Can cats and dogs live harmoniously together under the same roof? We have seen many posts on social media showing dogs and cats cuddled up together on the sofa, being the best of friends. However what happens when we introduce a dog into our family and chaos reigns between Kitty and Rover! If you are thinking about adopting a dog it is best to research which dog would be more suited and likely to get along with your cat. See our blog on “dog breeds which get along with cats”.
Above all else you need to make sure that your kitty has a safe place to flee to, away from their predator. You could try separating certain areas of the house with a baby gate. However you don’t want your cat to be constantly anxious so you need to stamp out this chasing behaviour. It is worth remembering that some dogs are born with an instinct to hunt and therefore love the thrill of the chase.
You don’t want this type of behaviour to become the norm but as you can imagine this would be a fun pastime for your dog, particularly if they are bored at home. I’m sure you will agree that this chasing habit needs to be stopped in its tracks and one way of doing this is with dog training. If you can train your dog on an empty stomach to obey simple commands such as “leave it” or “stay” and then offer treats as a reward they will respond better.
Some owners have had success with clicker training. A clicker is a small toy like device which produces a clicking sound which dogs respond to. Owners can once again use treats as a reward when your dog does as he is asked. It has been reported that it is best to have your dog on a leash with this type of training. As soon as your dog looks at your cat, you press the clicker and then reward your dog. It is helpful to have someone else in the room to keep your cat calm. Your dog will eventually associate not chasing the cat with getting a reward.
Whilst at home you can supervise your pets but until you can completely trust leaving them alone together it is best to keep them separated when you have to go out. With any type of training it requires persistence but be assured that you will get there in the end.