10 Tips for Bringing Dogs and Cats Together for a (mostly) Drama Free Home
It’s a tale as old as time. The love/hate relationship between cats and dogs. In our home, both my husband and myself at different times in our lives have enjoyed the companionship of both. I’ll admit, watching their antics and attitudes together can be hilarious!
That’s why I love this guest post from Arslan today about bringing dogs and cats together into one harmonious home. We hope you find these tips to be helpful in creating or restoring peace & calm!
Guest Author Bio:
Arslan Hassan is an electrical engineer with a passion for writing, designing, and anything tech-related. His educational background in the technical field has given him the edge to write on many topics. He occasionally writes blog articles for Dynamologic Solutions.
10 Tips for Bringing Dogs and Cats Together
You have decided to cohabitate and are excited to make the big move finally. The only problem is you have a cat, and your new housemate has a dog? Uh oh, now what?
Can dogs and cats live with each other? You would be surprised by the answer! We are here to answer all of your questions.
Although naturally, dogs and cats are antagonistic, if you were to socialize their aggressive behaviors, it is possible to eliminate the animosity between them.
Here are some helpful tips for how to do just that:
1. Introduce Them Early On
If the opportunity is available to introduce them while they are puppies and kittens, their relationship will be a lot better. It will make your job a lot easier, but we know this isn’t always possible.
Naturally, younger animals can form bonds that are a lot easier to maintain than trying to form bonds between fully-grown cats and dogs. The main reason is that they are young; size does not become a differentiating factor.
Puppies and kittens still will differ in size, but it is less than fully-grown cats and dogs.
Quick Tip: Gently touch your kitten and puppy on their faces while saying soothing words so that they remain calm.
2. Get Your Cat Vaccinated from FPV
Parvovirus is derived from the word Parvoviridae which is the family name of the viruses that affect the taxonomic family. The feline version of this virus is known as the Feline
Panleukopenia virus FPV.
The question is, can a cat get parvo from dogs? Yes! This virus can affect cats, but cats cannot pass it to dogs. However, dogs can pass the virus to cats, and it can be life-threatening in cats.
To prevent your cat from getting FPV, it is important to get them vaccinated.
Symptoms for FPV include:
- Not Eating
- Hiding from people and other animals
- Nasal discharge
If your cat is suffering from any of the above symptoms and is not vaccinated, it is a good idea to have your vet check them out as quickly as possible.
3. Take Personality into Consideration Not Breed
It is a common misperception; people think that certain breeds of dogs or cats tend to get along with each other.
It is their personality that is more important than the breed of a dog.
If you have an older dog, it might not get along with a high-energy kitten. You need to be able to observe their personalities and determine whether they are a good match or not.
If you can get two pets that have personality compatibility, it will be irrelevant what their breed is.
Quick Tip: If your pets end up not socializing with each other, make sure you have plan b. This may include creating separate places for each pet, so they have their own space.
4. Invest in Dog Training
A great tip to get your dog and cat to love each other is to have control of your dog. That means your dog can follow basic commands.
If your dog is jumping at every move in the home, that is a sign; it may lunge at your cat. Before introducing a cat in the house, first, get your dog under control.
This may mean you may need to consider investing in a dog trainer who can make sure your dog understands commands, like sit, no, etc.
Quick Tip: Keep your dog on a leash for the first few meetings to avoid any altercations.
5. Give Fido their Own Space
IF you plan to introduce a cat in the home, do you have a separate place for your cat to escape in case your dog decides to play cat and mouse?
This is a strategic move when first introducing a cat and dog together in the same household and not knowing whether it will be a hate or love fest.
For cats, it is important to have cat-climbing contraptions that they can easily climb up on so that they are at a safe height. This could be a cat tree or a cat-climbing wall.
Quick Tip: Cat shelves are a great idea if you have a cat and dog who need to live together
peacefully. Cats love climbing and being at a greater height so they can look down safely. Cat shelves are the perfect thing.
