Typically, cats tend to be aloof and they also startle easily as well. When you look at dogs, on the other hand, you will soon find that they are territorial and gregarious. This, however, doesn’t mean that they can’t get along and share the same space. In fact, they can easily, they just need a bit of help.
You need to make sure that you help them to get along by giving them both their space and also by working with them to make sure that neither pet is overwhelmed at any stage.
Take Personality and Breed into Account
Contrary to popular belief, every breed of cat and dog get along. You have to make sure that you take their personality into account. If you know that your dog is aggressive or territorial then sharing a house with a skittish cat won’t be a good idea. In contrast, a dog who is aging would probably hate to share a space with an energetic kitten.
Even if you know that your dog is placid, you need to have a back-up plan in place so that you can help them in the long-term. If you are adopting a pet, then do your homework and see if the pet can be returned if they do not happen to get on. If you want to protect your cat then Cat insurance provides a safety net that helps to cover the costs of diagnostics, procedures, and medications to treat your kitty’s eligible accidents and illnesses.
Train your Dog
If you want to set your dog up for success when it comes to cats, you need to teach them how to control their impulses. Does your dog go on high-alert when they hear a squeaky toy? Do they go wild when someone drops a cookie in the kitchen? If so, then your dog may not be ideal for mixing with cats. Take some time to train your dog and also make sure that you try and introduce them gradually. If you do this then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to come out on top.
Give your Cat their Own Territory
Cats really do need to have that protected space or a base camp that is theirs, and theirs alone. Make this place off-limits to your dog and create a few safe spaces as well. You need to do this until they can share territories confidently without much trouble. Cats are natural climbers and for this reason, it’s wise for you to try and give your cat their space off the floor if you can.
This will give your cat the chance to observe your dog from a distance without them having to worry about their own safety. While you’re doing all of this, you need to try and keep your dog away from your cat’s litter box. Cats should ultimately feel safe whenever they do their business. Dogs sometimes like to eat cat feces as well, but if you aren’t careful then you may find that they end up developing some nasty internal parasites. This can lead to vomiting, weight loss, diarrhea, and even anemia too. Baby gates are ideal here but some dogs are natural escape artists, so keep that in mind.
Exercise your Dog
People exercise their dogs, probably around 20% of what they should be. It’s super important that your dog has the chance to release that energy somewhere so that they can slow things down in their brain and control themselves much better. This will come in useful when you introduce your cat to your dog. Dogs need to have a lot of stimulation too, and if you stimulate them in a controlled manner then this will make it easier for them to resist chasing a cat.
Instead of going for a walk, try and take them for a stroll and then make them do a sit every block or so. It’s also helpful to do direction changes every now and again or even speed changes. When you do, you will soon find that you can grab their attention much more and you can teach them a level of self-control too.
If you don’t feel as though you have time for all of these activities then this is understandable, so think about hiring a dog walker. You can also enrol your dog in doggy daycare if you want, as this is a great way for them to meet other dogs without having to worry about them not getting enough stimulation during the day.
Of course, if you want to make sure that you do everything you can to give your dog the best chance of getting along with your cat then these are all things you can do to ensure success.