March 9, 2017

Helping cats and dogs live together in harmony.

Dogs and Cats typically are seen as polar opposites, two counterparts who cannot get along. This is not always the case, however.  Through proper introduction and socialization it is very possible for cats and dogs to coexist happily in your home. Although it is often easier to adjust animals to one another from a younger age, even older animals can live together harmoniously. The success of their relationship is about proper introduction, proper interaction and careful consideration for both your dogs and cats.

Introducing animals to one another is always a slow and steady process. The most important thing is making sure each animal is safe and can escape if things become to overbearing for them. When introducing a cat and dog, take it slowly, do not overwhelm either animal. The first step is to allow the cat to be in a secure, secluded room. Then allow the dog to smell the door into the room. Sense that the cat is there and see the reaction.

The next step is to open the door with a baby gate in the doorway. Have the dog on a leash, and see how they handle one another when they can also see each other. If the reactions at this stage are still very positive then you can move onto the next step. If the animals are acting nervous or aggressive stay at this stage until they are more comfortable with one another.

Introduce the dog to the cat while the dog is on a leash, make sure to have good control over the dog so that it cannot harm the cat. The best reaction is for the dog to completely ignore the cat, however, interest is okay as well. As long as the dog does not go after the cat or try to engage the cat while it is running away, the signs are positive. Spend time with them together, the dog on leash, the cat allowed to roam. Then you can drop the leash but keep it attached, allow them to navigate the room together. Eventually you can unhook the leash and stay supervising them. It is important to monitor the animal’s interactions and make choices based off of what you feel is the safest. If you are uncomfortable leaving the animals alone without supervision you can move the cat back into its safe space. One thing that is highly recommended is to leave the safe space set up with the baby gate in the door, so that the cat can escape to a place the dog cannot reach.

Once introductions are successfully completed, you will be able to enjoy your cat and dog together and they will be able to relax and have an amazing home with you.

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