The easiest way to introduce a cat and a dog is to bring them together when they are both young and new to the family. But this is not always possible.
However good your intentions are, even the best of friends can get into a squabble. But don’t allow it to escalate into a real fight. One of them will be the loser and it could damage their relationship permanently.
The best way to break up a fight between a cat and a dog is to avoid one. The first step is making the environment a safe place for both of them.
- Never force them to be together since one or the other may not be in the mood. They may not be quite ready to play and may just want to sleep.
- Give both the cat and the dog its own bowls for food and water. Each can have a couple of toys of his/her own. Feed the cat up high so the dog can’t reach the food.
- Prepare a place for each animal to escape to and feel safe.
- Make sure to spend time with each one so there are no feelings of jealousy.
- Have a large flat board to tennis racquet in readiness in case a fight does break out. You can place the object between the two to separate them. Never use your hands or body as a shield in a fight. You are bound to be injured in the melee.
- Clapping your hands, a strong “NO” or banging a pot can distract them so that they can be safely separated until they calm down.
- If play becomes too wild, nip it in the bud.
- When both the cat and dog are calm, reward them with praise and a favorite treat.
Training your dog to respond well to a sit and stay is an important tool in a fight and many other instances.
Don’t leave your cat and dog alone until you are sure about their behavior together.
Keeping an eye on your cat and dog at play will help avoid any escalation into a battle royal.