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Cohabitation between god and cat: How to do it?

Written by Thom

Although dogs and cats are notorious for not getting along well, it is quite possible to get them used to living under the same roof or even get them to get along wonderfully. If you adopt them at the same time and very young, for example, you will encounter few difficulties. This is less likely if you already have a pet in the house and later adopt another one. However, both dogs and cats can share their territory very well and even become great life companions. Here are the best practices to teach your dogs and cats to live together in complete serenity.
The ideal cohabitation: from an early age
In order to promote cohabitation between dogs and cats, it is best to get them used to each other as soon as possible. The younger the animals are when they meet, the more familiar they are. If you want to adopt a puppy and a kitten at the same time, this is ideal! Before 3 months, dogs and cats can easily soak up their new environment. If an animal of another species is around at this time, they will see it as a family member just like their human masters. This does not necessarily mean that they will always be comfortable with another animal outside the house, but they will already have learned some rules of socialization and will know how to share their territory.
In addition, young dogs and cats will want to play together and therefore bond much more easily. Dogs and cats do not have the same needs, habits, and attitudes. Indeed, dogs are often very sociable while cats need their independence. They don’t communicate in the same way either: gestures like raising the tail, raising the paw, or lying down, for example, do not mean the same thing to each other. Conversely, these two species have a very strong territorial instinct. For all these reasons, the cohabitation between dog and cat can be apprehended. However, if you’ve gotten your pet used to being social at home and away from home, the arrival of a new four-legged friend might turn out to be easier than you think. When it comes to adult animals, be patient. They may take longer to adjust, but that doesn’t mean they won’t end up loving each other.
The golden rules of dog-cat cohabitation
If you are welcoming a new animal into your home, you must prepare for its arrival beforehand.
Socialize your animals
It is necessary to have taught animals to socialize. In order to socialize a dog you already have, take it for a walk where it can meet others. If you have a cat, invite your friends or neighbors to come to your house with their pets. When it comes to the animal you are adopting, make sure it has encountered other hairballs before, although this is certainly the case if you are adopting an animal from a shelter or from a family. But remember that an animal’s degree of sociability varies depending on its personality and background. So don’t try to force them if it’s not in their character and just make sure they aren’t aggressive towards each other.
Get them used to each other’s smells
Not only does your new animal have to get used to its new surroundings, but you also have to get both animals used to their respective scent. Before arrival, have each other sniff a piece of cloth imbued with each other’s scent. That way, when they meet, that same smell will feel familiar to them. When you have them both at home, let them sniff at each other, even under the doors if you decide to separate them.
Respect everyone’s spaces
Both dogs and cats are very sensitive to their territory. You must therefore plan a space for each of your animals, especially at the beginning. The cat’s bowls will be privileged in height. If this is not possible, do not put the dog’s bowls next to the cat’s. Even for water, everyone should have their own bowl. Do the same for the baskets: each their own, far from each other. You thus avoid embarrassing (dog urine, cat’s claws) or dangerous (physical attacks) behavior.
Reassure your animals
We tend to educate our dog more than our cat, but good practices apply to both. You can socialize and reward them without making a difference. As a master, you must also offer love to each other as well to avoid jealousy. If your cat is stressed, you have the option of scattering pheromones (spray, for example) all over your home to make them feel safe.
The first meeting
During the first meeting between dog and cat, it is imperative to be able to reassure and secure your animals. The first meeting must be positive and above all controlled: you must not leave your animals alone. It is done in your presence, if possible without your intervention unless your animals are in danger. Do not force contact and install them in different rooms for the first few days if you feel too much reluctance.
Meeting and cohabitation are generally easier if you have a dog and you welcome a cat. Indeed, the dog, although more dangerous because of its size, will naturally be attracted to the newcomer. On the contrary, a cat who is used to having you all to himself might be less than happy about sharing you or his space. Either way, show whoever was there first that the new animal is a friend and not a threat. If your cat is pregnant or just had babies, for example, now might not be the right time to welcome a new pet. She would indeed be more easily aggressive or stressed.
Some safety rules during the first meeting are to be put in place, in particular, to protect cats from dogs:
• Give the cat the possibility to flee or to take refuge in height
• Your dog must know how to obey you in case he wishes to attack (“stop”, “gently”, etc.)
• Use a muzzle if necessary, it is as safe for the cat as it is for you
Finally, if he is full of energy, go for a run with your dog or take a long walk before the first meeting so that he is as energized as possible.

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