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  • gregvalentyne

Fighting Like Cats and Dogs... Or Not

Updated: Sep 9, 2019

I’m such an animal lover. I love my cat Baxter, and my dog Dixie, so much. They’re my fur babies! Okay Georgia and Jackson come first, but my animals are a close second.

When we first introduced our dog to the house, we were worried about keeping peace in the home with different four-legged creatures. Lucky for us, our cat isn’t one of ‘those’ cats! She is super social and meets us at the front door when we get home. But kitty lovers won’t be the least surprised when I say that cats can get a tad territorial! Some spray, hiss, or hide. Our little princess just looked at the dog like he was from a whole other planet. The issue also was that our pup was young, and they don’t exactly play in the same way! For all new pet owners, there is always a transition period! Don’t worry, it will get better!

Okay first things first - make sure that the litter box is not accessible to your pup because your cats poop will be a delicacy for them! I know GROSS! Once they get it once, it's close to impossible to break the cycle, they just keep coming back for more! We have a kitty door going down to the basement so Dixie can’t fit through that. Win-win because this also gives our cat the whole basement to herself.

When we first brought our dog home, we made the introduction very slow. We put Dixie in a room with the door closed and let the cat sniff him from under the door. Then we progressed to having Dixie on the leash, and letting the cat come up and sniff. Don’t be surprised if your cat swats at your new precious pup! It won’t hurt the dog; it just makes sure the dog knows who is in charge! Let your cat make all the first moves, especially if your cat was there first!

In the opposite situation with a new cat, dogs are typically very interested in this new creature. Cats take a while to be comfortable in a new environment. Set up a room for the cat, with toys, food, water and a litter box. This closed door will also allow the dog and cat to get used to each other. You may even catch them playing footsie under the door! The cat will slowly become comfortable in that room, and then you can open the door. Let the cat come out on their own! Pushing cats won’t get you very far! Such stubborn (and adorable!) creatures. It is worth the wait! Your animals may never be best friends but being civil is a must! You may be surprised how close they do get though! We catch Baxter and Dixie grooming each other now!


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