals. If you are adopting a new pet, do some homework and see if the new pet has lived with other animals before. A smaller pup may give you less to worry about if you are concerned for the cat’s safety. Big dogs and cats can get along just fine, but even a big, well meaning dog can injure a cat if it gets overexcited.
Train the Dog: To set up the dog for success, teach it to control impulses. If the dog is currently leaping across the kitchen when you drop some food or steps on squeaky toy, then he will likely jump if he spots a cat. Puppies are going to require a lot of training and housebreaking, even without other pets in the house. Be sure you are up for the challenges if you are going to be training a puppy. Even if the dog is trained, you want to make sure you have the dog on a leash when introducing the two animals.
Give a Cat Some of Its Own Space: Cats crave a protected space, so create a space that the cat can go to. Since cats are climbers naturally, you can use the home’s vertical space and use a cat tree to make sure the cat is a safe distance from the dog. You can also use a cat bed on top of a bookcase. Keep dogs away from the liter box, since cats need to feel safe while doing their business. Dogs can sometimes eat cat feces, which can cause health problems. Have a separate indoor potty for dogs if the backyard isn't an option for you. Opting for a real grass dog potty such as a DoggieLawn will give your dog the perfect place to do their business. Baby gates can also work to keep their spaces seperate, but may dogs are escape artists, so you will need to prepare for this.
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Exercise the Dog: Many people only exercise their dogs about 20 percent of what they should be doing. Energy needs to be released so they can slow down their brains and control themselves around cats. Dogs need a lot of stimulation. If they receive this stimulation in a controlled manner, then they won’t chase the cat around. For exercising your dog, experts recommend lure coursing, high intensity trick training, and herding type activities. If you don’t have time to exercise your dog, try using a dog walker or using a doggy daycare so they can get the exercise they need and not take it out on the cat.
Let Both Animals Follow Their Noses: It’s a good idea to let both the dog and cat sniff each other's toys and bedding before any face to face introduction. This can help satisfy any potential curiosity and avoid some turf battles.
Plan the Meeting Carefully: There is one chance to make a good first impression. Since both animals love food, schedule the fist meeting during mealtime. Keep the dog on the leash and both animals on opposite sides. This will allow them to smell each other while eating. They will then associate the smell with mealtime, which is a good thing. Do this at mealtime for a few weeks before introducing visual stimulation.
Keep Toys and Food Separate: Even after you have introduced a successful meeting, still keep their bowls separate. Keep an eye on the toys. Competition over toys can cause fighting and some dogs like catnip more than cats do.
Consider Raising Both Together: Socializing both cats and dogs to live together can be a lot easier than having them meet as adult animals. It’s much easier to work on potty training and other techniques for your dog at this stage. Puppies are easier to train and soak up new things quicker. Dogs are less confident in the puppy stage, so it will allow the cat to assume its position at the top of the hierarchy. Even if you are introducing the two at the early stages, you still need to keep a watchful eye to make sure everything is going smoothly. Dogs may enter the rambunctious period before being a full-grown dog.