We've seen cartoons of a frantic feline escaping from a salivating pooch so often that it surprises many to learn cats and dogs can live together harmoniously. It's true some cats may be naturally confrontational or skittish, and many dog breeds are born hunters who are quick to chase smaller, faster animals. But by taking the right precautionary steps, most dogs can adjust to life with a cat.
Prepare your home before the new animal arrives, make use of baby gates and doors so each pet has their own separate space. Give your cat high places they can jump to that are out of reach from a potentially excited pup. And keep the litter box in a room inaccessible to your dog.
Take your time introducing your cat and dog to one another and don't force it. Wait a few days before allowing them to see each other, giving them time to become accustomed to the other's smell. Give them attention in their space, and then place them in the opposite area so they become more familiar with the other's scent and presence.
The first meet and greet may cause the cat to flee. If so, wait until this behavior subsides before trying again. Adopt a behavior-reward process to help your dog become accustomed to your cat: keep your dog leashed and create a positive experience by rewarding composure with a treat. For additional assistance, incorporate the LINK AKC Smart Collar's positive reinforcement sound feature, and gently train your dog with a soft tone.
After the first brief interactions, gradually increase their time together. If your dog remains feisty, give them a chew toy and play a came of chase to use up that energy. As your cat and dog settle in, and hopefully become pals, remember to shower each of them with equal affection so they know they're both well-loved.
Are your dog and cat best buddies? Share your photos with us using hashtag #linkakc or #linkakcadventures!