There is a universal expression that says “They are like dogs and cats!” Referring to the selves that they cannot live in the same space because they are fighting all the time. And this is because the vast majority of people in the world believe that a dog and a cat are eternal enemies and therefore, it is not possible for them to share the same home. However, here we are going to debunk that myth, and show you that dogs and cats can live together in harmony; provided that a number of guidelines are taken into account. Don’t stop reading and find out how you can have dogs and cats together.
Process for having dogs and cats together.
But before you have a dog and cat as pets, the first thing you should do is make sure that neither of you has had previous negative experiences with other animals. If the cat has ever been chased and bitten by a dog, it will be much more difficult for him to overcome fear and be able to live with a dog. On the other hand, if a dog is used to hunting cats throughout his life; or you have had confrontations with a feline, it will be more complicated for you to learn to share your space with a cat.
However, despite the situation described above, it is not impossible for these two animals to learn to live together peacefully. But you should invest more time in the process of adapting both pets; and you must also have a lot of patience. Don’t let your dog and cat get closer too quickly, as they can both get scared and aggressive, which will make the relationship more difficult.
Plan the first encounter between dog and cat
To have dogs and cats together successfully you must prepare for the first approach between them. Make a plan and take a couple of days off to put it into practice. Make sure there is another person with you during the first days of union. That person can take care of one animal entirely, while you take care of the other. In general, the important thing is that you give all your attention to both pets during this period of adaptation. During those two days, avoid holding special events at home, such as visiting friends or family gatherings. It is even important to minimize background noises, such as radio or television; as these events can further disturb both animals.
Who gets along better?
Haven’t you decided on a certain cat or dog yet to be your second pet? So, to help you make a decision, you can keep in mind that both animals adapt well. What works best is a mutual socialization since they are puppies, because at that age they still have no predispositions and adapt better to living with other animals.
If you already have an adult dog or cat at home; it is preferable that the new addition be calm and very cautious.
Another important aspect of having dogs and cats together is the fact that the animal was first in the home, as this greatly influences when it comes to bringing the two pets together. While dogs, being pack animals, tend to accept new family members fairly quickly, cats are more skeptical about new additions, therefore, dogs usually pose a threat to their territory. Integrating a cat into a house with dogs usually works better than integrating a dog into a cat home.
When you’ve decided to adopt a new animal and are ready to take the time, dedication, and patience to get both pets to know each other, you can start putting into practice the plan you’ve previously developed. But before they meet for the first time it is recommended that you prepare your house for it.
First, you need to choose a neutral room of the house for the first meeting. The favorite place of the animal that arrived first is not a good choice. You should also ensure that the cat has options to withdraw in case of not being comfortable with the situation. A large scraper, a high shelf or an empty shelf from where you can observe the dog from an appropriate distance, produces a sense of security for the feline. In addition, you will need a separate room where the new pet can be quiet for the first few days.
Dogs and cats together, but feeders and sandbox separated
We recommended to feed them in separate rooms. To avoid jealousy around food, it is best to place the cat’s food in an elevated area and feed both animals at different times. In addition to feeders, the sandbox is also forbidden territory for the dog. The needs peace of mind to do its needs and reacts very sensitively to the invasion of its personal space. Keep in mind that, in some cases, dogs tend to eat the waste from the sandbox. As a consequence, your cat will look for other places where he can urinate or defecate, which will cause hygiene problems in your home.
What happens at the first meeting?
After making all the preparations in your house, the most difficult moment came, the encounter between the two animals. Surely you have high expectations of this encounter and that your pets will fall in love at first sight, but this is not usually the case. For a dog and cat to enter into a good relationship, it is necessary to wait longer and be sure to follow the following steps.
- Both animals should be as calm as possible before they are first seen. That is why it is best to take a good walk with your dog before so that he is physically exhausted and satisfied.
- Hunger also has a negative influence on well-being. That is why make sure that both animals have eaten and are satiated
- Turn off the radio and television in the room where the meeting will take place
- Hold the dog on the leash, this to avoid hunting scenes between the two. And there is no successful adaptation.
The first contact to have dogs and cats together
Once the dog is on its leash, allow your to decide when it wants to approach the dog. In most cases, cats usually flee first to a high and remote place, from which, they can observe the situation and the dog. For almost all animals, meeting a new companion is stressful. Fear and nervousness are usually present and gradually disappear to give way to curiosity about the new pet. Do not demand too much from your animals and let the first encounter end after only a few minutes, even if it has developed very well.
How to behave during the first meeting
Another important point for having dogs and cats together, is that you, as the owner, stay calm. If you are tense and nervous during the first encounter; it is very likely that you will pass it on to the animal. Instead, take on the role of moderator and convey to them security and tranquility.
Pet your dog and cat calmly and speak in a low tone. If your dog starts pulling the chain like crazy, try to distract him by sitting in front of him and try to take his attention away from the cat. But do not make the mistake of talking to him to reassure him, because the dog, who does not understand the words but the tone of voice will interpret that the attention received is a confirmation that his behavior is fine and will repeat it. Therefore, you should only praise him when he manages to stay calm near the cat.
How long it takes for a dog and cat to adapt to living together?
After the first meeting, you should perform this activity constantly. We recommend that the first contacts between both animals, be only for about five minutes or less; and the rest of the time keep them in separate rooms. When the excitement of the first approaches has been reduced, you can increase the time to ten or fifteen minutes. Don’t force your pets and let them decide for themselves when they’re ready to stay together in the same room for the longest.
As you continue to lengthen the time of meetings, it is important that you show your animals that it is normal and everything is in order. Try to focus your attention on something other than your pets. You can cook, flip through a book, or water the plants by showing the dog and cat that it’s normal for them to be in the house together.
However, don’t let them get close to each other on their own. Unless you are very sure that both are calm and will not hurt themselves. Until you can leave the animals alone at home without supervision, it can take up to six months.
To have dogs and cats together successfully and accustom them to a common life you need patience and calm. It is not you who decides when the adaptation period ends, but your animals. But your patience will pay off and your dog and cat will become inseparable and a good team.