Tips for Raising Cats and Dogs Together
Sometimes our love for kitties and puppies overflows and opportunity presents itself to allow you to welcome multiple animals in a home. It is certainly possible to home both cats and dogs in the same household but this isn’t without its own share of risk. There are multiple accounts of tragedy stricken homes where cats and dogs have not been able to live in harmony. Conflict can lead to fighting, injury and even blood being drawn. Our blog today will discuss how the dynamics of dog and cat relationships, helping you to prepare and prevent any potential issues.
Age Isn’t Just a Number
Age is a crucial part of the introduction process between animals and should even be considered if looking after the same species of animal. Whether you have a wise senior dog or a juvenile kitty, introducing a new pet in the household will generally work out better with younger animals.
Pairing a new kitten and older dog may be a preferable combination when planning your cohabiting pet lifestyle. Young kittens are immature and have plenty of room to learn. Early introduction will allow you to sculpt their behavior and integrate them into a harmonious lifestyle with their peers at home. Kittens will generally be below the age of 12 months, ages beyond this period will have matured to a point where new behaviors will be challenging to shape.
It’s possible to see success with a mature cat at home too, but we suggest bringing a small and young puppy home as soon as possible. This is an uphill challenge that needs much monitoring and assistance. Introducing a puppy to an adult cat is considerably more difficult and a peaceful relationship will heavily rely on the temperament of the puppy, which is harder to shape to suit an adult cat.
Taking it Slow
Introduction between cats and dogs is a delicate and slow process. It’s a stressful time that needs plenty of monitoring and strategy in place to deal with issues. Timing and patience are everything and acclimation can take days to weeks. A new environment, family and animal friends is much to handle. Strategic introduction over time will help instill curiosity into both your animals as they familiarize with each other indirectly.
Living arrangements should initially be segregated without any direct meetings. Allowing exploration and entry of living quarters will help accelerate this process. Take your dogs for walks and let your cat roam around the house to build confidence and intrigue. After a couple of weeks it will be time to carry out supervised interactions. Starting off with slow and closely monitored meetings between both pets to assess reception from both parties. Once a steady relationship has been observed, their bond will grow over time to allow free living with one another. It’s the start of a beautiful family that will look out for one another.
Clash of personalities can lead to dire consequences. We want to keep our pets happy and safe, allowing for stress free co-living. Temperament is often dictated in the gene pool of a breed and should be considered in both cats and dogs. Consider both of your kitty and pup and discern if their personalities will match. Energetic dog breeds may be stressful to docile natured cats, you should seek chemistry that will not provoke hostility between the pair.
Some might want to create independence between cats and dogs, segregating their living arrangements. Keeping your cat indoors and dog outdoors to avoid fights is a measure some owners take. This approach is detrimental to relationship building that is important between the pair. It cultivates an environment where the cat feels it resides alone inside, claiming territory against any intruder. Setting precedence between your kitty and pup as long term strangers is to be avoided and it’s encouraged that cats and dogs should live together in the same space. Harmony will blossom from continuous cohabiting as mutual understanding is achieved through learning and playing. This bond should strengthen as time goes on.
Allow Room for Independence
Just as humans need space for some alone time, animals should have access to personal refuge in the house. A generous space indoors is recommended to allow animals to differentiate between their personal living arrangements. Cats will prefer an undisturbed litter area and use of appropriate litter boxes that are secure from curious pooches will be useful in this living scenario.
Feeding your animals can be done together but it’s best to sufficiently separate these feeding arrangements to avoid consumption of each other’s food. Feeding time shouldn’t be congested and a little room will be appreciated by both your cat and dog, your kitty more so. Cats are solitary at times and will need their own times of peace and quiet when they desire it. This isn’t just to get away from their canine companion, it is a general accommodation that should be provided by all cat owners. Be sure to provide an out of reach area for your cat to get some well-deserved rest.