a new dog or a cat can be a real challenge. With a little patience, however,
a dog and cat can often coexist peacefully and even become friends. When
acquiring a new dog or cat it is a good idea to research the breed and
personality of the pet to see if they are likely to get along with another
specie. In particular, some dog breeds tend to be aggressive hunters and
are not the best choice to have with a cat. There are also some more aggressive
cat breeds that can be difficult too. When introducing the new housemates
doing it gradually and giving them each plenty of space is key. If your
dog or puppy is excitable, keeping him on a leash is wise. An over excited
puppy will often receive a swipe across the nose from a freighted cat.
A leash is also helpful in teaching a dog that chasing the cat is not acceptable,
and that calmness and restraint is praised. Puppies often need protection
too because they don't realize the potential of being hurt by a cat, and
often lack the self-control of an older dog.
Giving a separate area for both pets is helpful. This is particularly true
for cats that need a spot where they feel safe. It also allows both pets
to adapt to each other at their own speed. Keeping separate feeding areas
is also helpful and reduces potential conflict. Also make sure both receive
plenty of attention so that they both feel secure and don't feel like they
are in competition with each other.
With time if they are growing accustomed to each other, encourage them
to play in the presence of the other. This will help them relax and accept
the other one better. While these steps help there is a good share of luck
involved too. Some cats and dogs become great friends with little intervention
on their owner's part, while in some cases tolerance of one another is
as good as it gets.