The myth that it is almost impossible to make a cat and a dog in an apartment is widespread, especially if the pets are adults. It is much easier to establish contact between animals when they are small. Then the process of rapprochement will occur naturally, without interference from the owners. Owners of an adult cat and dog should be closely monitored for the first few weeks to avoid injuries and hassles that could ruin further relationships between animals.
Causes of feud between dog and cat
According to a number of studies, cats are not afraid of dogs, as is commonly believed. Zoologists believe that avoidance of contact and aggression are just a way to stop unwanted attention to yourself. Dogs, by their nature, are social animals in dire need of communication. Cats prefer independence and solitude. They do not like to violate their personal space. These behavioral differences underlie the long-standing feud between cats and dogs.
Without owner supervision, the first encounter of animals in most cases ends deplorably also because the same attention signs are interpreted erroneously:
- When a dog wags its tail, it means joy from the sight of the owner, the upcoming treats, fast walks, toys. The pet is in high spirits and is configured to communicate. In cat body language, tail twitching means irritation and anxiety. If the animal begins to wag them and almost whips itself on the sides, this means a high degree of aggression and a willingness to attack.
- A lowered head and tightly pressed ears in a dog are treated as guilty awareness. The animal understands that it may be punished, and in advance demonstrates a subordinate position in relation to the person, trying to appease the owner. A similar pose in cats has exactly the opposite meaning - the pet is angry and about to pounce.
- The rumbling of cats is responsible for expressing pleasure. The purring animal is calm, it pleases the company of a person or a pet. In a very different way, low and booming sounds are interpreted in dogs. A quiet, uterine rumbling of a dog means a willingness to defend or attack. The animal is aggressive and can bite.
A cat and a dog interpret their neighbor’s body language differently, so the first contact of adults most often proceeds according to one of the following scenarios:
- The dog, without realizing it, makes a threatening impression on the cat and forces it to run. In response, the first instincts trigger hunting instincts - the pursuit of “prey” begins.
- The cat perceives too intense sniffing and light poking with his head as an invasion of personal space and can bite the dog in the face. The answer will be aggression.
- The cat sees that the dog is wagging its tail and understands this as a stranger's readiness to attack. Trying to protect herself, she can attack him.
Differences in habits
Cat and dog have different attitudes towards a society like themselves. Cats have been independent since ancient times and value peace and solitude. Dogs are more likely to find a permanent company. Previously, the ancestors of the canine family went astray.
Cats originally belong to asocial animals. In their natural habitat, they hunt alone and zealously protect the occupied territory. Representatives of the cat family converge with other individuals exclusively during the breeding season. If the owner did not help the pets when he introduced them, it will be difficult for them in the future to get along in one apartment. You can find out which dog is best in the apartment in this article.
Cats and dogs rivalry in the apartment
When an adult cat cohabits with a puppy, difficulties usually do not arise, since in a small creature the animal does not see a threat to its position in the house. A large breed or an adult dog is perceived as a danger of the existing hierarchy, so the cat must be accustomed to a new neighbor. A street dog, accustomed to a constant struggle for survival, and a domestic cat, who had never seen other animals before, can compete with each other especially sharply.
It will be easier to train a cat so that she and a dog live peacefully, if you understand how their zones of influence intersect. Friendship of pets will help compliance with a number of general recommendations:
- Do not place bowls for two species of animals too close. It is advisable to put them away, especially in the first days of cohabitation. Also, the owner must stop any pet attempts to steal food from a neighbor. An attack on food can trigger aggression, which often turns into a fight.
- Relationships become less tense if pets have a kind of "tiers" where they dominate. For example, dogs usually occupy the floor. Cats love to climb higher. To prevent animals from crowding together, a sufficient number of such places should be organized: nail in special shelves or buy a cat house with several floors.
- It is necessary to make it clear to the animals who is the owner of the apartment. Love and affection are important, but pets should not be allowed to become impudent and cross the line of what is permitted. Approved boundaries must be strictly observed, otherwise all teams will be ignored.
If a cat or dog drives a neighbor into a corner after encroaching on someone else’s territory, the animals must be immediately separated. No one should feel like a victim.
