It’s commonly accepted that cats and dogs are natural born enemies. However, it’s completely possible for them to co-exist in the same house. This kind of peace and harmony is possible, but it isn’t always easy to achieve! You’ll need to put in a fair amount of work if you want to keep both pets healthy and happy. Here are some great tips for keeping both a cat and a dog.
Ideally, you should get both pets when they’re a puppy and kitten. At this stage, your pets will be too young to have any bad experiences with their rival species. You won’t need to worry about instincts working in the wrong way. Obviously, this isn’t always practical, and you probably already have a cat or a dog. In this case, you should still go for a younger animal. This way, you’ll know that at least one of your pets won’t be automatically aggressive. Even if you do manage to get a puppy and a kitten, you should always make a point of supervising them together. A puppy’s play is often a little too boisterous for kittens. You shouldn’t need to take out an extra pet insurance policy, but a slow introduction is definitely recommended.
If you already have a cat or a dog, then try to find another pet that matches their behaviour. This will reduce the chances of any big fights, and make the whole settling in process easier. Ideally, you should ask for a dog with some experience around cats, or vice versa. The workers at the shelter will be happy to help you narrow down the perfect candidate for your home. Try to get a feel for the animal’s personality as well. If you already have a lazy dog at home, then look for an equally lazy cat. If your dog’s young and full of beans, then an energetic cat is a better choice.
Finally, set out a safe haven for the cat in this situation. Most cats sleep for at least 12 hours a day, and I’m sure you know they can sit around for extremely long periods. Dogs, on the other hand, are more liable to go stir crazy, and actively look for stimulation. Whether the cat was here first or not, you should have a place in your house which is off-limits to the dog. Make sure it has a litter tray, food and water, and a scratching post. If you already have your cat, it might be worth getting them used to this room before the dog turns up. When your cat knows it can get away from the dog when it needs to, it will be far more relaxed. Remember that cats can run away with relative ease. Regardless of the animal you prefer, pamper your cat and keep the whole experience as relaxed as possible.
These three tips will make your pets’ lives much easier during this transition. My final piece of advice is to know when to quit. I love living around animals, but that’s no excuse to make two of them unhappy.