You just had a new cat or a new dog and you want Pitou and Minou to know how to live together, that they become the best friends of the world? Here are some tips from feline behavior professionals to make sure your first encounters are less stressful and more positive for your two hairballs!
The perfect environment for your feline and your canine!
Here, we do not ask you to embark on renovations and excavations! Only a few small touches, a few small gestures to change your environment to generate the least stress in your two animals … And therefore less stress at home! You avoid fights, felts, yapping and peeing out of the litter box (which are often caused by stress)!
Offer the highest possible heights in the house for the cat (in all rooms) so that he can flee the dog at all times;
Make sure these heights are not attainable by the dog;
Give priority to good-sized cat trees (1.5 – 2 meters) so that there are small shelves where the dog should not be able to ride;
Put the food and water of the cat on a high cabinet where the dog will never have access, thus creating a sense of security for the cat that will not be bothered. This place can be the counter of the kitchen for example;
Do the same for places where the cat will rest: provide a place where the dog will not be able to climb and put down a small bed of kitty, blanket or cushion, allowing your friend purring to rest and sleep without having afraid to be surprised by Pitou;
Offer hiding places where only the cat can sneak and take shelter from the dog who becomes too curious or insistent (a small box for example);
Providing hiding places and heights in every room of the house will make your cat feel safer and more inclined to explore the house easily knowing he always has a safety zone no matter where he is.
Present your dog to your cat:
You can not wait for your dog or cat to meet his new friend! However, rushing things, making presentations too fast can trigger fear and aggression (and even predation!) Reactions on both sides!
Here is the list of important points to remember:
Never hold the cat in your arms, put it in a transport cage or even in the cage with the dog. The cat must be able to save himself at all times if he is afraid of the dog;
Even if the cat was in the house before the dog, it is best to isolate it in a room with all its things (litter, food, water);
Let the cat get used to this room. Take the opportunity to hide a lot of treats that your cat likes and play regularly with him to make the isolation pleasant. Wait for him to calm down before taking him out. A calm catwalk his tail and head high. This may take one or more days. The dog and the cat can feel and touch each other under the door, but that’s all;
Be careful when entering and leaving the room to prevent the cat from escaping or the dog entering. You can add a barrier that you can step over (examples: baby fence, wood board, mosquito net, etc.) to help you enter the room.
The moment has come to leave them together?
So! The moment has come to present the two animals for good and let them live together? No! Warning! The work is just beginning! Here’s how to make felines and canines learn to tolerate themselves, and eventually love each other!
Let the cat out freely in the absence of the dog taking care to put treats everywhere in the house, especially in places most frequented by the dog for the cat to make pleasant associations with the scent of Pitou;
Make small 10-minute sessions where the two animals will see each other through a small opening on either side of the door while giving them each their favorite food or treats. Begin as far as possible from each side of the door;
Reduce the distance between the 2 bowls of food or treats very gradually at each session. Observe how the dog and the cat behave. If they continue to eat despite the diminishing distance and the fact that they see each other, it’s a good sign! If one of them stops eating, you have done too quickly. Move back the bowls of food or treats to the previous distance and do not move the bowls during a few sessions until the animals get used again;
It is also possible to do similar sessions, but instead of using the gate as a safety barrier, you can keep the dog on a leash. BUT BEWARE. Never shoot or give