Why are cats and dogs perceived as mortal enemies?
Can dogs and cats get along within a single home?
According to a recent survey, 80% of pet owners confirmed that dogs and cats can get along.
Introducing Cats And Dogs To Each Other
When you introduce cats and dogs to each other, the process requires patience, commitment, and time. Never let an off-leash dog and a cat meet for the first time in an open room. When you throw them together just to see how they would interact with each other, you are not giving their potential relationship the best start.
To help dogs and cats get along, you have to take time and let them build a good foundation that would last a lifetime.
Preparing For The Meeting
Dogs and cats can both be territorial. You would need to form a secure haven for both species. It is essential to protect them and keep them safe from each other. Extra vigilance is required for the smaller or the younger pets.
If you already have a dog and would be introducing a cat, you must refresh your dog’s obedience skills. You need to focus on reminding them about the “come” as well as the “leave it” commands.
Reward your dog with treats when it responds positively. It would most likely be convenient and safer to keep a collar/harness and leash to restrain your dog should that ne required.
If you have a cat and will be introducing it to a dog, it would be best to trim the nails of your cat to prevent it from accidentally scratching or causing injury to your dog. Provide a hiding space or perch that your cat can access if it feels threatened by the dog.
Reasons Why Dogs And Cats Don’t Get Along Easily
The main reason why dogs and cats don’t easily get along is because of their very nature as species. We need to understand how they behaved in the wild. Dogs and cats are both carnivorous, which means that they compete for food. There are dog species that prey on the cat family and vice versa.
One of the reasons that dogs and cats fail to get along easily is due to miscommunication. Cats have their language and dogs have a different one. This leads to responding differently.
A dog may intend to approach a cat in a friendly way but the cat may not want to interact with the dog due to its solitary temperament. The cat may run away to avoid the dog but the dog may interpret this as an act of play. This can cause the cat to get annoyed with the dog and develop a bitter relationship between the two. That is how huge miscommunication affects dogs and cats from getting along.
Socialization Period For Puppies And Kittens
The process of preparing a cat or a dog to be comfortable and enjoy interactions with other animals, activities, or places is called socialization.
Socialization must begin while the puppies or kittens are in the sensitive period. This is between the age of 3 to 9 weeks for kittens and 3 to 14 weeks for puppies, and correct steps should be followed.
Any pet owner should have a plan or ask for guidance to prepare their pets for their future life together with the other species. To make your pet engaged, provide regular positive experiences to help your dog or cat to be encouraged instead of being aggressive or fearful. This is the best time to offer treats or praise to reward engagement.
The dog or cat must learn to withdraw if it feels uncomfortable. Your pets may have very unique personalities.
If you have dogs or cats that have special behavioural needs, it is imperative to formulate a plan together with your veterinarian so you can plan and approach it the right way.
Understanding The Origins Of Dogs And Cats
To get a better understanding of why dogs and cats don’t get along immediately, we need to track their origins as a species and how they got to develop a relationship with humans.
According to archaeological evidence, dogs have evolved while in the company of a man. They developed a bond and shared habitats while hunting the same prey. The result of this close bond between ancestors of humans and dogs is the modern dog which is now called man’s best friend.
According to Egyptologists, Egyptians have been domesticating African wildcats since 3,500 B.C. The tamed cats were called mau or myeo. Some archaeologists date it at around 6,000 B.C.
No matter how accurate the date is, the result of cats following rodents, snakes, and other kinds of pests led them to be good companions of humans.
Many factors affect the relationship between dogs and cats. They have been depicted in almost all forms of media as bitter rivals or mortal enemies. However, the fact of the matter is that these two species have been pitted against each other because they are the most beloved pets.
Dogs and cats have been common household pets for centuries and that has stemmed from ancient interaction between our ancestors and the ancestors of these animals.
We need to understand that dogs and cats do not have the same language. They can give off signs that the other animal might perceive differently from what they intend to signal. An act of irritation from a cat might seem like an act of invitation to play as perceived by a dog and vice versa.
Dogs and cats can get along well if they get properly introduced and if a socialization period is taken into full consideration. It takes time and patience but the result of these efforts can serve both dogs and cats throughout their lifetime.