Popular culture has coined cats and dogs as arch enemies, but it’s not always entirely true. While some dogs and cats will chase each other around, it’s perfectly possible make a cat and dog get along.
Cats are aloof, and easily startled, where dogs are gregarious and territorial animals. This doesn’t mean to say they can’t get on though, all they need is a little help from you.
Here’s some tips on how you can get your feline and canine friends to get along, rather than get in each other’s way.
It’s often believed that it’s down the breed of cat and dog that will determine if they can get along or not, but this isn’t true. It’s more important to take their energy levels and personalities into account instead.
For example, an aggressively territorial dog isn’t going to mix too well with a skittish cat, the same way an older dog probably won’t be too chuffed with a kitten pestering them all the time.
If there is this personality clash, set up their space so they’re separated in the long term. Also, if adopting any pets then ask if they’re okay to live with other animals or not, or if they have done in the past.
Train your Dog
If you want your dog to get along successfully with a cat, you’ll need to teach it how to act around one. Is your dog fairly energetic, or constantly on high alert? You’ll need to take this into consideration.
Cats are easily startled in comparison to dogs, so your new feline friend probably isn’t going to appreciate your dog invading its personal space initially.
Teach your dog to stay put, and not to chase your cat about. While your dog may thing it’s all just fun and games, the cat isn’t likely to feel the same way. Keeping a lead handy is probably for the best during the first wave of cat-dog meetings.
Cats like their own space that they can call their own. Let your cat have its own base-camp and make it off-limits to your dog, as well as a few spaces around the house.
Take note that cats are natural climbers, so making use of the vertical space in your house is best. Cat trees, tall shelves or raised beds on book shelves etc. allow your cat to observe their canine sibling from a safe distance with no hassle.
You should also keep your dog away from the litter box, as your cat should be able to do its business in peace. Oh, and dogs can sometimes see this as a feasting oppurtunity (gross), risking the likes of intestinal parasites – making your pooch very ill.
If you feel your dog is going to be able to get near the litter box at any point, at least make sure it’s not covered or in a corner so if needs be, your cat can get away quickly.
Exercising your Dog’s Body & Mind
It’s important to have your dogs energy released elsewhere, allowing them to slow their brains and keep that self control once around a cat.
As you will probably know, dogs need a lot of stimulation, and if it’s not released in a controlled manner, then you’ll find your pooch wanting to chase the kitty of the house.
Be sure your is getting the right amount of exercise and release of energy. Go as far as telling your dog to sit at least five times while out around the block or changing pace a few times. Keep their body and mind fully exercised.
Apparently, it’s a good idea to let you cat and dog sniff each other’s bedding and toys before they meet each other face-to-face. This satisfies their curiosity a little, avoiding a potential turf war.
Raise them Together
Obviously, this isn’t going to be possible if you’re thinking of bringing an adult cat or dog into the other’s life, but if you get the opportunity to raise a puppy and kitten together, then it makes things a lot easier.
If growing up together, they are more familiar with one another and things are a lot more likely to go smoother. Just be sure to still keep an eye on things, as attitudes can change as both animals get older.
Have you had any experience with helping a cat and dog get along? Let us know any more information you can provide in the comments below!
Picture credit: ADWdiabetes