Cats and dogs are notorious for not being the best of friends. They fight, fight and fight every chance they get! However, is it really entirely impossible for them to form bonds and fight against their common enemy we can call “The Vacuum”? Fear not furparents, the battle is long and hard, but not impossible to win.
Cat and Dog Friendships: A Tale of Two Tails
If you ever feel like it is already impossible for cats and dogs to forge friendships, well listen to these amazing friendships from real life cat and dogs:
1. Pela, Sunny and Pamuk
Valia Orfanidou has 3 lovely pets. Pela is a German Shepherd and definitely the oldest of them all. Sunny and Pamuk are stray cats that Valia adopted and welcomed to her home. According to Orfanidou, Pela is definitely not a cat-friendly dog because she would often chase cats around like any normal dog would do. However, she became smitten with the two kittens. German Shepherds are known to be very territorial and they are great trackers.
2. Marley and Tickles
Marley is a labrador retriever while Tickles is a tabby ginger cat. Before Marley became a part of the family, Tickles was an “only child.” Tickles is kind of aloof because she’s used to staying home alone. Marley, on the other hand, is an enthusiastic and playful pup.
Imagine Tickles horror when her furparent brought along a ball of energized fluff! However, as time passed by they became best friends and would often snuggle together.
3. Ruth and Idgie
This is one of the stories that will tug your heartstrings. Ruth is a mixed breed black and white cat while Idgie is a dachshund. Ruth and Idgie are stray animals and they were found together! According to an article from the Orlando Sentinel, Ruth and Idgie were found dumped in a gated driveway outside Geneva. When they were found, Idgie was providing warmth to Ruth by hugging her.
After they were adopted, they both were inseparable. They became best friends. Unfortunately, Ruth had deformities. Orlando Sentinel reported that Ruth’s front paw curled in unnaturally that she could only drag her back legs in order to move.
Eventually, Ruth was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease which ended with Ruth losing the fight. Idgie, her protector and best friend, mourned over the loss of her dearest friend.
Forging Friendship between cat and dog
As you can see, it is not impossible for your cat and dog will form friendships. As a cat/dog parent, you play the most crucial part. First of all, you must make sure to introduce them to an environment where they won’t feel stressed and is comfortable for them.
Cats in particular need consistency, not only in territory but also comfortability. Cats tend to be aloof at first and they need a space where they can feel lurk and hide. For first time feline parents, you may give your cat an area where the dog can’t walk over or trespass. You may give your cat a box and a litter box in that area. Cats love boxes and they like hiding.
Secondly, train your dog or pup. This is very important because dogs have natural predatory instincts meaning they can see your cat as a prey. You should be able to stop your dog’s impulses and observe him/her when s/he’s interacting with your cat.
Then, introduce your kitten’s scent to your pup and vice versa. You may rub a cloth to your feline and put it in your pup’s bed where your pup can sniff the cloth and eventually your dog will get used to the scent of your kitten. And you can do the same to the dog so that your cat will also become familiar with the scent.
Lastly, introduce them gradually. Through separate fences, you may let them roam around until they are ready to observe each other through the fence or their cages. Do not abruptly introduce them to each other, they might be more cautious of each other instead of getting along.
Dogs need to be familiarized with the cat’s sound, scent, and sight. The same goes for the cat, s/he needs time to adjust to the dog.
So you see, forming a friendship between a cat and a dog is not impossible. It will take weeks, maybe months but your feline and canine will eventually open up to each other if and when they are ready. You just need to ensure a safe space both for your cat and dog where they can do whatever they want without annoying each other.
How long does it take for a cat to socialize?
Cats usually take around 6 to 12 weeks for them to get used to a new household or new member of the family. Both animals will certainly take time adjusting.
Do cats and dogs naturally hate each other?
Cats and dogs naturally dislike each other. Dogs were hunters before, so they have a strong predatory drive. Whereas cats were also hunters back then, they sometimes became prey. So the main reason why they have an innate dislike to each other is because they both hunt for food, and are territorial by nature
Do old dogs have a much harder time adjusting to cats?
If your dog is trained, then it won’t be hard to introduce your cat. However, older dogs need supervision when you’re trying to introduce the cat. If he’s had a history of harming small animals or cats, it’s best if you isolate them from each for a couple of months.
Let your older dog get used to the smell, sight and sound of your cat.