Cats & Dogs friends forever

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You can’t resist the temptation of being in company of dogs and cats but don’t know how to handle them together. Here’s a way towards introducing your pets to each other.

Cats and dogs form excellent companions to us and few of us wish to be in the company of both. You want them to gel together and make your home a heaven abode. Here are a few tips to introduce your cat to your dog and vice versa in a peaceful way which will help in forming a special bond between the two.
Characteristics of dogs
Before you introduce a cat to a dog, you should consider several behavioural differences between dogs and cats. Dogs are pack animals and respond to other dogs differently. Don’t make the mistake of thinking because he is accepting other dogs, he will respond to a cat favourably right away.
Bringing in a cat
If your dog is not trained for basic obedience training, then wait until he gets trained. Your dog being aware of basic obedience is a must for introduction.

  • Keep your cat isolated from your dog.
  • Make a safe and secure room for the cat.
  • Swap scents; using an old blanket or towel, give the item to your cat. Let her play on it, sleep on it, eat on it. Rub her with this blanket and then leave it in her room for 24 hours.
  • Remove the blanket and present it to your dog. Rub him all over with it, let him roll on it, sniff it, sleep on it for 24 hours, then switch and do the same thing again. This blends their scents, making them a bit more at ease with each other.
  • Use a soft plush dog toy, give it to the dog first, let him play with it, slobber on it and then toss the toy into the room with the cat. Just leave that toy there.

Once your dog is obedience trained, follow these steps :

  • Take the dog for an extended walk. Use a choke collar and short leash, not a retractable lead.
  • Bring his favourite toy and find a safe place where he can run and play fetch. You want him tired but relaxed.
  • Return home and put him in one of your largest rooms. Put him in one end of the room, farthest from the door, on a down- and- stay command.
  • Keep your hand on the leash so you have control of him.
  • Have a second person bring the cat into the room, and set the cat down in the opposite end of the room. Make sure the dog stays calm.
  • The cat will react in various ways upon seeing the dog. The cat can spit, hiss and run out of the room, or dive for cover. She could attack. If she runs at the dog, bring the dog into a sit position quickly. This should stop her attack.  She may just walk carefully over to the dog to check him out. As long as you have that lead attached to that collar and the dog’s respect you have control.
  • Keep yourself calm too.
  • Only allow them a five-to ten minute first exposure initially.
  • Herd your cat out of the room to her secure room.
  • Try the same routine thenext day. Keep doing this procedure adding to the time element, for as long as it takes until the animals do not react to each other.
  • Once you see that neither animal reacts, take the lead off the dog. Be sure to observe them carefully. Some dogs will chase the cat when it turns around and runs. So be careful and in control.
    The key is you, when it goes right – praise. If it goes wrong – never punish.

Our next supplement will focus on, “Bringing in a dog/puppy – preparing your cat”.

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