That’s a question that many pet owners ask before they decide to take the plunge & mix their furry-legged friends – cats and dogs together.
Depending on your individual situation, it may be possible for cats and dogs to share the same living space under the right conditions. In this blog post, we’ll teach you what those conditions are and some tips on how to make the living situation better for everyone involved.
Can Cats and Dogs Tolerate One Another?
This age-old question has been around since humans took these cute four-legged pets into their homes. The truth is, there are many instances where dogs and cats have come together under the same roof to create a harmonious living situation.
Many different breeds of dogs and cats can get along just fine under the right kinds of conditions. But, if the pets aren’t exposed to living with a different species early on in life it can create problems. The older a pet is the harder it will be to undo bad habits that have been supported for a long period of time.
Cats and dogs can get along perfectly as long as you introduce the two early or give your pet plenty of exposure over the years.
If you want things to go well though, you’ll want to take some specific steps to make sure you’re giving your pets the best opportunity to get along.
How to Introduce a Cat and Dog Together
Here’s how you can properly introduce a cat and dog for the first time.
1. Keep Them Separate at First
When you first bring a new pet home, it’s important to keep them in separate areas of the house. This way they can get used to each other’s smells without being in close proximity.
You can put your cat in its own room with all of its essentials like food, water, a litter box, and some toys.
As for the dog, you’ll want to keep them on a leash during this initial period so they don’t chase after the cat.
2. Give Them Time to Adjust
After a few days have passed, it’s time to start slowly introducing them to each other.
You can do this by holding your dog on a leash and letting them sniff around the door of the room where the cat is staying.
If everything goes well, you can try opening the door a little bit so they can see each other but still be separated by a physical barrier.
From there, you can start letting them have supervised playtime together while you’re still present to make sure things don’t get out of hand.
You’ll know it’s time to let them have free reign of the house when they’ve started playing and sleeping next to each other without any issues.
3. Watch for Body Language
Body language is going to be the biggest indicator of whether or not your pets are getting along.
You’ll want to look for things like a stiff tail, hackles raised, growling, or baring teeth as these are all signs of aggression.
On the other hand, a relaxed body, wagging tail, and soft eyes are all good indicators that your pet is feeling comfortable and happy.
4. Don’t Leave Them Alone Too Soon
You don’t want to leave your pets alone until you’re absolutely sure they’re getting along.
Cats are typically more independent than dogs but that doesn’t mean they won’t fight if they’re left unsupervised.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry in this case, so it’s best to keep an eye on them or put them in separate rooms when you’re not home.
5. Pay Attention to Their Diet
Cats and dogs have different dietary needs so it’s important to make sure they’re both getting the right nutrients.
You’ll want to feed them separately so each pet can eat its own food without competition.
This is especially important if you have a dog that’s prone to begging or stealing food from the cat’s bowl.
One Happy Family of Cats and Dogs
The most important part to consider when getting cats and dogs together is how well it goes for the animals. If one or both animals don’t like the situation, it will be hard to make it work, no matter how long you give it. Make sure to take it slow and give your animals the best opportunity to have a successful meeting.
With multiple pets, you may notice pet odor in your home. Consider purchasing a CritterZone Air Naturalizer to keep you and your furry friends happy and healthy.