How to raise a dog and a cat together can be challenging, though not impossible.
If you think of cats and dogs as polar opposites, you’re not entirely wrong.
Dogs are revered for their friendly and loyal dispositions. These qualities have cemented their legacy as “Man’s Best Friend.”
By contrast, cats often carry themselves pompously as if they’re the center of the universe. And yet, cat owners are attracted to this sense of pride and independence.
But to fully understand the “Cats vs. Dogs” rivalry, you must also consider their instincts.
Dogs like to chase smaller animals that flee and cats have a natural instinct to flee from animals that chase them!
What’s more, cats and dogs each come with a list of strengths and weaknesses.
Happy dogs will offer you their unwavering loyalty (strength) but can be a handful to take care of (weakness.)
Cats have a low-maintenance reputation, well-known for their ease of care (strength), but they can be deceitful or manipulative to get what they want (weakness.)
However, the pet owner who can overlook these pluses and minuses can successfully raise a dog and a cat together.
So, how can you get the best of both worlds and create a family environment for your cats and dogs to coexist in harmony?
As you’ll soon find out, how to raise a dog and a cat together isn’t as terrible as you might think.
Below are 5 things that you can do to set your feline and canine friends up for success!
1. Give Your Cat And Dog Their Own Spaces
Many wars have been fought over territories.
To ensure peace in your home, and successfully raise a dog and a cat together, give each of them a space that’s exclusively theirs.
For example, a dog crate can be a haven for your canine friend when she wants to retreat to a safe space.
Similarly, cats will find a nook in your home where they feel more relaxed. Once you’ve identified this nook, make it extra cozy for them by keeping their toys nearby.
And don’t worry if you live in a small apartment or studio: cats thrive in a “vertical world!”
Their special nook can be on top of the refrigerator in the kitchen or on the uppermost shelf in the living room.
2. Introduce Your Pets’ Toys And Other Belongings
Cats and dogs rely on their senses of smell to familiarize themselves with their environment.
To raise a dog and a cat together, you’ll need to ease them into a proper introduction.
Before meeting face-to-face, keep your pets in separate rooms and allow them to smell each other’s toys and possessions first, including blankets, beds, and so on.
This can help ease the introduction later on and satisfy their curiosities beforehand.
3. Family Dinners
A good way to forge a bond and raise your dog and cat together is to “break bread,” or eat meals like a true family!
Forging this bond will take some time and patience.
After all, your pets might not want to share the same space while eating their meals.
To begin, feed your cat and dog close to one another, but include a barrier between them so that they can’t see each other.
Either side of a closed door should work or on opposite sides of furniture like a couch or a table.
Then, as they become more familiar and accepting of each other’s scents, move their food bowls closer together until they’re inches apart.
Over time, they should feel more comfortable and not threatened by each other.
4. Give Equal Treatment & Affection
Cats and dogs aren’t immune to jealousy.
If either one seeks your attention, make sure to follow up with the other one and show them both some love! This is important when raising a dog and a cat together.
Also, if you’re prone to speaking to your dog in a baby voice when you get home, keep in mind that cats can pick up on this and “act out” or misbehave out of jealousy.
Lastly, make sure that each of your pets has access to roughly the same amount of toys.
5. Train Your Dog To Keep The Peace
Unlike dogs, cats can’t be trained to sit, stay, and fetch.
Therefore, when it comes to following orders, dogs carry the burden of responsibility.
This is why training your dog to follow commands is an absolute must.
If a fight breaks out between your dog and your cat (because families tend to fight!), kindly ask your dog to sit, stay, or “go to bed.”
In short, use any other command that will create some distance between them.
Then, when everyone’s cooled off a bit, allow your dog and cat to come to a natural truce.
Following these five steps can help you raise a dog and a cat together successfully.
And once you’ve created a happy living environment for your cat and dog, you’ll enjoy each other’s companies more than ever!