What a question! We already have a dog, but we want to add a feline to the family. The problem before us is what coexistence will be like. Can you make them friends and share a house? In this article we will tell you how to help them have a good relationship, how to introduce them and some more tips. Let’s get started! …
Like cat and dog
By nature, dogs and cats are not best friends. And this is so because they are both predators, so they are looking for hunting opportunities. A dog’s instinct, for example, is to run and catch anything that moves fast within its field of vision.
And then there is the issue of language. They have different body language, and what for a cat is to be angry, perhaps for a dog it is an invitation to play. So they have to know each other very well to correctly interpret those codes.
We have to know that if we are going to try to make them live in the same house, the best thing would be for them to be of opposite sexes. Specialists do not know why, they say it may be because they are both territorial animals. The truth is that if you have a male dog, the best thing will be a female cat, and vice versa.
Another important factor is age. It is much more difficult to get used to a cat if our dog is already an adult. In this case, it would be better for the cat to be a kitten so maybe the dog can have a little more patience.
It would be great if the socialization occurs from puppies, but things do not always happen under ideal conditions.
We have to know our dog well before introducing a cat. If we know that he is a little territorial, or a little aggressive towards other animals, let’s think about not adopting a cat. We can risk the kitten’s life unnecessarily.
Another important tip is not to pay too much attention to the new pet and relegate our dog. This will cause jealousy that will translate into wanting it to disappear from the map.
How to make the presentation
At this point there are numerous techniques and tips. If you have the opportunity, it would be good to have a professional assess the particular situation and give you their advice.
But here we will show you what generally works to make everything more calm and relaxed.
Prepare your spaces
The presentation should happen little by little. It would be great to introduce them first through the smell. You could swap the blankets of both and that way they will sleep with the scent of the other for about two days. This will make them a little more familiar for the day they cross paths. But we should not delay the meeting for a long time, because they can begin to be suspicious of this new smell and take it as that of an intruder.
It is important that the place of the presentation is carefully thought out. It has to be a wide place, where the cat has an escape route. If they are locked up, cats get very nervous.
We must leave the cat in a high accessible place. Cats look for a place that is a little high to feel safe. It can be a game tower, a shelf, or a bed. From there they will feel that they control the situation a little and will calm down.
In the place there must be things familiar to both of them. The smell of his litter box, toys, blankets, everything contributes to calm anxiety. If you have the opportunity, it is very good that for about three days the cat is in a separate room, with its things, to adapt to the change of environment. Perhaps sniffing under the door is also a start to a friendship.
The big day came
Finally, we have to make the introduction. We must bear in mind that the nature of both is different. Our dog is more sociable, curious and playful. Cats are very suspicious, generally unfriendly and less likely to seek play.
Therefore, we don’t have to allow our dog to run over the newcomer with licks. According to the way of being of your dog, it will be convenient to have a muzzle and a leash. If you have a lot of confidence in him, the strap will be enough to avoid any unwanted reaction.
If your cat is in a carrier, you can leave it in the room inside it, and let your dog in. He will smell the cat inside him, and your cat will do the same, but with great fear. What you have to try is that it is not traumatic for anyone.
Then, when you open the box, hold your dog and let the cat out whenever he wants. Never force it, because things can turn badly. If the first day turns out they don’t get in contact, do not despair. It can be a process that takes several days. What you have to achieve is that both interact without risk and without nervousness.
The first days
We recommend that you do not leave them alone without your supervision, especially the first days. As much as it seems that everything is rosy, poor communication or interpretation of codes can unleash disaster.
Share with both, without showing much preference for the new pet. Your dog should not feel relegated, and then he will consider the cat as part of the pack. You have to show him that you will reward him when there are well-intentioned contacts, and you will say no (never with physical punishment) when he does not act well. But what works best is to reward him with a change in voice when the contacts are friendly.
One last tip. Whenever you have to challenge either of them, go to your dog. He is the one who knows how to obey and from whom you can expect an answer. Your cat won’t pay much attention to you.
And at the end of this process, we hope that what awaits you is a happy family, where everyone shares and enjoys the love they have to offer each other.