If you ever caught a glimpse of Animal Planet’s series ‘Cat vs. Dog’ you will have seen an investigation of ways pet owners can establish some peace. In the show, a dog and cat expert accompany one another to households where canine & feline energies collide and offer suggestions to find peace. Rather fascinating viewing.
It is true that introducing animals at a young age can put things leaps and bounds ahead in the friendship department but there is a caveat to just about everything and no exceptions here. While many happily co-exist in 1000’s of homes, some dogs and cats will never, ever be friends. It is our responsibility to look after their safety and wellbeing making sure we don’t subject either to a life of stress. Different species can live and even thrive under the same roof provided there is some balance.
Cats need a space or territory in the home prior to meeting a dog. This area or areas, should remain purely for the cat/s to enjoy knowing the dog will not invade. Supervised meetings are essential to ensure no chasing at first. Later if they become friends they may choose to play and chase once some harmony resides, but we still need to keep an eye on interactions.
Toys and food are advised to be kept separate for the sake of reducing competition and fighting but also for health reasons as cat and dog foods are designed specifically for each species. There are a number of approaches for safely introducing cats to dogs (many more than mentioned here) and our vets can also guide us but it should be a gradual process. Overall, it appears to be personality ultimately determining whether cats and dogs get along more than breed. The optimal age to introduce them is less than 12 weeks of age for dogs and less than 7 weeks of age for cats.
Then there are the remarkable cases; those unique stories that really pull at your heartstrings where these two species have an outstanding bond. Ruth and Idgie are a very special little cat/dog duo sharing each other’s company at the Hollywood Hounds rescue.
The pair are virtually inseparable. To check them out click the link below…
Leah & Angela OMeara
Hound Dog Day Care (Specialists in Dog Minding & Dog Boarding, Pet Sitting Brisbane & Doggy Day Care Brisbane)