Many people have the misconception that cats and dogs can’t get along. However, cats and dogs can happily coexist under one roof if they’re properly introduced to each other. The rules for training your cat and dog to get along may need to be adjusted due to their age or if they have any behavioral issues. These tips will give you the tools needed for helping your cat and dog become lifelong friends.
Your dog needs to be taught that rough play and chasing the new cat isn’t acceptable. Reward your dog with treats for exhibiting good behavior towards your new cat. If your dog is always being punished or yelled at when the cat is around, they may become resentful and aggressively attack the cat.
Your dog and cat need to get used to each other’s scent before they meet. Put your cat in a special room away from your dog. Switch the beds and blankets between your cat and dog so they can get used to each other’s scent. Rub a towel on each animal, then place them under their food bowls. When they become comfortable with each other’s scent, have the cat and dog meet through a gate. If your dog attempts to go after the cat, take your dog to a fun toy. This will help teach your dog that cats aren’t toys. Keep doing this until the dog becomes calm in the company of your new cat.
Feed you dog and cat at different locations in your home to ensure they get the food that is meant for them. Place a baby gate that is slightly elevated in the doorway of the room where your cat eats.Raise the gate so the cat can enter when needed, but low enough so your dog won’t be able to fit through.
4. Escape Route
If your dog gets a little rough or overly excited, you need to make sure your cat has a place to go to in your home where they’ll feel safe. One fun idea would be to place a kitty tree condo in a location where your cat has easy access to it from all rooms.
5. Supervised Meetings
Put your dog on a leash. When they finally meet, make sure your cat and dog are at eye level. If you’re dog becomes aggressive, immediately pull the dog back with his leash and take the cat back to their room. Don’t force them to meet because it will make the situation worse. Try supervised cat and dog meetings several times a day, and eventually they’ll become more relaxed around each other. Your cat and dog can have unsupervised meetings after a long period of supervised visits, approximately one month or longer. Only let your cat and dog have unsupervised visits when you’re absolutely sure that they’ll get along and won’t harm each other.
With a lot of patience, planning and guidance your dog and cat will soon be happily living together in harmony under one roof. Who knows, they may even become best friends.