In many household or on the street across the world, many cats live fine with dogs.
However, the circumstance varies and the notion their relationship are normally hostile is evident until this day.
Their good relationship can be as result of a number of factors.
These range from the age of animals, their personality traits, and activity level. Therefore, it is important to exercise caution when introducing the two species to each other.
Body Language of Dogs and Cats
When introducing your dog to a cat, it’s important to gauge the body language of both animals to ascertain how each animal initially perceive the other.
For the cat, observe their ears, if it’s positioned upward or his tail moving back and forth, this may be a good indicator that he is irritated.
Most notably sign will be the cat’s slow movement or arrested body as it stares at the dog, especially when it starts hissing. These can be the cat stance as it’s ready to engage in a flight or fight mode.
Also, it’s most pertinent to examine your dog’s body language which could be the major problem.
Most dogs have a strong predatory instinct and possess the inclination to pounce and seek out other small animals who they assume are prey.
If you notice your dog eyes gazing on the cat and he begins to whine, bark and make certain agitated movements towards the cat, do not permit him around the cat.
In spite of all these warning signs, both animal behaviors towards each other can be changed. Depending on the circumstance; for example the environment, you as the owner can alter the atmosphere between the two animals.
Also, it’s important to note their behavior may differ when they’re inside compared to roaming outside. For many dogs and cats who are forced to coexist demonstrate they are comfortable with each other when their inside, however, it may be a different dynamic when they are outside.
There are situations when the two animals will frolic together in the house, but when outdoors become very hostile, especially when encountering their own individual species. Therefore, assure that each animal is comfortable whether indoors and outdoors.
Recommendations on How To Introduce A dog and a Cat
Expectantly, there are a number of methods to introduce a dog and a cat. One method, on its own accord, may not work, so depending on the situation, combining these recommendations may yield a greater successful result in creating an amiable relationship between the two animals. If you have more than one dog or cat, it is likely to introduce them separately.
The first recommendation is the process of desensitization through small gaps of contact.
The expected result is to get your dog to be less hostile by gradually increasing the exposure to the cat. Locate a room that you think will be suitable for the cat and locate one which will also be ideal for a dog.
The area can be the living room, bedroom, hall or wherever that they can intermittently see each other, but are separated.
For example, if the cat sleeps with you in the bedroom, don’t permit the dog to be in the same room during that moment. The goal is to establish a connection and progressively create the atmosphere where they become at ease with each other presence over a period of time.
Next, set up baby gates between the areas where the animal will be primary situated for most of the times.
Remember cats are agile, enabling them to squeeze through porous spaces and vault over the gate. On the other hand, the dogs will less likely attempt to circumvent the erected structure.
Make sure each animal has their own possession such as food and toys that render them comfortable and not opt to want the other pet’s possession. Through the gate, they will be able to see the other, however, unable to access the other space.
You can endorse these subtle interactions by pointing one animal – preferably the dog- to the other animal. Allow the dog to focus on the cat and see how he responds; if he responds in a favorable manner or appeared unconcerned; incentive the behavior by giving snacks or small words of praise. This will encourage the dog to associate his nonchalance or calm deportment to being rewarded.
Another technique that can be used is feeding both animals at the same time, putting their bowl close to the partition of the rooms.
This subliminally allows both animals to link the smell of the other with food. As the pet owner, you can swap the blankets and bedding supplies of each animal with each other.
This encourage both animal to get accustom to the others smell, without overwhelming their senses.
The objective is to ensure that both pets not see each other as a threat, but as friends and coexist together in the home you have provided for them both.
Lastly, during times of personal leisure, you can invite both dog and cat into your moments of relaxation. While on the sofa, watching the television, or listening to music, have each animal on either side of you. Play and caress them simultaneously. As a medium, both animals will connect fun and relaxation with the interaction with you and the other pet.
Optimistically, through this interminable process of allowing each animal to become accustomed to each other’s presence, both will eventually become desensitized and will develop a relationship that will grow overtime. Or at least become indifferent, that their presence will not stoke the ire of the other.
Unfortunately, the possibility exists where either animal will never feel comfortable to share space and perhaps lead to a protracted antagonistic relationship.
Most importantly, ensure they don’t seek to harm the other and remain safe within your care.
In our next post, we will continue with other recommendations that can be used to introduce pet owner’s cat and dogs. Take care.