Who says cats and dogs cannot be friends? Besides watching the famous animated duo, Tom and Jerry, since the 1940’s, run after each other for endless episodes, we are accustomed to the idea that the dog chases the cat, the cat chases the mouse, and that’s pretty much the basis. Well in reality folks, the companionship between a feline and a canine can turn into reality with time and patience.
In late April 2016, I had the pleasure in adopting my first kitten from the Inland Valley Humane Society, a non-profit animal shelter, and never did I expect this bundle of fur to bring me so much joy, I named her Luna. Two months later, a close friend found a puppy in the streets and asked if I wanted take in the homeless pup. Sure, why not? What could possibly go wrong with a mischievous kitten and bashful puppy in the same household?
Reminder, time and patience are the key trying to make these two creatures to become bff’s. Initially, I began with placing my cat in the kennel, while I let my pup, Lola, roam around the cage. This way both animals can interact while having a barrier in between them, in order to avoid any future scratches or bite marks. After letting the pup roam around the cage, I switched out the animals and placed the pup inside the cage and let the cat strut around the area. Any forms of crate, kennel, or pet carrier, are helpful containers in taming the two animals when meeting for the first time. If any of the two appear anxious or frightened, try this strategy at a later time.
When you feel the two animals are slightly more relaxed with one another, get a leash for the dog, since dogs have a natural instinct to run around and chase after anything that moves. When I held my dog by its leash, she was eager to play around with the cat and excited to interact with her. Although the dog may appear ready to play with the cat, the cat may not be ready to play with the energetic pup just yet. Once again, if the animals seem scared just try again another time and try this periodically until they are comfortable.
- Lola and Luna hanging by the garden. Photo taken by me.
Finally, the moment of truth, supervise the cat and dog in a closed space to let them intermingle one on one. Make sure there is an area where the cat can run off to or jump onto avoid the dog if it is not prepared to interact. After trying these methods for a few days, in less than two weeks, my dog and cat were able to confidently walk around each other, without any growling or hissing occurring. After successful training, I love to watch Luna and Lola run around after each other knowing that they can actually bond despite their species.
If you plan on bringing another pet into your household, do it. Within time and after several trial and errors, your two pets should get along. Like I stated before, who said cats and dogs couldn’t be friends?