Cats and dogs – friends or foes? Well…it all depends on their personality and the way they were introduced to one another. Often, the case is that the dog is too playful and the cat is too fearful. If you’ve had a cat and a dog for a little while and they’re not best pals, the tips below will hopefully help them form a friendship, if not just to tolerate one another! If you’re thinking about getting both a kitten and a puppy, then these tips are perfect for you!
Scent meeting – Animals get to know one another through scent, hence why dogs always sniff each other’s butts! Before they meet for the first time, it’s a good idea to familiarise your pets with each other’s scent. Gently rub a cloth or sock over the dog and place near the cat’s bed. Do the reverse for the dog. By offering both pets access to each other’s scents, their initial meeting will be less stressful as each pet will know that the other is not a total stranger.
Off limit areas – Make sure cats in particular have a separate room as their safe haven that is off-limits to the dog. Your cat should feel safe and secure in this room knowing it can escape the dog when it gets uncomfortable. Only let the cat out when it is calm and inquisitive. You may want to begin introductions with the dog on a leash as this gives the cat freedom to explore and wander without fear.
Complementing personalities – If you’re thinking of adopting a cat or dog, with another already at home, adoption centres will work with you to find a suitable friend for the one at home based on personality. It’s important to note that some dog breeds, such as hounds, terriers and herding dogs should not live with a cat as their instincts are to chase.
Supervised interactions – Puppies and kittens will get along better than older pets as they’re both young and playful. With that being said, it’s important to supervise their interactions because a puppy’s play may still be a bit rough for a kitten. Be sure to train your puppy to chase a toy rather than his small feline friend – that way it will grow up respecting, not chasing smaller animals.
We hope you find these tips helpful on your quest to befriend your furry pals. All the best!