Raising Cats and Dogs Together
Cat and Dog Play, Dog Chasing the Cat, Dog and Cat Fighting and Dog Eating Cat Poop, Oh, My!
Cats and Dogs Fighting
Is your multi-species household not coming together as you had hoped? Or maybe you are being proactive BEFORE adding an additional furry family member. Today, I am going to share with you some ideas and training tips on how to curb your dog chasing the cat, eating cat poop, and proper play between cats and dogs. First, if you are considering adding a cat or dog to your home, please read my article “Bringing a New Cat into Your Dog’s Home. Should You?”
If your cat and dog fight, please seek the help of a professional. Now, before even reading this blog. A private pet behavior counselor can go over your particular case and ensure everyone is okay. Safety is always important, and a cat or even a small dog can become physically injured quickly. And most definitely, behavior problems can arise.
How to Stop a Dog From Chasing the Cat
- Dog-Free Zones: The first thing you should consider when having both dogs and cats is setting up dog-free zones. These are areas that your cat can call his own. A sanctuary away from the family dog where he can feel safe and secure when he feels he needs to get away. A cat room can also be handy when you may need to place your cat in a secure place that he cannot escape.
- The cat room should contain your cat’s healthy cat food, fresh water, litter box, and a sleeping spot. You will want to ensure the litter box is not close to his water, food, or bedding.
- The cat room should have easy access for your cat, but not the dog. A baby gate typically works best. Place the baby gate about 12-15” from the ground so that your cat can run under instead jumping over the gate. It’s much easier for a cat to run under rather than try to hop a fence. Another option is to install a cat flap in the cat room’s door. If you have tiny dogs, a flap that has a collar sensor is a good option.
2. Name Game/Come When Called: If your dog has a pretty reliable name game or come when called cue, teaching your dog not to chase the family cat will be much easier. If not, freshen up on those essential dog training cues.
3. Dog Training: When your cat is out and about and your dog is doing his own thing, say your dog’s name in a happy, sing-song voice. As soon as he comes running toward you, praise, treat, and have a great party. You want to start this dog training before your dog is interested in the cat or chases the cat. You are setting a foundation for not chasing the cat, and establishing that you are much more exciting than any silly kitty.
- Randomly do this throughout the day when the kitty is in the room or walking around. With practice, when your dog does start to chase the cat, your name game/recall can come into play successfully. If you practice this technique often with exciting rewards and play, your dog will start to ignore your cat and look to you instead.
- Oops! Your dog chased your cat or ignored your recall request. Calmly, go collect your dog. You can snap on his dog leash and have him hang out with you. You can also use his harness and leash to keep him with you if something seems a bit challenging. Once again, if you are really struggling, seek a professional to help you through the training lessons.
How to Stop a Dog from Eating Cat Poop
All I can say is Tootsie Rolls! I know—as gross as that sounds, it’s true. There’s something about a dog eating cat poop that really grosses out us humans, but they just seem to love it. It’s not a great behavior to have in your home, and certainly doesn’t make your dog any more kissable. If your dog is hoovering over the box while kitty is trying to go, this can actually lead to your cat’s refusing to use his litter box. Ewww!
Stop a Dog Eating Cat Poop
- #1 above—The dedicated dog-free area is the easiest and most successful dog management technique to stop a dog from eating poop.
- #2 above—Ensure a great name game/come when called so you can call your dog from heading to the litter box.
- Keep the litter box immaculately clean. If your dog does wander into the box but never finds any cat poop, he will likely stop checking.
- If you have a covered litter box, position your cat’s litter box door opening facing the wall. However, it’s super-important to ensure that your cat can EASILY access the litter box without feeling stressed.
Good Dog and Cat Play
Whenever I talk about appropriate dog play or dog and cat play, the first thing to mention is that it’s not play if everyone involved isn’t having a good time! Cats and dogs can be lifetime friends if you help them create a good foundation.
Look for these four things when trying to determine if your dog and cat are playing properly, or if there may be an issue lurking.
- Do both the dog and cat look comfortable? If both parties seem comfortable and content, things are likely going well and you can happily supervise.
- Both a dog and cat may softly and affectionately bat at each other; however, claws out or hard and heavy hits are not appropriate. Redirection is needed.
- Mouthing can be good play, but should be supervised very closely. If a dog has had a lot of puppy socialization and learned as a puppy how to mouth softly, you can supervise and allow. This, of course, is assuming the cat is happy.
- Chillaxin’ is a great way for a dog and cat to enjoy each other’s company. It’s not always about play and romping.
As always, if you are ever concerned about your pets’ safety, or if you observe fighting, hissing, or growling, please seek immediate help from a qualified professional. Cats and dogs can have a wonderful relationship with one another. Patience, supervision, and direction can go a long way in building a harmonious inter-species relationship.
Do you have cats and dogs in your home? Tell me in the comments.
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