Expert Tips on How to Ensure Your Dog and Cat Get Along
So, your dog and cat aren’t very interested in being friends and you want to change that. Luckily, there are some tricks and methods you can use to get them on friendly terms. Here are our top tips for ensuring they get along.
1. Give them some space
This is the most important thing you can do for your furry and fluffy friends. The experts at Catmania explain: Pets need space; and by space we mean a room to themselves where they can go when they are agitated, afraid or overwhelmed. Sometimes, your pets feel threatened or territorial and need a place to retreat. A private spot that’s all theirs is extremely important for their mental health.
Give your cat a place where he or she can get up high away from the dog, such as a perch or cubby hole. Your dog will also need a place that is his or her own and not big enough to allow the cat in too, such as a doghouse or travel crate. Even animals that often behave friendly toward one another will have their spats and will benefit from some personal space.
2. Give them a chance to get to know each other slowly
You might be introducing your dog and cat to each other too quickly if they just stay at each other’s throats. It can help to keep them separate and then only bring them together in a controlled environment, little by little.
What we mean is that you keep both animals contained and just put them in the same room. You can put your cat in a travel carrier and the dog on a leash and let them get kind of close to one another. Make sure they cannot get free, and then use this method for short periods of time over the next few days and weeks until they get used to the other’s company and scent. This works with just about any cat or dog breed.
3. Wear out your dog
Dogs can be very playful and energetic (especially as puppies), and your feline friend may not appreciate that. We suggest exercising your dog regularly to run down their energy levels and keep them from feeling like they need to chase after the cat so often. This will help to decrease their natural chase drive and help him to stay calm, and not just around the cat. It’s helpful to let your dog work out all that energy somewhere safe, away from the cat, so that when the cat and dog are together, they are likely to get along better.
4. Introduce them to each other’s stuff
Cats and dogs both want to sniff out their environment and look for signs of predators or prey. If you give them a chance to sniff one another’s bedding, toys, dishes and litter box, they will get more used to the scent and recognize that the scent of the other animal does not necessarily mean danger.
Give them a few chances to get used to the scent before you introduce the animals to each other, if you can. This can help with the initial introductions to keep things calmer. The animal will already be accustomed to how the other one smells.
For example, it may be worth switching sleeping blankets between your two fullballs so they have a chance to become accustomed to each other’s scent. Once the animals are accustomed to each other’s scent, the team at Fantastic Cleaners recommend hot water extraction of fabrics and even mixing in some apple cider vinegar with your laundry detergent to remove the smell.
5. Get them together at a young age
If you allow your dog and cat to grow up with one another, they will quickly realise that they are not enemies and that they can get along. This may not always be possible, but it is something to keep in mind for the future or if you have not gotten your pets yet and are thinking about putting these two kinds of animals together.
6. Give them separate areas
You can also help the situation by placing your pet’s bedding, toys and food separately. You definitely want to feed them in separate areas. This will help them to feel safe and feel like they have space to themselves. It may even be beneficial to put them in separate rooms of the house, which will prevent one from bothering the other as much when they are sleeping or eating. Animals can be more easily agitated at these times of day. They can get anxious, irritable or just unfriendly, and they might not behave like their normal selves.
7. Do some dog training
Your dog can be trained to behave better, respond when you talk and sit instead of bothering the cat. You just have to work with your dog, and the kind of breed that you have will help determine what kind of behavioral issues you face. You can train your dog to stay put when excited or when he or she sees a cat. It may take some time, but it will be worth it to have more control over how your dog and cat interact with one another.
Most cats and dogs can become friends when these tips and tricks are used. You’ll have to put in the effort, but afterwards you won’t have to spend so much time separating them or yelling at the dog to stop chasing the cat. Good luck!