The question of whether dogs and cats can coexists peacefully is clearly one of the biggest conundrums. According to popular depictions, dogs are supposed to chase cats away and they will never get along. In reality, there are some truths to this, having dogs and cats in a house without making slow, deliberate introductions could have bad implications. In general, this situation can be easier to handle if we have obedient pets. As an example, properly trained dogs could adhere to typical basic commands; such as stay, come, lay and sit. We could use these commands during the actual introduction with the cat.
In general, it is important to be positive, patient and calm. Animals can easily sense our tension and they may eventually mirror such an emotion. Animals require time to get used to one another. In general, they don’t expect to get “invaded” by a new animal. Dogs can be somewhat territorial and they don’t like to see the presence of cats in their territory. Also, we should make sure that each of our pet has its separate water and food container. It is a good idea to put the water and food containers of our cat in places where dogs don’t normally go such as on top of dryer, deep freezer and washer. Cats also require specific safe spots inside the house, so we could choose the garage or other areas for this purpose. In most cases, dogs and cats are particularly protective of their feeding areas.
It’s time to gear up for the first introduction, once we have prepared the accommodations and basic changes. We could put the cat in an enclosed, safe room and give something for it to roll around on like a blanket. We could put some toys, just to make the cat comfortable inside the house. After a couple of days, we could take the cat’s blanket and give it to the dog. Let the dog gets familiar with the blanket and the smell of the cat. The dog may sniff at the blanket at first and this is a normal reaction. The dog should be used to the cat’s scent after a few days.
Finally, we can make the preliminary introduction and put the dog on the leash in a relatively large room or on the garden. First, the dog should lie down and stay still. We should give it a treat and give some praises to keep it comfortable. Then, we should remove the cat from its room and let the dog in. It is important to give the dog an opportunity to sniff the room and explore it slowly. The dog may hiss and growl initially, but we should keep it inside the room until it feels comfortable. Repeat the process for a few days, until we are sure that the dog is familiar with the scent of the cat. The real introduction can be performed inside the room or our backyard, which provides ample space.