Cats and dogs getting along under the same roof?

Narrated from: General Info

Yes, cats and dogs can get along!

Now, we all know that according to ancient tradition dogs hate cats – and vice versa. However, this hatred is not genetic and doesn’t apply to both species as a whole – actually, hostility between cats and dogs is due to misinterpreted body language signals

Thus, the best case scenario for cats and dogs to live peacefully would be if both animals are raised together; though there might be some initial hostility, younger animals would be far more flexible and in time they would learn to interpret body language correctly.

Of course, much depends on individual character as well as on breed – some dog breeds for instance just have a hunting instinct that is too hard to bypass – pit bulls, terriers and so on. Such dogs could be taught to live with cats, but that would take a lot of effort.

When you are introducing older animals to each other, you might experience problems. If the animals have never before shared living space with members of another species, then the process of integration could take more than a month.

If you are introducing a dog to a household with cat(s), it would be a good idea to make the cat comfortable. Cats are extremely territorial and get upset when their turf is invaded. The best solution to the problem is to prepare an exclusive area for the cat to which the dog has no access – this could be accomplished by installing a cat tree, a room into which the only entrance is through a baby door or simply emptying some bookshelves that are out of the dog’s reach. This way the cat would have a feeling of security and won’t be that irritated by the nosiness of the dog.

If you are introducing a cat to a dog household, it would be a good idea to teach the dog to sit and heel at your command. That way you would make sure that the dog would not impose on the cat and wouldn’t chase the cat if she runs.

Another useful technique would be separation. For several days, the dog and the cat would be confined separately, only being allowed to explore the house when the other animal is locked away. After several days, you would start opening the dog’s door, allowing it to watch the cat while it is in the room. If the dog doesn’t bark or attempt to enter the room, you should reward it for good behavior. After the dog gets used to the cat, it won’t be overwhelmed by curiosity and you may introduce the two animals!

Don’t be distressed even if cats and dogs don’t seem to get along in the beginning. In time, the animals will work things out. Also, don’t be protective only over the cat – cats are quite often known to beat up smaller dogs!

In most cases though, cats and dogs get along just fine!

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