Dog Training

How to Make Cats and Dogs Get Along: 7 Tips

The dog and the cat – the two dearest types of pets. It’s easy to see how two worlds collide here. Dogs and cats are fundamentally different but there are ways you can get them used to each other. In this article, we reveal our seven best tips.

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Dogs and cats have different characters. However, dogs and cats can also live together without any problems and have a lot of fun while doing it. In the end, it's just a question of getting used to it. 

Dogs and Cats: Two Different Characters

Dog and cat 1

When dogs and cats live together, two worlds collide because the two breeds have different characters and body language. 

However, with some acclimation, even dogs and cats can become best friends. 

Before we help you with tips in this article, let's first take a closer look at the characteristics of dogs and cats. 

Cat characteristics

The character of the cat is very complex. They are exactly the opposite of a dog’s character. 

We do not claim that all cats have the same character. Different traits can be found in different breeds.

While the dog is subordinate to the owner, cats are difficult to dominate.

Cats are considered independent creatures, and they are often left to their own devices in the wild. 

The ancestors of today's domestic cats are the ocelot or the dun cat. They were also independent loners before their domestication.

Dog Characteristics

Unlike cats, dogs are not solitary animals and adapt to a pack in the wild. 

In a pack, there is an alpha dog who dominates the group and makes decisions. This pack leader coordinates the pack in all situations.

When living with people, the dog owner takes on this role. Dogs quickly adapt to the habits of humans faster than cats. 

There are also different character traits in different dog breeds. 

However, as a general rule, dogs are easier to dominate. Another difference from cats is the increased activity of dogs.

7 Tips to Help Them Get Along

Dog and cat 2

1. Proper Preparation

Good preparation is the be-all and end-all, because things can backfire if you let dog and cat meet directly with no prep. For this reason, it is important to make certain preparations. 

A cat room is an option, for example. It is also important that your dog and cat always have a retreat at their disposal. 

While your dog can find retreat in various places, the velvet paws are something of their own. That's why you could create a cat room. This is a room where only your cat has access. 

Both dogs and cats have a very good sense of smell . Unlike humans, they have many more olfactory cells. Depending on the dog breeds, a dog has at least 125 million olfactory cells. 

Cats have approximately 60 million olfactory cells. Humans, on the other hand, have only 20 million. 

You can get your dog and cat used to each other if you familiarize them with each other's smell beforehand. 

Depending on whether the dog or cat is added to the household, you can use a blanket or other piece of cloth with their scent on it. other piece of cloth. 

For example, you can let your cat or dog sleep on the piece of cloth. One night before the move is enough. Then take the blanket and show it to the new housemate.

2. The length of the first meeting

The first meeting should not be too long. The optimal length of the first meeting is about 10-15 minutes. 

3. Leash the dog

It is important that your dog is leashed at the first meeting. This way, he can not take the cat by surprise. 

Your cat should also get the opportunity to approach the dog on its own. This is very important when it comes to the first meeting. 

4. Treats for dogs and cats.

Treats are the optimal helper for the first meeting between your dog and cat. Through the treat, , your two friends will associate the first meeting with something positive. 

Praise and petting reinforce this effect. Of course, these should be given more often than just the first meeting, because petting helps to deepen the trust of your pet in you.

5. The number of people present

The number of people present should be limited to two. Too many people will irritate your pets.

Two people is the ideal number because two can each keep an eye on one of the animals . This makes it easier to pay attention to subtleties and better assess the situation.

6. Continuous exercises

The exercises for mutual habituation should be repeated consistently. This will achieve the greatest effect and shorten the acclimatization period. 

Allow approximately one week for acclimation. The approach should not only take place once a day, but should be applied again and again during the day. 2 to 3 exercises are the ideal number. 

7. Consistently enforce boundaries

Do you notice that the dog or cat takes on an aggressive attitude during the meeting? Then the meeting should be terminated immediately. 

The important thing here is that you consistently enforce boundaries . The dog or cat should be taught when behavior is not okay . This is the only way they can learn to deal with each other peacefully. 

6 Absolute no-goes

Now that we have shown you various tips, we will now discuss the no-go's. You will find a short and concise list below:

  • Impatience
  • Unsteady actions during the exercises
  • Constant noise during the exercises
  • Noise during the meeting (radio, TV, etc. should be off)
  • Dog chasing the cat or vice versa
  • Lack of empathy

Important Rules for Living Together with a Dog and Cat

Dog and cat 3

After the acclimation has successfully taken place, you should follow further rules. This is the only way to guarantee that peaceful coexistence is preserved in the long term. 

1. Separate feed

Separate food is a top priority when keeping dogs and cats. For this reason, make sure you separate your pets’ food. This ensures there won't be any instance of food aggression between your pets. 

This also means the dog or cat should not go to each other's bowls. Tip: Place the feeding bowls in different rooms.

2. Put the litter box in a quiet place

Cats love to withdraw. This is especially true when doing their business. For this reason, the litter box should also be located in a quiet place.

3. Equal treatment

You should praise and reprimand your cat and dog equally . Neither should enjoy "puppy protection". 

If neither the dog nor cat respect each other's boundaries, you should reprimand them equally. The same applies to praise. 

4. Tons of patience

It can always happen that your dog and your cat clash. It is important that you have a lot of patience if this is the case. Try to look at what is happening objectively. Do not take the dog's or cat's side exclusively. 

My Conclusion

Dog and cat

Dogs and cats are fundamentally different. For this reason, living together is sometimes a little more difficult. 

However, living together is possible - and with a lot of fun and joy too. With a little practice and these helpful tips, problems will soon be a thing of the past. 

If you follow our tips and rules, nothing will stand in the way of a great dog-cat friendship 😊

Written by Anja Boecker
Written by Anja Boecker

My name is Anja Boecker and I am a dog trainer and behavior consultant (IHK certificate). With these articles I would like to help you understand your dog better and build an inseparable bond.

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