Though cats and dogs possess a huge difference in nature, they can still get along. Dogs are more territorial whereas our feline friends are friendly and calm. But if we keep them together since childhood, they won’t find it difficult to get along.
Many pups and kittens even take a nap together. With time, they understand each other and learn to adjust. Keeping an adult dog with a cat may be difficult, but not impossible.
People who research well before keeping them together, don’t find it challenging. Join pet groups, discuss things with pet-loving friends, or simply consult a pet expert. And, in this research process, make sure to jot down the key things.
8 Tricks To Help Your Cat And Dog To Get Along
Experts suggest considering various factors like creating a separate space, taking a gradual approach, and providing training. That is how experienced pet owners make them feel comfortable with one another.
You can also successfully keep these two adorable at one home. All you need is to follow the right path. If you have no clue, keep reading to find out some useful tips:
1- Evaluate The Pet’s Personality Rather Than The Breed
As per the research of WeLoveDoodles.com, considering the breed in place of a pet’s personality is the biggest mistake.
A dog from the hunting breed may show a friendly nature. Likewise, cats from the territorial group may accept a new companion wholeheartedly.
Instead of the breed, we should take other factors into account. They include age, medical fitness, size, etc. Let us discuss each of them:
If any one of the pets is suffering from a contagious disease, you cannot bring another pet at home. Or, if one of them is currently dealing with anxiety and depression, accepting change in life will be difficult.
Do you how important a pet’s gender is. Yes, if you select the opposite gender of the new pet, they will find it easier to stay together.
Just like humans, pets also have similar likes and dislikes as per gender. If you select the same gender, they will like the same toy, food, and other things.
However, this will not be the case if you opt for the opposite gender. In fact, they might love it!
Adult dogs, who are more serious, may not find it pleasing to live with a playful kitty. Similarly, you cannot keep a big dog at home if you have limited space in the house.
Kitties don’t allow sharing space with strangers. They will be needing time to get familiar with the dog.
Thus, be sure to evaluate the personality of the pet before bringing a new companion to your existing pet.
2- Give Prime Attention To Training
Unmannered dogs can never go well with cats. The same statement is true for cats. Both of them need to have the proper training for controlling their impulse.
Here you need to notice their everyday behavior. See if they jump or become hyperactive after watching their favourite cookie pack.
Or, what is their behavior in front of the guests? If they act unusual and feel uncomfortable, be prepared to leash them during the first few meet-ups.
Training regularly will help them control anger. Thus, chances of mingling with each other will increase.
Teach Your Dog To Stay Calm
Most dogs chase cats initially. But you need to train your canine pet. Use specific words and offer rewards if the dog stays calm in presence of the cat.
Tell the dog to sit down or lie down if the cat is around. It will help the dog understand how it needs to react in front of the dog.
Let Your Cat Accept The Existence Of A Dog
Some cats get afraid in front of the dogs. Do not worry. The behavior is normal. If you provide proper training, the cat will stop assuming the dog as a sign of threat.
Whenever the cat feels upset, try to hug her and show love. It will let her realize that the presence of a dog makes no difference. After some time, she will start accepting the dog.
3- Arrange A Separate Space For Cats
Because of the difference in size, cats are likely to feel insecure with dogs. They love having a separate territory at a corner, even if it’s a shared space. Here is how you can create it:
We can easily purchase cat trees as these kitties are natural climbers. Without staying close to dogs, they can observe them from a distance.
In the same way, arrange separate litter boxes. Some dogs may eat a cat’s faucet, which can cause allergy and problems in the intestine.
Separate litter boxes will let them stay comfortable while subconsciously observing each other’s activity.
Toys And Bedding
A fight for the toys can be miserable. Never take this risk. Bring separate toys and put them in their separate areas. Likewise, arrange separate bedding as per the size and age of the pet.
Most importantly, we should understand the significance of an independent territory for pets. Even if you are not introducing a new pet, changing their territory can make them upset.
That is why many pet owners take their cats and dogs even on trips. Ask some pet owners who have experienced house moving with their pets. It brings so much mental pressure on our little buddies.
That is why never change their territory at the start. Let your cat accept the dog and soon you will find them sharing their spaces.
4- Increase The Exercising Time Of Your Dog
Another great tip to help the dog and cat get along is to release their maximum energy. Yes, when they don’t have enough energy after watching a new housemate, they are less likely to become hyperactive.
You can play more games with the dog. Apart from the regular walk, start jumping games. Or if you don’t have enough time for it, you can send the canine friend to daycare.
But never compromise on your dog’s health. Increase the quality of food as well as the portion size since the dog is using more energy.
