Can Cats and Dogs Be Friends?

Despite the entertainment stereotypes the portray cats and dogs as mortal enemies, with thoughtful pet selection and proper introduction, your household can include the two species living harmoniously with one another in a lifelong bond of friendship.

Can Cats and Dogs be Friends?

Matchmaking For Your Pets

If you already own a cat, exercise caution when choosing a new canine family member.

  • Many hunting dog breeds may view your cat as prey, so do your homework and research each breed that captures your interest.
  • Retired racers such as Greyhounds were trained by chasing live animals, including cats. This behavior has been ingrained into some of these dogs, thus rendering them a potentially dangerous housemate for your cat.
  • Certain breeds may have been encouraged by former owners to fight with other animals. Familiarize yourself with the dog’s previous lifestyle and temperament.
  • Animal shelters and rescue organizations are happy to assist you with finding a perfect match for your pet.
  • Consider a puppy instead of an adult dog. Puppies are easier to train and manage and will integrate more quickly with your cat.

Enter the Sequester

Whether introducing a new cat, dog, puppies or kittens, never toss them together to work out their relationship. This escalates stress levels in both animals and can lead to detrimental consequences, especially for kittens. Introductions should be gradual, progressing only as quickly as the animals feel comfortable.

First, set up the newcomer with all of the necessities in his or her own isolated room. Pay frequent visits for human contact, socialization and bonding, but do not allow your other pet to meet and greet just yet. The two pets will experience the scents and sounds of one another. Each day, swap blankets that they previously slept in so that the scents will be integrated throughout the house. If either of these animals is an adult dog, use this time to refresh some basic obedience skills.

Next, with the dog on a leash, introduce the two creatures within the isolation room. Be diligent in discouraging your dog from going after the cat and reward both with praise and treats at the close of each session. Repeat these introductions several times, and then move on to the same controlled introductions outside of the room.

Ready for the Big House

When you first allow your unleashed dog to interact with the cat, be sure that the play date is supervised and that the cat has a safe haven to escape to. Reward them both for harmonious behavior. Return your new pet to the safe room whenever you cannot be present for supervision. Only when peace between them has been demonstrated should you allow freedom and access to one another.

Cats and dogs can get along and often connect with one another in friendship and support, remaining closely bonded for their entire lives together. By following these tips, you will reap the benefits and companionship of one big happy family. Find here some tips to pet proof your home.

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