Dogs and cats tend to be natural enemies. Two different species treat each other as prey. But that does not confirm that dogs and cats can’t stay together. In some circumstances, dogs can’t tolerate the cat’s existence, while the latter is quite tolerant of dogs.
As dogs are hunters by instinct, it drives them to see cats as prey. Hence chaos takes place in this situation. As an animal lover, you should train your dog to be patient with the cat. It may help you to prevent such chaotic occurrences. Below are some tips to help you to make a dog and cat become friends.
How to Introduce a Dog to a Cat?
Face the fact
Sometimes there is always a complication between some animals. So, before introducing a cat to your house, be careful about your existing dog. Try to understand their stance against the cat. Regardless of the urge for a cat, think about the worst situation.
If any adverse situation arises, it can hamper the quality of life of the animals. Researches show that an aggressive dog, in the presence of a quiet cat, can’t concentrate on any activity and thus become unsocial and intolerant to the cat.
Take help from the trainer
Sometimes, you can’t train them, especially if you are a new owner or inexperienced in tackling this situation. Consult your dog trainer or ask for support. They can analyze your dog’s ability or inability and thus help you chalk out a strategic plan to solve this issue.
Give Reasonable time for the expected result
It is not a one-night process. It takes a long time. As this is a slow process, never expect some changes in a few days. Never be astonished if you observe fear in them.
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Keep them at a young age together
If you keep both together at a young age, that may last till the end. There is a possibility of co-existence between puppies and kittens with long-staying habituation. For an adult dog, you should choose a kitten instead of a cat.
Because in the case of the kitten, dogs have less probability of chasing.
Check the Body language
In the time of introduction of a cat to a dog, be cautious about their body language. If a cat’s ears are backward and tails are in a swing, it means your pet is comfortable. Keep a keen eye on the dog’s behavior.
You should notice warning signs, like whether they are in prey mode, which may lead to chasing, attacking, or searching the smaller size and shapes of animals, including cats. Signs are acute and troublesome when the dog is staring, barking, whining, or attentive toward the cats.
In such circumstances, avoid allowing your dogs to be near the cat. The dog must be relaxed and calm around the cat in an ideal condition. If the dog is attentive towards the cat but not continuously staring, the situation is not worrisome. Depending on the environment, the behavior may change.
For example, a well-behaved dog with a cat inside the house may change in behavior in the case of outdoors. He may be loose and flexible in the case of a cat indoors, whereas he becomes a stalker and aggressive in an outdoor environment. So, it is advisable to keep a look at the behavior of each surrounding unless you are sure about their nature in each situation.
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Introduce them face to face
The fastest way to the introduction is to keep a dog on a leash one person while the other holds the cat. Both persons should keep an eye on their behavior. If no negative signal occurs, allow them to move together.
If the dog remains calm in the presence of the cat and seems calmer when the cat tries to smell for identification, encourage your dog. You can give him some treats.
Apply desensitization methods
If your dog focuses on the cat, you can apply desensitization methods effectively in significant cases. In this process, the primary target is to habituate your dog to the cat’s company by providing slow exposure to the cat. In this process, keep your cat in a separate room.
Choose a room with a long but small gate in front of the door. Also, the room should not be accessible to the dog, or it’s not preferable. Suppose you sleep with your dog in the bedroom, so do not select that room for the cat. The main objective is to keep them separate for a time to visualize each other.
Be careful about the gate so they can’t access each other’s area. Cats can manage to enter any space. You can start the process with visualization and engage your dog with toys so that he can’t concentrate on the cat.
To accustom to each other’s smell, you can interchange their bed and toys. Still, if their problem persists or you are not assured, keep them separate.
Go for another alternative
If desensitization fails, try to do some structured way of training. In this situation, you measure the threshold of the dog’s reaction towards the cat when on lease. You should gauge the point of reaction of your dog due to the closeness between you and your cat.
If your pets are showing reactions, use some commands or a clicker. It will help divert them from the situation. If they succeed, give some treats and praise.