Fighting Like Cats and Dogs
Tue, Jun 18, 2024 at 10:53AM

Fighting Like Cats and Dogs

Fighting Like Cats and Dogs

Not all cats and dogs fight. In many cases, they can be the best of friends. It's not like they are running against each other in an election. However, knowing whether a cat and dog or going to get along can be a very scary moment, especially for the cat, who is the smaller of the two animals in most cases. To ensure a positive outcome, try some of these tactics when introducing a cat to a dog.

  • Make the introduction with an adult cat when the dog is a puppy. Puppies are usually very playful and curious about other animals. I had a female yellow Lab puppy named Fiona, who I introduced to our cat, Sid when he was about 4 years old. Sid, the cat, accepted Fiona immediately, and they went on to be the best of friends.
  • Introducing a kitten to a puppy can also work. However, keep the dog breed in mind. Some larger breed puppies like Mastiff's, Great Danes, etc., may accidentally overpower a young kitten. The animals are usually very accepting of each other at this young age.
  • Introducing a kitten to an adult dog can be a bit more challenging. Some adult dogs will be perfectly fine with the kitten, while others will not and will try to hurt or even kill the kitten. You don't want this to happen, so this introduction process needs to be slow and intentional. Some animal behaviorists suggest holding the kitten and telling the dog that the kitten is theirs. "This is your kitty. This kitten is special." Some dogs may understand this, while others will not. Making introductions may require two people; one to hold the kitten and one to hold the dog or the dog's leash to pull back if necessary. As well, some dogs are fine with kittens, but as the kitten ages into a cat, the relationship changes.
  • An adult cat's introduction to an adult dog can be tumultuous, if not impossible, at times. However, depending on the dog and cat, these two species can live in harmony, or at the very least, co-exist. Again, slow and guarded introductions are recommended.

Some dogs and cats will never get along. One of my current dogs, Bear, has never liked cats and would surely try to kill a cat if given a chance. My other dog Max is perfectly fine with cats. It just depends on the chemistry. If you want to see if your pet will accept the opposite species, please don't place a cat on the floor and say, "Brutus, come meet the kitty." Introductions need to be safe and guarded for both animals. Go slow, be patient, and observe the signs of each pet to attain a successful introduction. Remember, adopt, don't shop.

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