The Ultimate Guide to How to Make a Cat and Dog Get Along? (Top Tips)

How long does it take a cat to get used to a dog?
These tips may have given you the impression that training a dog and cat to get along might be a time-consuming endeavour. The length of time it takes your dog and cat to get along mostly depends on the individual animals. It could evolve quickly or gradually over time.

In general, you should plan on the dog and cat not getting along for at least two to three weeks. But don’t be astonished or concerned if it takes longer, even up to a few months.

Even if your cat and dog get along, you should still keep an eye on how they interact initially. Even when dogs and cats seem to get along, a dog may occasionally act a little too predatorily, which might result in pursuit or worse. All day long, a cat could ignore a demanding or obnoxious dog until losing its cool at night. The ideal strategy is to keep a close eye on both your dog and cat until you are positive that they get along on a regular basis.

15 Tips on How to Introduce Your Cat to a Dog

15 Tips on How to Introduce Your Cat to a Dog?

People have long held negative stereotypes about the relationship between cats and dogs, viewing them as dreadful foes. It’s tricky to mix animals together when their personalities conflict rather than complement one another. When you bring an older, more relaxed pet to a young kitten, for example, the pet can find it difficult to adjust. Similarly, if you have an energetic dog who likes playing, a shy cat might not be the greatest match for you.

If you are thinking of obtaining a dog and cat or if you already have them and need advice on how to get along, read our list of considerations that we think you should make:

1. Don’t Forget to Give Your Cat a Territory

Cats like their own space, whether or not they share a home with other animals. If you’re considering obtaining another pet, make sure your cat has places to hide away when it wants some peace and alone. Giving cats a cat scratch tree or platforms fixed to the wall is fantastic since they naturally like climbing and will provide them with a position to watch the other cats in the house from a distance.

2. Be Prepared for their First Meeting

It’s better to keep them separate for the first several days at the very least before enabling them to meet in person. This will give them both enough time to become used to each other’s scents and their new homes. Like with individuals, first impressions are important. Finding a common interest can make the process easier. Since all animals, big and little, enjoy food, why not start there? Feeding your cat and dog on different sides of a door will allow you to introduce them to one another gradually. Although they won’t be able to see one another, they will be able to smell one another.

3. Show Equal Amounts of Fury to Both Animals

It’s crucial to show equal amounts of love to both species throughout the introduction phase. Because both children and pets might get envious, make careful to show them both that you care.

4. Let the Cat Out First

Once they seem at peace with one another, try letting the cat roam free while keeping your dog on a lead. You want cats to feel as comfortable as possible because they are often the smaller of the two animals. After a few interactions like this, if your dog seems content, try releasing them off the leash simultaneously. Hopefully, the time and energy invested in introducing them to individuals have paid off.

5. Train Your Dog

Dogs are far more social creatures by nature than their independent feline cousins. While we don’t want to imply that all cats don’t enjoy being the centre of attention—I’m sure we can all think of someone who has a devoted lap cat—in general, canines get more from more socialisation while cats cherish some alone time. Try to exercise your dog as much as you can to keep his activity levels in the house at a level that is pleasant for the family’s feline members. Additionally, it will be helpful to have some brain-stimulating toys on hand so that your dog may play with those instead of chasing the cat around the house when he does have extra energy to burn.

6. Separate Your Pets Before You Leave the House

If you want to leave both pets at home, keep them separate, at least until they have lived together for a time and are entirely at ease with one another.

7. Rewards for Good Behaviour

More hope is there when things are going well for the cat. Pet the dog, be happy and friendly when the cat appears, and give him a treat. The dog will rapidly realise that positive feelings and situations are associated with cats.

8. It All Depends on the Smell

In many situations, we use fragrances to soothe our pets. Many individuals bring a blanket with their mother’s scent on it when a kitten or puppy is initially brought home to help the newcomer feel at home. Similar to this, if you want to acclimate two animals to one another before their actual meeting, it’s a good idea to share the scent. One approach to do this is to give each of them a blanket from the other person’s bed. 

9. Introduce them at Early Age

Try to raise your cat and dog together from an early age. When it comes to picking up new skills, puppies and kittens are substantially more flexible than older, more conventional pets. In addition to being less confident, younger canines are also less intimidating to tiny cats on a physical level. If introduced in this fashion, cats will rise faster to the top of the cat/dog social hierarchy!

