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Can Dogs and Cats Really Coexist?

29 10:39:53

Contrary to popular belief, cats and dogs can coexist. Stereotypically, cats and dogs on cartoons are portrayed as enemies who can never get along. However, realistically speaking, cats and dogs can live peacefully among each other. If you're trying to get your pets to co-habitat, please read on.

Instinctively and genetically, cats and dogs have reasons to dislike each other. Both animals are considered predators. Cats like to stalk their prey no matter their size and dogs like to chase animals that are smaller in size. Cats are instinctively defensive as well. This is why cats and dogs have the tendency to chase or be chased by the other.

The Best Time for Introductions
The best time to introduce both animals together is when they are young. Socializing both animals at a young age will greatly increase the chances of a friendship between both animals. Environmental influences play a big factor to the relationship between cats and dogs. For example, if a dog grew up in a family with children who played too rough with the dog, the dog grows up to fear children. If a cat grows up in a loud and unloving household, the cat will most likely grow up as a "scaredy cat" or sour puss.

If a kitten grows up in a household of dogs, the kitten will grow up as a cat well adjusted to dogs. Same goes for a puppy, a puppy is raised in a household filled with cats is more likely to have a better relationship with them than a dog not raised with cats. Keep in mind that cats are very territorial animals, if you bring in a new puppy to a home with a full grown cat, it may be a little tougher to introduce the cat to the dog. If you're bringing home a kitten to a household of predatory and aggressive dogs, just be warned that may not go so well either.

How to Train Both Animals to Coexist
Like mentioned above, the best time to socialize both animals is when they are young. Cats and dogs have a better chance of developing a friendly and affectionate relationship if they are introduced at a younger age.

If your dealing with older animals, it will be a little more difficult to get both animals to get along. The most important thing you can do is chaperon both animals together in a room. This way, they have a chance to become acquainted with each other without the chance of hurting each other under your watchful supervision. Just as a cat needs to be protected from a dog, a small puppy needs to be protected from a mean and territorial cat.

Dog obedience training will also help a great deal. Teaching your dog basic commands like sit, stay and leave it will help. When your dog doesn't lung at your cat, make sure you praise your dog. If your dog doe go after the cat, make sure you pull the leash back and firmly say "leave it." This way, your dog will be able to associate that the cat is not a play thing.

Help your dog associate good experiences when near your cat. Give you dog treats and words of praise when he can be in a room with a cat.

Avoid Chaos During Feeding Time

Animals tend to be very protective of their food. Cats and dogs may also want each others foods as well, unfortunately the nutritious value for cat and dog food are different. It will be best if you have separate feeding areas for you pets. A good place for your cat dish is somewhere up high and out of reach of the dog.

A cat and dog can peacefully co-habitat together with proper training. If you don't take the necessary steps to introduce each animal together, than you and both animals will be living in a household of constant stress and fighting.