Despite what some may think, cats and dogs can co-exist peacefully. For many years, cartoon or TV portrayed animals have drummed up hilarious antics of dogs and cats against each other. However, these portrayals are far from the potential of a cat/dog relationship. Here, we would like to share some tips for the best ways to introduce a dog to a cat or vice versa. By following these few guidelines, you can secure a long lasting and beautiful relationship for your furry pals.
Introductions should be supervised and handled with care. These moments should be planned with care and patience. It is important to take note of the ages and background of your pets. Be sure to analyze how your current pet has handled the opposite species before. For example, if you have an older dog and are considering bringing a cat into the home- be sure to seek out a cat that is either familiar and friendly with dogs or consider a kitten. Younger pets are more easily adapted to members of the other species and may have a better opportunity of bonding. It doesn’t hurt to arrange a meet and greet if necessary.
Confine your cat to a small area for the initial stages. Cats are more comfortable in smaller and confined areas for the initial interactions. Select a bathroom or extra bedroom where the cat can have a safe place to acclimate to the environment. This will help both pets to adjust to the new smells and/or sounds of the home. Allow the interactions to begin at a distance. They should be able to see each other briefly, but they should not be able to chase or attack one another if the initial interaction doesn’t go well.
Consider keeping your dog on a leash for the first few interactions. This can decrease the chance of negative interactions. Cats will instinctively run if they are scared. Keeping your dog on a leash will deter them from wanting to chase or pursue a scared or anxious feline. You should also make sure your dog is familiar with simple commands such as “stay” or “sit.” This will make these moments a bit more at ease if you can count on your dog to stay still.
Never let them work it out on their own. Throwing them at each other too quickly be the cause for a very bad interaction. It can be dangerous for the both of them and can cause permanent damage on their potential relationship. Always take it slow and be mindful of the differences between the two species. Patience is key. Even if it seems like they will never like each other, continued monitored interactions can encourage their acceptance. Over time, they will get used to one another and eventually accept each other within the household. With the establishment of a solid relationship, your home will enjoy a wonderful and rewarding bond between your furry friends.