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Monday, September 30, 2013

Cats & Dogs can live in Harmony: Roxy and Purrcilla can!

Late last Fall we welcomed Purrcilla into our home.

You may remember Purcilla's story and how she struggled to thrive.  I am happy to report that she is well and happy-after about four months of constant medical attention and care she is now a normal kitten about to turn one year old.  Roxy, our sweet little pup has been so good with Purrcilla.  Most days they don't pay much attention to each other, occasionally they will play, but on the whole our home is harmonious with both a feline and a canine, making my heart full.  These are my fur babies.

Here are some helpful tips to help your cat and dog get along and live together.

Looking to play matchmaker?
  •  If you have a cat and are planning to adopt a dog, try to find a breed with a known history of being accepting of cats. Traditionally, herding dogs, terriers, sight hounds and huskies get along best with cats, so keep an open mind and work together with your local shelter, pet store or independent breeder to find the perfect fit.
  • If you have a dog and are planning to adopt a cat, help teach your dog to behave appropriately around cats ahead of time. If your dog does not respond well to sit, down, stay or come, work on improving those actions to avoid havoc down the road.
Make the introductions
  • When bringing a new pet into the home, animals need time to get to know each other. They are more likely to fight or be unhappy if you try to force them together, so be sure to make proper introductions. Pick a spacious room, have a helper with you and keep tasty treats on-hand to reward pets for good behaviour. If your pets tend to be on the feisty side, make sure your cat’s claws are trimmed and dog’s are kept on a tight leash. Depending on your pets prior experiences, genetics and personalities, the introduction may take a few days to a few weeks – so be patient and ensure you have a safe place for your new pet where they can go and take a break and relax.    
Dining alone is key
  •  To create a positive atmosphere for your pets, feed cats and dogs their meals at the same time but remember to put them in separate rooms or parts of a room as they tend to eat at a different pace. As cats and dogs have different nutritional needs, keeping them separate during meals is important to their health. And since many dogs like to snack on cat food, having separate feeding spaces keeps your cat from losing meals to the dog. Dogs are omnivores, and cats are carnivores and they therefore have distinct dietary needs that are unique to each species. It is not appropriate to feed dog food to cats or cat food to dogs as their primary source of food. A nibble here or there doesn’t count. Dogs generally find cat food more palatable as it often has a higher content of protein and fat, especially the canned variety. Cats are probably just curious and will eat out of the dog bowl to just show everyone that they make all the rules and can do what they please. If you need help, visit iams.ca or ask a fellow pet owner for advice.
  Set the management mood
  • To help your cat or dog feel safe while adapting to the sounds and smells of other pets, make sure to keep them company. Don’t leave them alone together for long periods of time and supervise any activities that may have caused problems in the past. Remember to have special bonding time with each pet individually and be sure they all know whose boss.
Just remember that not all pets are meant to be best friends from day one.  Sometimes friendships take time to build.  

For more pet care tips for your cat and dog, visit the OSPCAwww.iams.ca or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/iams.


Stephanie LaPlante said...

Yayy sooo happy everyones happy and healthy!

Heidi Carlson-Reid said...

We are looking to add a dog to our family which already includes two cats. Thanks for all the tips!

Punxgirl said...

Great tips :)

I have 3 cats. 2 of which have been around dogs for a good part of their lives. The other has never been around any other animals aside from my other 2 cats. I've considered getting a puppy, but I'm worried about the 1 cat. Thank you for this post :)

Amy Brown said...

I used to have three cats but I was always to scared to have a dog too, these are great, useful suggestions!

Doris Calvert said...

tried it once with an older dog and did not work out well so we did most of your tips and have a small happy dog who probably would be okay!

josiefiorda said...

no pets in my house! Glad it's all working for you

Jeannie Lam said...

Great tips. WE just have one dog and don't plan to add any other pets at this time, but will keep your tips in mind though.

Teresa Claire said...

I love those names. This was a really feel good post, thank you!

Sue2Sueper said...

That's so cute, Love that they get along. When I was little we had both cats and dogs at the same time.

Lori's Place said...

We had a cat and a dog that loved to play together. They were very entertaining. Our cat was also very protective of his territory outside. I know the cat was boss.

flowerchild said...

We don't have any pets right now. We don't have the space. I love the name Purrcilla .Very original :-)

2012july/Cheryl Grandy said...

It's so nice when pets get along well. We had two kittens who got along wonderfully until one went to the vet and came home looking and smelling different. They started hissing at each other. Ten years later they still don't like each other. Maybe if we had had these tips we could have caught the problem early and fixed things. It might still be possible, I don't know.

Christy Martin said...

Great tips! I currently do not have any pets but I do have a friend that is having cat & dog issues on the occasion. I will send her a link!

Tom Ds said...

My one dog gets along well with the cats too.