Perhaps obviously, but still extremely pertinent to point out, the best way to ensure your cat and dog get along is to simply bring them up together, side by side. However, usually, you will have one pre-existing cherished pet and will make the decision to add the second at a later date.
Continue reading to discover how to ensure your dog and cat co-exist happily together.
The most important thing to remember when introducing the two animals is to take your time and never pressure either animal to bond with the other. The best time for your cat and dog to initially meet is during mealtime, and the most effective way is to feed both animals on either side of a closed door at the same time. They will each know the other is there and be able to smell and hear them whilst they are eating, thus positively associating the smells and sounds from the new animal with dinnertime. Entirely dependent on how your dog and cat react to this will dictate just how long you should do this for; wait until they are calm and expectant before you open the proverbial and physical door.
Clearly Differentiate between Foods and Food Zones
Raw dog food is by far the best, most nutritious and tasty option to feed your adult dog, and rather than numerous trips to the supermarket every week, the easier and more cost-effective way to feed your canine best friend.
It is important when it comes to feeding time for your dog and cat that you clearly differentiate between feeding zones and, additionally, be sure to always use the same feeding bowl for each pet. Over time, they will both learn which bowl belongs to them and which area of the kitchen they will be fed from.
Separate Their Beds and Toys
Even after initial nose to nose introductions, it is still an extremely good idea to allocate both animals their own separate sleeping areas, ideally a space where the other animal is not allowed or is unable to access without human supervision.
It is highly necessary for cats to have their own private litter box, ideally in the corner of a room where they can go to the toilet undisturbed with no need to be on high alert. If your dog does try to interact with your cat whilst they are using the litter box, it is vitally important to discourage your dog from doing so, as this will make your cat feel threatened and will possibly initiate aggression.
From the moment you adopt your new dog, it is crucial, whether you have other animals sharing your home or not, to train them to have a strong and permanent understanding of even the most basic of commands. It would not be advised to introduce your cat to your dog before your dog understands such basic commands as sit, stay, down and drop or leave.