Dogs And Cats Living Together – What You Should Know!

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Surely everyone knows the saying: “They are like dog and cat”. This already suggests that the coexistence of these two popular pets is often anything but easy. But there is another way. Some four-legged friends get along very well and even share a sleeping place. There are some points that pet owners should consider when dogs and cats are in the household.

Dog And Cat: The Reunion

When dogs and cats meet, two different worlds collide. Provided that the animals grow up together from an early age, living together is less problematic. Even if the animals have always lived together with a member of the other species, the acclimatization usually works out quite quickly. But if a new, unfamiliar family member joins the family, it could be very difficult. What is interesting here:

  • in an existing dog household the cat is integrated quickly
  • in a cat household there are often problems when a dog is to be added

Cats are somewhat more sensitive when they suddenly have to share their own household with a dog. It is important to proceed carefully and to accustom the animals slowly to each other. Above all, the animals should never be left alone in the beginning. Because it often comes to aggressive attacks, which must be prevented by the owner. If there is progress, then a reward is announced. The owner’s nerves can quickly become frayed. But it is very important to remain calm at all times so as not to transfer your own nervousness to the animals. It is also important not to neglect the animal already present. The animal feels when the owner suddenly cares less, which in the end contributes to negative impressions and memories in combination with the new family member.

If possible, the first contact should take place on relatively neutral ground, for example in the garden, when picking up the new animal or similar. Each animal should be allowed a retreat. The biggest mistake would be to bring the animals together under duress. The lack of danger of escape makes especially cats quickly panic.

Different Languages

In fact, dogs and cats have completely different ways of communicating. Both express themselves mainly through body language. But where a young dog excitedly hops around in front of a cat with its rear end up, inviting it to play, the kitty sees a highly aggressive gesture and responds by hissing and raising its hair. If she then also runs away, the dog in turn thinks she is starting a fun game of tag and happily chases after her. Until the animals have adjusted to each other, i.e. understand each other’s expressions, it can take a little time. If the back and forth becomes too violent, people should calmly intervene. Because, unfortunately, both dog and cat can severely injure the other.

© 123RF / vvvita

Keeping Cat And Dog Species-appropriate

Keeping both animals in a species-appropriate way is very important. They have different needs that should be taken into account individually. For example, each animal needs its separate food. Also, housetraining can turn out to be a real challenge. Cats become housebroken in a different way than dogs. Pet owners should study the specifics of cats and dogs in advance so that they can react accordingly. With the right preparation, it should work quite well to avoid corresponding problems or at least to react correctly to problem situations.

Set Up Separate Sleeping Areas And Feeding Bowls

Each animal should have its own area. This is very important, especially in the beginning. Later, when they have become accustomed to each other, this can be changed. Animals that like each other will eventually start cuddling together themselves. One should as:

  • create separate sleeping places
  • set up separate food and drink bowls
  • separate toys

In order for the cat to have its own and, most importantly, safe area, it makes sense to place the bowls elevated. This way, you can be sure that the dog will not be able to enter the cat’s territory. Such a measure can prevent quarrels. Also in the matter of toys should be demarcated. If the animals get along well later, they also like to share their toys sometimes it is even so that cats and dogs become such good friends that they even share the bed together after some time. However, it can also happen that the efforts of the pet owners remain unsuccessful. Some animals simply cannot smell each other. If living together means constant stress for all involved, it is indeed also necessary to consider finding another home for one of the animals, where it can live in peace.

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