It’s amazing how, in just the last 10-15 years, people are now thinking twice about the age-old rivalry between cats and dogs. Today, you see more videos and pictures of dogs getting along with cats. There is at least one show featuring experts teaching both cat and dog owners how to live together. Some people say it’s a miracle, others say there still has to be some super-secret training trick to it.

Well, the truth is that a lot of how we understand a cat’s attitude towards dogs has always been a misconception.

 

 

It’s amazing how, in just the last 10-15 years, people are now thinking twice about the age-old rivalry between cats and dogs. Today, you see more videos and pictures of dogs getting along with cats. There is at least one show featuring experts teaching both cat and dog owners how to live together. Some people say it’s a miracle, others say there still has to be some super-secret training trick to it.

Well, the truth is that a lot of how we understand a cat’s attitude towards dogs has always been a misconception.

The Truth Behind the Cat-Dog War

The truth is that cats just have inborn, natural traits that don’t automatically jive well with the natural traits of dogs. Dogs are generally known to be more energetic and physically playful whereas cats tend to laze in corners and act independent.

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible for them to get along. If you are a cat owner but also love dogs or just live with someone with a dog, there are basics you can easily pick up.

The Art of Inter-Species Harmony

The following steps are all centered around one important concept: Familiarity. If there is one thing that cats and dogs have in common, it is that they are friendlier with what they are familiar with.

 

Step 1. Don’t hesitate to consult experts.

By no means is this an overnight task. You might need to consult a professional pet behaviorist or at least someone with more experience making cats and dogs get along. Even if you have succeeded in the following steps by yourself, it is better safe than sorry.

There is also a good chance that a second opinion can teach you things about your cat’s behavior than you might not even aware of. This awareness will be key when understanding how your cat sees a resident dog.

 

Step 2: Assess each pet’s personality and territory.

Both cats and dogs are territorial in their own way. However, the personality can say a lot about how they’ll react when their respective spaces are intruded upon. Make sure you get them different pet toys in order to avoid chaos in your house.

Cats that turn out to be playful and inquisitive might get on the nerves of large but aloof dogs. The same can be said for territorial cats that turn hostile at the sight of a hyper little pupper running around their turf. Getting them to realign is another step but it’s definitely important to first know what personality types you’re trying to reconcile.

 

Step 3: Take size and breeds into account.

It’s generally easier to make cats and dogs get along if they are about the same size. Pugs, chihuahuas and other similarly-sized breeds don’t have the scale that triggers a cat’s survival instinct.

Of course, it’s also possible to train a larger dog to be friends with a cat but it’s still equally important to understand how a larger animal appears to it. If they don’t recognize it, it’s always a threat and it doesn’t help if you have a large dog that’s also prone to chasing things. Pro tip: training them with a treat in hand can be quite effective!

 

Step 4: Focus training on the dog but help the cat familiarize with it.

On the subject of a chasing habit, it only makes sense that you focus a lot of training on the dog. Take full advantage of the fact that dogs are really more trainable and obedient than cats. This will help it understand a very unique way of approaching it compared to other objects or animals. You can take measures like keeping it on a leash until it learns to stop chasing the cat. Exercising it and giving it other activities to use up its energy is also a good idea so that it won’t be tempted to use any of it chasing.

And once the dog is trained to be more behaved around the cat, give a cat a way to familiarize with a dog’s scent. Play a part in it yourself by maintaining skin contact with both animals. Take your time also letting them sniff the belongings of the other pet to further help them get accustomed to their presence.

All in all, it might take a lot of work but it’s all definitely worth if it means a peaceful coexistence between these ‘mortal enemies.’ It’s all about understanding their differences and helping them get used to each other. That’s the real magic!

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