The age-old saying “fight like a cat and a dog” is such an established and popular phrase – and there is a compelling reason for the saying.
In evolutionary terms, dogs are the offspring of wolves who would travel and hunt in packs, while cats were creatures of solitude. This is where competition comes in as both carnivores would fight for food.
However, the historical roots do not mean that cats and dogs cannot live under one roof.
As the most popular pets in the UK and with more than 1.9 million UK households living in both a cat and a dog, it is important that they can live together in peace.
Finding the right balance can be difficult. For this reason, the sustainable cat litter brand, Natusan, has put together five top tips so that your dog and cat can live together in harmony.
Rachel Andre, General Manager, said: “Over the past year, the pandemic has sparked a real boom in pets being brought home and introduced as part of the family.
“That means more new pets are being taken into households that may already have other animals. So we need to be aware of how we are helping them build bonds. “
The brand has created a checklist to help cats and dogs live in harmony:
From rescue dogs to retired racing greyhounds given a second chance in life, dogs of all shapes, sizes, ages, and breeds have been endorsed through Butcher’s #NutrishEveryDog campaign.
The initiative has changed the lives of less fortunate dogs across the country, helping charities at a time when many are struggling with a lack of donations.
Butchers have been a vital support to organizations like the Manchester and Cheshire Dogs’ Home, which look after over 7,000 dogs each year. Many are never reclaimed from their owners and require emotional and physical support before they can be made available for adoption.
Manager Anna Stansfield said, “I’ve worked here for 13 years and while we have received many donations, we have always been short of wet food. We were delighted when Butcher’s said they could help bridge the gap through their #NutrishEveryDog campaign The amount of food we received made a difference to our dogs. “
German Shepherd Rescue Elite also received many delicious butcher dishes during the campaign. The charity was founded to help out unwanted, abandoned, and neglected German Shepherd Dogs and to educate the public about owning a large working dog. Founder Allison Clarke said, “German Shepherds are very sensitive dogs, and when they are in kennels their stomachs are often even more sensitive because of the environment they are in.
“When Butcher asked if we wanted food, we loved it. It is of such good quality that even picky eaters will enjoy it, which is a great help when it comes to keeping our dogs in need safe.”
Use commands to control the chase
As playful creatures, it is very easy for dogs to get excited and chase cats – something that stems from their evolutionary instinctive behavior. However, this type of unwanted attention may not be particularly well received by a cat trying to causally run its own business.
Taking the time to teach your dog to sit, stay, and step down commands will give you more control. This means that you can help spread hairy home situations between the two.
Create a safe place for your cat friend
As territorial creatures, cats like their own personal space. And if you also have a dog under one roof, make sure your cat has a safe space that is inaccessible to dogs.
Veterinarian Dr. Scott Miller said, “It is so important to make sure that not only does your cat have a safe place to call themselves, but that their litter box is kept in a safe place that is not easily accessible to a dog.
“This is because dogs have a habit of ingesting cat feces, which can lead to serious intestinal problems with the bacteria. The hazards can lead to health complications such as vomiting, diarrhea, and anemia. “
Use the power of the fragrance
So that cats and dogs can not only recognize each other but also get used to each other, they can smell each other’s belongings. For example, take your sheets and swap them out so that they indulge their curiosity and familiarize themselves with the scent of their roommates. “
Find common ground and plan meeting times
A great way to start relationship building is to plan for pets to be together under supervision.
What cats and dogs have in common is their mutual love for food. You will begin to associate meal time with each other’s smell. Make sure, however, that eating together is on a common basis. Do not establish mealtime for either of them in one of their sacred safe rooms.
Loosen the reins and let them play
Once the boundaries are set, try to loosen the rule a bit and let them try to play together as this can really help create and solidify a connection. This is because gaming is an important way for pets to show alliances.