“We’ve one dog and four cats in our home. While temperamentally all of them are different from one another, they have learnt to co-exist. It doesn’t happen overnight but given the right environment and care they learn to adjust and sometimes they even get along quite well,” said Vijita Moray. During a conversation with PawzNRead, Moray talked about how cats and dogs can coexist.
Before we get into the conversation, a quick introduction of the Moray household pets that include Tyson, the cool dog; Chloe, Tigi and Tai Lung, the rescued cats. The gang also included beautiful Max who recently crossed the rainbow bridge. There are rescued fish and tortoises too.
Also read: Busting some cat-conceptions
Since you’ve experience of rescuing animals, what is the first thing that a rescuer should do after rescuing an animal?
Moray: The first step is to take the animal to a trusted veterinary clinic for a thorough check-up. If you can’t do that right away, bring the animal home and isolate till you can get a vet check done. Only once the vet gives a green signal, start integrating the new rescue with the rest of the pack. But it must be done in a very slow and planned manner.
Given that you had pets at home, how did you go about introducing the newer rescues with the older pack members?
Moray: Fortunately, our pets have been accepting of each other so, we’ve never had trouble integrating them. Having said that, I must admit that our dog Tyson is very calm and accepting so the cats tend to dominate him. But there has never been a big threat as such. However, when introducing a new member to an existing pack its recommended to first separate them in different rooms. Slowly they can be brought together in the same room but the new member in a crate. This will allow them to sniff and smell each other. After they are slightly used to each other you can try giving them treats together and then food. Basically, the integration process must be slow and mindfully planned.
Please share some tips to avoid any possible clash between pets, especially is its a cat and a dog?
Moray: As I said before my pets have been accepting of each other’s presence and thus, there has been no clash. But one effective way of avoiding any clashes is to create designated spaces for the pets. Create ample vertical spaces in the form of wall mount furniture for cats. This will help your cats to get some exercise while chilling on higher areas. If there is food aggression, feed the dogs on the floor and cat on a wall mount feeding station.
Overall and importantly, as humans to our pets we must be observant and try to understand what makes them uncomfortable. If you spot anything specific behavioural issue, try to tackle it head-on. If you can’t do it on your own, seek the help of a trainer who has had previous experience of handling a similar situation.