We’re all familiar with the common phrase: “fight like cats and dogs.” The lighthearted figure of speech is often used to describe two people arguing, but the reality of your pets fighting can wreak havoc on a happy home!
Why do cats and dogs fight? Well, turns out there are several reasons. Experts say that the main reason why cats and dogs fight is that the dog is a predator (in his/her mind) and the cat is prey. While this sounds awful, cats and dogs can also get along purrrfectly well, and even become besties!
If you're a pawrent, instead of asking why do cats and dogs fight, maybe it's time we asked what we can do to help them get along. Promote peace between your fur-babies by using these tips below.
CATS AND DOGS LIVING TOGETHER: WHAT'S THE SECRET?
Can cats and dogs get along? With time, patience, and a couple of useful tips and tricks, you can make this happen in your furmily.
At the end of the day, because you're a great pawrent, we know you want the best for all your pets, which probably involves your cats and dogs as friends. Follow these pet owner tips to bring harmony to your furmily.
1. Assess Personalities
When you consider bringing another pet into your home, be mindful of each animal’s personality and history. Shelters are adamant about pets’ personalities around other species, so take their advice on introducing your new pet to their sibling.
Even if both parties are pet-friendly, it’s important to be aware of their behavior and body language as they check out their new buddy. Relaxed pets will sniff each other calmly. Defensive pets will make quick movements and direct eye contact. Warning signs to look out for:
A rigid, tense posture
A stiff, upward tail
A low, grumbly growl
A twitching tail
Hair hackling up
If any of these behaviors occur at any time, remove the pets from the common area immediately. Sometimes, it can be hard to decipher if your cat and dog are playing or fighting. You can check out our blog post here for help.
It’s SO important to give your pets exercise – both physically and mentally! Exercise your pets’ minds with toys, games, hide and seek, and interactive pet games and puzzles. Allowing them to play separately but in the same room makes for a great bonding experience!
However, we know that your life is busy. Scheduling time to play with your pets can be hard. That's why we created a 15-minute games to play with dogs blog post here.
3. Redirect & Reward
Let’s face it: dogs and cats are two totally different creatures. Cats are a bit more independent and adventurous while dogs are generally outgoing and affectionate. Their energy levels might not always meet in the middle.
Be the best owner you can be by redirecting any negative behavior, like barking, chasing, or scratching. Reward your pets for good behavior, even if that just means lounging on the couch quietly together.
4. Respect Space
Husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, cats and dogs – sometimes we all need a break! While we all coexist within 1 home, it’s crucial to give your pets their own space.
Dogs may have a yard to roam; cats need their own areas as well. Help them seek refuge from rambunctious dogs and playful children by implementing a tall cat tree.
It’s smart to separate food bowls and hide the litterbox in a space where no pups (or children) can hunt down an afternoon snack, but baby gates are bulky and awkward. If you’d prefer to avoid cutting a hole out of your door, rejoice in the most convenient product in the pet market:
This low-key, aesthetically pleasing adjustable strap that allows the door to prop open just wide enough for cats to squeeze through. The resistance ensures dogs and kids stay out of food, litter and everything else they can get into. It’s the perfect product to help your pets respect each other’s privacy.
Door Buddy blocks babies, allows cats, inhibits dogs and allows airflow! It’s critical for sealing off the bedroom, closet, laundry room and even the bathroom. No tools are necessary to apply this neat and nifty strap to the door!
Worried about Fluffy getting locked in a closet or little extremities getting pinched? Opt for Door Buddy’s combo pack, which includes a sleek door stopper that easily flexes to the door frame. White and soft chevron styles will complement any home. Kiss those cumbersome wooden baby gates and bulky plastic door handles goodbye!
Playtime is essential to a happy pet! As mentioned, exercise them both individually, but allow them to be in the same room. Spending time together can even lead to playing with one another – a consented game of tag or passing around a ball. Extra points if you can get them both to fetch!
6. Equal Lovin' For All
Just like children, dogs and cats can get jealous if you’re obviously favoring one over the other. Avoid any jealousy-based aggression by giving your cat and dog equal amounts of affection. If your cat isn’t the cuddliest, show them attention by playing with them. Your pets will pick up on the fact that they are equal in your eyes and don’t need to fight for your love.
7. Recognize Behaviors
Nobody knows your fur-babies as you do. Note all changes in behavior, good things (like cuddling), and anything that seems off. If your cat seems to be hiding more often, that can be a sign that your dog is tormenting them when you’re not around. Learn more about understanding your cat's behavior here.
If your dog becomes skittish while walking by your cat, that could mean your feline is the one doing the taunting. If at any point you feel like you need help, contact a local behavioral specialist or speak with your vet. You can also read more about understanding your dog's body language.
The age-old saying doesn’t have to be true in your home; actively promote harmony between your pets with exercise, love, and The Door Buddy!