If you haven’t purchased or adopted your puppy or kitten but you know you want one of each (or already have an existing dog or cat at home), selecting the appropriate age group is essential if you want them to coexist in peace and harmony. Bear in mind, selecting the right dog breed should be your primary concern.
Dogs and cats are two different types of animals; therefore they speak in different languages. Puppies have an entirely different way of playing and having fun than kittens do. Cats are very independent creatures while dogs enjoy chasing and play-wrestling. This kind of play makes a cat uncomfortable and often becomes defensive. Your cat may run away to avoid the dog. But the more she runs away, the more your playful dog will chase the cat because he thinks that she is playing with him.
There was an interesting article in discovermagazine where the writer had written a beautiful story about a cat and dog that he owned as pets and they astonishingly claimed that both got along like a house on fire, which would be difficult for many people to believe right away as none has ever heard of such a phenomenon ever but when you come to think of it, it does sink in afterwards as even Tom & Jerry constantly fight out but can never live without each other.
Dogs are pack animals and may not understand how cats approach or greet another animal. Cats have a particular way of greeting one another. For example, while dogs may quickly become friends with another dog, cats are not the same in this regard. There is a different protocol altogether. Your job as their caregiver not only to create a conducive environment for them to coexist but also to get relations off on the right footing if you don’t want them to tear your house down.
Puppy, Kitten, Cat, and Dog
Let’s take a closer look at how these four groups of furry creatures can get along with one another.
- Puppy and Kitten: Getting a puppy and a kitten to share the same home at their early age is the easiest option. That’s because both puppy and kitten will learn to get along as both of them grow and become best of friends. In many incidents, these puppies and kittens grew up not knowing they are two totally different animals. And don’t be alarmed if you notice interchangeable behaviors.
Whether or not you should get puppy and kitten at the same time, is a debatable topic that requires a post on its own. In brief, I reckon many average pet owners should be able to handle two young creatures without driving themselves crazy over it. 😉
A high-energy puppy with a strong chase instinct can make your playful kitten’s life miserable.
Keep an eye on them during the early stages of companionship as they get to know each other, there may be some heated issues that need to be taken care of
- Dog and Kitten: (Resident Adult Dog Towards a New Kitten) Properly socialized dogs can tolerate the silliest antics of a kitten walking all over them. Dogs have been known to be almost nurturing of cats, grooming them as if they were puppies and playing with them as if they were another dog.
Dogs that are not exposed to cats from a young age should be introduced to kitten or cat very gradually and under strict supervision, or not at all.
Although dogs can be tolerant of kitten even without prior experience, there is a risk that the dog’s predatory instincts will be instantly aroused. If you have a dog that was bred to kill cats, he should be desensitized through a long training process. It’s easier to introduce a kitten into a household that already has a small dog. Again, not all small dogs. So make sure it is carefully though out one.
You will need to find a friend that has a socialized cat or you may wish to make enquires at your local dog training school before attempting to brin home a kitten to your dog.
- Cat and Puppy: (Resident Adult Cat Towards a New Puppy) Individual adult cats take additions to the household in a variety of ways, and it is not possible to predict exactly how a resident cat will react. In general cats are very withdrawn with puppies, resent the intrusion, and sulky at first. They may spend most of the time out of the house for the few weeks until they begin to accept the idea of the new addition to the family.
Don’t try to drag your cat out and make her interact with the puppy. She’ll do best if she can get used to his scent and presence over a period of time, on her own terms. Eventually, your cat will come to accept the situation and will soon be sharing her bed with the young newcomer.
Puppies learn to live with cats as soon as they are weaned from their mother. But being puppies, they like to follow the cat around, bark at them, and sometimes give chase. Most of the time the behavior is just meant as play, but your cat will view it as harassment. So to make the introduction easier, you should train your puppy some basic commands and proper socialization skills first before meeting the resident cat in close proximity.
It can be a good idea to trim cat’s front claws at first, to prevent them from damaging the eyes of your cheeky puppy.
Some cats will urinate indoors to express their displeasure at any change in the household, rare but it happens. Keep a bottle of Out Spot! ready at home.
- Dog and Cat: Actually dogs can become very fond of the household cat, even those that are habitual chasers of unfamiliar cats. Dogs can distinguish between cats and will coexist happily with his own family’s cat, tolerating her cheeky behavior. Yes, it is true that some dogs may rush outside to chase the cats next door and be menace to them, but he will come indoors and curl up in the same bed with the household cat.
Whereas cats do not seek out and pursue animals that are bigger than they. Cat is far more likely to avoid any animal perceived to be a threat. On the other hand, some cats have no fear of dogs and can even develop close and enduring bonds with dogs that are similarly inclined. Other cats, even those that are raised with dogs, may never develop a real bond with their canine housemates and will tolerate them only from a distance.
Most cats will eventually get along with most adult dog—or at least learn to stay out of his way.
Even though your newly adopted adult dog has been tested with a cat in rehoming centers, it doesn’t guarantee you’ve made the perfect match. It will be a different situation when you get the dog home.
Getting a newly adopted adult cat (that has already used to dog in the shelters) to coexist with a resident dog may be of an uphill task for beginner pet owners. Things could be made worst if both cat and dog are of equal size. An adult cat can threaten the hierarchy. Hierarchy is important for dogs due to strong instinctive feelings coming from their ancestors—the wolf packs.
Whatever the case may be, if the pup or dog that has not been properly socialized during the first three months of its life, it could be far safer not to introduce a cat or kitten into the household.
A dog that suffers a scratch inflicted by a cat on the eye’s surface (corneal laceration), will heal rapidly with veterinary attention. The cat’s injuries from the same dog would be less easily reversed, if not lethal.