January 17th •
Doodles are super friendly, but sometimes the cats in our lives have trouble adjusting to their new housemates.
If you’ve got a cat that’s either scared of your own pups or someone else’s, you might be struggling to think of a solution. Thankfully, all isn’t lost. There are actually a number of effective ways to help cure most cats’ fear of dogs, and some of them might be way easier than you might think to implement.
While some cats and dogs get along just fine from the start, not all of them do. Our loving breeders make sure that the pups we match with families are as loving and easy to train as possible. But sometimes it’s not the dog that needs training, it’s the cat.
If you’ve got a multi-pet family or live in an area where there are lots of different animals, you might just need pointing in the right direction so that your cats and dogs can start living harmoniously together.
There’s one important thing to remember before we get started—these tips are for cats that are scared of well-mannered dogs. If your dog is terrorizing Mr. Mittens, it’s your pup that needs more training.
So without further ado, let’s dive in.
When your cat is first starting to learn to live comfortably with a dog, it’s still gotta have its own safe space it can retreat to if necessary. You can make one of these safety areas easily with many common household items, like crates and baby gates.
When your cat does the right thing and acts calmly or sociably around other dogs, you need to reward it. That way you’ll be re-affirming their behavior and letting them know they did something right, so that they keep doing it.
It’s the basis of most pet training, after all! Verbal praise is a good start, along with strokes and kitty treats.
You need to set up easy escape routes so that your cat can get out quickly if it needs to. Often, simply having these routes in place could help relax your cat as it takes the pressure off the situation and doesn’t make them feel enclosed or forced into a situation they don’t want to be in.
It’s easy to create escape routes for cats who are smaller than dogs, as you can simply leave a gap in a doorway or have an open window they can jump through. Plus, compared to most dogs, cats are like little ninjas—so creating an escape route should be easy.
Before you introduce your cat to your dog, you might want to familiarize them with each others’ scents. This can work both ways, as it can get the cat used to the dog, but could also make the dog less nosy about the cat, too.
Try rubbing a towel on your dog and then leaving it with your cat for a while—it just might become your kitty’s new favorite blanket.
While you might want to create separate environments to help get your pets used to each other during the day, it can be a good idea to give your cats freedom of the house at night. That’s because cats are nocturnal and dogs aren’t, so your dog can sleep happily while your cat has free time at night.
This could help improve the mood of your cat during the day, and make it less likely to react poorly to a dog.
Similar to letting your cat have freedom to roam at night, you don’t want your kitty thinking they’re losing any freedom while a dog lives in the same house. Dogs crave a lot of attention from their owners, but cats still need some—they just might be less forthright in trying to get it from you.
So once you’ve put your dog to bed, let your cat have some alone time with you to show it you still care. This could improve mood levels and reduce anxiety in the cat overall—meaning it’ll behave better with your dog.
These things can’t always be fixed overnight—and that means all your pets will need time to adjust. If you start introducing some of the tips in this article, you’ll be able to ensure that your cats and dogs start getting along much better together.
If you’ve already got a cat but would like to start a multi-pet family, you can use a Uptown’s puppy matcher to help you find the perfect pooch for your home and lifestyle. That way you can get a pup that’s highly trainable and intelligent, making it an excellent addition to your family.
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