Cats and Dogs Together? Pet Counseling Advice
Tom is always chased by Butch, isn’t he? The reality is that the old myth of dogs chasing cats is not always true. In fact, if introductions are made correctly between dog and cat, they can co-exist. It is always best for kittens and puppies to grow together but if not, there still are chances, depending on the pet’s attitude of allowing the lamb to lie with the lion.
Jennifer Melvin, instructor for AIHCP’s Pet Grief Counseling Program has these words for those with a multi species pet home.
It is understood that genetics and personality play a big part in how cats and dogs behave. But the nature vs nurture theory is questioned when shows like the Dog Whisperer remind us that the pet’s environment may have more influence on their actions than we think. So, when facing the want to co-mingle dogs & cats we must consider all aspects noted. If dealing with good natured and calm tempered animals then you are a step ahead of the game. You are at the front of the line if you get a puppy and kitten at the same time! Regardless, follow some guidelines such as: introduce the animals slowly, let them smell each other before they see each other, supervise their interactions, don’t mix toys or food or other objects they could be territorial over, be patient and attentive to both pets and give them space- all at the same time! They will feed off your energy so be calm. And, give them time. When they have an opportunity to realize they can trust each other for a consistent period of time they will relax around the other and before you know it they will be curling up together for one of those cute and cuddly photos to post on Facebook! Or- they at least won’t be growling, hissing or hiding all of the time.
If you are interested in pet grief counseling or other pet knowledge, please review our website.
Mark Moran, MA