Many of you have a cat and a dog at home. And sometimes a cat is afraid of the house dog. So what if your cat is afraid of your dog? I explain everything in detail in this article.
My cat is afraid of my dog: Possible causes
There are many causes that can explain why your cat is afraid of your dog. There are mainly 3 of them:
Your cat was attacked by a dog
Cats that have been chased or bitten by a dog will inevitably be afraid of it, it is not about your particular dog but about all dogs. The more the cat will have experienced this attack when it is young, the more it will be imprinted in the depths of its brain, the brain being a sponge when it is very young.
Your dog is much bigger
Cats are genetically made for the wild and retain their natural survival instincts. For them, a big dog is bound to be a threat and it will flee when it arrives. It’s a totally natural reflex.
Your cat may have had a negative experience with a dog, maybe a dog marked his territory outside on his or he stole his prey or he appeared out of nowhere when your cat was hunting.
How to act?
I assure you, cats and dogs can get along and you just have to put some things into practice to make sure everything goes well.
The earliest would be best
When cats and dogs are less than 4 months old, their personality is not completely finished and their brain is still a sponge, assimilating everything that happens to them without any filter. So this is the best time to get them used to each other.
The experiences that arise at this time will shape the habits and personality of the cat. If they know each other from a young age, everything will normally go well naturally. But if this is not the case, the following solutions will be indispensable.
Make them adapt to each other
You will need to bring your cat and your dog together in a room with you. Here’s everything you need to do to get them used to each other:
- Put a muzzle on your dog: He must be used to it beforehand so that he does not become aggressive because of it. The muzzle helps to avoid dramas if it is a very aggressive dog.
- Be present: Don’t leave them alone until they have tamed each other and treat everyone the same, favoritism will foster mistrust.
- Share a good time with them so that they get used to being together and start to integrate it as something normal.
- Leave a door open for the cat , otherwise it will be scared, cats hate feeling locked up. And in the event of perceived danger, they must always know that they have a way out.
- Don’t let them be together alone after you are gone. You have to wait for them to fully tame each other before they can be left alone together.
- Repeat the experience regularly to get them used to it. It is a gradual process, nothing will be done in just one session.
Separate the territories
Animals are territorial and cats are very territorial . They must therefore each have their own place to eat, drink and defecate. If your cat smells your dog’s scent in his personal space, he will see it as an intrusion on his territory on his part and therefore as a potential predator.
Reward the after moments spent together
If your cat and your dog spend a moment with you and after they are rewarded, they will associate this moment with a reward and will therefore be closer and closer because they will share good experiences. Meat will often do the trick because they love it.
Play with them
By establishing moments of play together, you will accustom them to sharing good times and they will have a natural tendency to appreciate each other. You can add a calming spray for your cat to help it calm down naturally.
Accustom him to the smell of the dog
Rub your dog on a towel and let your cat smell it and vice versa, so they will get used to each other, smell being a primary sense for them. After they smell each other’s scent, then give them something they like, in the brain, each other’s scent will be associated with something positive.
Make them meet outside
If you have an outdoor cat, you can play with them outside, because the outdoor space will be less associated with their territory and they will be less aggressive because they will not feel attacked in their territory.
Train your dog
Your dog may be very active and may scare your cat because he wants to play with it but he goes too hard. Make him expend his energy and understand that his behavior is wrong by calming him down and rewarding his calmness. Dogs are not like cats they understand orders and are part of a relationship of domination.
If it is a cat of a very aggressive and powerful breed, then be extra vigilant because it can devour your cat at any time and without any difficulty. This is for example the case pitbull, for hunting dogs will be even more complicated because they have a predatory instinct.
If necessary, go to a behaviorist who will educate the most reluctant, especially when they are both adults and therefore their behavior pattern is already established.
My cat is afraid of my dog: The final word
The more a cat is in contact with a young dog, the easier it will be for him to trust him. Otherwise, you will have to get your cat used to being around your dog through smell and a reward system. Eventually, your cat will no longer be afraid of your dog and will be able to get used to his presence on a daily basis.