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