Although some dogs and cats get along well, it can take several weeks or months for a cat’s to become comfortable with a dog. It will depend on the personalities of each pet. You don’t necessarily want the pets to be best friends. You could consider your cat a success if she is happy to ignore your dog even though they are in the same room.
1. Guess Who’s in Charge?
Psychology Today recently discussed a study that found comfort was the most important factor in the success of the feline/canine relationship. Everyone is happier when the cat is happy.
According to the study, the cats should be introduced to their surroundings as soon as possible.
Surprisingly, the researchers found that dogs were more likely than cats to attack them. Unsurprisingly, the two were not good at sharing food and beds.
2. How to make cats and dogs feel comfortable with each other
There are many feline and canine companions. They all have different personalities and temperaments. Sometimes it takes a cat and a dog days to get to know each other. Some dogs and cats have personalities that are too different. It can take them a while to learn how to interact with each other.
Consider this: Cats and dogs are often enemies due to their prey drive and communication problems. Because of all these variables, it’s more complex than one answer. It takes time to find out what works and what doesn’t for your furry friends.
- How to Introduce a Dog and a Cat
- Slow and steady desensitization
Desensitization can be used if your dog becomes too attached to the cat. It is a method that gradually increases your dog’s exposure to the cat. You can place the cat in a room with a high baby gate, such as a bedroom, bathroom, or spare room. You should choose a room that the cat can’t access or doesn’t require access to. If your dog is sleeping in the same bedroom as you at night, it’s best to keep the cat out of that room. Separate them and allow them to see each other only during certain times.
3. Take a look at this
If your dog does not become desensitized to cats after the quick introduction, or if the training did not work, then you may need to do some structured training. Playing Look at That (LAT), with your dog can help you teach her to not fixate on the cat. This will teach her to look at the cat, then turn around and look back at you. She will learn that it is much more rewarding not to pay attention to the cat.
4. Introduction Face-to-Face
This is a faster introduction. The dog should be walked by one person. Another person should be paying attention to the cat’s body language. You can allow the cat to roam around free if he isn’t hissing at the dog or raising his back. Although a cat is not usually a danger to a dog’s safety, some cats can be aggressive towards dogs.
5. Give your cat time to settle down
Before introducing your cat to your dog, give them at least one to two more days to get used to the routine. Depending on how confident your cat may be, this could take longer.
Your cat and your dog should be separated during this time. Your dog should not be allowed in the same room as your cat. Your cat should have food, water, and a litter box in their room.
6. Relaxed First meeting
When both cats and dogs are relaxed, the first meeting should take place.
You should keep your dog’s leash on, and give it as much freedom as you can. This will keep the cat safe and allow the dog to explore their new friend. Your dog should be allowed to sniff their new friend. You can allow your cat to give you a warning “swipe” on their nose, but it is acceptable to be ready to intervene if the dog reacts. Throughout the introduction, you should be calm.
For the first few days, this should be repeated at least twice a day. Your cat and dog will eventually get used to each others and you’ll be able to allow them to interact with one another.
8. How they get along
It is a common saying that “fighting like cats or dogs” can be grounded in reality. There’s always smoke where there’s fire. We have seen many examples of dog-cat kinships that are as loving and tender as any friendship.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 44% of pet owners in America have multiple pets. The most popular combinations are dogs and cats. This combination is most common. It’s important that you know how to deal with the situation if the pets don’t get along.
9. Top Tips to Keep Your Cat Calm
- Your dog or puppy should not eat your cat’s food. You should also make sure your dog does not disturb your cat’s litter box, as it could cause the cat to start urinating in other places.
- A stairgate might not work if you are introducing a kitten or cat to a large dog. If this is the case, you can place the kitten with its litter tray in a dog cage and allow the dog to approach slowly.
- If you are introducing your kitten or cat to a greyhound or terrier, be extra cautious. These breeds have a high prey drive and will chase and hunt.
- If your kitten or cat is anxious, you can install a Feliway diffuser. It will emit pheromones to calm your cat.
10. Top Tips To Keep Your Dog Calm
- To praise your dog for being gentle, have a delicious treat on hand. If the meeting doesn’t go according to plan, it can be used as a distraction.
- You should be able to master the sit, stay, go, down, and drop commands. Hopefully you won’t need to use the last one.
- You might consider keeping your cat or dog separated from one another when you go out of the house for the first few weeks to ensure that they are comfortable with each other.
11. Get Training
You can plan for success by understanding your dog’s curiosity. Do they run around the room when food is dropped? Or do they flip the kill-switch every time they hear a toy sound? If you notice any of these behavior, it is possible to introduce a cat if they are prone to jumping.
Consider taking time to get to know your feline friend before you introduce him. To ensure safety and avoid any unintentional damage to your cat, keep your pet’s leash on the first few meetings.
12. Judgement calls off Personality, Not Breed
Dog personalities can vary greatly from one dog to the next. There are many temperaments and characters that can be found in dogs and cats. It all depends on their tolerance for animals.
You should not have a dog that is aggressive or territorial. This could make it difficult to house a cat with more skittish tendencies. It may not be a good idea to introduce a new kitten to a senior dog who is withdrawn and disinterested in sharing.
13. Embrace Curiosity
Let them look at each other’s space before they meet for the first time. Before you meet face-to-face, let your pet’s nose explore their territory. These steps can help curb curiosity and prevent territorial conflicts from arising.
14. Tips for Getting a Dog to Love Your Cat
- Your cat’s litter box is not for dogs. Some dogs will eat out of the litter box. However, they can also startle your cat if they do.
- You need to ensure your cat has access to a safe area. You can do this by placing a small pet door in a room your cat can pass through, but not the dog.
- Don’t let the dog eat the cat’s food. Cats don’t like sharing. The bowl should be placed on a flat surface so that the cat can reach it easily via a cat tree, strategically placed furniture or other means.