Fighting like cats and dogs is a phrase we’ve all heard. Many of us, on the other hand, have seen wonderful images and videos of huge dogs playing and cuddling with kittens. Although not all dogs and cats fight, the expression has to originate someplace, right?
If you already have a dog and want to get a cat, or vice versa, you may be unsure what you’re getting yourself into. Are your cat and dog doomed to remain enemies, or is there anything you can do to help them become friends? While not every dog-cat relationship will end in a mushy lovefest, there are some actions you can do to help keep the peace. Here are ten ideas to try to help cats and dogs get along better.
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1. Focus On Obedience Training
Dogs and cats frequently do not get along because the dog refuses to stop chasing or harassing the cat. Although there are instances, it is rare that the cat is the one who causes the greatest damage. Focusing on training your dog can sometimes be the most effective way to help your dog and cat get along. You can keep a dog under control or redirect undesired habits such as chasing a cat by teaching them to heed even basic orders.
2. Start Interaction As Young As Possible
It’s typically true that the earlier you begin teaching a pet proper behavior and behavior, the easier it will be. It’s no different when it comes to teaching dogs and cats to get along. Puppies and kittens who have been raised together have the simplest difficulty forming true friendships. Consider obtaining a puppy or kitten if you already have an adult dog or cat. Adult dogs and cats are usually more accepting of younger dogs and cats of the opposite species. If the size gap between a kitten and an adult dog is significant, be cautious. Kittens are brave, and a large dog could inadvertently harm the small kitten.
3. Take Your Time
Time is not of the essence when it comes to introducing a dog and cat. You’ll want to give them as much time as possible to become used to each other, especially if neither pet has ever been around an animal of the opposing species. Back off and give both pets more time if they appear fearful or unsure.
During any face-to-face meetings, make sure your dog is under control until you know how the pets will react to one another. Because dogs are often larger, they are more likely to damage a cat if the first encounter isn’t pleasant. If the cat, on the other hand, prefers to fight rather than flee, your dog may receive a kind but uncomfortable greeting in the form of angry claws to the face. Keep your dog on a leash for the first few introductions to be safe.
4. Swap Scents
If you’re not sure how your dog and cat will respond when they meet face to face, allowing them to become acclimated to one other’s scent without seeing each other first will help them get along. Allowing them to hang around on opposite sides of a closed door for a while, smelling but not seeing, would be one way to accomplish this. You may also put a bed or blanket with your dog’s smell in the same room as your cat, and a scent object from the cat in your dog’s crate or bed.
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5. Arrange Dinner Dates
Feeding your dog and cat food on different sides of a door or baby gate is another great way to help them learn to get along. It may be easier to overlook the weird new creature on the other side of the door if both animals are given a diversion in the shape of food. Furthermore, the dog and cat may develop a food association. It may be easier for them to get along if they form a favorable association.
6. Stay Positive
In fact, helping a dog and cat learn to get along requires a lot of positivity. As they grow to know one another, your goal should be to make all of their interactions positive. Distract or redirect your dog or cat instead of scolding or disciplining them. Praise and reward them frequently when they are behaving calmly. This will teach them that getting along with others makes you happy, and that getting along with others often means earning treats!
7. Create Safe Spaces for Cats
If you provide a safe spot for your cat to escape to if they feel the need, they will feel more at ease and be more likely to get along with your dog. A tall cat tree, kitty shelf, or the top of the refrigerator are common choices. You may also establish a dog-free zone for your cat by using a baby gate between rooms or a cat door. Even if your dog and cat get along swimmingly, your cat will appreciate having their own space if they simply need a break from the doggy affection.
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8. Try Some Calming Products
There are various species-specific soothing sprays and diffusers that may aid in your dog and cat’s relaxation and better communication. These are usually formulated with dog and cat pheromones, which humans can’t sense but which help pets relax. If you think a good product would be helpful in keeping your dog and cat friendly to each other, ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.
9. Ask For Professional Help
Don’t give up if you’ve tried all of these suggestions and your dog and cat still won’t get along. It’s time to enlist the help of the experts. Professional dog and cat trainers or animal behaviorists can be a huge help in settling your household’s dog and cat problems. Your veterinarian can also offer advice or even prescribe drugs to assist enhance your pets’ interactions with one another. If you’re determined to helping your dog and cat get along but don’t know what else to do, don’t be hesitant to ask for assistance.
10. Play Matchmaker
Your ability to play matchmaker could be the key to a successful multi-pet relationship. Some people believe that particular dog breeds get along better or worse with cats, but the truth is that both animals’ personality matter more than the breed. Bring home a shy or fearful cat if your dog is lively and playful. If your cat is a couch potato, a high-energy dog is generally not for them. To improve their chances of getting along, try to combine dogs and cats with similar personalities and activity levels.
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