- Making dogs and cats live together
- A question of evolution?
- Why are cats and dogs so different?
Making dogs and cats live together
“They’re like cats and dogs”: when you hear this expression, you probably assume that they’re not the best of friends. Where does the myth that cats and dogs are sworn enemies come from? Is there room for misunderstanding in this stereotype? Is it possible for a dog and a cat to live in the same house and be happy together? At first sight, the cohabitation between dog and cat does not look easy, but by following these tips, your efforts and those of your companions will quickly bear fruit!
Are you a cat person? Or would you rather have a dog as a pet? For many animal lovers, this is not an easy question to answer. On the one hand, they love the independence of these domestic tigers, on the other hand, they appreciate the faithful company of dogs. Do you think you have to choose between a dog and a cat? Don’t decide! Many people who have experience with pets prove that dogs and cats can be good companions. But only if they are well socialized and adapted step by step! Let’s go for successful cohabitation between dog and cat!
A question of evolution?
The history of cats is diametrically opposed to that of dogs. Dogs belong to the “Canidae”, a family of mammals. This family includes not only wolves but also bears and even walruses. So they are not very close to cats… which belong to the family of ‘felids’. It is therefore not surprising that dogs and cats need time to make friends and that they need to be accompanied so that everything goes smoothly.
Why are cats and dogs so different?
Have you ever heard of the saying “dogs have masters and cats have servants”? The quote by the writer Kurt Tucholsky more or less reflects reality. Dogs have been accompanying humans for more than 100,000 years. In the past, our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived alongside wolves. They sought out particularly non-aggressive wolves and bred them to tame them. The breeding of modern domestic dogs was born! These four-legged companions have always been of great use to man: they helped in hunting, were used as draught animals, and kept watch over houses and farms. Today, dogs are much more than that; they have become full-fledged family members.
On the contrary, man has not tried to approach the little wild cats! It was they who spontaneously approached the man. These four-legged animals used to feast by hunting in the attics and storerooms of humans, full of mice and vermin. Humans soon realized that cats could be of great use to them. About 9500 years ago, they began to tame these four-legged hunters. The history between man and dog is therefore about 90,000 years older than that of cats and man. But this does not prevent cats from being just as close to us.
Why is it easier for dogs to approach humans? Why do they allow themselves to be tamed when they have no direct advantage in living with humans? Dogs are pack animals. They live, hunt, and eat as a family. Cats, on the other hand, are solitary hunters. Lions are the only felines that hunt in groups. Small cats hunt and live alone for most of the year. This solitude is due to the size of the prey they hunt. Mice and birds are often small snacks for them! If they were to hunt in a group, then these small snacks would have to be shared between the different cats in the group. Not surprisingly, not all animals would be able to eat their fill.
This lifestyle is also reflected in the cat’s behavior. Gather a few cats together for a while or attract the neighbors’ cats to your garden and you will observe that, unlike a pack of dogs, there is no predefined hierarchy. Who dominates the gathering of cats and who is the victim? This depends mainly on the place and the time.
Are cats always solitary then? Not necessarily. Stray cats often gather in groups and feral cats often even raise their young together. However, the life of a domestic cat differs from that of a wild cat. Cats are active animals that need to be stimulated. They adapt to new situations and handle them very well, most of the time. Life with humans, on the other hand, is often monotonous and boring, especially for flat cats… In this case, domestic cats really appreciate a four-legged roommate or cat toys! It should be remembered that they are solitary hunters. In contrast, wolf packs or dogs find their place according to a well-defined hierarchy. Dogs seek the proximity of other dogs or active people.
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