For many of us, there is trepidation about raising a cat and dog together in the same household. Pooka does love cats. His puppy intuition guides him to chase felines, all in the spirit of fun and good play. For most cats, being chased can be interpreted as a predatory action. Young kittens and puppies raised together become accustomed to playing and snuggling. When older, a young dog who raises his paw to play can be met with a defensive swat from a cat, and the chase is on.
Engendering a friendship or a respectful truce between the two, often requires patience and assistance. Depending on temperaments, cats and dogs can be helped to turn their curiosity about each other into tolerance or even friendship. For example, keeping a puppy or dog on a leash in the presence of a family cat can give the cat room to investigate and become accustomed to the sight, sound and smell of the canine—all on the cat’s own terms and timing. In the introductory phase, it is better not to leave them together unattended in the same space, and feeding them together should probably come later as well.
For many of us cat and dog guardians, the investment of time is worth the effort. The rewards are enjoying our pets in a harmonious household atmosphere.
“Snicker came into my life eight and a half years ago, at a time when I was severely depressed. Having to care for him and train him and walk him twice a day kept me active and involved and got me outside in the fresh air. Having his sweet disposition, his silly antics and his unconditional love helped me through the rough times and I can honestly say that life is better with a dog!”
—Andrea McMillan, Palm Springs
“This is Mr. Max, rescued from a woman who hoarded cats. I took care of him for seven months, and he won my heart. He had severe bronchial issues from conditions he was born in. He now comes up to me and gives me kisses every day, as if to say, ‘Thank you… I love my nice warm home.’ I promise him that I will always take care of him!”
—Diane Weeks, Palm Springs
“Meet 2-year old, Kayla. I acquired her at a particularly difficult time in my life. Her affectionate nature and unconditional love have immensely contributed to my current state of wellbeing. I especially love Kayla’s unique vocalizing the word/question “Hello?’ I was initially uncertain about taking her in, but am sure glad that I have…we are both reaping the benefits!”—Kathy Crandall, Palm Springs
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