FiGhTÂ LiKe cAt aNd dOg? Step by step Introduce the cat to the dog
FOREWORD The war between cats and dogs is a topic of debate from Hollywood to hometowns. Multiple-pet owners have examples of cats that buddy up to their canine companions, of dogs chasing cats off their turf, or of the two species respectfully ignoring each other. The two don't have to automatically "fight like cats and dogs." Their ability to get along is shaped by their individual experiences with the other specie accumulated before they are paired. Their communication styles differ too which can lead to confusion: A dog wags his tail to show happiness and eagerness to play; a cat lashes her tail to indicate displeasure or anger. You can help them to share a home by keeping each pet's best interests and instincts in mind.
STEP 1- PREPARATION Physical > Keep Cat Claws in Trim If the cat feels threatened or stressed, she may react and injure the dog with her primary weapon: her claws. Therefore, those claws should be trimmed to ensure that a casual swipe of the paw -- an instinctive, harmless move if her claws are sheathed -- won't be disastrous for your dog, especially during their early meetings. >Keep your dog with you on-leash during introduction for the first couple of weeks. Allow the leash to be loose, but hold onto it in case your dog decides to try to chase your cat.
Environment >Start By Leaving Them in Separate Rooms Put a baby gate up in the doorway between two rooms. Make sure that one of the rooms or an area of the house is where the cat would be welcome. Leave the dog out of the room. This way the dog and the cat can go up to the baby gate and sniff each other. They can even growl and hiss. However, they cannot get to each other. This will allow them to start getting used to each other.
Keep calm and have some food >exercise your dog and feed him a nice meal; and of course the cat as well. Put them in a relaxed mood for the introduction.
STEP 2- SNIFF SNIFF > Gently rub a T-shirt, sock, towel or washcloth over the dog, and place it near the cat's food dish or bed. Vice versa Animals get to know one another through scent, not face-to-face meetings. Even before they see each other, you can help both pets become familiar with each other's scent. Gently rub a T-shirt, sock, towel or washcloth over the dog, and place it near the cat's food dish or bed. After a few days, rub the item with the dog's scent over the cat, mingling their scents. Reverse the procedure for your dog. By offering both access to each other's scents, you'll make their initial meeting less stressful, as each pet will know that this other critter is not a total stranger.
STEP 3- THE MEETING Fill your pockets with treats that your dog loves, and treats that your cat will love as well. Keep the door open but block it with a baby gate. Walk your dog slowly by the doorway several times each day for a couple of days.
> Calm behavior Click & treat him for calm behavior, and then toss the cat a treat as well. This way, your cat will associate your dog with delicious treats.
>Overreact If your dog overreacts to the cat, distract him and get his attention focused on you. Avoid accomplishing this by using leash corrections. Instead, get your dogâ€™s attention by asking him to do basic obedience skills, like Sit and Down. Click and treat delicious treats to reward him for his obedience
> Click & Treat The "clicker" is a small noisemaker that makes a distinctive "click" sound when the metal tab is pressed. The clicker is intended to tell your dog when he or she does something correctly. Once you've trained your dog to associate the clicker with rewards, he or she will quickly learn that when she performs a behavior and you click, (s) he will receive a reward.
> Taking things slow will help to avoid a bad first impression. Keep in mind that cats can take months to form relationships with other animals. Never attempt to force any interactions by holding your cat, putting her into a crate or carrier or restricting her movement in any way.
> Taking things slow Practice, Practice, Practice. It should takes up to 3 weeks to be comfortable with each other's presence.
Published on May 12, 2014