Can Dogs and Cats Live Together?

krista mangulsone 9gz3wfHr65U unsplashCan dogs and cats live together? If you’re thinking about bringing home a new and different furry addition to the family, there are some important things to take note of. Some dogs can live together with cats, while others simply can’t live alongside each other. Compatibility also depends on your pets’ age, temperament and activity level. It’s important to remember that every dog and cat is unique, so even if your dog has lived with cats in the past, each encounter will be different, vice versa. Dogs and cats are different species that see each other as potential prey, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get along. There have been many instances where dogs and cats live together and become best friends.

Below are some tips on how to get your pets acquainted.

Obedience Training

pexels rodnae productions 7516307Dogs have strong predatory instincts. They will run after any tiny and fluffy creatures such as rabbits and kittens. Cats fear dogs because of this. One of the methods to reduce this undesirable behavior is obedience training. You have to teach your pet dog that chasing cats is an unacceptable behavior.

Teaching your dog basic instructions such as “sit,” “stay,” and “down” will make it easier for you to control your dog throughout the interaction between your dog and your new pet. Obedience training also improves communication with your dog and builds trust between the two of you.

Supervise All Interactions

Only allow interaction between your dog and cat if you are there, especially in the first few weeks after they have met. This is to keep your dog and cat safe. When your dog and cat are left alone, they may get aggressive and injure one other.

Prepare ‘Safe Zones’ For Your Pet Cat

guillaume de germain EfIBVgtRZm8 unsplashA safe zone is a place where your cat can run and hide when it feels threatened by your dog. Keep in mind that these ‘safe zones’ should not be accessible to your dog.

danae callister TqLl2LiJxLM unsplash‘Safe zones’ can be in high places that are unreachable by your pet dog such as shelves, window sills and on top of closets. Aside from ‘safe zones’ you’ll need to separate feeding and resting areas for each of your pets. As both dogs and cats are territorial creatures, they need to have their own territories.

Exchanging Scents

pexels karolina grabowska 5420744Dogs and cats utilise both their scent and sight to analyse their environment. It’s crucial to allow your dog and cat to recognise and accept each other’s scent before they can get along. You can try exchanging your pets’ toys or rubbing down your pet dog with a towel that your pet cat had slept on. With these tactics, your dog and cat should be able to get used to each other’s scent in no time.

Desensitization

Usually dogs are overly excited when they first see a cat. This may cause the cat to feel uncomfortable, making interaction difficult for both pets. The purpose of desensitisation is to reduce your dog’s sensitivity towards the cat by exposing him to it on a regular basis. A pet gate is one of the ways to achieve desensitization. 

A pet gate separates your dog and cat, but they can still see and sniff each other through the gate. If you feel your dog is overly focused on the cat, use toys or practice cues to redirect its attention. Desensitization will lead your dog to lose interest in the cat and it will likely not overreact when it sees the cat since it is already accustomed to the cat’s presence.

Provide Encouragement

james lacy xe MtM ixlw unsplashNever use punishment. Punishing your dog every time it interacts with the cat will only lead your dog to misunderstand it is the cat’s fault. This will not help bridge the relationship between your dog and cat at all. Reward and praise your dog if he is friendly to the cat, this will encourage your dog to continue behaving positively towards the cat and strengthen their bond.

Give Your Pets Time

mikhail vasilyev NodtnCsLdTE unsplashAllow your cat to run away during a meeting with your dog. This shows that your cat isn’t ready to interact yet. Give your pets a little more time. Do not attempt to force or rush any interactions between your dog and cat since this might result in a negative outcome.

Pets with positive past experiences often adapt quickly to new pets in the house. However, if the interactions don’t go well, it is advised to seek the help of a professional dog trainer or pet behavior consultant.

Our beloved pets tend to communicate with us through body language when they feel insecure, anxious, or ill. If your new pet is feeling nervous or hesitant, give them some space and some time alone to settle down. In the meantime, if you want to head to the nearest pet store with your furry friend, JoJo Pets, a pet taxi service in Malaysia is providing safe and timely pet transportation. Our trained drivers will transport your pet (and you) safely and comfortably to any local destination you have in mind.

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