Dogs and cats together under one roof – it’s possible!

Cat and dog are animals that in our consciousness are forced to be enemies. Both pop culture and language antagonize them. After all, enemies, not friends, live like a dog with a cat. However, there are dogs and cats that not only tolerate each other, but are even best friends. We advise on how to reconcile a dog with a cat.

Dog and cat under one roof – is it possible?

Dogs and cats are two different species whose needs and habits are fundamentally different from each other. This does not mean, however, that they cannot live in the same house. Everything depends on us.

If you have a cat at home but would like to adopt a dog (or vice versa), you need to be smart and comprehensive. The point is not that animals necessarily have great affection and spend every moment together. We strive to ensure that they can exist under one roof, while feeling the same comfort.

A cat and a dog together can make a really cool team. This is most possible with small animals. A puppy and a kitten who live together almost from the beginning of their lives will have no problems with their presence. The lack of educated instincts (as well as the lack of prejudices) contributes to proper socialization and building good relationships.

What about older animals? The situation may be a bit more difficult here, but it is by no means a stalemate. As a guardian, you have some useful tools at your disposal to get to know each other between your dog and your cat.

How to introduce a dog to a cat?

At the beginning it is worth realizing that the joining process cannot be rushed. Sometimes they get to like each other relatively quickly, but don’t expect a great friendship to bloom on the very first evening. The most important thing is the comfort and well-being of both the dog and the cat. The most important rules for connecting are:

  • patience,
  • not forcing animals to do anything,
  • acceptance of the fact that animals have a right to reserve and dislike.

Before you start getting to know each other, make sure that both pets are healthy. There are several diseases that can be passed on between species. Both the dog and the cat must therefore be dewormed and vaccinated. If a pet comes into your home that you do not know the past, wait at least two weeks before introducing it to your four-legged family members (of any species).

Dog and cat together – give them time

Socializing a dog and a cat with each other is a process that can take quite a long time. Before you even get to know animals with yourself, take into account that everything, in fact, depends on you. Never leave them on their own and do not assume that they will somehow get there by themselves. In this peace of mind, you put both pets in danger.

A frightened cat has two options – run away or attack. The dog’s instinct tells him to chase the fleeing fur, while cat’s claws are, contrary to appearances, a very dangerous weapon.

Isolate

The first step in getting a dog to know a cat must be isolation. The new pet should be placed in a separate room that the resident has no access to. In small apartments, this function is usually performed by a bathroom.

Spend some time with each animal once in a while. This way you transfer the scent of one to the other, and they have a chance to get used to it initially. After a few days, the rooms can be changed. Let the cat explore the place where the dog is and vice versa.

Be careful

During the first meeting, the cat should be secured in the carrier. It is best to choose one that will not allow you to put your dog in the nose or in the eye. Only after the animals get to know each other in such a distance can we allow them to meet face to face.

Remember not to leave your pets alone. You must do whatever it takes to be able to intervene if necessary. Even if the situation seems calm and safe, the first meeting is only temporary. Repeat them a few more times and only finish the insulation after some time. Remember not to leave the animals alone for some time.

Watch

It is impossible to say the exact time it takes for each of the steps mentioned above. In principle, however, it is better to proceed slower than faster. Watch closely as the relationship of the two pets develops. Rushing is your worst enemy as the way you socialize will affect the dog’s future relationship with your cat.

Watch the animals. If you feel something is wrong – one of the animals is clearly stressed, if there is aggression or panic – this is a clear sign to go back to the previous step.

Reward

It is worth making sure that all the behaviors we desire are rewarded. Prepare some flavors before the meeting. Do not spare your praise either. However, everything should take place when the atmosphere is neutral, and the cat and dog are not stressed or, even less so, panicked.

A much better solution is to reinforce good behavior. Don’t punish the animals. Do not yell at them, never apply physical punishment. You will only increase the feeling of stress and let them know that something bad and dangerous is going on.

Keep Calm

Putting together animals can be stressful. However, try to stay calm, cool your head and keep your emotions in check. Your stress and fear will be taken over by the animals immediately. They will automatically become more tense and nervous. If necessary, drink a cup of lemon balm and try to relax.

Cat and dog together – what if the joining goes wrong?

If there is aggression or very strong distrust between the animals, it is very likely that the process of socialization with isolation took too short a time. Then it is worth taking one step back and returning to the previous stage.

However, if you feel that the whole process is going wrong and you are just not getting along, it is very possible that an intervention by a behaviorist or trainer will be necessary. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, as a bad start can herald difficult relationships in the future. Especially if there is a power imbalance between a cat and a dog, it is a very dangerous situation.

Does it always work? Unfortunately not. In some cases, cats and dogs are unable to function together without aggression and fear. Then they threaten each other with danger and must be permanently isolated.

Dogs and cats together – on the same level

If your dog and cat are to live under the same roof in your home, you must remember that these animals are the same. Unfortunately, many people tend to treat the cat as a guest who goes home rather than live in it. Meanwhile, this pet has many needs, both behavioral and emotional.

When a new pet comes into the house, we are usually very excited. We want the new household member to feel good and we do everything to build the best possible relationship with him. However, it is very important not to neglect the resident. Regardless of whether it is a cat or a dog.

For our first member of the household, the appearance of a foreign animal in their area is an extremely stressful experience. It is worth showing him even more support and tenderness at this point, which will make him understand that he is safe in his home no matter what.

Dogs and cats can really get along well with each other. However, the most important thing for you is that both pets feel comfortable in their presence. Don’t make them love each other. The very fact of acceptance should be treated as a very great success. The basis for a successful combination is patience, peace and sticking to specific steps. The resident should have a lot of support in you, and the new pet has the right to explore the new environment.