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How to Introduce a Dog to a Cat for a Good Coexistence

Cats and dogs are not the best of friends by nature. What is a friendly gesture for your dog, is extremely rude to your cat?

Both cats and dogs are opportunistic predators, but both can also become the prey; therefore, they have a very complete spectrum of instincts that can increase mistrust between them. A dog’s instinct to chase and catch any creature that moves quickly across his field of vision doesn’t exactly help.

Cats and dog’s relationship

That said, cats and dogs can overcome their differences and become “friends for life,” as many owners attest. With patience and a little knowledge on your part, your cat and mini dog can get along very well.

What is the ideal context to introduce a cat to a dog?

The best recipe for friendship is to acquire a kitten and a puppy at the same time. During the first 12 weeks of a dog’s life and the first nine weeks of a cat, each animal goes through its most intense period of social development. If you meet other animals of different species in that period of time, you will accept them as a normal part of your life and will assimilate a fluid relationship between dogs and cats.

What do we consider a more complicated context?

Introducing a mature cat to a mature dog can bring out their more territorial instincts and memories of past experiences. However, it doesn’t matter which pet got to your house first; Over time, they can still get used to and accept each other.

Can you groom your dog before they meet?

When asked how to introduce your dog to a new cat, it is a good idea to show the scent of one animal to the other before their first physical encounter. You can exchange blankets, toys, and food plates. Ideally, keep the animals in connecting rooms for a few days or weeks with the door closed between the two. Animals will sniff under the door and get used to each other’s presence and smell without stress. The next step is to leave the dog in a room with the door open but closed with a baby gate. Let the cat hide on top of some tall piece of furniture (or typical scratching post) out of the dog’s reach, so the animals can see each other from afar. Try this first for a few minutes and go up the time,

The day the cat and dog meat, how can you prepare the two animals?

Take your dog out and get him some exercise. Make him tire a little. Then feed the two animals well. Well-fed and well-exercised, it will be easier for them to behave well to establish this relationship between dogs and cats.

What should you do with your dog ​​when they meet?

Keep the dog leashed on the first meeting and continuously observe his body language, speak calmly, and calmly to both of you.

How can you handle a cat on its first meeting with your dog?

The more intrusive the dog can behave with your cat, the more anxious the latter will feel, which will surely provoke his aggressive reflexes. Make sure your dog leaves room to help reduce stress. Set the scene with your cat in your mind: make sure he has an escape route and give him an elevated position from which he can watch. This will make you feel more in control and decrease your “fight or flight” reaction. Carrying the dog when the cat is in a lower position can cause her to panic and run, which, in turn, could make the dog want to treat her like a toy. Do not hold the cat when you first bring the dog, as it could have a panic response if it feels unable to escape and you could end up with multiple scratches. Let your cat have the last word. There may be grunts or snorts at first, but let the animals explore at their own pace. If, after these initial exploratory gestures, the cat stands firm and does not run, communication between the animals will become easier over time.

What if your cat acts aggressively when she meets the dog for the first time?

When a dog comes to a cat’s house, your cat may freeze or snort. You can also try to escape. Don’t force him to come near, let him behave however he wants and let him run away if he wants. You can reduce your cat’s possible anxiety by preventing the dog from making very sudden movements. All this will improve the coexistence between dogs and cats from the beginning. Little by little, your cat will come up to him and sniff him. When he realizes that it is not dangerous, he will calm down. Do not punish the cat if it taps the dog on the nose – it is one way to ensure that the dog is not a threat. Dogs and cats can get along and become good friends. It is the animals’ experiences – and not their instincts – that determine their behavior.

Avoid jealousy

Including a new member of the family implies dedicating time and attention to them. And our dog may notice that now the center of attention is the cat and not him. We should avoid that feeling as much as possible. Our dog must continue to receive the same attention and, if possible, games and compliments in the presence of the cat so that it understands that it is not the feline who takes away its “leading role.

Don’t punish

It may be that our dog tries to interact with the new cat and harasses it more than necessary. It is also possible that the cat tries to communicate that it is upset by its body language but the dog does not understand the signals. In that case, you should not punish the dog but offer him new entertainment that keeps him busy and away from the cat. It can be a refillable food toy, a walk, a playtime, etc.

Be very attentive to the first meetings

It is essential to be very attentive to the attitude that dog and cat show during the first weeks of coexistence. If you see a problem, or if it is clear that coexistence is proving difficult, it is essential to consult an ethologist before the problem worsens. Cats, more than dogs, are very sensitive animals and can develop serious behavior problems if they feel under stress.

Originally posted 2020-09-27 18:33:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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