Help Your Cat And Dog Get Along
You may think it is impossible to have a cat, a dog and a happy environment between the two under one roof. However, the issue is not between a ‘cat’ and a ‘dog’, the issue is between two animals. Think about it, dogs don’t get on with other dogs and cats don’t get on with other cats, until they get used to one another. And the same goes for cats and dogs – it is possible for the two to get on – but this all depends on the human involved in the relationship.
It is up to the human to harmonise the relationship between the two animals and this isn’t always easy. That is why I have put together a guide of tips to help your cat and dog get along.
The cat is the alpha
Believe it or not, it is actually the cat that is the more dominant in the cat-dog pairing, even though they are smaller quieter. Dogs are actually the more insecure out of the two and many people make the mistake of thinking the cat is the weaker one. The more dominant pet will claim her ground and be confident, while the other animal looks away.
Correct the cat
Many people let cats get away with aggression, simply because they are a cat. However, cats need rules just like dogs do, so don’t be scared to tell them no!
Your behaviour is crucial in a cat-dog situation, because both pets will read your behaviour for signs. The best thing to do is treat the fact that they are together as no big deal (whilst keeping a close eye on the situation in case all hell breaks loose, of course) and your pets will hopefully do the same.
Hide and seek
Your cat needs its space to be alone and retreat to. However, don’t let them stay there for days on end and encourage them to interact with the dog, or at least be in the same room.
Try and block the two of them from staring at one another because, in both cat and dog world, direct eye contact means they are ready for a challenge. You can re-direct pets’ attention elsewhere or give them a firm ‘no!’ if you want them to stop.
Don’t comfort either animal
Saying ‘it’s ok!’ to either animal, as this only reinforces insecurity. If you notice that your dog is nervous, step in the cat’s space to make them back away. If you find that your cat is nervous, move them to a higher status like a chair or a sofa.
Supervise and prepare
When initially introducing a dog and a cat together, you need supervise them at all times that they are together. You won’t have to do this once a balance is found and they are both comfortable but initially you do. When first introducing a dog to a cat, make sure the dog is on a lead so that he is easy to control.
Reinforce good behaviour
Always let your pets know when they have behaved well, however try and refrain from offering edible treats as this could encourage possessiveness and dominance. Praise them verbally and only pat or stroke them when they are calm and relaxed.
Becky has a dog and a cat that she has trained to get along. She purchased a donut dog bed from The Stylish Dog Company for her dog to retreat to when he wanted to relax.