10. Make Sure Your Cat is Comfortable

Before you introduce your cat to another, make sure they are both entirely at peace. While your dog is being brought into the room on a leash by someone else (long sleeves are a good idea! ), keep your cat in your arms. Take it very slowly while keeping an eye on their individual reactions. One or two steps at a time, slowly bring the dog closer while allowing them both to unwind. Put your cat in a carrier if it seems easier and more manageable to do so. You really do not want your cat to start feverishly biting your arm.

11. Keep them Separate After Their Initial Meeting

Even if everything went smoothly when they first met, be sure to separate them again. To introduce them progressively, a number of these sessions should be held. If you steadily extend the interactions, they will get used to one another.

12. Adequate Dog Training

The boundaries must be understood by your dog. It will be much easier for a well-behaved dog and cat to live together in the same space. It’s important to know proper manners and when to sit.

13. Separate Their Belongings

If you can keep your children’s plates separate, it will prevent fights between them over who gets to eat what. It’s best to allow dogs to eat in numerous spots since they might get territorial with food. You may let your cat eat up high and out of the way, such as on a table or other surface, while your dog eats on the floor. Having different areas, such as one in the kitchen and the other in the utility, is also a good idea if it’s feasible.

14. Never Punish Your Dog for Bad Behaviour

Try to shift your dog’s focus to something else if he starts to be rough or boisterous around the cat. Dogs may be eager and lively. Obedience instruction will be helpful in this situation. Show him that it’s fine to vent at the right time and place rather than chastising him. Give him a toy to play with, accompany him on a walk, or take any other positive action.

15. Keep Your Expectations Limited About Themselves

All animals, like people, have distinctive personalities and ways of doing things. Different people have different levels of friendliness and ease. Some people merely want their own privacy and independence. It’s critical to maintain persistence and refrain from applying pressure. Take things easy, and as the day’s circumstances warrant, make adjustments. Perseverance and making transitional adjustments are necessary for a cat and dog to have a satisfying, lasting relationship. Also bear in mind that some animals just don’t like being around people. As long as you recognise their differences and make an effort to give them the space they want, they can still live together.

How to Improve Relations Between a Dog and a Cat?

How to Improve Relations Between a Dog and a Cat

Are cats and dogs innately competitors? They certainly are. But numerous houses have provided evidence that dogs and cats may become the best of friends. The following advice can help you introduce a dog and a cat.

1. Only Permit Interactions that You Can Monitor

You should only let interaction when you are present to supervise it, especially in the first few weeks after your cat and dog have only recently met. Your dog and cat’s safety is the main concern here. Your dog and cat could get aggressive and hurt one another if you leave them alone.

There are a few methods to assist them quickly adapting to one another’s smells. Simply place a towel next to your dog and your cat and the opposite. Even the bedding may be changed between them. Maybe your cat and dog may rapidly become used to each other’s scent using these tactics.

2. Obedience Guidance

In most cases, dogs are a fault when there is a dispute between dogs and cats. This is explained by the increased prey impulse found in dogs. They will naturally gravitate toward small, fluffy animals like kittens and rabbits. As a result, cats are afraid of dogs. It is possible to lessen this undesirable behaviour through obedience training. 

Introduce the basic commands “sit,” “stay,” and “down” to your dog. When your dog is playing with your new pet cat, these commands will help you keep them in check.

3. Release Your kitty

If your cat tends to run away when your dog approaches, let it be. Spend more time with your cat. You shouldn’t push your dog and cat to interact since this might lead to negative outcomes.

4. Patience

If you’re lucky, the transition between your dog and cat will go quickly. But it won’t usually happen. Just as it takes time for cats to become acclimated to dogs, dogs must also learn appropriate behaviour around cats. If you’re patient, your cat and dog will get along eventually. Really, it’s only a question of time.

5. A Safe Place for the Cat

Establish “safe zones” where your cat may hide if it feels threatened by your dog. Remember that your dog shouldn’t have access to these “safe spots” at all times.

Typically, these “protected spaces” are placed in higher places, including on top of bookcases, refrigerators, or perched-in windows. You should set up distinct feeding and sleeping spaces for each of your dogs in addition to a “safe spot” for them. Because both cats and dogs are territorial animals, you should give them each their own space.

