Dogs and cats are mortal enemies for as long as we can remember. This is because their instincts tell them that each other is potential prey. However, we at Pet Creations believe that they can be taught to get along. Many pet owners are successful in training their pets to get acquainted without fighting.
As we all know, dogs are highly territorial creatures. They pee on different objects to mark their superiority over them, and they even sit on people to affirm that "this human is mine." While on the other hand, cats are aloof and easily startled. They don't care when you call their names or not - they'll go to you when they want, and most of the time, they don't. These differences in personalities mean that these animals need our help to get along. Cat expert Jackson Galaxy says that whenever we bring cats and dogs in a positive, loving, and safe environment, they'll learn to be friends, or at the very least, tolerate each other.
Animals have different personalities and energy levels. We must consider this as we train them to get along. For example, an aggressive dog won't get along with a nervous cat. In the same way, a passive, aging dog will be no match for an exuberant kitten. You can still keep animals with different personalities, but make sure that you permanently keep them away from each other to prevent fights from happening.
Most of the time, dogs are the ones causing trouble to cats. Dogs have a higher prey instinct. They tend to pick a fight for territory often, especially on small animals like rabbits, cats, etc. This is the reason why our dogs must be trained properly and learn that chasing and bullying cats is bad behavior.
Cats are very sensitive to their surroundings. Thus they need a safe space, or a "base camp," if you may call it. Keep the dog away from your cat's base camp at all times. This way, your cat may confidently roam around the protected space without getting stressed out by its sibling. While you're at it, build your cat a climbing tree or a space on top of your bookshelves, so it can rest without getting disturbed.
If your cat and dog just met for a few days, it is not safe to leave them alone. Make sure that you are always watching them when they play to prevent accidents from happening. Your presence will protect both your dog and your cat.
Dogs have lots of energy stored in their bodies. If this huge amount of energy is not dispensed somewhere else, they would have a problem controlling themselves in the presence of small animals such as kittens. Give your dogs toys to play with, engage them in herding-type activities or intense trick training.
In order to do this, you must allow your pets to sniff each other so they can accept each other's scents. This process must be done first for them to get along well in the future. For the first few days, allow them to sniff each other's toys or beddings to avoid excessive curiosity and prevent fights from happening.
Whenever you scold your dog when it fights with your cat, it may think that it's the cat's fault as to why it's been scolded. This will be counterproductive and will only increase the tension between your pets. To encourage more positive behavior on your dog, observe the times when he's acting friendly and playful towards your cat and then praise him for being a good boy.
Lastly, if you can, do raise them together. Pups and kittens are easily trainable, and they will most likely get along faster as compared to adult pets. It is always a challenge to raise both cats and dogs together, but it is not impossible. All we need is a ton of patience and perseverance to help them get along and live happy lives together.