How to make contact between pets
It is recommended to accustom animals to peaceful coexistence according to the following scheme:
- For 2-3 days, the cat and dog are kept in different rooms. So these neighbors will have time to get used to new smells, sounds.
- Before introducing pets, they are fed - well-fed animals are less aggressive.
- For the first meeting, it is better to prepare a leash and a muzzle, especially when they introduce an adult dog to a small kitten.
- Pets are given time to sniff each other slowly.
- The dog growls, barks - it is necessary to give the command "fu" and demonstrate his dissatisfaction with such behavior, and it is better to postpone further acquaintance for several days.
- Meetings are repeated for a week. Then animals are allowed to enter one room without limiters, but even then it is recommended to stay close to them.
- For greater safety, the cat is put in a carrying. The fence will help protect the animal from a large breed dog, if he suddenly aggressively reacts to an acquaintance.
Joint walks and games help bring a cat and a dog together or make peace after a hassle.
It’s easier from the very beginning to organize communication between pets than to try to reconcile them after the conflict. To do this, it is important to familiarize yourself with the most common mistakes when meeting a dog and a cat:
- You can’t put pressure on animals, force them to communicate.
- No one should feel left out - both the cat and the dog should be given equal attention.
- In the event of a conflict, one cannot blame the perpetrator and use physical force on him. In dogs, the punishment causes a long fear, and cats begin to dirty and avenge.
- It is not recommended to have pets in cramped housing conditions. Animals should have a personal corner for rest and enough space for free movement.
- Since dogs need more communication and are more active, dogs should regularly walk with them and play outside. So they will not pester the neighbor, demanding attention to themselves.
Cats and dogs can make friends, but only if the delimitation of the territory for feeding and the presence of personal space where they retreat, having exhausted the limit of sociability. It should be remembered that it is not always possible to establish friendship between a cat and a dog, even taking into account all the features of these species. In this case, you can not put pressure on animals and try to make them "friends" by force. The best thing that can be done with strained coexistence is to try to bring their relationship to a neutral level. Peace is achieved through moderate isolation of pets from each other. Over time, they will no longer openly quarrel, accustomed to mutual presence.
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Why are animals at war?
There are legends about the relationship between cats and dogs, and all of them talk about how representatives of these two species dislike each other. The behavior of four-legged friends is clear: both are hunters with pronounced instincts. Moreover, for the dog the owner is a leader, and the worst thing for her is to lose his approval. What kind of approval can there be when the leader shows interest in the cat?
For friendship, pets need preventive measures: socialization, education and training. In some cases, you have to turn to professional dog handlers.
When meeting cats and dogs, patience is important. At the first stage, they should not see each other. Try to keep the animals in different parts of the house so that they gradually get used to the smell of each other.
In parallel with this, it is advisable to work with the dog, positively reinforcing the desired behavior. For example, if the dog did not rush after the yard cat for a walk, praise him, let's have a treat.
At the second stage, the cat and the dog are already truly introduced. Choose a large room for this and do not leave pets alone for a minute. Everyone should have their own space.
In no case should you push animals towards each other, let them act independently. This process should proceed as naturally as possible.
Often at the first meeting with a new neighbor, the dog shows a full range of emotions, wanting to get to know each other immediately. This behavior usually scares the cat. In this case, you will have to work with the dog to eliminate excessive activity.
Help in rapprochement
After the cat and dog began to relate to each other calmly, help them find a closer contact. Joint walks or feeding will help bring animals closer.
On the feline side, especially the home side, walking is stressful. The accompanying dog will become a familiar defender in an unusual situation. In turn, the dog can perceive the cat as a new partner in the search for adventure.
As for joint feeding, the same principle of leisurely work is still working here. At first, at the first stage of dating, animal bowls should be bred in the corners of the kitchen. Gradually bring them together so that in the end the pets ate nearby.
In addition, collaborative games will help to get closer. However, if a cat or dog has bitten a partner, the game should be stopped. Do not raise your voice, scolding the offender, and defiantly regret the bitten. Thus, you only incite mutual hostility. It is enough to say “no” and stop the game.
Unfortunately, the cat and the dog manage to find a common language not always. In this case, try not to put pressure on the pets in an attempt to make friends with them, it is better to try to bring their relationship to a neutral level and limit communication. Perhaps, over time, they will get used to each other and stop fighting.