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Is it possible that instead of fighting like cats and dogs, that cats and dogs could live together in peace or even as friends? The answer is yes, with proper training from the owners. So, if you are an animal lover and wish to have both cats and dogs in your home you should be prepared for some behavior training and lots of animal love.
It is likely that either the cat or the dog will already be living in your house when you seek to add another pet. Rarely, will you add both a cat and dog to your house at the same time. So, it is advisable that you introduce your pets to each other properly.
If you already have a cat and are looking to add a dog to the family, then do some research on different breeds that might be more accepting of cats. For example, breeds that are bred to hunt or herd may have a harder time accepting cats than other breeds. Ask the dog breeder or animal shelter whether the dog you are seeking to adopt has had any experience with smaller animals and whether the experience has been positive.
If you already have a dog and are seeking to add a cat to the family, then do some training with your dog before bringing the cat home to live with you. Make sure that the dog is comfortable on leash, even in the house, so that you can have easy physical control over the dog if you need it. If at all possible, introduce your dog to other animals, especially smaller animals, either in your neighborhood or at a park. See how your dog reacts but also understand that your dog’s reaction may be different in his own home.
When the second animal is welcomed in to the home, allow both animals to become familiar with each other’s scent before a face to face introduction. It may take a few days for them to become comfortable and familiar with each other’s scents and sounds which they will hear from their different parts of the house. The new pet should be confined to a room (or floor of the home) to begin with and should receive regular visits and attention from the human members of the family. Once the new pet is comfortable with that, consider removing the older pet from the home by taking a dog for a walk or confining a cat to your bedroom. Then let your new pet explore the home. The final step will be to introduce the pets. Do this with your dog on leash so that you can intervene if you must, however, allow your pets the freedom to get to know each other without your interference if they can do so safely.
Living in Peace
It may take continual training, especially with your dog, to get your pets to live together peacefully. However, it can be done. Some cats and dogs will simply tolerate each other and others will end up as the best of friends. Either way you will enjoy the love of both pets in a peaceful and happy home.