How to Introduce Your Pet Dog to a Cat?

Dogs and cats, the two different species, have lived with a common ancestor from more than 40 million years ago. Imagine how old their relationship is, but they have always lived separately from each other. At least, until they were domesticated. Both cats and dogs have a history of rivalry, but they have learnt ways to live together. We will ignite such facts and techniques, which will help pet parents take adequate measures to build a healthy relationship between a dog and a cat in a common premise. Will my dog accept a cat? Can they live together? Is there any specific breed of dogs who hate being around cats? If you are curious to find a solution, then you have tapped the right window.

It has been one of the biggest concerns of pet parents. Some have gone through with it, while others are still struggling to seek the best solution. Parenting a dog and a cat isn’t a stressful job if doing it individually, but when it comes to parenting them together, this requires utmost attention and commitment.

There are direct ways to help them get comfortable with each other, plain and simple methods, but the process requires patience. There is a world of stories where cats and dogs have lived happily ever after. And to get that sparkly coating, it is essential to understand ways to water for the healthy roots of those relations to grow.

Dogs and cats have a history. Every one of us has come across an experience where a dog is running after a cat. When we see it, we often build a misconception in our mind that a dog who is after a cat can harm anyone they see. This interspecies relationship is because of their ancestral instinct. Dogs lived in packs, hunted in packs and shared a feast with the pack, whereas cats belong to the lone predators, and that is why they are always cautious whenever there’s food around to save themselves from the trap.

Who doesn’t remember “The Tom and Jerry Show”? Tom, the cat is always seen running away from Spike, the dog, because of the naughty traps set by Jerry, the mouse. What would be your take on Spike’s reaction towards Tom if Jerry didn’t cause any mess of that sort? Or if Jerry never used any traps which irritated Spike? Do you think Spike would have reacted the way he did?

How to get a cat and dog to bond?

There’s a better way to look at it now with various studies and researches involved. Pet parents around the world have started looking at the relationship between cats and dogs differently. They have adopted ways and helped both cats and dogs to have a wonderful time together. It takes patience for you as a pet parent and for your pet dog and cat.

A close relationship is the gift of time and experience. When an adult dog is introduced to an adult cat or even a kitten, they may feel certain discomfort.

Therefore, prefer introducing them as puppies and kittens because they will get used to living with each other and become best friends from the very beginning. Below are a few ways that will help improve their relationship with each other:

  • Patience is the key: You must have gone through various dog or cat training techniques and got a hand with patience because it’s the key. Don’t keep them in the company of each other for at least 3-4 days. Let them sniff and get comfortable with their scent in the house. Avoid leaving them alone for a few days and make sure that cats are at the dog’s eye level. They must not think of them as their prey or submissive beings.
  • Calmly notice their behaviour when around with each other. Are they showing any signs of aggression or fear? If yes, then time-out, time-out, time-out. Let them get used to it at their own pace. Forcing them together will create a negative impact, and they might act violently because of their insecurities.

    Swap and spread the scent of the other pet in the room using their towels, sheets etc. and try to go for one pet at a time. Let the dogs explore the house when cats are not there. Use a cat’s bed sheet or their scent by rubbing over their body and using it over the furniture and other things in the house. It will help them get familiar with the scent of the other pet before even introducing them physically to each other.

  • Begin with a close interaction: Pets who eat together have a negligible chance of killing each other. Dogs feel insecure when there’s more than one animal in the house. So think how hard can it be for them to eat in the presence of another animal. For a moment, let’s keep the age-old rivalry aside. Dogs in presence of other dogs react defensively, and when this experience isn’t controlled it gives rise to their unhealthy lifestyle.
  • Remember to buy different feeding bowls for them. And feed them in two different rooms yet close. How? Keep your cat’s bowl at one side of the closed door and your dog’s bowl at the other side. Here you are helping them get used to each other psychologically. They will feel the scent of the other animal, they will know that the other one is right beside the door, but they will calmly eat their food.

