Do you have a dog at home and are considering adopting a cat? So, you’re probably wondering if cats and dogs can live together. And despite being very sociable animals, they are species of very different natures and with very different needs. Is the myth of getting along like cats and dogs true?
Although many people believe that the coexistence of dogs and cats is impossible, the truth is that both can live together without problems and even forge a beautiful relationship. However, it must be taken into account that cats are very territorial animals and that their decision to share their territory will depend on their character, age, origin, previous experiences, and the availability of space and food.
The truth is that having a cat and a dog together is easier if they are raised together, that is since they are babies. Puppies and kittens, especially up to 6 weeks in cats and up to 12 weeks in dogs, are more open to new experiences and have a better capacity to adapt.
However, this does not mean that the coexistence of dogs and cats is not possible when they are older. Of course, for this, it is important to take into account some tips.
1. Respect the nature of both species
Generally, dogs live in packs through an established hierarchy. On the other hand, cats are usually solitary and very territorial animals, which can give rise to certain conflicts when living with dogs. This means that it is very important to respect the hierarchy of both species without continuously intervening or correcting attitudes that seem negative to us since they will manage themselves.
2. Introduce them correctly
As we said, living with cats is easier when you know them from a young age. If they are already adults and have socialised with other dogs or cats, there will not be much of a problem. But even if they are very territorial and have highly developed hunting instincts, you just need a little patience and give them time to adapt. However, do not under any circumstances force them to go close to each other. Give them their time and space. They may not become friends, but they will learn to adapt and live in harmony.
3. Feed them in different areas
Keep in mind that both dogs and cats are predatory animals, so it is very easy for them to fight over food at times. To avoid this, it is best to feed them separately, reserving a specific area for each of them. And don’t let one take away the other’s food. If they finally get along, eventually you won’t need to separate them. There are many dogs and cats living together who end up getting along great.
4. Be patient and don’t punish them
Although dogs and cats can coexist in harmony, it is not something that is achieved in one day. It is quite likely that until they get used to each other, conflicts will arise. In these situations, you should not punish them but separate them momentarily until they calm down. Some animals can take longer than others, so it is important to be patient.
5. What if you are going to leave your dog with a sitter who has a cat as a pet?
If you go on vacation or have a business trip and need to hire the services of a sitter for your dog, it is normal for you to find out if your pet will be alone or with other animals. And sometimes, the sitter themselves would have a cat, for example.
In these cases, there is usually not much of a problem with having the cat and the dog together, since these cats are usually used to the presence of other animals, especially if the sitter usually does this type of work frequently. However, it will depend a lot on the character of both pets. Therefore, if you want to ensure everything will go well, it is always recommended that before leaving your dog with the sitter for a few days, make introductions and let them spend a few hours together well in advance of the stay to see how they get along and assess whether coexistence is possible.