The dog and cat rivalry is more myth than fact. There is no theory behind such a claim. While cats are jumpy, less meddlesome and couldn’t care less about anything, your dog is built to show affection while breaking every personal space barrier you can think of. Can they coexist in peace? Of course! What’s more, you could even make them buddies. And getting one familiar with the other is the first step. How do you achieve this? Let’s find out!
Let their smell lead the way
Getting your dog and cat acquainted with each other doesn’t just happen overnight. You have to make them comfortable with each other. Their odor is the ideal place to start. Animals act based on smell and your pets belong in this category. Your cat especially has a natural distrust of any scent which he is not familiar with. Bringing your dog and cat into one room, for example, but not letting them see each other will give them the opportunity to sniff out the other’s scent and feel more comfortable with it. Which will result in them getting along better?
Has your dog been trained?
With adequate training, putting your dog in check shouldn’t be a problem when he is around an unfamiliar pet like a cat. But if your pup is especially hyper you should still use a leash at least at the beginning to keep things in line to avoid your dog attaching your cat.
Use food as bait
One of the easiest ways to create a lasting impression on a pet is food. If they associate food with the smell of another pet, it will make having them get along super easy. Just ensure they don’t get to see each other until they have become comfortable with each other. Once that’s happened your pets will be well on their way of becoming friends.
Your cat needs his own space
If you want to own both a dog and a cat, you will need lots of space. Your cat should have the freedom to saunter around without having to make contact with the dog. Cats also love being high up, so you can utilize this to give your kitty the dog-free space it needs.
Set up shelves or climbable furniture so your cat can stay away from the activities of his canine sibling. And once your cat has soaked up some alone time, he can return to the ground level and join in the fun.
The separation technique
The phrase ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ is very applicable in the context. To create a stronger bond between your cat and dog, separation could be the binding force you need. Pushing your cat and dog to get familiar with each other could make them both turn hostile towards each other and you. Therefore it is best you keep them isolated from each other, and then reintroduce them gradually.
Release that pent-up energy
Dogs are energetic beings. Walks around your home aren’t enough to expend that energy. And if you don’t help your pup channel that energy in a positive way, it will use it to annoy his feline sibling. One thing that will help your dog have fun without him creating tantrums is to take him on long walks in an area that isn’t familiar to him. Changing things up often will let your pup use up more energy and, in return, your cat will also be happier since he will be left alone.
Avoid mealtime disasters
One of the easiest ways to make your dog and cat hate each other is placing their food nearby. Because this can result in your dog starting to eat from his feline sibling’s plate. And the outcome of this scenario is a likely fight which can and probably will end badly. Your best bet to avoid this mess is placing the cat’s meal at locations only the cat can reach such as table tops, shelves, and similar above-ground spots. Or, if that isn’t possible, just placing your cat and dog’s bowls as far apart as you can.
Yes, both pets can like the same toy. And this will often lead to disagreements between the two animals. Therefore keep dog’s toys away from your cat’s. And place the cat’s toys in a high-up location that only the cat can reach. Such an arrangement should reduce how often your pets interact with each other, which should limit the chances of things escalating.
Get them young!
Raising a dog and cat from when they are little is less demanding. And this way there also is a more likely chance that they will become inseparable. The reason for this is that while a dog is timid when young, a cat appears to have an inbuilt ‘bossy’ attitude right from his kitten phase. So making them get familiar from your age will help the dog understand what he can and can’t do to the cat. And let the cat makes his influence in the house felt.
Love them equally
If there’s one way to create rancor among your pets, it’s loving one more than the other. Let each pet feel loved equally especially in the early stages of the introduction. This will create a sense of belonging and will minimize the chances of any confrontation between the pets.
Talk to your vet
Depending on the outcome of the first meeting between both pets, you can consult your vet regarding the use of medications like pheromones to help your pets remain calm during future meetings. It will cut down the likelihood of an interaction between both siblings spiraling out of control. And will help them get along quicker.