Contact A Professional Cat Behaviorist If Additional Help Is Needed
This is particularly important with a specific type of aggression called redirected aggression. This involves a single event that frightens one or more cats and, in this moment of fear, one attacks the other. A common example is if two cats are sitting on a windowsill and an outdoor cat appears which suddenly frightens the cats. A sudden loud noise or a sudden injury can also cause this behavior. Its extremely important that the cats remain entirely separated until both cats are acting like their normal selves and then a slow re-introduction is needed. This process can be a challenge and is best done under the guidance of a professional.
Why Do Dogs And Cats Not Get Along We Have The Answer For You
Have you ever wondered why dogs and cats don’t get along? Here’s why and what you can do about it!
Contrary to popular belief, the world is not divided into âcat-peopleâ and âdog-peopleâ. It seems like animal lovers who have a heart for both felines and canines have managed the feat of keeping both in their homes in perfect harmony. But have you ever wondered why do dogs and cats not get along?
In short: Cats and dogs have serious, historically established communication issues. These make even a first meeting very difficult. Therefore, understanding where their differences lie and how they developed is a first important step in helping them become friends.
What Dog Breeds Are Not Good With Cats
Any dog breed with a high prey drive usually wont be good with cats. Theyll see the cat as a prey animal and attempt to hunt them. This isnt something that you can really socialize out since its an innate drive. Any dog that was made to chase something is typically not going to be a good dog for your cat since theyre likely going to try and chase your cat.
You should be especially careful with:
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Will This Ever Change
Both dogs and cats can co-exist in harmony with the right motivation.
As they grow up, puppies and kittens go through what is known as a socialisation period where they can be taught how they should behave. This is when they learn to recognise their mother, how to interact with members of their own species, humans and, where necessary, cats or dogs.
In this period, they will learn to coexist with the other if there are no unpleasant consequences.
This socialisation period is usually at five to 12 weeks for puppies and four to eight weeks for kittens.
The flip side is that a cat or dog that does have an unpleasant experience in this time, can develop a hatred that may last for their lifetime.
Be Careful With Your Selection
When you go to adopt your new pets, its important to take into consideration both pets that you plan on adopting.
Like when adopting one pet, the potential pets personality is considered before adopting to determine if it will mesh well in your home.
Getting a timid cat in a household full of people and children wouldnt be the best fit for you and the pet. Factoring both potential pets personalities into the equation can help get a better pair that will get along.
Getting an aggressive cat and a similarly aggressive dog will only lead to trouble. Making sure you are careful with the cat and dog that you choose to adopt can help to avoid fights and ensure a friendly duo .
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Why Do Dogs And Cats Not Get Along: Historical Enemies
To start with, the first cats and dogs that joined the sides of humans many thousand years ago were not the domesticated pets we now know.
About dogs: Dogs, who are the descendants of wolves, were very social even then. While their primary motivation for staying close to us was food, dogs might have also valued the company of their first humans. Nevertheless, scavenging human leftovers was always far more convenient than having to hunt.
About cats: For cats, who are descendants of the Egyptian Wild Cat, food was all they wanted from us in the beginning. Their ancestors are very solitary animals. Experts still wonder, how such shy animals could develop into our beloved lounge leopards and pet lions.
So while humans had the benefit of enjoying the company of both, cats and dogs were always in competition for:
So when wondering why do dogs and cats not get along, take their roots also into consideration.
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The Americans Veterinary Medical Association recorded that 41% of pet owners reported that their dog had a fear of going to the vet. This rose to 51% in 2015. Interestingly, during this same time period, pet owners reported that their own anxiety also increased when going to the vet. It rose from 30-38%.
He is aggressive towards other dogs and people Same-sex aggression and aggression towards other breeds of dogs is well documented with this breed. It is strongly recommended that no more than two Jack Russells ever be permitted to stay together unattended.
Inter-dog aggression occurs when a dog is overly aggressive towards dogs in the same household or unfamiliar dogs.
This behavior is often considered normal, but some dogs can become excessively aggressive due to learning and genetic factors.
Inter-dog aggression occurs much more frequently in non-neutered male dogs.
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Why Dogs Fight With Cats
While cats are the usual instigators in those interspecies fights, dogs dont get off entirely scot-free. Thats because dogs have hardwired hunting instincts that trigger an impulsive desire to chase rapidly moving objects like a tossed tennis ball or cat prancing down the hallway.
