Monday, June 16, 2014

You know the expression “It’s raining cats and dogs”? If you’ve never stopped to wonder what it means, just remember that it does not refer to a gentle spring drizzle but a torrential downpour.
On some level your cat will probably never fully forgive you for polluting her world with a canine. (If, on the other hand, you already have a dog, then introducing another one to your cat may simply be an increase in the same torture she’s already been enduring.) There are some rare cats who actually like dogs, but more frequently they will come to accept one dog—usually with comments on the side—but probably not the canine species as a whole.
Cats can even go past tolerance to actual friendship with a dog, but that is pretty rare. Anyone who has had a mixed dog/cat household can tell you that cats are discerning about their interspecies friendships. They definitely know one dog from another—you only have to see one go from sharing a bed with “their own” dog to flying up a tree if a strange dog comes into view to understand this.
  Take It One Cat at a Time.
Cats are at least as unique in their personalities as dogs are, so each one will have his own tolerance level and timetable for coping with a dog entering the household. Of course, how that goes will have a lot to do with how the dog handles it—whether she is respectful and lets the cat call the shots, or whether she is spring-loaded to take chase as soon as the cat jumps off the counter. One thing is for sure: it is usually a very slow process, and it may be months before your cat accepts the presence of the new dog sufficiently to walk around without looking like he is being hunted.

Just don’t expect to come home some evening anytime soon and find the kitty and pooch snuggled together on the couch watching Seinfeld reruns.
Copyright © Tracie Hotchner – Originally appeared in The Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know by Tracie Hotchner

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