“Tradition” has it that cats and dogs are natural enemies (unless your pets are Marc Antony and Pussyfoot from Looney Tunes). And there is some truth to this, because dogs which weren’t raised with cats around may look at them as prey and cats suddenly forced to cohabitate with dogs for the first time may be afraid of them. (And cats’ fear is understandable: cats may be able to scratch dogs, but cats can’t kill a dog, while dogs can – and have – killed cats.)
So how can you ensure that Fluffy and Fido get along with each other (and maybe even come to like each other)? Read below:
Watch the dog.
If there’s going to be trouble when you introduce a new pet to an existing one, it’s more than likely going to be the dog that makes the first troublesome move. This especially will be the case if the cat runs in fear: the dog naturally will want to chase after it. So make sure the dog is restrained when intros are made and make sure the cat has a safe and always dog-free place –where it can escape from the dog’s attention.
Never force the animals to be together.
No cat likes to feel trapped (and no dog, for that matter). Let the cat decide when – and if – it wants to approach the dog. Don’t hold the new cat or dog close to the other pet; again, allow them to sniff each other out on their own time tables.
Prepare your current pet for the newcomer’s arrival.
For example, put up a baby gate (to give the cat room to roam, but keeping the dog away), move the cat’s litter box to a “safer” place or keep the dog out of (or the long-term cat in) certain rooms before the newcomer’s arrival.
Try to find a new pet with a personality similar to your “old” pet.
Whether you want to bring a dog into your current cat-only home, or vice versa, it’s best to find a new pet that has a personality somewhat like your current pet. For example, if your dog is laid back, get a mellow cat.
However, because dogs can harm cats, if introducing a dog into a cat-only home, it’s best to bring home a puppy. This allows the puppy to grow up in a home with an established cat and the cat can’t be overwhelmed by a larger, older dog.
Understand that the process probably will take a few weeks (not days).
Yes, it definitely is possible that your new housemates will take to each other in a day or two, but it usually takes weeks, if not a couple of months until the cat and dog can get along well.
If your pets continue to show aggression toward each other (especially the dog to the cat), it’s best if you keep the pets away from each other in separate areas of the house when you leave home.
No matter whether your cat and dog come to love each other, or if they decide to declare a truce and merely exist peacefully together, when it’s time for you to head out of town, bring your dog to Barney’s Ranch (we don’t board cats).
To learn more about our dog boarding services, contact us by calling 469-450-7040 or send us a message at info@BarneysRanch.com.
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