Keeping Cats Safe Around Dogs

Cats are quick and agile animals; but they are very easily harmed when around dogs. Chasing cats is an age old tradition and natural reflex for dogs. However, in today's domesticated world, the natural desire for dogs to chase cats has to be controlled. If it is not controlled, some serious harm could be done to your cat.

Why Dogs Chase Cats

Dogs have been chasing cats, and any other small animal, for thousands of years. Perhaps it is because dogs are natural predators. In their past, dogs would chase any animal that was smaller than themselves in their hunt for food. That logic can still be applied to the domesticated dog today.

While a cat may do no more than move, a dog can be on its tail in a matter of seconds. This comes from the natural desire to catch any prey deemed smaller than the dog. Although today's domesticated dog, especially those in family homes, does not usually go after the cat to kill it, the instinct to chase it still survives.

Monitoring Your Cat and Dog

If you have both a cat and a dog in your house, the best thing that you can do is to monitor play time at all times. It is probably not a fair assumption to say that your dog will intentionally harm your cat, but your cat is still much smaller and less apt to defend itself based on size alone.

Likewise, your dog's claws and tendency to bite in a playful manner can be very harmful your cat. This is why playtime should always be supervised. You should never leave your dog alone to the unsuspecting desires of his instincts because, if given the chance, your dog will chase and pounce after your cat.

All it takes is one playful bite to the neck and your cat could be in serious medical trouble. Likewise, just the weight of your dog alone could be enough to cause internal damage to your cat. That is why the two were never meant to play together and should be monitored when they are living in close proximity of one another.

Use Dog Gates

Another way to control your dog is to put up dog gates around the house. Chances are that the gate is likely high enough that your dog will either not be able to jump it or will be intimidated by its size and choose not to jump it. Either way, the gate is sufficient at keeping your dog away from your cat while you are not around to supervise them.

Cats on the other hand are very agile and flexible animals and, for this reason, a gate cannot hold them back. Your cat will naturally seek shelter before he will fight; fighting is only part of his nature for the purpose of survival. So, if your cat realizes that your dog is secured from getting to him, it will help your cat to feel more comfortable and secure.