Cats-mode has some amazing options to make even the craziest climbing kitties happy!
6. Create an Exercise Schedule for Your Dog
Make sure your dog has physical and mental exercise. I cannot overestimate the importance of making sure your dog is being challenged every day so that they do not feel frustrated.
A frustrated dog stuck inside with a cat is a recipe for disaster. You need to make sure your dog is getting enough exercise so that you can tire him or her out. This will help to prevent them from chasing the cat.
Mental games are also important for dogs. Mental exercises help dogs to use their brains for something meaningful. If you can engage them, they will spend less time barking and chewing on things they should not be: your cat, for example.
Quick Tip: If you do not have the time to take your dog for a walk every day, hire a dog walker or check out a doggie daycare.
7. Plan Out the Introductions
When you are first introducing your cat and dog, make sure you plan it out. Do not just one day decide that they need to be the best of friends!
Make sure you have analyzed both of their personalities and assessed them separately. The last thing you want is to have a cat and dog lunge at each other, and one of them is seriously injured. That would be a very bad start to what could have been a wonderful relationship.
Quick Tip: Try introducing both behind closed doors at mealtime. This will help them associate smelling and hearing each other with something they find pleasure in, like mealtime. Over time, you can remove the barrier and see how it goes.
8. Let Your Dog and Cat Sniff Each Other
It is a good idea to let your dog and cat sniff each other before making an introduction. The smell is an important part of animals getting to know each other.
You can make an effort to do elaborate things, but at the end of the day, just introducing items to your cat that your dog has used will make them feel more comfortable before they meet.
This can also prevent territorial issues that may arise when your cat and dog take claim to the same areas. If they are familiar with each other’s smells, then they will immediately know that they should not venture into that area.
Quick Tip: A few days before initial introductions, share bedding, food bowls, and toys so that both become familiar with the others items and smell.
9. Keep a Short and Sweet First Meeting
When first introducing your cat and dog, make sure you keep the first meeting short and not very long. If you keep it brief, the chances are that your pets will try not to attack each other.
As they say, first impressions are last impressions. Next time they meet, they will feel more comfortable around each other.
Quick Tip: Keep your pets in different rooms and have a friend help you out. Have your friend bring your dog out on a leash, and you bring your cat in your hands, so both are at a safe distance from each other.
10. Have your Dog Focus on You during the Meeting
If you can, it is important to train your dog to focus on you before the meeting so that you use that training technique when you first introduce your cat and dog.
This will tell your dog who is in control of the situation and will also prevent any unfortunate altercations. You can use a variety of dog training techniques to do this, or as mentioned above, hire a dog trainer.
You need to remember that an out-of-control dog is asking for trouble if you introduce a cat to the equation.
Cats and Dogs Can Be Friends
Dogs and cats can live peacefully under one roof, but with some planning and realistic expectations. They do not have to be best friends to live with one another.
If you plan your introduction carefully and provide both with a safe space to eat, play and sleep, you can bet on having the perfect union!
Guest Author: Arslan Hassan is an electrical engineer with a passion for writing, designing, and anything tech-related. His educational background in the technical field has given him the edge to write on many topics. He occasionally writes blog articles for Dynamologic Solutions.
Now we turn it over to you! Do you share your home with dogs and cats? What tips have you learned for bringing dogs and cats together? Let us know in the comments below!
As always, please share this post with your social media family. I appreciate your support! ❤️
Love & Healing Purrs,
You really did your homework on this issue. It can be done, but there’s lots of work that must be done to be successful.
Have a fabulous day and week, Holly. ♥
I definitely agree with you – bringing cats and dogs together is doable and can be enjoyable. But there are things we need to do ahead of time to ensure safety. Arslan did such an amazing job with this post.
Sending endless love your way. Thank you, as always, for taking your time to share with us, my friend! ❤️