Call Us Today! 614-870-3900


Helping Fido And Fluffy Get Along

February 15, 2024

Dogs and cats are the top choices for pets in the U.S. While many people have a strong preference for one or the other, some households even have a mix of both. our furry companions can often learn to live together harmoniously, unfortunately, this isn’t a given. Sometimes Fido and Fluffy just do not get along. To learn how to maintain a peaceful household, continue reading! A local Galloway, OH veterinarian shares some valuable tips in this article.

Can Fluffy And Fido Become Friends?

That question really cannot be answered in a general way: it depends on the pets’ ages, temperaments, sizes, and histories.

Making the right match is really the biggest factor. This is particularly crucial when it comes to the dog. Fluffy can-and does-pick fights with her furry roommate, but Fido is usually the bigger threat. Don’t adopt a pooch that isn’t good with cats. Adopting a puppy? Avoid breeds that have a strong prey drive.

Be very careful with introductions, and be sure to provide each of your pets with the comforts and safe spaces they need. Don’t give up! It is adorable to see cats and dogs snuggled up together.

How Do I Keep The Peace?

While there are no one-size-fits-all solutions, there are a few things you can do to help ease tensions between your feline and canine buddies.

Offer Safe Zones: First and foremost, you’ll need to give Fluffy a few places to retreat where Fido cannot reach her. Vertical space may be your best bet. A cat tower with an enclosed upper level is a good option. A cat door may also be cut into the door to a spare bedroom or even a part of the house. Your cat pal needs to be able to get to food, water, and a litterbox without coming into contact with Fido.

Train Your Dog: Make sure Fido knows and obeys basic commands, such as Sit, Stay, Come, and Lay Down. Ask your Galloway, OH vet how to incorporate ‘Leave The Kitty Alone’ into Fido’s training.

Take Care When Feeding: Feeding Fluffy in a place Fido cannot reach can help.

Make Sure Both Pets Are Getting Exercise And Enrichment: You want your pets to work off that excess energy in a healthy way, not by attacking each other. Because many cat toys can be choking hazards for dogs, you’ll want to keep Fluffy’s toys out of reach of Fido so they can’t choke on them.

Reward Good Behavior: When your pets are being calm around each other, reward them! Treats and praise can go a long way towards forming positive associations.

Talk To Your Veterinarian: Your Galloway, OH vet is a great source of advice and information. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. That’s what we’re here for!

Put Safety First: Always prioritize the health, safety, and well-being of your pets. Don’t leave them alone unsupervised, and don’t ignore tension or spats.

How Should I Introduce My Cat And Dog?

Go slowly here. First impressions are a big deal to pets! It can be very difficult to reverse or undo the damage done by a bad first meeting.

Don’t just throw Fluffy and Fido into the same room and hope for the best. You’ll need to slowly ease them into things. Put them in separate areas at first. Initially, the new arrival should be kept in a quiet area with all of the necessities: food, water, toys, bedding. You can visit frequently, but allow them a few days to adjust. This is important for letting any pet adjust to a new home.

Over the next few days, you’ll likely see your furry friends sniffing around the door as they get to know each other’s scents. Feeding them on opposite sides of the door can help them form positive associations. You want Fluffy and Fido to think good things (dinner) happen when they are together.

It’s also important to make sure your Galloway, OH vet has given the all-clear for them to interact.

When both pets seem to have accepted that there is another pet in town, you can let them meet. You may want to have a barrier between them at first. One option is to put your cat in a carrier. Or, you could let them meet through a baby gate.

If things go well, you can remove the barrier. Keep Fido leashed during this initial interaction. Pay close attention to how they behave. It’s normal for them to be a bit excited at first. Fluffy may hiss and poof her fur, and she may decide to retreat to her chosen safe spot. Those tensions should hopefully gradually fade away.

If your pets fight, immediately separate them, and start the process over again.

Be patient! When you first introduce Fido and Fluffy, they may seem wary and uneasy about each other at first, but they may very well learn to get along eventually.

How Long Will It Take My Pets To Make Friends?

This is more likely to happen gradually than overnight. It can take up to a year for Fluffy to become accustomed to her new canine roommate. Our feline friends are creatures of habit! Plus, cats and dogs don’t speak the same language. There’s often a pretty significant communication gap between the two.

This does vary a bit from pet to pet. If your feline buddy is used to being around dogs, and/or vice versa, it may not take very long.

Fido’s age, size, and temperament play a key role here. Some dogs have a natural prey drive. This can make for unhappy roommates, but it can even be dangerous since many dogs survive by hunting small animals in the wild. Cats can trigger that predatory instinct in dogs sometimes. Doing some breed research can help you make a good match.

Fluffy isn’t always innocent here: sometimes cats are the ones causing trouble! However, dogs are usually the more significant threat.

What Should You Do If Your Dog And Cat Don’t Get Along?

There are instances where you can do everything right, from choosing the perfect companion to gradually acquainting your pets and providing for their needs, yet still face issues with pet compatibility.

We would advise that you start by consulting a pet behaviorist. Professional guidance can make a huge difference!

In these situations, the safety of your beloved furry companion should be prioritized above all else. Separating them may be a viable solution in certain cases; for example, granting Fluffy exclusive access to the upstairs while keeping Fido downstairs may be an option for some. However, you don’t want either pet to feel lonely or isolated.

However, in more serious cases, finding a new home for one of the pets may unfortunately be the only safe solution. Although this should always be a last resort, it is preferable to risking harm to one of your cherished animal companions.

Conclusion: Dogs and cats may not be naturally friendly to each other, but they often do learn to cohabitate. In some cases, they may even become best buddies! You can help prevent friction by being careful and consistent with Fluffy and Fido.  

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us today! As your local Galloway, OH pet hospital, we are here to help!

Posted in Cat Care, Dog Care

175 Galloway Rd.
Galloway, OH 43119
t: (614) 870-3900
f: (614) 870-6655

Also serving Westland and
surrounding areas.

Opening Hours:
Hours are by appointment only including those for medication, food, and product pick-up.