In general, cats and dogs are the main pets in most homes. Maybe in your house, you have a feline and you are considering increasing the family with a dog. If so, do not be afraid: the coexistence between the two can be wonderful. However, you must first take into account certain tips to make a cat accept a dog at home.
Coexistence between cats and dogs
Getting along like a cat and dog is synonymous with a bad relationship. However, it doesn’t have to be like this at all, or at least not between these two animals.
It is true that cats are very territorial and sensitive to changes in their environment. For this reason, the arrival of a dog at home can be quite unsettling, even causing a lot of stress.
However, if things are done well with the arrival of the dog at home, the dog and the cat can be great friends. Follow these tips to achieve a good coexistence between dogs and cats.
How to make a cat accept a dog at home
Let’s see, in parts, the most important issues for a feline to accept a dog at home.
The process should have started since the cat came into your life. Yes, as you read it. Socialization in cats is very important and should start when they are puppies.
Socializing consists of exposing the animal to other animals of its species and others, different environments, situations, etc. so that he interacts with them and as an adult, he is not a scary, aggressive cat, etc. or that they behave in a negative way in the face of any change in their environment.
Therefore, if your pet has been properly socialized, it will cost much less to accept the presence of another animal at home.
Create a safe environment for the cat
It is very important that, before the arrival of the pet at home, you create a safe environment for your feline. This implies that it has a shelter to get into and where the dog cannot enter or reach it.
Since cats love to keep watch from above (it is something they inherit from wild cats ), ideally this shelter should be high up.
Separate feeder and drinker
The cat’s food and water dish must be in a secluded area of the house, where the dog does not have access. In addition, it has to be a quiet place, where people do not bother the animal.
For its part, the dog’s dishes must also be in an area defined for him and away from that of the cat.
The moment of the meal is a very delicate moment for the animals. By instinct, what they feel when they eat is that their survival is at stake, so the slightest attempt at interruption can lead to a great conflict.
To make a cat accept a dog, it is essential to take this into account.
Choose a space for your dog
Your dog should also have its own space where to place its bed and its toys. This space is essential that it is not part of your cat’s frequented or favorite places.
When it comes to getting a cat to accept a dog at home, you can’t take away their space for the new pet to occupy.
A sandbox is an intimate place
If placing the cat’s plate and waterer in a quiet place is important, doing so with the litter box is just as essential. The dog cannot access the place where the cat’s litter tray is.
The basis of everything is to make sure the cat does not perceive the new tenant as something negative.
The pheromones pet can be great allies. Using a diffuser with calming pheromones for cats at home will help the animal feel much calmer.
We humans give more importance to what we see when it comes to meeting someone. However, the sense of smell of animals, as well as the smells that they give off, is a way that they have to communicate.
Therefore, before bringing the two pets together it is important that there is an exchange of smells between them. How? Well, for example, exchanging toys, bedding, etc.
In this way, they will be able to normalize their respective aromas.
The first visual encounter should take place in a calm manner and in an environment familiar to the cat. Yes, it may be that the feline sees the dog as an intruder in his environment, but if you were to present them in a place unknown to him, it would be worse because he would feel unprotected.
Both animals must be seen from afar. Ideally, there should be two people: one close to the cat and the other holding the dog by the leash. You have to keep it watched and controlled. As long as the two of you maintain eye contact without being disturbed, you can offer each a treat so that they associate the other’s presence with something positive.
Let the cat come closer if he wishes, while the dog is well restrained. If it is a very large dog and/or it has not socialized properly, the ideal would be that in those first encounters it should also wear a muzzle.
When there have already been several controlled visual encounters without altercations, the two of you can be allowed a little more freedom to interact.
You can remove the leash from the dog and leave the muzzle to avoid scares until it is already noted that the relationship can be cordial.
Leave them loose in the same space, always with supervision, and observe their behavior. If either of you shows signs of attack, intervene with a distraction (a toy, food, etc.) before it happens.