Dogs, cats and other pets can live together under the same roof. A few tips for a serene cohabitation…
Getting puppy and kitten used to the presence of other animals
In order to live in harmony, dogs and cats must be well socialized. If the puppy or kitten has been in contact with other animals during the first 2 to 3 months of life, they will develop lasting bonds with other species. The sooner you get a puppy used to socializing with other animals, the more he understands that he is not a species to hunt. Also, if you welcome a kitten into your home, make sure it has already been in contact with dogs.
Set up a space for each animal
Dogs and cats must have a rest area where they can isolate themselves. The cat being a territorial animal, it must be ensured that it has access to places where it can be calm and feel safe. The same goes for the disposal area: two cats = two litter boxes. A cat tree can be a useful accessory to allow the cat to distance itself from an overly invasive dog!
Prepare for the arrival of the new animal gently. Have your dog or cat sniff the scent of the new one on a blanket or cloth. If it’s two cats, isolate them in separate rooms. Then switch so they can get used to each other’s scent. Don’t force the meeting. Bring the two animals together in a quiet environment. Let them turn around and get used to each other’s scent. Prefer a room with space where they can take refuge (high up for the cat for example) and isolate themselves. Remain present but do not intervene. There is no rule for the animals to get along. Some will only need a few hours. For others, several days will be necessary. It is up to you to be patient.
What attitude to adopt to facilitate cohabitation?
The best thing is to let the dog and cat fend for themselves. Round backs, growls or grunts are completely natural (read: Decipher your cat’s body attitudes). Do not scold them. After a few days, dog and cat will get used to each other. The more you shout, the more distress signals you will emit for the animal. For cohabitation to work, the animals need to feel safe. Be fair in the amount of cuddling and attention you give each animal. From an educational point of view, don’t give certain privileges to one and not to the other.