In the animal kingdom, there have been few relationships as complicated as the one between Fluffy and Fido. Historically, they have often fought like, well, cats and dogs, and have become known for their tussles. However, our feline and canine companions actually can get along. A lot will depend on both pets’ history and personalities, but there are things you can do to smooth things over. A Washington DC vet offers some tips on this below.
Raise Them Together
This is really your best bet, though it’s not entirely failsafe. If you want a cat and a dog, consider getting them both at the same time.
Screen Fido Wisely
If you already have a cat and are considering adopting a dog, choose a pup that is known to get along with cats. Breed is important, but it isn’t the only factor to consider. Fido’s temperament and history also play huge roles in his personality. Plus, some dogs just have stronger prey drive than others. Choose the right pooch!
Before letting your furry friends officially meet, let them sniff each other’s bedding and blankets. Treats and attention will help them form a positive impression about one another.
Make Introductions Slowly
Keep Fido and Fluffy separate as they get used to each other’s scents and presence. You can use baby gates for this, or bring your cat into the living room in a crate. As they slowly get accustomed to each other, you can start letting them interact.
Teaching your pooch basic commands like, Sit, Stay, and Come is crucial. Fido is also smart enough to understand phrases like ‘Be nice to the kitty’.
Offer Safe Spaces
Fluffy should have safe spots to retreat to in every room, places where Fido can’t reach her. This can be a cat tower, kitty condo, or even a spot under a bed. We also recommend getting an enclosed litterbox.
Don’t Punish Them
If a scuffle does break out, don’t punish your furry friends: just separate them. Otherwise, they may begin to resent each other.
Know When To Call It
If your pets are fighting constantly, and you’re not seeing any progress, it may be best to reconsider things. It’s better to play it safe, than risk Fluffy (or possibly Fido) getting hurt.
As your Washington DC animal hospital, we’re here to help. Reach out anytime!