Cats and Dogs: Living Together In Harmony
Contrary to popular belief, dogs and cats can actually live together in harmony. The belief that they cannot get along is probably what stemmed the phrase, “fighting like cats and dogs.” There is probably some truth to that statement, seeing as the phrase has been around for a while.
While it is true that some dogs and cats will not make the best of housemates; they are two different animals with two different distinctive personalities that may not necessarily blend well together.
However, under the right conditions, many cats and dogs can live peacefully together. Here are some tips on how to ensure that.
Give Them Time to be Comfortable
The majority of cats can happily coexist with a dog if they are given the right amount of time to comfortably get to know one another. If a puppy and kitten are raised together, for example, they will usually learn right away to tolerate one another.
Some cats and dogs grow to become real friends, playing and napping together. However, if a dog is already an established member of the family, and a new cat or kitten is going to join the household, certain precautions may be taken.
Keep Eye Contact
When you first introduce a cat and a dog to each other, make sure that the cat is at the same eye level as the dog. You should also keep a firm grip on both animals, which will help them feel more comfortable as well as providing them with a sense of security.
If one of the animals seems either frightened or aggressive, immediately remove the cat and try again at another time. You do not want to force the situation if they are not ready, as you will only make matters worse.
If you take a few minutes several times a day to give the cat and dog this carefully supervised time together, you should soon see them feeling more relaxed around each other.
Never leave a cat and dog alone together until you are certain that they are comfortable with each other. If you walk away while they are still checking each other out, you might be sorry when you return. The cat or dog could be scratched or bitten or otherwise injured. Even if there are no visible wounds, an unsupervised interaction like that could traumatize an animal so badly that he remains terrified of other animals for the rest of his life.
If you are ready for a new kitten or cat to join your family, help your dog get accustomed to the idea, too. Under strictly supervised conditions, allow the cat and dog to sniff and inspect each other to their hearts’ content. This interaction should get them used to each other in no time. If, however, they seem to be incapable of getting along, you may need to reevaluate your pet situation.
Above all, have patience with your animals. It may be that they may just not get along. If you are interested in getting a dog or cat, consider adoption.
If you have had success in getting your cat and dog to get along, share your story in the comments!
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