SPOT MEET FLUFFY, FLUFFY MEET SPOT
November 21, 2018
Wondering why you've been noticing pet-related posts and info on Date Night Ideas? Simple - we have found that a large portion of our readership are passionate pet guardians (just as we are!). As the proud owner of We Love Pets SA
, we also have first-hand experience of sharing our lives with our partners as well as a troupe of fury friends.
We bring them along on outings and holidays, and there are many of our readers who like to do the same with their pets. As such, the Date Night Ideas team likes to share insider knowledge on pet-friendly accommodation venues, holiday destinations and more.
INTRODUCING YOUR NEW FELINE FRIEND TO YOUR RESIDENT POOCH, AND VICA VERSA
Your cat has ruled the roost for years and suddenly a noisy, busy, larger-than-life creature enters the picture – it’s understandable your cat isn’t going to react too kindly. Likewise if your pooch has protected your home and been the sole attention receiver for decades and you decide to bring a feline friend (or foe) into her territory – things could get messy.
It doesn’t have to be though. As with most things that involve your pets, all you need is some planning and a lot of patience.
BEFORE THE GRAND ARRIVAL
Before you bring your new pet home (be it cat or dog), a bit of planning is essential.
You know your current pet’s personality – how will they react to the new arrival? If you have a particularly aggressive cat or a dog that chases anything on four legs, it’s probably best to keep the status quo. However, if you feel they’ll take kindly to a new arrival, consider the following points;
- Dedicate a room in the house (with a door that can be closed) to your new pet. This will become their home initially until the two pets have proven they can get along.
- It’s a good idea to buy a pet-friendly gate to close the room off initially.
- If you are bringing a cat home, ensure your dog’s basic training skills are up to scratch, and that he comes to you when called, no matter how excitable or stressful the situation is.
- Make any changes well before the new pet arrives. For example, if you are bringing a dog home and you need to move the cat’s food bowl onto a higher surface.
- Stock up on pet-friendly treats to act as rewards for good behaviour.
For the first while (this could be weeks), keep the two separated behind closed doors, so that they can smell each other, but not see each other. If your dog displays aggressive behaviour to what’s behind the door (barking, scratching etc), distract him, and as soon as he can walk past the door without too much interest, reward with a treat.
When you (or more importantly, the animals) are ready, open the door but install a gate, so they can see each other, but can’t get at each other.
Again, when you feel they are ready, put your dog on a leash and do a closer introduction. Make sure there are higher spots for the cat to jump up on or retreat to. Remain calm, yet assertive. Keep these meetings short. Rather have numerous short meetings, than a few longer ones.
As soon as both animals display ambivalent behaviour to the other, you can remove the leash but keep him close to you.
Continue until both animals seem relaxed and happy to be around each other.
Unsupervised interactions should only occur after you are confident they won’t harm each other – which could take several months.
WHEN TO GET PROFESSIONAL HELP
- If your dog shows aggressive behaviour to a calm cat.
- If even after all your efforts your dog still insists on chasing the cat every time he sees it.
- If the cat hisses or growls continuously despite your best efforts, it’s unlikely your cat will get along with any dog- but seek professional help first.
- If your cat stops eating and drinking, or displays any other symptoms of stress, get a pet behaviourist to assess the situation. It might require you rethinking your two-pet harmony.
- If you can plan it as such, getting a kitten or puppy will provide the easiest outcome, where for the most part, ignorance is bliss – for pet and owner alike. In most cases, a cat-dog union is not difficult to achieve and can provide many years of happy living. Just remember the two p’s and a c; planning, patience and common sense!
“No matter what has happened. No matter what you’ve done. No matter what you will do. I will always love you.
I swear it.”
––Defiance by C.J. Redwine
“I wanted to tell you that wherever I am, whatever happens, I’ll always think of you, and the time we spent
together, as my happiest time. I’d do it all over again, if I had the choice. No regrets.”
––Boundless by Cynthia Hand
“And in her smile I see something more beautiful than the stars.”
––Across the Universe by Beth Revis
“It’s one thing to fall in love. It’s another to feel someone else fall in love with you, and to feel a
responsibility toward that love.”
––Every Day by David Levithan
“I love you the way a drowning man loves air. And it would destroy me to have you just a little.”
––The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
“I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things.
I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable,
and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and
I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”
––The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
“I never loved you any more than I do, right this second. And I’ll never love you any less than I do,
right this second.”
––Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
“Sometimes I can’t see myself when I’m with you. I can only just see you.”
––Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
“I am catastrophically in love with you.”
––Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
“I knew the second I met you that there was something about you I needed. Turns out it wasn’t
something about you at all. It was just you.”
––Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire