Walking into the kitchen after a long day of work and school I almost dropped my pink book bag on the floor out of habit. I quickly caught myself and laid my bag on the ground so that I would not startle the animals. I saw one the most delightful sites that I have ever laid eyes on; our dog, Buddie, and our 4-month-old kitten, Iris, standing next to one another.
A Kodak Moment
In lieu of the moment, I pulled out my cell phone as quickly as I could. I managed to get a picture of the two animals in harmony. I never thought that I would see the day that both animals would get along, let alone be in the same vicinity as each other.
Understanding Each Species
Cats and dogs are two extremely different species; each evolved for different purposes, and has a unique place in their relationship with humanity.
- Dogs evolved as a social species: humans and canines shared the same habitat and hunted the same prey.
- Originally, humans tolerated cats because they killed rodents, snakes and other pests that gathered around civilization.
The old saying, “fighting like cats and dogs,” may sound cliché; however, that is exactly what will happen if the owner does not introduce both animals properly.
According to an article posted on Animal Planet, because their communication styles differ this can lead to confusion. The most important concept to remember is to go slow. Slow and controlled introductions are important so that cats and dogs learn how to communicate.They are much more likely to fight or be unhappy if you try to force them together suddenly.
Just like people, animals need time to get to know each other. Although, dogs and cats communicate and operate completely different from each other it is possible for them to learn how to communicate with one another.
Iris and Buddie are not the best of friends, but little by little, they are getting there. Iris no longer hisses or runs and hides under the couch in fear of Buddie.
Communicating and introducing foreign concepts, in this case dog-meets-kitten, is a process and takes time. Nevertheless, if done correctly both species can coexist in peace and harmony.
American Veterinary Medical Association reports that 44 percent of U.S. pet owners have multiple-pet households: the most common combination being dogs and cats. Nearly half of the pet owners in the U.S have been successful at co-inhabiting the feline and canine species. Using the proper communication mechanisms can bring together two species that are as different as day and night.