Tips to Get a Dog and Cat to Coexist

Have you seen those cute videos of dogs and cats snuggled together and behaving like best friends? If so, you probably wish your cat and dog could coexist with each other. While most dogs and cats live in harmony, others are simply not safe to be around each other. The temperament of both pets plays a large role in becoming peaceful siblings in the household.

Here are tips to get your dog and cat to coexist:

Personalities Count

While some dog breeds are not recommended around cats such as Beagles, Shih Tzu, and American Pit Bull Terrier, it truly depends on the personality of the dog. Plenty of these breeds debunk the myth they can’t get along with cats. It’s important to take your dog’s personality into account regardless of their breed. An easy-going, calm, and playful personality is more likely to accept a friendship with a cat.

Introductions Matter

Help your pets make a good first impression when they meet each other. Dinner time is an excellent place to introduce your cat and dog, just make sure you feed them in their own bowls. They will both be hungry and focused on eating. Always keep your dog on a leash during the first meeting and have a family member nearby in case they need to grab the cat to remove them from the situation.

Expect them to sniff each other and observe their appearance as they sense each other’s personalities. Repeat this scenario every day until they get familiar with each other. If they start getting along and enjoy eating next to each other, it’s a good sign they will develop a friendship that will last a lifetime.

Keep Toys and Food Separate

Your dog and cat need their own space in the house. They might seem like the best of friends, but they don’t need to spend all day together. They need an escape from each other and a place to call their own. Set up a designated area for your dog and another for your cat. Make sure you separate them with distance such as your cat in the living room and your dog in another room. Place their toys and a comfortable pet bed in their designated space so they can rest.

Exercise Your Dog

All dogs require daily exercise to maintain their overall well-being. Taking your dog for a walk around the neighborhood or letting them play in a fenced-in yard helps fulfill their daily exercise needs. A well-exercised dog is a happy dog. However, dogs that don’t get enough exercise or have an outlet to exercise suffer from behavior issues and can become aggressive towards other pets in the house.

Can cats and dogs coexist? Yes, but it depends on their personalities and willingness to share household space and territory. As a pet parent, you need to be patient while your pets become familiar with each other. They will gradually develop affection for each other and learn to enjoy spending time together. However, if your pets never adjust to coexisting, discuss the issue further with a professional pet trainer.