As a dog enthusiast, I'm often asked why dogs lick people. Dogs are notorious lickers;…
So, you want to be a parent to both- a dog and a cat. Well, there’s potentially no harm in it, as long as you can help them nurture a friendly relationship.
But how do you do it?
To your surprise, it isn’t that difficult. Or, at least, not what most artists and cartoonists present them as – they are not eternal enemies.
That being said, it is still noteworthy that pets don’t like to share their parents. Or, at least, they don’t want to share with other pets that they are not familiar with.
Luckily, you are in just the right place to know how to help your cat and dog be friends.
Introducing Your Dog To Your Cat
1. Start With Acquainting Them
Initially, you can confine your new cat to one room or specified area in your home, say your lobby.
Arrange for her litter box, food, water, and bed in the specified room.
It would allow your cat to familiarize herself with her new surroundings.
And as she gradually starts to adjust to the new surroundings, introduce her to a common feeding area for your cat and dog.
It should help them associate feeding with an enjoyable activity and also get to know the pup for the first few days.
2. Switch Scents For Both
Both dogs and cats have a strong affinity for scents. And they feel comfortable when they are surrounded by familiar scents.
But, it does not mean they cannot adjust to any new scents.
What it means is, you can try familiarizing your pets with each others’ scents.
To begin with, you can simply swap their blankets. Once they get comfortable with each others’ scents, you can even introduce them to a common bed.
3. Break Their Boundaries
Whether you do it or not, cats and dogs are very possessive about their territories. It is embedded in their basic instincts.
Nonetheless, you can shatter these boundaries down if you really wish for your pets to be friends with each other.
You can try switching their living areas. In other words, you can try moving your cat into the room where your dog usually sleeps. And vice versa.
It offers another way for your pets to get used to each others’ scents and accept their presence in the house.
4. Teach Obedience
Another clever way to help your cat and dog become friends with each other is to train them. You don’t have to train them to be showstoppers. But, instead, you need to teach them the basic obedience commands.
For instance, you can start training your dog with the basic commands, like “sit”, “come”, and “stay”. The same can be done with your cat too.
To ease training for them, give them rewards for obeying your commands. For instance, you can get Frozen Raw Cat Food for your feline friend and give it to them as a treat whenever they behave well. You can do the same for your dog and get him some treats too.
Perhaps, treat work as motivators for your pets. And they are more likely to learn and respond to your commands positively.
Precautions To Consider When Introducing
Keep A Check On Their Feed
One of the most important precautions you need to consider is checking on your pets’ feed. Primarily what your dog feeds on.
As gross as it may sound, dogs are known to eat cat feces. Yes, that’s right.
Although it is not harmful or endangers your dog’s health, it is simply unhygienic.
Besides, you would also want to keep your cat’s food out of your dog’s reach. Yes, dogs devour cat food. And it could be a reason for them to develop enmity.
You indeed wouldn’t want that, after all the efforts you’ve put into your dog and cat being friends with each other.
Avoid Hostile Meetings
Both dogs and cats can feel hostile in the presence of each other. Well, there are certainly chances. But there are equal chances that their meetings may take an aggressive turn.
You must look for their behaviour in each other’s presence. For instance, if your dog growls when the cat is near him. Or, likewise, if your cat gnarls whenever the dog comes near her.
In either case, the situation may turn out pretty badly. And you wouldn’t want that for sure.
So, if you find any such situation starting to form up, you should remedy it quickly. And separate your pets from each other.
Additionally, you may need to work more upon introducing them to each other.
You also need to be careful about how you punish your pets for their behaviour.
Although you may feel like shouting or yelling at them, believe us, that’s going to do more harm than good.
Instead of yelling at your dog or cat, you should tell them what not to do authoritatively. You can also use gestures such as raising your finger and pointing out.
Notably, cognitive behavioural training is believed to help nurture good habits in both dogs and cats. Although cats may need more effort than usual, it is still better to be persistent with your actions.
And avoid punishments once and for all.
Should You Get Help?
If the methods mentioned above fail to be effective, it is better to get help from experts.
Professional trainers know how to tap into your pets’ emotional and psychological state. And accordingly, they can design a training regime that may help make your dog and cat friends with each other.
More so, the longer you avoid getting professional help, the worse the situation will be for you as a parent.
A Word About Feline And Canine Pets
Since both the pets belong to a completely different family, they will always have their differences. But, we know from our experiences that individuals with different personalities can be best friends.
And notably, this holds true for your pets too.
All you need to do is avoid putting them into a situation where they may have to choose between their basic instincts and react rationally.