5 must-follow tips for cats and dogs to get along

When you love dogs as much as cats and want to reconcile these two preferences in your home, you can quickly come across a bone. How to make the cohabitation between a cat and a dog go well and change the meaning of the adage “to get along like dog and cat”? Here are 5 tips to make everyday life easier with your two favorite furballs.

Cats that can’t stand dogs (or vice versa) are legion. This hatred of the other obeys an ancestral instinct where, in the wild, the dogs were predators of the cat. Our little felines have therefore learned to beware of this large carnivore.

The means of communication of cats and dogs are so diametrically opposed that it is impossible for them to understand each other. Most striking is the tail beat which is a sign of joy for dogs while it is a signs of nervousness in cats. However, the existing differences between dogs and cats are not inevitable. It can sometimes be a bit difficult to get things moving, but there are always solutions.

1. Play the mediator

When a new companion arrives in your family, it is very important to facilitate the meeting with your dog or your cat. The best solution is not to confront them immediately, but toarrange to meet some time later inside a closed, neutral room. During this period of time, stay present in the room and let them gauge themselves. Only intervene if you feel the situation could really get out of hand.

dog smells like kitten
Credits: iStock

During this time of confinement, it is normal for the two animals to have suspicious reactions towards each other, or even become violent. Hissing and spiky back in cats, growling and the sight of fangs in dogs can significantly increase tension. But don’t panic, everyone only uses the means of communication specific to their species. Basically, they speak to each other in different languages.

If the situation manages to calm down and that after realizing that everyone’s intentions weren’t aggressive, you can walk out of the room and leave them alone for a while.

2. Don’t feed them together

To begin with, it is necessary to separate meals for your dog and your cat. Feed them at different times and in different rooms. Meals are very important times for animals and accepting that a newcomer, moreover from another species, encroaches on its territory can take time.

When the cohabitation between your two animals is fully established, it will be possible to try to make them both eat in the kitchen, for example. A little trick to prevent your dog from stealing your cat’s food: put the bowl of the latter in height !

3. Don’t create jealousy

The first days of cohabitation, be fair and just. The animal that used to live with you may feel left out if you spend too much time with your new friend. Allow time for one-on-one time then in the presence of the other little by little. They will thus get used to restraining their jealousy and accepting the presence of the other in the home.

puppy kitten dog cat
Credits: kitty.green66/Flickr

4. Reward their efforts

Every effort has a reward. It’s not easy for a dog or a cat, accustomed to its routine with you, to see another animal arrive, which is its worst enemy. It is therefore good take time to notice progress and encourage good behavior with a little treat.

If your dog stands in close proximity to your cat without growling, reward him. Do the same for your cat. Gradually, they will understand that a positive behavior is the best attitude to adopt when they are next to each other.

5. Let them get to know each other

The master should not play referees all the time. It is necessary that the dog and the cat get to know each other calmly. If things go well, they may even form a very strong friendship. In the worst case, they will live side by side being completely indifferent to each other.

In all cases, do not intervene in every little argument unless the danger to one or other of your animals is palpable. It takes time for the instincts to calm down and letting things happen as naturally as possible is often the best solution.