One of the hardest challenges any pet owner faces comes when they’re trying to get their cat and dog to get along. If your dog keeps attacking your cat, or if your cat just won’t accept your dog as an equal, it can be incredibly frustrating and potentially destructive to both animals. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to help them accept each other peacefully. Read on for eight great tips that will help you get started.
1) Don’t Force Them to Play Together
Neither dogs nor cats are big fans of being forced into situations they don’t like. If you introduce a new animal into your home, don’t force them to play together. Give them time to become friends on their own terms.
2) Teach Your Pets That Theirs Is A Shared Space
You’ll need to teach both pets how they can share space. To do so, start by taking a crate or two and placing it in a room that isn’t particularly high traffic or used frequently by either pet. This will give them some quiet space where they can get accustomed to one another’s scent. You might also want to put down pee pads or newspapers on both sides of these crates initially, which will help them get acclimated to each other without having accidents.
3) Keep Everything Organized
When you have pets in your home, there’s a lot that needs to be kept track of. By keeping all of their essentials in one place, you can keep your pets healthier, happier, and less stressed out. When Fido gets sick from eating leftovers under the couch or Fluffy’s kidneys fail from dehydration because she couldn’t find her water bowl, it makes sense that pet owners would want to avoid those situations.
4) Feed Them Separately
Start by making sure that each pet has their own food bowl, water dish, litter box, and bed. If they’re eating at different times of day, don’t leave their dishes sitting out in common areas. Although it may seem silly to take such precautions (cats are generally not interested in eating from a dog dish), any familiar object can become an attractive nuisance when you’re trying to keep pets apart.
5) Set Rules
When you first bring home a new pet, establish rules about when it’s okay for them to be alone. Both cats and dogs need their own time away from each other (and from you!) to process their day. It may take a little training, but teach both pets when they can be left alone. Establishing these boundaries will help foster positive feelings about being around one another even when you’re not in sight—which is important.
6) Make Time For Each Other
Bring home a new pet and you’ll quickly learn that they demand quality time. In order to keep all parties happy, you’ll need to carve out some one-on-one time with each of them. If a trip outside is too stressful, cuddle up on the couch with both pets at once.
7) Give Them The Attention They Need
While dogs are very social creatures, cats may prefer solitude. A lot of cats simply don’t like dogs, and even though they might be related by species, their mannerisms and needs can vary greatly. As a result, you’ll want to make sure both animals get their fair share of attention. Many owners tend to treat their pets equally in terms of playtime; while it’s important not to neglect either animal, don’t forget that they need individualized attention as well.
8) Do Not Show Favoritism Between the Two of Them
If you’re a pet parent of two animals, chances are you have to fight them at least once every week or so. Most pets will eventually learn how to get along with one another, but that doesn’t mean they won’t put up a fight. Even though it might seem like both animals are viciously clawing each other’s eyes out, it is important that you show equal love towards both of them.