Are you a dog lover who has enjoyed the company of a furry friend for a long time? But, after watching adorable kitten videos on YouTube, the idea of keeping a cat as a pet constantly creeps inside your head?
Or you’ve had a cat for the longest time but now you find dogs equally adorable and so you want to keep one.
Whatever the case may be, petting both cat and dog together under one roof needs guidance. We’re sure you’ve watched a lot of cartoons that depict cat and dog fights and you might be terrified of the thought of having both of them in the same house. Well, it is acceptable that it will be quite a daunting challenge to have them get along. So, here are a few tips which will make the process a bit easier:
Check how social your pet is with others
Both Dogs and Cats are social animals, but many a time they react just opposite to their nature. So, its very important to know how social your little pet is to other animals, before bringing a new friend to them.
To check this, you should introduce your pet to other neighbouring pets or others (especially cats). This experiment will help you understand how social your li’l friend is with others.
Repeat the process on a daily basis to know whether they can bear each other’s presence or not. By this experiment, you will know whether you should bring a companion to your pet or not.
Create enough space for them both
Before you get too ambitious and jump straight to introductions, make sure that the pets and your house is ready. It is necessary that there’s enough space in the house for two pets.
You need to make sure that you don’t shift or disturb your current pet’s sleeping spot or favourite places to accommodate the new pet. This act of yours may only lead to more fights.
Before bringing a new companion for your pet, prepare separate sleeping arrangements, litter boxes, and food bowls for both of them.
Once the pets are together, you have your hands free for pampering and managing them only.
Stop the pets from harming each other
Protect the cat! Yes, we know that dogs are the friendly, innocent creatures and cats are comparatively mean, but actually, dogs are the natural predators and they tend to get curious around other pets.
So, even if the dog approaches the cat with an honest intention to play, a defensive behaviour from the cat can cause a fight to break out and that is the last thing you’d want.
To avoid such a situation make sure that your dog gets enough playtime. This will help a lot as it will make him feel relaxed and calmer before meeting the cat.
Other than this, make sure that the cat has a safe place to hide as well. Remember, cats are also capable of putting those sharp claws to good use, so make sure there is a balance between the two.
Separate their rooms, toys, beds, treats and basically EVERYTHING!
Start off slow. Animals are extremely sensitive and might not adjust to new creatures and ambience that easily. So, give both the pets enough time and space to get used to having another animal around.
Confine them to separate rooms until they’ve had enough time to adjust to the new house as well as, to the smells and sounds of the other animal. Make sure they have their play toys, bedding etc. in their rooms.
Although they may take more time to adjust, they will at least have the perfect opportunity to learn about each other’s environments and smells.
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Leash the pets before the first meeting
When you are about to introduce them for the first time, keep either pet, preferably the dog, on a sturdy leash for some extra control.
Keep a watch on both of them and if possible, keep them engaged in similar activities instead of a direct introduction.
Read the pets and their reactions to figure out how ready they are. Either pet, which is comfortable with physical contact, can be held in your arms so that they feel safe while meeting the other.
Animals tend to get jealous when there is a new entrant. So prepare well for the introductions and when it begins, shower equal love on both to make them feel comfortable.
The meeting is bound to go well when the old pet is ready to share their space and the owner’s love.
The process of interaction
Separate them in a short while after the introduction is over. Gradually, you may increase the lengths of interactions. Discourage any negative behaviour from either pet and reward positive interactions with treats.
Remember, animals are sharper than you think and will definitely form a link between getting along with each other and the treats they earn as a reward. Once they know this behaviour is something that will be rewarded, they will be getting along in no time.
Make sure you invest only in good quality treats so as not to compromise with your pets’ health.
If the animals have a similar personality, they tend to get along after they get accustomed to each other’s presence and ways. Moreover, they’ll enjoy having a playmate other than you. Remember to go slow as forcing a relationship may backfire!
It is normal if they end up in a fight sometimes but make sure that they eat together or have some time together afterward to fix things up.
Treat both of them with an equal amount of love and they will be ready to get along for the sake of your affection!