Whenever cats and dogs are mentioned in the same sentence, it is often used to describe chaos or conflict. It may or may not come as a surprise that dogs and cats can actually get along splendidly. However, dogs and cats remain natural enemies and as such, for them to get along human management is essential.
Typically, when dogs and cats clash, it is usually caused by the dog. Dogs have a naturally high prey drive, therefore they tend to excitedly chase after smaller animals. Cats will subsequently react in fear to defend themselves.
If you have a dog or cat and you want to introduce them to each other, the good news is that your home is not a natural habitat, hence the rules of natural enmity do not apply (with a little persuasion of course). Here are some useful tips to help you properly introduce your cat and dog:
Early socialization helps. Dogs and cats learn much more easily at a younger age. A dog's prey drive is not fully developed and if a cat is introduced at such an early age, the dog will see the cat as a member of the pack rather than as prey.
Give your dog some obedience training. Since we know that dogs have a very high prey drive, encouraging restraint is a logical way to ensure that your dog does not chase after your cat. Basic commands such as "sit", "down", and "stay" can be used to prevent your dog from chasing your cat. Soon enough your dog will understand that chasing cats is an unacceptable behavior and will then learn to coexist peacefully with your cat.
Only allow supervised interaction. As soon as you introduce a new cat or dog to each other, no matter how calm either pet is, do not leave them unsupervised as it may result in a catastrophic outcome. Rather whenever your dog and cat interact with each other, ensure that you are present to properly supervise and discourage any unwanted behavior.
Practice some gradual introduction. Both cats and dogs use scent to identify other animals, so you can introduce the other animal’s scent. Do this by rubbing towels on both animals and placing the cat's towel in the dog's sleeping area and the dog's towel and the cat's sleeping area. This will ensure that both animals are familiar with the other animal's scent, reducing the likelihood of conflict.
Desensitize both pets. Since we know that both cats and dogs tend to react a certain way when they see each other. A good idea is to allow for controlled exposure. You can use a baby gate to keep your dog contained. That way the dog will see the cat without being able to chase after it. If this goes on for a while the dog tends to be desensitized and the sight of a cat becomes increasingly less exciting. Also you can use some toys or dog treats to distract the dog until the dog becomes more accustomed to the sight of the cat.
To answer the question "can dogs and cats get along?" The answer is YES. Cats and dogs may display a natural tendency to fight but they can be best of friends if properly introduced to each other. Whisker Hut loves both cats and dogs. Keep us in mind for your pet supply needs. Like, comment and share.