Bringing Dogs And Cats Together
It’s fascinating to add a lovable new pet to your life, except probably when you have to introduce it to another pet that has previously staked claim to your home. That is in particular true in case one’s a dog and the other’s a cat. However no matter whether you’re presenting a new dog to your cats — or a new cat to your dogs — it does not have to be difficult.
If there’s going to be an issue during cat and dog introductions, says Katherine A. Houpt, James Law Professor of Behavior Medicine – Emeritus at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, it’s typically triggered by the dog.
The majority of dogs will run after a fast moving object. Therefore in case a cat gets scared and runs, “a dog often feels honor-bound to chase it,” Houpt says. “It’s important to nip that in the bud.” In case you don’t, the outcome can be injury, and even death, for the cat.
Here are some basic rules:
- Ensure your cat can run and hide in case it wants to. No matter if your cat is the newbie or the senior pet in the house, the cat needs to be in a position to move freely when the introduction is made. Christopher Pachel, DVM, a vet who works on on animal behavior issues says there should be perches or cubbies for hiding, somewhere where the cat can get off the floor and settle in. “You basically want an elevated resting place [for the cat].”
- Ensure that your puppy or dog is well restrained. Your dog should not be able to chase, even when the cat darts away. “This is a bigger issue with herding breed dogs, who have a prey instinct,” Pachel says. “But it’s really a hardwired response in all dogs to chase small fluffy things that run away quickly.”
- Think about baby gates. Gates may help you progressively introduce dogs and cats, and the barrier reduces risk to the cat. Houpt says a baby gate is usually better than a cat carrier due to the fact it gives the cat much-needed freedom.
Here’s the best Cats versus Dogs video compilation:
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