Having pets at home can be a real treat - especially when it's cats and dogs living together! Cats and dogs living together, a treat? Yes, you read correctly! Cats and dogs can be great friends, despite the rumors that they're enemies, and can bring great joy to the home. However, the key to a happy harmony is to know how to introduce a cat and dog properly.
Introducing cats to dogs isn't rocket science, but it does require your patience and care. When done properly, you won't have to worry about any chaotic situations shaking up the household or running into any catfights again.
How to Introduce a Dog and Cat
The thing about cats and dogs living together is that the latter are often more territorial. This means that they do have a bigger tendency to not just fight the new cats but the new dogs who come into the home too. It all has to do with marking their territory and feeling threatened when someone invades their space.
What you might not know is that cats have these same tendencies as well. While they might not be as vocal as your pooch, they can scratch and fight for their territory. If this sounds like something you want to avoid, then keep reading for our tips on introducing cats to dogs!
Start with Obedience
The first step is obedience. This is necessary, especially for the dog, which is usually the aggressor in this kind of situation. As hard as it may be to be a little stern with your pooch, for the safety and happiness of all the pets at home, you have to train your dog to obey when you say "no".
Teaching your dog obedience will come in handy when they start barking. Dogs usually begin barking whenever they see some other animals in their territory, hoping to scare them away. Luckily, they won't really lunge at something immediately but rather let everyone (or the whole neighborhood) know that they're not impressed.
When introducing cats to dogs, a bark or two can only be expected. Once your dog starts barking, this is where the obedience part starts to come in. Say "no" and make your doggo realize that the cat is also a pet.
Give Them Space
The best tip that we can give you when it comes to cats and dogs living together is to respect their space. On top of that, allow them to explore each other's area carefully. Doing this will make for a better-adjusted house for all.
Start by allowing your cat to wander around the house. Cats love to roam, and this will make her scent scattered in your home. After doing this, lock your cat in one room and let your dog wander around the house, sniffing for the cat's scent. This will make your dog acquainted with your cat's smell and train the dog that the cat is part of the household.
Of course, during this time, a little barking is a common occurrence. If your dog starts to calm down when in the presence of the cat, then it's time to let him sniff the cat. Once your dog starts to decide not to bark at your cat, you know that you've done the introduction part successfully.
However, before jumping in to let your pets sniff one another, using protective aids can only help the situation. In times of stress, cats like to retreat to safe areas. When meeting your dog, they may start to feel a little anxious and look for their safety zone. Adding a door latch to these areas is a great idea to make your cat feel calm and confident again while keeping away your dog.
Promote Bonding Time
The final step is making sure that both pets have the time to coexist. This part is usually the cat's fault. Cats have a tendency to be aloof and stay away from the dog and other people. It's not because they are afraid of the dog but more because it's their nature to be alone.
Now, we're not saying that you should throw your pets into one room and hope for the best! Please, don't do this. What we are saying is that a little family bonding time never hurt anyone and comes highly recommended when knowing how to introduce a dog and cat.
Now that you know how to introduce a dog and cat, cats and dogs living together can easily be achievable! Your dream of having pets at home is now only a few steps away.
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