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It breaks your heart knowing your cat and dog don’t get along. The exact reasons why they don’t get along remains a mystery. It could be past experiences, conditioning, scent, how they appear, how they sound, or it can be just personal preference and personality differences.
It would be easier if they were raised together since they were pups and kittens as they are still new to the world and are more open to accepting new things. However, if this is not the case for you, check out some of these tips on how you can help them get along (or at least be less repulsive towards each other’s presence).
Many dogs tend to get too excited when they first see a cat, and this could cause the cat to feel uneasy and make it difficult for your dog and cat to interact. Consider putting a baby gate in between them whenever they meet. At other times, separate your cat and dog and only allow them to view each other during specific times.
Don’t scold your dog during its interaction with your cat. This might lead your dog to think that the cat is the cause of his negative experience. It is also good to give treats to reward calm behaviour.
Let your cats and dogs work their nose magic! Both cats and dogs rely heavily on smell and sight to learn about their surroundings. Try letting your dog take a whiff at your cat’s bed or toys to satisfy their curiosity and vice versa before introducing them face-to-face. You can also swap out their blankets and bedding for them to get used to each other’s scent without overstimulating either of them.
Desensitization will reduce the reaction of your dog towards your cat after multiple and continuous exposures. If this works on your first few attempts, you are lucky, but that usually isn’t the case. You’ll need patience and time before they start to familiarize themselves with each other’s presence.
This is to prevent competition over toys or food that might prompt fighting. The idea is to avoid them from feeling threatened by each other’s presence.
It takes time for both your cat and dog to adapt and familiarize themselves with each other. Always remember to take things slow and be patient with the process. If things don’t seem to go anywhere for a long time, you can seek help from a professional pet trainer.
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