By Kathy Blumenstock, Animal Planet
The war between cats and dogs is a topic of debate from Hollywood to hometowns. Multiple-pet owners have examples of cats that buddy up to their canine companions, of dogs chasing cats off their turf, or of the two species respectfully ignoring each other. The two don’t have to automatically “fight like cats and dogs.” Their ability to get along is shaped by their individual experiences with the other species accumulated before they are paired. Their communication styles differ too which can lead to confusion: A dog wags his tail to show happiness and eagerness to play; a cat lashes her tail to indicate displeasure or anger. You can help them to share a home by keeping each pet’s best interests and instincts in mind. Here are 10 tips.
10. Promote Puppy Love and Kitten Closeness
Because puppies and kittens have had no (bad) experiences with each other, they will get along more quickly than older pets. So it makes sense, if you are thinking of having one of each, to get them as youngsters. Growing up together, they will form a bond. However, a puppy’s play may still be a bit rough for a fragile kitten that will always be tinier than her canine mate. Always supervise their interactions, even if they are friendly: A kitten may signal that she’s finished playing but the energetic puppy could still be eager to go, and his activity may confuse her. Teach the puppy to play by chasing a toy, never his smaller feline buddy; this will ensure he grows up respecting, not pursuing, smaller animals.