Introducing the cutest dog to your cat won’t make them the happiest member of the house. Considering the known history of fights between them, the chances of a cat liking a new dog would be low. That wouldn’t be a problem if you have a mansion in which the cat and dog won’t see each other. But, if you have a loving home that allows the cat to snuggle on the couch and watch around the kitchen then you’ve got to make your cat as welcoming as possible to the new dog. So, how can you make your cat like the new dog when cats are known to be aloof and get frightened right away?
There are tips that we have listed down to help you convince your cat that dogs aren’t so bad and both of them could be friends.
1. Figure Out Cat and Dogs Personalities
Before you begin, figure out closely the personalities of both animals. You can observe them separately and don’t allow them to go near each other first. Is your cat friendly? Are they the ones that talk and snuggle with strangers right away or are they quiet, introverted, and get angry at people or objects that are new to them? You have to weigh the responses of your cat because the first impression usually lasts and would make them enemies in the long run. If cats are calm and accepting of the changes in the house, then you can slowly let both of them go near each other but with your supervision. However, take into account the personality of your dog. Dogs that have aggressive and territorial behavior won’t be ready to meet the cat not until they have obedience training. Only let both of them see each other if the dog that is aggressive and possessive get’s the necessary training for them to avoid chasing and killing the cats.
Consequently, if you found out that both of them won’t get along, have a backup plan like putting the dog on a leash always or allowing the dog to stay on its crate most of the time. Although, you still need to give patience in incorporating the rest of the tips to get both of them to be friends.
2. Obedience Training
Since you’ll be having a new dog, it could ruin the peace of your cat around your home. Then you’ll have to set some ground rules to protect your cat from the dog. Teach the dog basic obedience commands like “sit” or “stop” if they start to chase the cat. Also, teach them not to bark on cats so that they won’t be startled and won’t react such as clawing the dog. The training should be successful and should continue until the dog is listening and following your commands. Bring in treats, praises, and affection so that your dog will be motivated and become more behaved in the process.
You have to remember that dogs have a high predatory instinct that lets them want to hunt smaller animals such as cats. It’s a natural thing for them thus you have to eliminate it by showing them that you are the boss and that the cat is part of the pack. As the pet owner, you should be a responsible alpha for the dog for them to follow your commands and be loyal to you.
3. Personal Space for Cats
The cat should have a safe space wherein she could hide, escape or protect themselves when the dog is around. In this case, they’ll be unafraid to roam around the house because they know they have a space that is out of the dog’s reach. Make this as personal and high as possible since cats can climb and jump. You’ll be making this because despite cats and dogs becoming friends, there are playtimes that could lead to violence. So to ensure that your cat can protect itself, create a space that the cat can use for hiding.
In addition, by creating a cat’s personal space, you can prevent your dog from eating the cat feces. It’s gross and could lead to parasitic health issues that might lead to severe conditions. Therefore, prevent this by making a space for your cat to poop in a litter box, sleep and hide.
4. Familiarizing Cats to Dogs
Since you have trained the dog not to chase the cat, you also need to train your cat to be nice to dogs. It’s gonna be easier for them to do this because the dog will not chase, bark or attack the cat because of the obedience training. To do this, you have to let the cat see that you value and love your dog. Around your cat, shower the dog with affection, love, and a positive reaction. Don’t let them be near, not until the cat sees for a couple of times that the dog is an added member of the family.
Also, you can cuddle both of them and if the cat does not react. Give them a treat and a pat on the head. But if they do, correct the behavior of the cat by reprimanding them in a way that they do understand such as raising their voice or ignoring them. The goal is to teach the cat not to run away and not react negatively to dogs.
5. Feed The Cat Near Dog
For them to see each other often, feed them near each other. In this way, they will get familiarized with the smell and the presence of each other. If you are not fully confident of this meeting, have your dog on a leash or install a baby gate for the first few days, and if your cat goes near the dog and there’s relaxed and calm feedback. Then, that’s the start that you can allow your dog to run or walk freely. These slow introductions will train your dog and cat to be friends and be accepting of one another.
