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How to Solve the Age-Old Rivalry: Cats vs Dogs

Posted by Awesome Doggies

If you have both cats and dogs sharing the same living quarters, you may be wondering if dogs and cats are really natural enemies or if peaceful cohabitation is even possible. Certainly dog and cat battles can be of epic proportions, but they do not have to be. Dogs and cats can live peaceably with a little help from their pet parents.

If you have ever experienced them, you know that dog and cat battles are nothing to ignore. Here are a few tips to help calm the storm.

  1. Start the relationship off right. Isolate the dog and cat in different areas for at least a day. Bring each to the other’s door and let them sniff and smell each other through the crack. After a day or two, switch areas. Take a towel and rub it over your dog to capture its scent. Then take the towel and place it beneath the cat’s food dish, so it learns to associate the scent with something good. Take a towel and rub the cat. Place the towel where the dog sleeps.

  2. Introduce the dog and cat through a slightly opened door for just a moment. If they do not fight or growl, reward them with a treat. Repeat the process several times over. It may take a day, or several days to get them well acquainted. Increase the level of time and access as they grow more comfortable with each other.  

  3. Help the dog and cat to associate time together with play time or treat time. Bring them together and play their favorite games or provide their favorite toys. 

  4. Give them both attention in front of each other. 

  5. Disrupt any aggression immediately. 

  6. Provide high places and hiding spots for the cat in each room. The ability to find high ground will make the cat feel more secure and less likely to act skittish or aggressive which could trigger aggressiveness in the dog. 

  7. dog-and-catHave the cat and dog spayed or neutered. 

  8. Teach your dog a reliable call that you can use if you see signs of a fight beginning or to stop one.

  9. If they can’t get along, teach them to ignore each other. Walk your leashed dog by the cat in many different situations. Each time the dog looks in the cat’s direction, give a “leave it!” command and redirect the dog’s attention. You may need to physically move the dogs head so that it is looking ahead, rather than at the cat. Repeat the process several times daily, until the dog does not look at the cat. Provide a treat for every success. 

  10. Do not let the cat and dog fight it out. Dogs and cats do not settle hierarchy by fighting as dogs see cats as prey.

Check out the Humane Society's article for more information on introducing dogs and cats to each other!

With a slow and controlled approach, most dogs and cats can be taught to live peacefully in the same household even if they have been fighting for years. For more information about how to make peace between your furry friends, contact us at Awesome Doggies!

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