Particularly common in hunting or herding breeds, an excited or playful dog will pursue a wandering cat for the thrill of the chase. In the classic dog-cat relationship, dogs fill that predator role albeit not always with sinister intentions.
Is it an overzealous dog tormenting your unsuspecting cat? The video below explains how to train Fido to leave Fluffy be :
How Long Does It Take Cats To Get Used To Each Other
According to the ASPCA, it can take eight months to a year for cats to develop friendships. Some will learn to love each other, but you might have to face the reality that not all cats will get along. They will usually try to avoid each other if a friendship doesn’t develop, but sometimes fights break out and, unfortunately, persist until one cat has to be re-homed.
Two males, two females, or even a male-female pair can get along as long as they are introduced at a young age.
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Other Types Of Aggression To Consider
A female cat with a litter of kittens may hiss, growl, chase, swat or try to bite another cat who approaches, even one with whom she was formerly friendly. Maternal aggression usually subsides once the kittens are weaned. Its a good idea to spay maternally aggressive cats to prevent future litters and future aggression problems.
Its common for kittens and young cats to engage in rough, active play because all feline play consists of mock aggression. Cats stalk, chase, sneak, pounce, swat, kick, scratch, ambush, attack and bite each otherall in good fun. If theyre playing, its reciprocal. They change roles frequently. Their ears are typically forward in play, their claws may be out but they dont cause damage, and their bodies lean forward not back.
They Dont Speak The Same Language
Another reason why dogs hate cats might be because they speak a different language, and making friends is tough if you cant even communicate! Obviously, meows and barks are different, but it turns out even their body language isnt the same.
For example, we all know a dog’s wagging tail is a sign of happiness. Yet in a cat, a wagging tail is a sign of agitation. Thats two VERY different emotions from the same bit of body language.
If your dog hasnt grown up around cats, you cant expect them to understand a cats way of communicating. Just like you wouldnt expect to suddenly know German unless you grew up there or studied it. Dogs and cats might not get along simply because they dont know how to communicate with one another, and get some very mixed messages!
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Introducing Dogs To Cats
Whether you already have a dog and are considering getting a cat, or vice versa, it is very important to think about their first introduction. By letting a loose cat and an off-leash dog meet each other in an open room for the first time, you are probably setting up both animals to fail. Instead, plan ahead and take your time.
MATCHING CATS AND DOGS
THE INTRODUCTION PROCESS
Regardless of whether you are getting a new cat or a new dog, the first introduction between your current pet and your new pet is a very important part of the process. Here are four steps that can help you ensure a successful meeting:
STEP 1: CHOOSE THE PROPER LOCATION FOR THE FIRST MEETING
STEP 2: SEPARATE THE ANIMALS
- Across a few days, rotate which animal has freedom and which is confined to allow each animal plenty of time to investigate the other ones scent.
- Sometimes the dog should be confined to a crate or another room to allow the cat time to roam free and investigate the smell of the dog.
- If the dog obsessively digs at the separation barrier or barks at the cat for more than a day or two, the interaction likely wont work without proper training. You may need the help of a professional.
- When no one is home, the dog or cat must always be securely confined so unsupervised interactions are not possible.
- Once the dog is calm and the cat is calm, eating and using the litter box normally, you can proceed to the next step.
STEP 3: MAKE LEASHED INTRODUCTIONS
STEP 4: ALLOW UNSUPERVISED INTERACTIONS
Learning To Live Together
The most conflict between cats and dogs tends to happen when you are dealing with adult animals. In truth, cats and dogs that are raised together and socialize accordingly can get along perfectly well.
Another factor is breed. Certain types of dogs are just that much easier to train, and some cats will simply not mind other pets in the home. Then its down to the individual animal, who may or may not carry particular experiences and issues that make things difficult around other animals.
For example, a cat or dog that had a bad experience with its opposite may carry a traumatic memory and react badly to a situation where they are confronted with a trigger.
If youre planning to have both cats and dogs, there are a few things you might consider:
Adopt them at the same time, as a puppy and kitten, respectively. Young animals are less likely to act aggressively towards one another. More than that, they will get used to the smell and behavior of the other early on, making it a norm.
-A cat will prefer plenty of space in which it is beyond the reach of the dog. So provide lots of high spaces like cat trees or cat walks around your home. Even when they do get along, a cat will be more obliged to sit at a safe height and observe.
-Separate feeding spaces. In some cases, the way a dog acts around food may be distressing for a cat. Cats like to be calm and collected when eating. Some dogs get really excited.
