‘’Fighting like cats and dogs’’ saying is something that really mirrors how they have instinctively felt about each other through the history of evolution.Nowadays, however, owners are more and more attracted by the idea of having both as pets.
Sometimes, dogs exhibit too much aggression towards cats which troubles the ones who would like to live in harmony with both. In the following paragraphs, we’ll tell you about the way to introduce a feline to a cat-hating dog and hopefully help you resolve the problem.
Pre-training to prevent the dog’s aggression
Dogs that are well trained in the area of self-control are less likely to display any sort of aggression in the first place. They will be more obedient and much easier to manage in an unexpected or new situation. This is why teaching them commands such as ‘’sit’’ and ‘’stay’’ is critical.
The best training you can give them is the ‘’clicker training’’ accompanied with a lot of treats and praise. When dogs associate good and calm behavior with prizes, they won’t cause any issues even in the occasions where they meet cats for the first time.
The command ‘’leave it’’ is of great importance as well. Abiding by this command will help you teach them about things they are and aren’t allowed to touch. Therefore, even if it seems to be intent on chasing the feline, one simple ‘’leave it’’ will make them realize that such action won’t be tolerated,
Getting used to the presence of cats
If you’ve adopted a puppy, you can expose it to the presence of cats regularly. Of course, every time your dog acts calm and collected before them i.e. doesn’t rush to them, bark or growl, treat them with a prize. Having your dog relate treats to not chasing after felines will make the job much easier when the time comes to add a cat to your family. This is just another way to introduce cats to your dog and stop any future aggression on the canine’s part.
Think about their personalities
Emphasis on prevention or at least alleviation of dog’s inner aggression towards cats is never too small. When you’re choosing a cat to adopt, observe its personality. If you know your dog’s combative towards cats make sure you don’t decide on a feline that is too frightful. In this situation an even-tempered animal is preferable. This way you’ll lower the chances of any of your cat’s actions provoking the dog’s animosity.
Isolate the cat for the first period
Besides getting accustomed to the dog, your cat needs to get acclimated to the new surroundings. It’ll need some time to take in the new smells, environment and ‘’family members.’’ Therefore, getting a separate room for your feline would be desirable.
Provide it with everything your cat needs including food, toys, beddings etc. Also, allocate some of your time to bond with your cat. This will create a trusting relationship that will be crucial when you introduce your dog to it. Your presence at such moment will mitigate the feline’s anxiety that otherwise might instigate the aggression of the dog.
The dog getting used to the smell from afar
Therefore, having them to get used to cat’s smell is an imperative on your road to the successfully introducing a cat to an aggressive dog. Simply put a piece of cloth with cat’s scent in the dog’s surroundings and wait until it picks its interest and observes its reaction.
Also, walk your dog to your cat’s isolation room and have it investigate the area in front of the door. Let it hear the sounds the cat makes and let all the new impressions your dog is having at the moment settle in. Don’t forget to have your dog on the leash while you’re doing this and give him treats each time the dog behaves well.
The dog and the cat meeting face to face
Before you even let the dog into cat’s room make sure it has spent the excess energy. This means that you should walk the dog or play with it for some time before the moment of introduction so it is calm once it enters. Slowly walk the dog into the isolation room on the leash and begin the process.
First sessions should last no longer than 5 minutes especially if your dog has shown agitation at the sight of felines. Try to speak to both of your animals in a soft voice so you exclude all the traces of tension. Command your dog to sit, lie down or stay so that the cat (which must be in the crate) feels safe around it.
This situation would make use of treats as well. It means that whenever your dog acts calmly and ignores the cat it should be given some sort of prize which will make it copy the behavioral pattern each time. With dogs that hate cats, however, this process probably won’t go easily.
It will require a lot of patience and re-training of basic commands that’ll have them stay put. If you seem not to be able to handle the situation properly, it may be the best if you could hire a professional trainer.
The final step
When you’ve achieved the point where your dog is completely down-to-earth when the cat is around, you can let the cat out of the crate and let it be free around the dog. Meanwhile, the dog still has to be on the leash. Observe their behavior scrupulously.
The cat might get frightened and run away which means you’ll need some time to make it relaxed in these situations by nicely speaking to it, petting it and giving it treats. , try to unleash it and see what happens but be ready to act on any sign of ‘’bad blood’’ going on between them.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself!
When you’re introducing a cat to a dog that hates cats, make sure that you’re unwound and super calm. Animals have their own special ways of sensing our feelings which could subconsciously guide their actions. That’s why you should pipe down the anxiousness about the introduction process so that your pets feel that you’re in control if anything goes awry.
Don’t meddle too much but take some precautions
Forcing the dog into the interaction with your feline is the last thing you should do. This is likely to agitate both of them even more and make the changes for the animals to get along smaller. Even when you’re finished with the introduction, don’t rush your pets and have them build the trust into each other gradually. On the other hand, don’t leave them unsupervised. Dogs with the increased aggression towards cats can’t be trusted at all times so when you can’t be at home to watch over them, separate the animals into different rooms.