ALL ABOUT DOGS and CATS Resource Center for Canine & Feline Lovers
Dogs & Cats: How To Judge Whether Or Not Your Dog Will Like The New Cat
by Joe Hanson
When you first bring a dog and cat together, 90 percent of the time, the cat will initially be the one
that is frightened and the first to run away. Rarely, there are exceptions, especially for smaller
breeds that are not properly socialized. I recall one of my Chihuahuas who would never approach a
cat again after the very first one he came across hissed and batted at his little nose, leaving a big
gash across it!
The way in which a dog interacts with a new cat can fall into a few specific categories. Some dogs
will instantly perceive a cat as prey and will do whatever they can to pursue the cat with every
intention of hurting it.
Other dogs will not be as aggressive and tend to be more on the curious side towards the feline.
This curiosity can evolve into play or aggression, which is a result of the cat reacts to the dog. The
dog may want to play initially but the cat may feel intimidated, become defensive, and begin acting
assertively. This can trigger and result in the dog's own aggression.
Then there are dogs who appear to fall in love at first blush when they see a cat. They are calm
when in the cat's company and view the animal as the ultimate play thing. Optimistically, the cat will
react in the same way and there will be no issues between the two.
In many cases, it is very challenging to determine what each animal's intentions are during the first
few hours of social interaction. If you are not certain how the encounter is going and whether or
not the scenario could turn violent, you can always seek the advice of a certified animal behaviorist
or other informed consultant that is familiar with dog and cat behavior.
Rules Of The First Interaction
If you plan on introducing a new cat or dog into your home where you currently have a pet residing,
the way in which in which you introduce them can mean the difference between a long-term
relationship or aggressive behavior and injury to one of them, which, more often than not, will be
Your intended end result of this introduction is to assist both animals with becoming comfortable
with one another in small baby steps, or doses, if you prefer. A positive relationship between a cat
and a dog is dependent upon friendly familiarity.
The very first meeting should be a positive situation for both of the animals. As we've said before,
always be on your aware of protecting the cat and its' safety. And when your animals cannot be
under your supervision, they should kept apart until your return.
The timing of this introductory phase depends on the situation. Occasionally cats and dogs can
become very close friends in a only a few days, while other situations may take weeks or even
months before your pets will begin to tolerate each other.
You must be willing to put in the effort to supervise these meetings for as long as it takes. It may go
quickly or it may progress at a snail's pace. Either way, your obligation in bringing the animals
together and continuing the peace is key to a successful partnership.
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