According to the Humane Society, more than 83 million people owned dogs in the U.S. in 2012. More than 95 million owned cats, and many owned both. If you can’t choose a side in the cat vs. dog battle, you will have to find ways to control your household and keep the peace. Thankfully, there are reliable ways to control behaviors and products that keep smaller animals safe from aggressive or overexcited roommates.
Give Animals Their Own Space
Animals who are frightened, shy or even just uninterested in others need a place to go that is just theirs. For dogs, this place is typically on the ground. Some dogs will ignore items like doggy beds, but many dogs can benefit from an open crate or indoor doghouse. Dog and pet expert Sarah Wilson suggests giving cats a place high above the room. You can do this by providing cat trees and cat shelves. You can even just keep tall areas, such as on top of your entertainment center, clear and accessible.
Use Pet Containment Areas/Electronic Doors
Using electric or magnetic technology, pet door makers have been able to manufacture pet doors that only work for certain animals. What you do is attach a “key” to the collar of the animal(s) who are allowed use of the door and the door will only open when that key is in range. This allows your dog to go outside without worry that the cat will get out. You can give your cat privacy in a litter box shelter that the dog won’t be interested in.
Spay and Neuter Your Animals
Dogs and cats who are not spayed or neutered are more excitable. According to the American Humane Association, animals who are not neutered can be aggressive. They can also hump and generally annoy other animals in the house. Your animals will be less frustrated and aggressive once they are spayed or neutered.
Keep Other Animals Away During High-Stress Times
If you have a sick or angry animal, do not let other animals around unless they are a comfort to your ailing pet. Animals can take out their frustrations on each other, so you can wind up with fights over something like bath time. This also goes for situations like heats and birth. Keep your pets effectively separated using gates or doors until the situation resolves.
Train Dogs Well
There is no denying that cats instigate fights with dogs. However, dogs are easier to train and distract in aggressive situations. Therefore, training your dog well is one of the best ways you can keep the peace in a dog and cat household. A dog who will come to you on command is a dog who will pay no attention to the cat. Even if the cat is the aggressor, a dog can be easily trained to diffuse the fight.