The world is primarily divided into two groups when it comes to being fond of pets. The first group of people are canine lovers, i.e. dog lovers, whereas the second group are feline lovers, i.e. cat lovers. But there exists a rare third group, wherein the people tend to love both cats and dogs and prefer to have both as pets. Exciting indeed!
However, it may not be exciting for the two individual animals, mainly due to differences in their respective behavioral attributes and personalities. Dogs are sociable, over-friendly, very hyper and wildly aggressive, whereas cats are usually calm, proud, curious and isolated when it comes to being friendly. Bringing these two opposite species of animals under one roof can be a nightmare, as their contrasting personalities can cause a major drift. Still, pet lovers across the globe tend to have an affinity for both creatures as pets, and therefore they need to understand various aspects of these animals.
Here are a few essential tips to ensure that your cat and dog get along without any hustle:
1) Knowing your pet’s behavior:
As mentioned above, dogs are usually hyper and tend to have a lot of energy. They run around and very playful. Not too proud, they only yearn for affection and nothing else. Cats on the other hand are very proud indeed, as they prioritize their space the most. They are curious in nature and love to explore. Thus, it is very important for the owner to understand these basic differences and behave accordingly towards the two different animals. One should not rush into trying to make the two get along at the beginning itself, and should instead give them time and space to settle down on their own terms.
2) Provide individual territories:
Both these animals are territorial creatures are very protective about their own areas. Keeping this in mind, the pet owner should make sure that both the animals are given their own areas, where there are comfortable. Since cats are more territorial than dogs, they should be allowed to explore and settle in one particular area before letting the dog be around it. Felines are proud and self-caring creatures; hence it is imperative that they should be given the right to settle in their chosen area before dogs.
3) Shower equal love to both, else you become the enemy:
When you pet or cuddle with them, you must ensure that you are unbiased in the love you give them. Dogs are known to be more emotion-driven, whereas cats are known to be more space-driven. But one thing that is common between them is their affinity for care (in their respective manner). When both your pets are around you, you must show them that you love them equally, and you can do so by giving them special treats or play with them with their favorite toys. Do not tilt you love quotient in any one particular direction, as this may make the pet feel left out and unwanted. Since animals lack the power of contemplation as compared to humans, any biased behavior which might not be in their favor could cause an extreme behavioral reaction that may not be easy to deal with.
4) Spend the excess energy of the dogs outside before bringing it to the cat:
Since cats are calm and composed, they usually do not prefer an outburst of energy around them. It is therefore essential that the owners tire their dogs outside or away from the cat before bringing the two of them in the same vicinity. That way the cat would be more comfortable in the presence of the dog and would mingle around the canine more freely, as the excess energy of the dog is spent completely, making it tired and relaxed when it is around the cat. This can also be an important step towards building trust between them, as the cat would be friendlier with the calm dog as opposed to wild and aggressive behaviour.
5) Raise the two of them together:
The best way to ensure that there is a constructive synergy between your cat and dog is to raise them as babies together. Small kittens and puppies are easy to handle as compared to grown-up cats and dogs, as babies are always in a state of learning. Making sure that the kitten and the puppy are around each other since childhood ensures a strong bond between the two even after they’ve grown up. It is vital that they get used to each other’s presence, and what can be more effective than to raise them as babies, so that it gives them time and space to understand each other’s behavioral aspects, not resulting in a conflict of interests at all.
6) Keep their toys separately:
Both animals are very selfish when it comes to their personal toys or things. Unlike humans, these creatures rely strongly on their sense of smell. Therefore, it is important to keep their toys and things away from each other. Failing to do so might result in the collapse of trust that your pet would have on you because its personal item is being shared with another animal (something they would never appreciate and may even turn hostile). Along with toys, do make sure that other items like the food bowl, clothes, play areas, water bowl etc are also kept separate. If they smell it and realize that their item has been compromised, there is a high chance that they may be emotionally or mentally disturbed, giving rise to yet another list of problems that you may have to face as parents.
7) Keep them away from each other while you’re out of the house:
It is easy to maintain the hostile distance between a cat and a dog when the owner is around them. But it can be hazardous if the distance is not maintained when the parent is out of the house. Thus, you must pay strict heed towards keeping them in separate rooms if you step out for work and chores. Without any monitoring, their contrasting behavioral tendencies could cause them to fight and injure one another, resulting in resentment and hatred, not only towards each other but also towards the owner. The parent must be alert when the two of them are together. The best way to avoid fights is to establish your superiority in the relationship. That way, they are bound to obey and respect your commands without developing a hatred of any kind.
Pets have always been a fascinating aspect of human lives, as they not only provide emotional strength and comfort but also make sure we understand the concept of responsibilities. And how best to ensure this if you have two contrasting animals as pets, giving you ample of things to focus on and learn the art of handling two varied creatures under one roof. Caution is essential while dealing with them, and being able to do so properly could result in you having the best non-judgmental family ever!