6. Desensitisation

Through frequent exposure, desensitisation attempts to reduce your dog’s reaction to your cat. Many dogs show undue joy when they first encounter a cat. A baby gate is one device for preserving desensitisation.

Your dog and cat can still see and smell each other through a baby gate that divides them. Use toys or practise cues to redirect your dog’s attention if you notice it becoming overly obsessed with the cat.

7. Maintain a Positive Attitude

Under no circumstances should your dog receive a correction. Your dog can begin to feel that the cat is to blame for the punishment if you correct it every time it approaches the cat. As a result, tension will increase between your dog and cat.

If your dog is being kind to the cat, thank him with praise. This will encourage your dog to treat the cat more kindly in the future.

How to Fix Your Dog’s Chase of Your Cat?

How to Fix Your Dog's Chase of Your Cat

On rare occasions, a dog may get fixated on a cat to the point of obsession. He could howl and snarl at first, but then he might lunge and pursue. This stresses out your cat a lot. If you’re unsure of how to proceed, your dog may be trained to quit pursuing cats with patience and care. Dogs who have received training in redirection and positive reinforcement are typically prevented from attacking cats.

1. Teach Basic Commands

In order to lessen your dog’s predatory behaviour, you might need to re-teach your puppy some fundamental commands. This includes the verbs stay, sit, come, and go.

Next, evaluate your dog’s obedience in difficult situations and around tempting things. The end goal is to get him to abide by these rules around your pet. 

If you must employ a trainer or dog behaviourist, that is okay. Expert guidance may be required before a dog with a strong hunting drive may learn to leave a cat alone.

2. Keep Your Pets Engaged

An overexcited dog is more likely to chase a cat. Take your dog on daily walks while incorporating fetch games, training sessions, and even agility lessons. He is less likely to aim his excess energy at your cat the more engaged you keep him.

Your cat is also on board. Overly animated cats are more likely to pounce on dogs and may arouse their instincts to hunt. Play with your cat often and experiment with clicker training or interactive toys to keep her mind occupied.

3. A Compatible Personality

If you don’t already have a cat or dog, try to match its personality first. Some dogs have a strong prey drive, which causes them to continually try to corner and hunt cats. If that’s your dog, don’t try to get a cat; you’ll both be content that way. Cats can also run across issues. 

It’s preferable for a dog and cat to get along if neither sees the other as a threat or a competition. A laid-back elderly cat and a mellow senior dog may get along nicely. Avoid attempting to blend two very different personalities together.

4. Change Your Behaviour

Your chances of success will be the best if you recognise aggressive behaviour as soon as possible and modify it. It might be difficult to break a dog’s habit of chasing cats when they’ve developed the behaviour. So, try to catch it early. Tell him/her no and confine him to a room by himself if he/she pursues your cat.

As soon as you see your dog becoming fascinated with your cat, shift his attention. Telling him to enter or exit is appropriate. Reward him for keeping his cool in the presence of your cat.

5. Introduce Them Once Again

How to Introduce New Dogs to Cats

In some situations, you might need to reintroduce your dog and cat. This requires separating them until they are not alarmed by the other person’s scent or voice. Feed them until they can sit comfortably on either side of a closed door and eat at the same time.

Then, feed them on either side of the gate to install a closed gate or screen in lieu of the closed door. Does your dog still think about your cat all the time? Can you get your dog to focus with a command or treat? Do this repeatedly until the two animals can amicably share a meal.

The entire process might take several weeks or longer. You might never be able to leave a dog alone in some situations, especially if they have strong hunting instincts. This merely demonstrates that you put their safety first, not that you have fallen short.

If a dog likes to chase cats, he might be able to bond closely with one particular cat, but other cats might “trigger” his propensity. Two pets’ personalities may not always mesh well. Your dog and cat will often become best friends with the proper time, training, and reintroduction.

Wrap Up!

Contrary to what the adage claims, because cats and dogs are two entirely different animals, they are not usually adversaries. These five ideas will either help your dog and cat get along better or at the very least stop your home from being a perpetual battleground.

We know the work pays off in the end because we have witnessed the joy of a strong, enduring friendship between a dog and a cat.

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LearnAboutCat Author Isabella

Who Is Isabella?

My name is Isabella, and I am a dedicated and knowledgeable cat enthusiast. With years of experience caring for cats and a deep love for felines, I made a mission to help other cat lovers navigate the challenges of cat ownership.

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