Cats and dogs introduced. Cats and dogs DO not need to fight like… well, cats and dogs. They can coexist amicably and even form deep connections. However, they must initially be introduced in a safe manner.
Things to Think About If You’re Getting a New Roommate
While many cats and dogs can get along, not all of them are suitable. When determining how to introduce a cat and dog, how cautious to be, and whether it’s even fair to try, consider the following factors:
Sharing quarters with a cat and a dog
Large dogs can injure a cat more quickly than smaller dogs. Large, powerful dogs may be able to break down doors or leap over obstacles more faster to get at a cat. While many large dogs may and do live well with cats, you should approach with caution when introducing a large dog and a cat.
Pursuing History: A dog who has a history of chasing cats or other small animals would most likely do so with a new cat in the house. Some dogs just pursue cats outside but get along OK with them inside. If your dog has a history of pursuing small animals, expect a slower, more cautious introduction.
Fear/Running Away: A fearful cat or one who has a history of fleeing from dogs or other unpleasant objects may make the introduction more difficult. Even if they have previously lived peacefully with cats, most dogs will chase something that runs. Cats who are confident are less likely to attract a dog’s attention and chase impulses.
First and foremost, there is safety
The safety of both animals should be the top priority when introducing a dog and cat for the first time. Cats can be gravely injured or killed by even small dogs. Even enormous dogs can be injured by cats, resulting in lacerations and eye damage.
Surveillance and Separation: Until the animals have been completely introduced, they should be kept in their respective regions of the house. While the animals are getting to know each other, the entire family should talk about ways to avoid inadvertent encounters. If you have any worries based on the preceding issues, consider keeping at least two layers of separation. For example, a dog in a crate and a closed door between the animals.
Leash Up: Keep the dog on a leash around the cat until both animals are completely at ease and under control around each other.
Teach your dog some basic manners so that they understand what is expected of them when they are around cats. Take some time to teach your dog “come” if you want to be able to summon them away from the cat. “Leave it,” “remain,” and “go to a place/crate/bed” could also be useful. Always utilize positive-reinforcement based training strategies to avoid the dog associating these cues and/or the cat with punishment. T
his can lead to violence. Here’s where you can learn more about how to find a dog trainer.
Creating new friendships. Focus on two key ideas to help your dog and cat become safe and happy buddies (or at the very least courteous roommates):
Negative Interactions Should Be Avoided
Never, ever give your dog a chance to chase! When the two are together and getting to know one other, keep an eye on them. Keep the dog on a leash and provide some fantastic diversions.
Even if it’s pleasant, keep an eye out for uninvited approaching or investigating. Encourage whatever pet is being too nosy to move along if anyone is tense.
Provide proper exercise and play so that no one irritates or frightens the other (this applies to both dogs and cats!).
When the animals are together (when it’s safe), give them anything they want. Feeding, treats, and cuddles can all take place in the same room. Quiet play is fine as well; just be careful not to let the energy level rise too high, as this can lead to problems. Begin with a large amount of space to ensure that everyone is peaceful and relaxed. Continue to provide each animal with space and focused connection as needed, but the more happy experiences they have in each other’s presence, the more positive associations they will form.
Is there a Happily Ever After?
It takes time and effort to build a bond between various species, but the reward of happy pets and a tranquil home is well worth the effort. Don’t rush things because the ramifications of a lousy introduction can be disastrous. If your efforts appear to be paying off, stay on track by:
Keeping the regularity of shared pleasurable experiences, like as feeding and reward time, going strong.
Assuring that everyone gets enough exercise and has suitable play opportunities.
Slowly accumulating time together. It’s important not to go from one enjoyable hour together to a whole day alone.
If You’re Having Trouble
Friendship may not be in the cards for certain cats and dogs. With your pets, you may need to undertake some separation and supervision at all times. Many factors will influence whether you believe they can live securely and happily together, so see a specialist or contact Charlotte Kennels for any advice. if you have any worries.