It’s a common misconception that dogs and cats can never get along. This is also probably why a lot of people are still hesitant about letting the two of them stay in one house. If you’re wondering if peace is possible between the two, then the answer is yes!
The peacefulness between a cat and a dog that will be living in one house really relies on their pet owner. If you’re a pet parent who’d like to get a cat and a dog together, here are the things you need to know to ensure peace between the two.
Getting Pets or Another Pet
The consideration of which cat or dog to get really depends on your set up. If you don’t have both pets yet, consider the space in your home.
A spacious house would be great for any cat breed and a large dog breed. If you think the extra space that you have is a bit limited, then stick to getting just a small cat and dog.
A lot would also suggest that it will be easier if you get a kitten and a puppy. This will allow both of them to have lots of time to get used to each other’s body language.
Baby cats and dogs also most likely do not have previous encounters with dogs and cats that affected how sociable they could be towards other animals, says Dr. Chris of Purring Pal
If you already have an existing cat, the dog breed you should get will depend on your cat’s personality. If your cat is playful, then it’s best to get a dog breed that is known to be social and playful like a Golden Retriever. For cats who prefer to be alone, then getting an older dog could be a better choice.
If a dog is what you already have and you’re planning on adopting or getting a cat, any cat breed would be fine. Just make sure that you check on the cat’s background and how its behaviour is towards other animals. This will allow you to have an idea of how well it could get along with your dog.
What to Prepare
There are a few things that you need to secure before letting a cat and a dog live under one roof. First is that they need to have their own space. This doesn’t mean that they both should have their own rooms. The purpose of letting them have their own space is to let them have time off from each other.
Cats may find this more important since they are more solitary than dogs. Getting your cat a tree with high stands could also work.
Most cats prefer observing others first before they feel like they shouldn’t be threatened. Also, a cat tree would help satisfy a cat’s need to silently observe.
It is important that the two of them have separate food bowls. If possible, keep their bowls away from each other.
The last thing you want to happen is for them to fight over food. Even if you give them different foods that are appropriate for each of them, both still have the tendency to want more than what’s in their bowl.
The reward system works well with these two and so you need to make sure that you have prepared treats for them. Whenever they practice good behaviour towards each other, don’t forget to give them a reward. This will let them know that what they are doing is right.
You yourself should also be mentally and physically prepared. Getting a cat and a dog get used to each other may take up to three weeks, and so you need to make sure that you have the time and can spare some effort to make things work between the two.
Getting Them Together
Before you introduce them to each other, your cat and dog should be prepared. For dogs, make sure that they are well-exercised.
Dogs naturally have the prey drive and it’s possible that it will immediately chase your cat. Making sure your dog still get exercise can allow it to focus their energy on something else instead of chasing a cat.
Cats, on the other hand, should be calm and relaxed during their meeting. If you see your cat looking anxious, hiding or running away from where your dog is, then your cat is not yet ready for the introduction. You may want to wait until your cat gets used to the smell of your dog.
Your supervision is needed while your cat and dog are getting to know each other. If possible, you can opt for a leashed introduction. This makes it easier for you to control them in case of any mishaps.
Avoid forcing their interactions and let them figure each other out. Your job is to supervise and to make sure that both won’t get hurt during this process.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
While it is possible to make them peacefully live in one house, it is also possible that your cat and dog just won’t click. If they are still always fighting after three weeks, then you need to set a limit and know when to stop.
After all, cats and dogs have unique personalities and this somehow makes or breaks the peace between the two.