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My Cat Hates My Dog: What Should I Do
In the battle between cats and dogs, dogs are usually depicted as the instigators. But sometimes, it’s the cat who has it in for the family dog. Though it’s certainly possible, and actually quite common, for cats and dogs to get along and even form friendships, some cats just want nothing to do with dogs. They may even turn hostile toward the friendliest and gentlest of pups, leaving you to wondering what to do.
This can be especially true of a shelter cat introduced into your home. Although shelter personnel should be able to tell you whether a cat gets along with dogs, sometimes cats are on their best behavior at the shelter and only show their true temperaments after they’ve spent some time in a home. It’s also impossible to determine an adult shelter cat’s background, so there might be something in their past that triggers an intense dislike of dogs. But your home doesn’t have to be a battleground for pets. With enough time and patience, you can teach your kitty to peacefully coexist with your pup.
Should I Intervene When My Cat And Dog Fight
Yes. You should absolutely intervene when your cat and dog start fighting. Physical aggression is not how cats or dogs settle their differences and get used to each other. Letting your animals fight will not teach them how to get along. That simply isnt how it works.
Instead, fighting will lead to injury in the short term. Most of the time, the injury wont be terrible. However, if there is a significant size difference between a dog and a cat, it could be catastrophic. A dog over 30 pounds may easily be able to kill a cat if the feline doesnt get away fast enough.
Fighting is also likely to make one party more afraid of the other. Usually, it is the cat that becomes more frightened of the dog. However, if your cat happens to be much larger than your dog, the opposite may be true. This occurs most often in small breed puppies, where the cat is often much larger than the dog. Fear often leads to more aggressive behavior in animals. They are more likely to feel threatened by the other animal if they are scared of them.
One of the ways animals deal with feeling threatened is by acting aggressively. This will likely only lead to more fights. This is especially true if the threatened party has difficulty fleeing the area. This can occur with larger dogs and cats, as the dogs are typically able to overpower the cat easily. It can also occur with cats and puppies since the puppy isnt nearly as strong or fast as the cat. The scared party may simply attack the other one.
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If Your Cats Still Cant Get Along
Dont hesitate to contact a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist or a board-certified veterinary behaviorist for guidance. One of these qualified experts can evaluate the problem and help you manage or resolve the conflict between your cats. To find a behaviorist in your area, please see our article, Finding Professional Behavior Help.
Some cats simply cannot live together peacefully. Since chronic stress and tension isnt healthy for people or pets, rather than force them to suffer years of stressful coexistence, it may be more humane to keep them permanently separated in the house or find another home for one of them.
S For Preventing Aggression Between Cats
What may help your cats depends on the reason for the aggression. Note that these methods won’t work for every cat, but if you’re committed to keeping your cats together, you should try as many as you can.
Give Cats Personal Space
Have two of everything: beds, scratching posts, food and water bowls, etc., so the cats won’t feel like they have to fight to keep what’s theirs. For litter boxes, the best formula to follow is number of cats +1= the total number of litter boxes you should have available in your house.
A Way Out
Installing a cat door into a room where the passive cat can retreat may be all it takes to calm things down. You can even get a cat collar that controls the cat door – if you only put the collar on the passive cat, he/she will be able to access the room as needed.
You’ve probably heard of products such as Feliway that helps cats feel calm and relieves stress through the use of pheromones. Many pet owners have had great success when using such products to calm aggression between cats.
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Can Cats And Dogs Get Along
Cats and dogs can get along, and many coexist without fighting or scuffles. Some cat/dog duos share such a strong bond that theyll share food and water bowls, snuggle on the couch, or groom one another. However, this blissful relationship between cat and dog isnt the norm.
The outlook of this relationship usually comes down to behavior and breed.
Some dog breeds like the Australian Cattle Dog, Whippet, and Afghan Hound have strong prey drives and enjoy chasing down small animals . Meanwhile, breeds like the Collie, Golden Retriever, and Papillon are generally mild-mannered, outgoing, and docile, making them better companions in households with anxious cats.
Cats are typically more reluctant than dogs when building this unusual interspecies friendship. However, a cat with its own space , an easy-going attitude, and no bad past experiences with a dog may welcome this canine into the home with open arms.
Some cats and dogs duos are best friends, and others merely share the same home, but as long as theyre not nipping at ankles or clawing at eyes, its better than nothing.
A good relationship between a dog and a cat is something all pet owners only dream of. In the video below, youll see the beautiful story of Alvin and Baron, who are best friends: