What are the things that influence the relationship between cats and dogs?🐶🐈

There are many factors at play: genetics, socialization and previous experience, age at which the two animals met each other, the owner’s behavior and resource distribution.

An important factor is the experience that a puppy had with cats during the socialization period. Was he/she introduced to a cat? What kind of an interaction was it?

If a puppy has learnt that chasing cats is nice and fun, he/she will always keep doing it.

But if a dog was introduced to cats as a puppy and considers them nothing more than neighbors, there is a great chance that he/she will always be calm in their presence.

Previous experience matters. For example, if a cat seriously scratched a dog, or if a cat has once seen another cat attacked or killed by dogs, it obviously won’t contribute to a warm relationship.

It’s important to correctly introduce the animals to each other.

The best way to do it is when both animals are still little – a puppy and a kitten.

The perfect age is under 4 months. But the chance of friendship is still quite high if at the moment of the first introduction the cat is under 6 months, and the dog – under 12 months of age.

Who should you bring home first?

A series of experiments show that it’s better to first get a kitten and then, after around 1.5 months – a puppy. The chance of them becoming friends (or at least not hating each other) in this case is much higher.

Distribution of resources includes mainly proper distribution of territory.

Both the cat and the dog must be able to move around the house freely and safely, and have all the resources easily accessible to them (food, water, litter box, scratching post, bed, owner, etc).

The two animals shouldn’t run into each other in important places for them.
It’s crucial to avoid any competition for resources (food, place and the owner’s attention).

To be continued…