Dogs and cats are drastically different animals, which can usually result in animosity and conflict between the two. However, with some time and patience, many cats and dogs within the same household become best friends, so do not lose hope! Here are a few tips to keep in mind to help your cat and dog become familiarized and comfortable with one another.
Cats and dogs base their surroundings on both sight and smell. A way that you can easily get your animals more familiar with one another is by allowing them to be comfortable around their scent, even if they have not met face-to-face. Swap an item such as a blanket or pillow between the two animals so that they can adjust to the scent easily in a place where they feel safe.
Typically, the root of many issues between cats and dogs is due to dogs seeing cats as smaller prey. Their natural instinct is to chase down any furry animal smaller than them, causing cats to react in fear. The best way to avoid conflict is to train your dog against chasing. Basic commands such as “sit”, “stay”, and “down” will help you to have more control over the interactions between your dog and cat.
Cats enjoy being alone and getting away from everything around them by hiding. Having a household with both a dog and a cat, allow your cat to have a few “safe spaces” within your home that your dog cannot get to. This usually is a location that is high above a dog’s reach. This will help to release tension if your cat is ever feeling threatened and will allow both animals to have their own separate territory.
The hope for your home to have both a dog and cat that coexist well is obtainable, but may require some extra attention and care.