Getting a dog and a cat to live under one roof is no small feat. It is often said that they hate each other. Is it true ? How do we get them to get along?
Reflex, past and perception
For a dog, chasing a crossed cat in the street is sometimes a simple reflex, like chasing a car. Yet, unless he’s a gifted man who realizes that pollution is getting in the way of his muzzle, he has no reason to hate vehicles.
So do not assume that your dog does not want a cat just for this reflex. The reverse is true with a cat blowing on the dog. It can be a fear reaction to the unknown.
The behaviors of a species can also be habits transmitted in the genes. Thus, a hunting dog can see the cat as prey and try to run after it.
We must not ignore the past of each animal either. As with all living things, past events have a strong impact on present behavior. A dog that has been attacked by a cat in the past will have fears as soon as it crosses paths with one and will often growl more for protection than to attack.
If you pick up a cat that has lived on the streets for several years, it will have developed habits to defend itself and avoid trouble. Some may consist of scaring or even attacking dogs.
The postures of cats and dogs are not the same, misunderstanding can come from bad interpretations. A dog who sees the cat get down on the ground, in a defensive position, risks believing in an invitation to play because that is how he stands when he calls for a throw of the ball …
Their disagreement therefore often stems from disorders developed over the years or from differences in the way of acting.
Learning from an early age
As everything is often played out in the early years, it is best to adopt both species almost at the same time. Take a cat known for its propensity to live like a dog, like the Thai Siamese or the British Shorthair. These cats love to be close to their master, to sleep and stick with them, and will therefore like to do the same things with a pooch his age.
For the dog, don’t take an aggressive or overly dominant breed. Even if your feline is small, he is not meant to accept the dominance of a large dog, and conflicts are likely to arise quickly.
Never force things. Your two animals fear each other and it is therefore necessary to break down the barriers little by little. At first, always be with them when they are together. It is possible to separate them during your absences by closing a door. Thus, they will get used to the smell of the other without any confrontation arising.
If one is mean or does something stupid like eating a cat’s litter box, argue with them, but don’t be violent. Thus, we do not resolve a dog / cat conflict like a simple bark with a collar. Try to avoid jealousy as much as possible by being equally considerate of both. If you give one cake, give the other something else.
Time often makes the difference. Do not force anything, but accompany the discovery. Give love to all your pets and worries will be reduced.