6. Respecting Each Toy
Another thing that could create conflict is by ruining or taking possession of other animal’s precious toys and food. Teach the dog to neglect and never touch the cat’s toy and same to cat’s for the dog’s toys. Create boundaries between them by allowing the other animals to play on the other side of the house. However, if they are already close to each other you can let them play but with you watching them avoid escalating the play to a real attack between them.
7. Provide Regular Exercise
It is important that the energy of both cats and dogs is released so that they won’t be having emotional issues and taking it out on each other. Have the dog have a regular walk in the neighborhood for 30 to 60 minutes depending on how active your dog is. Also, have your dog play fetch so that they can have fun. For cats, you can also allow them to play fetch or just let them go outside to climb and run wherever they want to go.
Furthermore, cats and dogs should be stimulated mentally. Provide a puzzle feeder for them to slow down eating and sharpen their brains.
8. Train Them Both
For the cat to like dogs, allowing both of them to be trained. This could be a fun activity wherein they will get together and have something in common. Train them to behave or train them not to be demanding on food, whatever it is that you wanted to learn. Provide treats for both of them equally if they succeed and provide praises and affection equally.
How to Know Dogs Are Feline Friendly
To avoid making a bad decision on which dog breed you should get, consider the list we’ve got to know if a dog is a suitable match for your cat.
1. Response to Cat’s Voice
There is a study that can help you choose dogs to adopt from a shelter. It concludes dogs are more responsive to the cat’s voice than smell. Thus, for you to know that a dog is not gonna hurt your cat, record the cat’s voice and allow the dog to listen to it. The study concluded that if the dog after listening to the voice is having a hard time positioning themselves on what is the sound. Then it means that the dog does not have any experience associating with a cat. But if the dog responds right away then it means that they can be nice and good to your feline.
If a dog is friendly, then most likely they’ll get along with the cat. You can sense this if you meet the dog and then it goes near you and becomes affectionate to you. You can sense calm behavior from them and they become relaxed around your company.
Look for dogs that are patient, usually, you can tell by researching the dog breed and seeing the experiences of owners regarding the breed. If you see that the breed is tolerant and does not easily go mad, then they could be the perfect dog around your cat or to your baby.
Avoid aggressive dogs, and look more on the breeds that are calm. They are the ones that won’t react right away and just calmly sleep or nap at the corner without too much of a reaction. They are quiet and love to be alone but certainly lovable and good pets.
5. Dog’s Age
In this case, you have to get a puppy because they are easier to train and they are the same size as the cat. They will grow old having a cat’s support which makes them love the cat and treat them as a family. For older dogs, the case would be harder than a new puppy but can be done through multiple training sessions.
How Long Does It Take for Cats to Like a Dog?
The situations depend on how often you train both cats and if you are allowing them to meet. The earliest will take up to 3 weeks and then it could go months depending on the factors in your home. Despite the process taking longer, you should be patient enough because the time will come that you will get to see both of your pets getting along and not fighting.
Why Does My Cat Keep On Hissing at My Dog?
Hissing is one of the cat’s behaviors that indicates the cat to be afraid of being threatened. This is one of the indications that your cat does not like your dog, they feel that the dog is going to do something bad to them. Thus, they will keep on hissing at dogs that might lead to dogs getting angry at the cat too due to misunderstanding. Observe your cat if they are hissing at your dog due to the dog’s aggression because you can correct the behavior through training. However, if the cat hisses at the dog while they are sleeping or behaving in general, then you’ll have to follow the tips we’ve given for the cat to like the dog and get used to them roaming in the house.
Top 10 Cat Breeds That Will Most Likely Get Along With Dogs
If your cat is one of these breeds, then you’ll no longer have a problem with acquiring a dog in the house. We listed the top cat breeds that are dog friendly.
- Tonkinese Cats
- American Shorthair
- Japanese Bobtail
- Maine Coon
- Norwegian Forest
- Abyssinian Cats
An animal lover would try to get as many pets as possible. And if you are one of them that loves to have a variety of animals in the house, then prepare yourself for all the training that you are going to do on your cat and dogs. Both animals can give so much joy in a different way and it’s even more heart-fluttering if both of them are treating each other as a family. How cute it is to find them snuggling around the couch and sleeping together peacefully. To achieve this, consider all the tips we’ve given and cheers to harmonious living!