Why is it some CATS & DOGS live to together in beautiful harmony and well… Some just can’t stand each other?
Well just like people all animals have different personalities and we’ll sometimes they just don’t get along. But to be perfectly honest what I’ve seen over the years of why CATS & DOGS usually don’t get along in households usually has something to do with human interference.
Yep most humans mean well but as I’ve said time and time before until I’m blue in the face YOU CANNOT THROW PETS TOGETHER & EXPECT THEM TO GET ALONG! Even though you have the best of intentions that is always the wrong approach to take.
Think about it if you observe animals in the wild they have instincts of how to approach each other, especially if it involves territory. To just assume you can encroach on someone’s territory is rude and you’re just asking for a disaster of some kind. And before some of you say it… But I’ve done that before with my pets. Can I just say you were very, very , LUCKY.
To bring my point home let’s just imagine you are a happily married wife living in bliss with your husband, then one day you come home and find a strange woman in your home that is now going to be your husbands second wife and you’ever not only expected to share… oh but wait for it… you’re going to be best of friends. How would that go over people?
Not good I bet, the same thing happens with your pets there is a right way and a wrong way to properly introduce pets to each other and here’s how you do it…
To begin it is important to know what kind of personality your pet has. For example are they friendly? Do they seek out animal attention to play? Are they tolerant of other animals in their space? & most importantly are they overly jealous especially when it comes to sharing YOU?
You have to be a responsible pet parent. You wouldn’t want anybody to be injured or worse another pets life to be taken God forbid. So after you’very honestly assessed your pet can get along with others you may be a candidate for a multiple pet home.
Below is a simple step by step tutorial to make this go smoothly for you.
Step 1 Prepare for the INTRODUCTION
Whether you are bringing a new cat or dog into a home that already has a cat or dog or you are trying to make your existing pets get along better, you need to create a good foundation to build on. To begin with, make sure that your home has ample space for the two pets to have some space away from each other. You will need to keep the pets separated for several days, so multiple rooms in your home are necessary.
Also, make sure that the dog will follow your commands and you can confidentlyou count on his obedience. You will want to refresh its obedience training if he does not heed your directions well. Don’t let the first encounter your cat has with your dog be a bad one because of an overzealous and aggressive pup.
If you are introducing a new dog to your home or you have a young puppy that doesn’t know its commands yet, then you need to be more cautious when introducing it to a cat.
2 GO SLOW
Do NOT just let your dog chase your cat around. Keep the pets separate at first, waiting 3 or 4 days before actually introducing the animals face to face. Animals need time to get to know each other’s smells and to get to know new homes before they can deal with getting to know another animal.
Cats and dogs are much more likely to fight or be unhappy if you try to force them together suddenly. Keep them in separate rooms and out of sight of one another until they are both calm.
Begin mixing the animals smells by stroking the cat then stroking the dog and vice versa (with pets in separate rooms).
3. Alternate the rooms you keep the animals in
This is so they can sniff where each other has been without the other animal being present. Smells are a very important way that animals get to know each other. Let your animals get to know the other’s smell before they actually get to know them face to face.
Try rubbing a towel on your dog and then putting the towel under your cat’s bowl. This will help your cat get used to the dogs smell and accept it.
4. Let the CAT & DOG smell each other under the door dividing them.
This will help them associate the new smells they are smelling with a specific animal, even if they can’t actually see it.
Try feeding the cat and dog on separate sides of the same door.This will force them to adjust to the smell of the other animal.
5. TIMING is everything. Wait for a time when BOTH the CAT & DOG ARE RELAXED to first introduce them.
f the cat is frightened and runs and hides whenever the dog gets near the door to their room, you need to give the cat more time. When the cat is adjusted to the smell and sounds of the dog, it may be time to let them see each other.
6. Hold your CAT in your arms until they are calm and relaxed.
Then ask a family member or friend to slowly bring your dog on a leash into the room. Gradually bring the dog closer in small steps, waiting for your cat and dog to both settle down as each step of the way before getting closer. Do not let the animals make physical contact with each other, just get them used to the presence of the other.
Be sure to hold the cat only if it is happy to be held.
Wear long sleeves to protect your arms from scratches.
Another option is to have the cat in a crate while you bring the dog in on a leash. This will guarantee that there is no physical contact between them when they first meet.
7. Make sure you show each pet EQUAL amount of affection in front of both of them.
Animals, like people, get jealous when ‘the new kid’ gets more attention than them. Show both of your pets that they are loved by you and that the other animal is not feared by you.
8. SEPARATE both of your pets again.
Don’t force them to interact for too long, this will just exhaust them, which can lead to conflict. Make sure the first meeting is a good one by keeping it brief and pleasant.
Gradually increase the lengths of these sessions.
9. Continue to have sessions where your DOG & CAT interact until they are relaxed in each others presence.
Once the cat seems comfortable enough, keep the dog on a leash but let the cat go loose in the room. After several weeks of this, your dog should be trained not to go after the cat, as so you can let the dog off the leash as well.
You can also use pheromones, available through your veterinarian, to help both animals stay calm and relaxed. Ask your veterinarian if he or she thinks that the use of synthetic hormones could help your pets during their adjustment period.
10. Further Adjusting Your PETS To Living Together.
Separate your PETS when you are not home with them. Redirect negative behaviors the your DOG directs at your CAT.
This includes rough play and barking. Give your pup another activity or do some obedience training with it instead of letting it focus on the cat.
Try to avoid scolding your dog in this circumstance. Keep the situation positive and your dog is more likely to have positive associations with the cat in the future.
11. Reward and PRAISE your DOG for good behavior around the CAT.
This can include friendly behavior or simply ignoring the cat. Make it so that when the cat comes into the room it’s enjoyable for your dog to treat the cat well, not to be aggressive or too attentive to it.
Say something like, “Oh, look, Puppy, Kitty’s here! Yay!” and sound very happy. Then give the dog a small training treat. Your dog will soon learn to associate pleasant feelings with the cat.
12. Provide your CAT a place where it can always get out of reach of your DOG.
This can include a cat tree or a baby gate across a doorway, whatever allows your cat to escape. Cats will generally attack a dog only when backed into a corner with no way to avoid the dog.
13. Always have REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
If your dog or your cat has never lived with another animal before, it will not immediately know how to deal with the situation. In addition, you will not know until they are introduced whether your dog will see the cat as play, prey, or a curiosity and you will not know whether your cat will see your dog as a curiosity or a threat. Understanding that you may have a long period of acclimation between the two will help you to persevere with the process of making them get along.
14. Last but not least BE PATIENT
Rome was not built in a day and remember animals can sense when your anxious. So if you want them to be calm it all starts with you first.
One last note always set the environment with calming music playing on low in the background when new pets are interacting. Music calms the savage beast.
Until next time REMEMBER PETS RULE!