Additionally, pay attention to the hydration level. More exercise means more need for water. Therefore, make sure to give plenty of water to your pooch.
5- Never Forget The Smell Swapping Trick
Being a pet owner, you must know how animals use smell for communicating. Be it a portion of food, faucet, the presence of owners, or the existence of a new pet. They can detect various things through smell.
We can take advantage of their nature and use smell to introduce the other pet. Smell swapping means swapping the smell of one pet with the other.
A new smell may increase curiosity in your pet. But as they become habitual, they won’t show unusual behavior during the first meet-up.
You can adopt various techniques for this. Some of them are mentioned below:
- Swap their bedding regularly or clean them with the same cloth.
- Use the same blanket for your dog that the cat uses regularly.
- Don’t forget to arrange extra blankets and bedding items so that the pets won’t find it difficult to rest during swapping.
- You can also use their old bath towel on furniture to make the other pet familiar with the smell.
And, after using all these tricks for a few days, let them round around the house under supervision. A new smell will make them realize the presence of some other pet in the house.
Time Frame For Smell Swapping
There is no fixed formula or time frame to swap the smell. Every cat and dog respond differently. You need to observe and determine when your cat becomes habitual of the new smell.
Usually, it takes a week or more to get familiar with the smell. But you can increase the time if needed.
6- Plan First Meeting During Meal Time
Luckily, both of them have a great love for food. It gives us an idea of arranging their first meet-up during meal time.
However, keeping them on the opposite sides of a door separator is mandatory. In this way, they can’t touch but only see and smell each other.
Give them food at this time and they will start associating the smell with food. Since they like food, they will associate it with something exciting and positive.
Repeat the same thing for several weeks. Then, you can remove the door and let both of them meet and greet. But supervision is highly important.
Can Cats And Dogs Eat Together?
Even after friendship, don’t let them eat from the same bowl. Though pet friends can share their food, this is not true for cats and dogs.
One big reason is their nutritional requirements. The need for vitamins, nutrients, and proteins is different in cats as compared with dogs.
Since their body is different, they require different energy levels and different food. After accepting one another, you can let them enjoy food at the same time. Just put their bowls at a minimum distance to let them have a good meal time.
7- Arrange Separate Food Bowls And Toys
Since their love for food is undeniable, they can have a fight over it. Usually, dogs try to eat from the cat’s bowl. Therefore, maintaining separate bowls is important even after they live in a shared space.
And, a fight for the toys is also common. Keeping separate toys will be difficult as both of them will get bored with their toys. In the end, they want the other toy. Just like human babies, fighting for small things is common among dogs and cats.
Be it a small toy, or a lovely treat. They might fight or create a mess. Train them to do the give and take trick for resolving these small fights. It is highly important for toys as the fight for toys is common.
When you already know about this reaction, make sure to provide proper supervision during the first few months.
8- Be Prepared To Show Patience And Consistency
You need to understand that keeping these two pets together is not a one-day process. It requires time, patience, and most importantly, dedication. Most lucky owners successfully achieve this goal.
Their secret to success is their slow approach and patience. Remember, punishments and anger will never work in this process.
You might feel frustrated at times and want to give up. In that case, research the success stories of other pet owners. See how long have they worked, what were their challenges, and what tricks did they use?
Now compare your routine with theirs. And, think if you can take out time for the proper training of your cat and dog. As mentioned above, you need to provide a lot of supervision. So, can you manage all this?
Vacations can be the right time to start this process. During this time, you will be at home, and providing 100% supervision will be possible. If it seems manageable, you are good to go for this task.
Remember, the initial days might seem difficult. But once they learn to get along with each other, you will have a wonderful time with these companions.
Wrapping It Up
Dogs and cats can get along with ease if we follow some simple tips and tricks. Firstly, we need to make a smart selection of the dog that can go well with a cat. Base this selection on personality, not breed.
Give prime importance to their health, size, and age. Unhealthy pets have a tough time adjusting to companions. The same is the case with a pet’s age. Try to bring both cat and dog of the same age. Pups and kitties can be fun-loving and may play together.
Whereas, adult dogs and big cats possess a serious nature. You can expect to take both of them together for a walk. They will enjoy it once they become friends. Additionally, create separate territories for both of them.
Releasing your dog’s maximum energy before the first meeting is also helpful. And, smell swapping can do wonders. Furthermore, arranging the meet-up at meal time is a proven technique. But never let them share the food bowls and litter boxes.
No matter how obedient your cat and dog are, providing supervision during the first few weeks is essential. After some time, they will accept their new housemates.