Although a common perception of dogs and cats is that they are mortal enemies and cannot live together, many of these domestic animals learn to coexist peacefully through training, as well as meticulous introductions. If you have either a dog or a cat and are thinking of introducing them to the other, read on to find out more about how you should introduce the two species to each other to ensure that they become friends.
Can Cats and Dogs Get Along Successfully?
In reality, dogs and cats can live together in peace, and conflicts or fights usually only occur during the initial phase when the animals are introduced to each other due to the nature of these domestic animals. Naturally, cats and dogs are considered to be predatory animals. They are genetically wired to chase and hunt other smaller creatures. Since some dogs have a higher prey drive and are genetically more inclined to hunt and kill animals, seeing a cat is likely to trigger their predatory instinct, leading to an attack or a chase.
On the other hand, since dogs are usually bigger than cats, cats are less likely to perceive dogs as prey. However, a tiny dog may spark the predatory instinct of a cat. Sometimes, cats also misunderstand the body language of a dog and can become apprehensive or defensive around one. As such, it is crucial to properly introduce a cat and dog to help them live together peacefully.
Separate and Confine New Pets
After you bring your new pet home, you should first confine it to a certain part or room of your home, and ensure that that part is set up with food, water, toys, and bedding. If the new animal is a cat, you may also want to place a scratching pad and a litterbox there. Ensure that the area is cozy and comfortable, especially if the pet is timid. Allow the animal to slowly recognize the scents of the other animal between a closed door, and allow them to familiarize themselves with each other’s scent. If a pet is aggressive, remove the pet from the situation.
Once the animals have smelt and sensed each other, allow them to see each other. Supervise each pet directly, and they should both be a reasonable distance from the door. Support is key so gently pet each animal while they start seeing each other and take the animal away if they become too excited. This can be done a few times for days until they are familiar with each other.
The First Meeting
It is important to be able to supervise each animal and maintain control over them. Let them sniff each other and get closer gradually, and if they are both calm, allow them to be in the same room together. Always maintain supervision, and let the pets get close to one another.
Depending on the animals, the introduction could take a longer or shorter time. Regardless of how long it takes, always prioritize the comfort levels of the animals and stimulate them both mentally and physically. If you are on the lookout for products to represent your pets, feel free to check out Squishy Faces - every product purchased helps pets in need.