The Truth About Cats and Dogs:
Many pet owners adore dogs and cats but often wonder if they can live harmoniously under one roof. Well, the answer is yes!
We’ve all seen how dogs chase cats and how cats hiss at dogs, but the reality is that cats can get along with dogs and vice versa. The foundations of their relationship are shaped by the environment they are brought up in and how you understand each animal’s natural instincts and needs.
Here are some tips:
- Ideally, the best way to start a great relationship is to introduce them as puppies and kittens so they will form a bond. And though a puppy may be more boisterous, a kitten will let it know when he (or she) has had enough play. Our tip – if your puppy is directed to play with its toys, he (or she) will focus its energy on it and not its feline companion.
- It is important, however, to choose a kitten or cat that is not fearful by nature or a dog that possesses territorial traits. For instance, a stray cat or adopted dog may have more trouble accepting its new buddy.
- Speak to your vet about mixing a certain breed of cat with a pedigree dog.
Yours, Mine and Ours:
First – let’s look at the territory and how the relationship will begin. Simply, your dog and cat will get to know one another first by scent.
- When you do introduce your pets, make sure that you supervise their interaction and limit their acclimatisation time together. Along with designating a neutral pet zone, it’s also a good idea to have separate spaces, so that each animal can retreat to its own environment, with its own bed, bowl, and scent.
- Get a towel, sock or t-shirt, and leave it by their bed or food bowls. This is a good way introduce each other by the other’s scent before their first face-to-face encounter. And when this goes to plan, rub the dog’s scent on the cat’s fur and vice versa as a greeting card.
- Always keep your dog on a leash when the first few encounters occur. And for your cat, trim its claws and keep any snapping mouths away at a safe distance. Speak to a DogTech dog behavioural specialist and book in an in-home training session before you introduce your dog to its new feline companion.
- Keep a separate space behind closed doors for your cat so he (or she) will have a room where it’s off limits from your dog or puppy. This includes providing an area for a litter box, food and water bowls, bed and a scratching post. Also, make sure that your dog cannot access the litter box at any time!
- Most importantly, make sure that your dog or puppy does not snack on his feline companion’s breakfast or dinner. A ‘no-go zone’ must be established from day one.
Best Friends Forever? Over time, your dog and cat will bond and enjoy a harmonious life together in your home.