    It will help reduce their insecurity, and they will slowly understand that the other animal isn’t here to steal their food. Introduce them during their play sessions. Avoid taking them out together yet because they are still in the process of making them comfortable with each other. Even though they show no weird signs together, make sure to keep them together for a limited time only, at least for now.

  • Space-Out: Like a peace offering, there’s nothing better than giving someone space. Eligible to both humans and animals. Giving them space doesn’t mean that you are avoiding them or making them realise that you can’t handle them, but it’s a concluding situation where you let them be themselves for some time so that they can digest what happened.
  • Giving pets some space helps to make them independent and keep them away from separation anxiety. However, if they are getting used to a company at home, space will help them realise that their privacy isn’t compromised. And they can still sleep in their bed, play with their toys and become cosy any time of the day without any restrictions.

    It will keep your pet dog from barking at cats and pet cats away from hissing or piercing them with their claws. Make sure that no pet can enter the other’s space on their own. If you found them in their defensive acts against each other, then there’s a need to train them using a professional’s help.

  • Keeping their toys apart: This is a crucial step while making an effort to settle things between a dog and a cat in peace. Like we have discussed earlier, dogs are possessive towards their belongings. They already overprotect them when there is no other animal in the house. Consider their situation when there’s another animal in the house and that too a cat. They can easily feel insecure about their stuff and therefore find a secret place so that it’s not accessible to the other pet.
  • When you keep things separate you will find them indulged even more because no one is poking or hanging around them constantly. Now here comes the tricky part, it is where you have to play your brain card. Study their characteristics and transform your space accordingly.

    For dogs, choose from plush toys, chew toys, squeaker toys, fetch & tug toys, rope toys etc. You can learn more about dog toys and buy the ones you feel will be interested. Dogs love running around the house, so they will require more space to explore and feel comfortable.

    Cats have a different personality from dogs if we compare. Notice them around streets and learn which spaces they feel comfortable in. They are all about jumping and climbing shafts, pillars, windows, platforms etc. To make your house (with limited space and boundaries) a comfortable place for your pet cat, you will require toys that they will like. Study and explore more about cat toys online, scratcher toys and scratching posts so that you can keep your furniture, walls, and yourself away from their scratching. In short, you can utilise your house’s vertical space for them.

    Once you tuck in both of them in their favourite spot, then take some rest and award yourself. You are doing a great job.

  • Meet and Greet: Finally, now is the time for a full-fledged social interaction. It’s been so many days since they are under the same roof. You have practised enough to make them comfortable; it’s time to bring them closer and let loose. You may want to run, kidding, but be cautious, kidding again.
  • Notice how they react to each other’s company. Give them some space together. Go for this step only if your pets are trained well to avoid any accidents. Of course, it’s you who have to take control. Seek the experts if you require some help in their obedience training.

    Once everything goes as per plan, let them spend some time together and let them explore how they can live around the company of the other. It will help strengthen the bond, as you have already given them enough space; they will anyhow find a common ground.

    Which dog breeds don’t get along with cats?

    Dogs and cats are one of the coolest amalgamations of fun and entertainment when they are comfortable with each other and under the same roof. Some of the perks include, you get to see them cosed-up sleeping on the same bed. Sometimes you will find dogs in the cat’s bed and cats in the dog’s bed no matter how small they are, but they find peace. However, being the two different species, they have two different sets of personality.

    If we compare their energy levels, of course, dogs win with their runny legs whereas, pet cats love to stay aloof in the secretive spot of the house. No doubts they can remain hidden for hours. Even after that, they can be your dog’s best friends. But there are limitations to the different breeds of dogs because not all dogs love the company of cats. Below are the dog breeds who’ll love to have cats around

      Who doesn’t like the company of cats? Well, training your pet dog to be around cats takes a lot because you will be teaching them to live with them all the time, of course, farther places or under supervision but the same roof. It’s essential to take things seriously because if not, then either one will get hurt. There can be a chance that your pet dog will hate them their whole life. Now get on with their training and don’t hesitate to seek the expert’s advice for an extra hand.

      Happy Pet Parenting!

      [time], from [location]