We've seen it time and time again, cats and dogs chasing each other, fighting over space, toys and the love of their owners. Many TV shows and movies portray cats as the sassy pets we know they and how annoyed they are of dogs. The question is, do they naturally just hate each other?
If you have a dog and a cat in your household, you might experience the yowling of a cat or the snarls of a dog. It tends to be worst during the first couple of weeks when these two pets become accustomed to each other. Although it's not expected to last there's always a chance that it can take several months, and your two fur babies may never like each other.
Why? Why? Why?
It's not always a question of whether you are a dog person or cat person, sometimes you can be both. Most of us love animals in general no matter their characteristic or breed. Yet that doesn't mean getting both a dog and a cat is always the right choice. The main reason that these two animals don't get along is their inability to communicate. We've seen it time and time again, a dog runs up in excitement to a new cat friend only to be batted in the eye. The good thing is that this only occurs in the beginning and as these two animals get to know each other they can be quite good friends.
Another common reason is the instinctual behavior that both dogs and cats have. Cats tend to be more timid and resort to a defensive stance anytime they find an unknown. You can usually tell by the way they tense up and when their claws come out. Dogs on the other hand love to chase small prey, which is an instinct that most of them naturally have.
What can you do to help?
It’s hard to imagine anything else other than a fight to the death between cats and dogs. You see this within the movie industry, books, and more dating hundreds of years back. People tend to believe it when the entertainment industry starts creating a whole movie about these two animals fighting. On the positive side, this is a myth and you should never believe everything that you see or hear. What’s even better is that there’s approaches you can use to help transition your cat into a home with dogs or vice versa.
Scent is great and it’s what both animals rely on to help them understand their environment, danger, territory and more. We once took Precious, our Catify.co resident cat, into a friend’s home and she immediately ran into the closet and hid. She immediately could smell the scent of another cat and took that as a red flag. Dogs are similar but tend to confront the smell and try to mask it with their own. When bringing a cat home, first make sure that your dog is already moved to a closed off room. Then put your cat into another room and setup their space including their litter, food, water and toys. You’ll start seeing a lot of sniffing going on, both with the cat and the dog. This is totally normal and should be expected as they are just trying to understand their new environment.That was the initial phase that introduced the cat to the household. After a couple of days or even a week it is time to introduce them. Crack open the door to the room and let them slowly find each other, as they are both curious animals, it’ll be a quick confrontation. Be ready to close the door or open it wider if your cat is ready to roam more. Always make sure that the room is always open as it becomes a safe zone for them anytime they get scared.
It’s almost the end! The last part is letting the cat fully make its way out of the initial room, explore the surroundings and small your dog. As long as your dog does not get too excited they will get along just fine. This doesn’t mean that you won’t get some chasing and some light play fights, but it is a lot better than having two pets who hate each other.
Adopting is also a great choice when it comes to getting a new dog or cat. Most humane societies will have some background information, and if the dog or cat has grown up in a house with both pets they are already used to it. Some cats might even act like dogs as it’s behaviors they picked up previous. Jimmy, our fluffy resident cat, loves to receive belly rubs and flops over just to get one!
We know dogs and cats don’t always get along. With the right environment, help from the hoomans and some love, it’ll be just fine. As always, let us know how you keep your pets from fighting and comment below! We are also available on social media and will keep on updating our site with more cat themed goodies!