While this concept is one we would all appreciate, it is hard to conceive when a dog has been in place for practically eight years before a feline makes its appearance. If that is not tricky enough to imagine, throw in the fact that the cat was rescued practically 18 years prior by an older woman seeking companionship. The cat is mourning her loss and is now in a household that has two teenage boys in addition to the parents – and of course, the dog!
Is there any help when it comes to teaching the animals to develop a positive relationship at this point? Will the animals be able to live in harmony – respecting each other’s personal space?
Carrie, author of All Things Dog Blog, developed some tips that could potentially help your dog to respect kitty’s space and help to develop a more positive relationship along the way. Her tips include the following:
- Cat poo smells like protein to dogs. To reduce their interest in the litter box, clean daily.
- Try Treasure Hunt barriers like cat doors if you have large dogs with great interest.
- If you have a small dog, there are cat doors that operate only when a kitty with a special collar passes nearby. Check out Sureflap.
- Baby gates will deter Fido, while allowing cats to jump over to their private area.
- When using a baby gate, work w/Fido to train him to watch and not approach, treating when successful.
- Training Fido not to enter kitty’s private area will protect her food and litter from invasion.
- It’s also good for Fido’s health to learn to leave the Treasure hunt behind.
- Some feline families create raised areas for litter boxes and feeding spots, just to keep dogs out of trouble.
- Selecting a single room for kitty’s food and litter box allow all pets to have access to the rest of your home.
- Curious dogs can be trained to respect the cat’s area. Have your dog SIT or DOWN. Praise and treat when successful. Practice frequently!
- Try using a rug or towel as a spot 4 your dog 2 observe from. Again, use praise and treats when Fido complies.
- Still having trouble? When Fido is in position, offer a whiff of a favorite, high-value treat; watch him be more willing!
- Keep practicing by filling kitty’s water, cleaning her box and so on, as Fido watches. Praise and treat!
- Practice the above tip daily to continue getting Fido used to seeing kitty in her space–less excitement from “same ‘ole, same ‘ole”.
- Troubling Fido? Try leashing him while practicing SIT STAY as you watch kitty in her area. Sit with your dog and praise when he remains calm.
To date it has been working to keep the two animals separated by floors. The cat gets introduced into the dog’s world but the dog has been kept out of the cat’s environment. They have even found it in their hearts to take a family photo. However, for peace sakes the cat and dog are staying clear of one another. Perhaps because of kitty’s advanced years it may be tougher to retrain and yet keep the peace.
How does that saying go, ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks?’ Well, what about an old cat?