Dogs And Cats Living Together In Peace: How to make it possible?
It is always so funny to see a cat and a dog “fighting” on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Videos like these never fail to become viral. Thus, dogs and cats fighting has already become more usual than dogs and cats living together in peace.
But this does not always have to be the case. If you are too inlove with that cat and that dog you saw at the pet shop yesterday, go ahead and adopt them! Remember that it is possible to have them living under the same roof in peace. Here are some things you should know.
Is it even possible?
The answer is yes! It is possible for dogs and cats to be living together without fighting all the time. No need to choose who to adopt between the two of them. I was lucky enough to see this right before my very eyes with my pets when I first adopted a Terrier puppy and a full grown Siberian cat.
And my biggest take-away from this experience was: start early if you can help it.
Both a full grown cat and dog would still be able to get along fine even when introduced late. But then, introducing them early to each other as a puppy and a kitten would help them grow accustomed to each other more naturally. Without even having to “train” them.
I first adopted my female Jack Russell terrier as a puppy back then (we called her Bibble). However, just a few months after our Terrier turned one year old, a family friend gave us this full grown Siberian cat that we named as Tigger.
Cats can be friends of dogs
Tigger usually spent the rest of his day in his cat bed and Bibble freely roaming and playing around the house’s garden. It was a rough start. Whenever Bibble would try to play with Tigger, Tigger would always try to scratch her face or bite her ear.
There was even one time Bibble got wounded. However, this didn’t stop Bibble from trying to play with Tigger. At that point, we were already getting a little hopeless because Tigger never seemed to like Bibble, or dogs in general.
Although after sometime, as we took them both out for a walk either to the park or just around the neighborhood, Tigger slowly started to calm down even with Bibble’s presence. We also started feeding them together, at the same time.
Within a few weeks, whenever Bibble would try to approach Tigger, he wouldn’t try to scratch or bite her anymore. He would just sniff on her. Then after a few more months, they got along inevitably. They would even just hangout and chill with each other doing nothing.
It wasn’t very easy, but it was possible. With enough love, care and patience, we were able to get Tigger and Bibble to like each other. This is also mostly because we introduced them young. While Bibble was still a puppy who is not hostile against cats.
But then, this is not always the case. So how do you actually make your dog and your cat get along if you introduce them late?
Step 1:Prepare your home thoroughly.
Although you are actually preparing for your cat and dog to be living together, it is also natural to prepare separate rooms and tons of space for them. Your cat and dog will need to sometime to be apart before you introduce them to each other.
Give your cat his/her own bed and room and also give your dog enough space to lounge around in.
And even when they actually learn to get along already, they would still want their own space to avoid exhaustion. Exhausting them can only cause possible conflicts. And this is exactly what we are trying to avoid.
Step 2: Let them take their time.
Do not force your pets to play or get along with each other. If they end up fighting during their first meeting, simply keep them apart from each other for a while first. This will give them enough time to calm down.
It is undeniable that the best time to introduce your cat and your dog to each other is when they are both calm and in a good mood. If you feel the need to re-train your dog for obedience before letting them meet again, do so.
Step 3: Let your cat and your dog get accustomed to each others’ smell.
Letting your cat and your dog get accustomed to each others’ sound and smell can help them accept each other. You can do this by petting your dog first then petting your cat next or vice versa.
You can also use the same towel for the two of them sometimes and let them exchange rooms. For example, if your cat stays in Room A and your dog in Room B during the morning, at night, switch their rooms.
This will help them familiarize with each others’ smell, naturally.
Step 4: When you want to bond with them both, give them equal attention.
Wanting to spend some time with both of them is inevitable. Which is why when you do, make sure to give them equal attention and affection. Don’t get all sweet and touchy with your cat only to let your dog get left behind.
If you are taking them out for a walk, it is always a good idea to ask someone to go with you and hold onto either one of your cat or dog for you. This will help remind them that they are family and that they are both equally loved.
Step 5: When you’re not at home, it is best to still keep your cat and dog separated.
You can never tell when your cat is going to have a bad mood or a bad day. And you’ll never know when your dog is going to be “too playful” for your cat. Which is why it is best to keep them in separate places or rooms when you are not at home.
This is to ensure that they don’t end up hurting each other, should one of them feel a little grumpy that day. Remember, at the end of the day, cats and dogs would still be cats and dogs.
They have natural instincts and inclinations which they just learn to go against or live with.
At the end of the day…
It is best not to set your expectations too high. It might’ve gone really well for Tigger and Bibble enough for them to be hanging out with each other all the time. But this won’t always be the case either. Especially, if you introduced them to each other a bit late.
Our pets will always be inclined to follow their natural instincts. However, with equal attention, love and care, your cat and your dog will eventually learn how to get along with each other even when you’re not with them.
Or even better, they might even grown fond of each other like siblings. So just be supportive and patient enough to see this till the end!
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