Dogs and Cats Who Don't Get Along
Dogs who haven’t been raised with cats
usually see them not as friends, but as prey. Cats who
are unfamiliar with dogs are usually afraid of
them. The best chance dogs and
cats have of learning to be friendly with each other is
if they are raised with or socialized to them before 4
months of age.
If your dog and cat are having trouble getting along,
your dog is probably chasing or threatening your cat. If
your cat runs away, this usually excites your dog even
more. It’s rare to have a cat who can successfully
intimidate a dog, but it does happen.
When introducing cats and dogs, the first priority is
to ensure the cat’s safety. While cats may scratch
dogs, they usually don’t kill them, but dogs can,
and have, killed cats.
Many problems can be prevented with proper introductions
that are done very gradually. Never put a dog and cat together
and let them “work it out.” Instead, keep your
dog and cat separated except when you are working on the
steps in the introduction process.
It’s important to monitor both pets’ quality
of life. It’s not OK for your cat to be in danger,
or too afraid to come out of the basement or the bedroom
for fear of being harassed or harmed by the dog. Your dog
should not be constantly on edge, trying to find the cat.
These situations call for carefully managed introduction
or re-introduction programs, and providing your cat safe
house time, with your dog confined or outside in a safe