You probably heard about how dogs and cats can’t coexist. There’s even a phrase “fighting like cats and dogs” that is used to describe people who don’t get along, involving in fights or arguments.
So, are dogs and cats mortal enemies? Is there some truth to the phrase? Does this mean canines like pit bulls are a danger to cats? That we need to avoid having a pit bull and cat in the same household?
Well, let’s find out more.
Are Pit Bulls Good With Cats?
Yes, pit bulls and cats can coexist harmoniously in the same household. In most cases, it’s best to let your pit bull and cat socialize when they are still a baby.
Of course, if both animals are adults, you can still teach them to coexist with each other. Although there will be some risks and difficulties in the process, especially during their first meet up.
Fortunately, you can minimize these risks. The keys — education and the right precautions.
Now, let’s into details on the contributing factors of animal aggression; common myths about pit bulls, along with facts and coexist methods you should be aware of.
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Risk Factors That Contribute To Dog/Cat Aggression
So, what causes a dog or cat to be aggressive? As we know, both dogs and cats are predators prior to domestication, which means both animals naturally possess prey drive.
Prey drive is the instinctive inclination for carnivores to find, chase, and capture prey. It’s a genetically driven instinct that each dog and cat possess at some level.
However, despite both animals possessing prey drive, dogs in general tend to have higher prey instinct compared to cats. With that being said, most dog’s aggression on small animals — including cats — is due to its natural instinct kick in.
Moreover, all dogs are bred with a certain purpose or task in mind. Hence, breeders will preserve some level of the dog’s inherent drive to make sure they can perform these tasks. As a result, you will find certain dog breeds have higher prey drive than others.
Truth About Pitbulls And Cats
The sad truth is that pit bulls are often falsely portrayed as dangerous and violent by the media. They commonly get pinned for any small animal/cat-killing tragedy. And this is despite herding dog breeds are also known to subdue small animals.
However, we don’t hear much about the tragedy caused by herding dogs since pit bulls are a better clickbait. So, we can conclude it’s never about the breed. Nevertheless, such misconceptions gave a reason to Breed Specific Legislation to make it illegal to own pit bulls in some parts of the country.
Contrary to what the media portrayed, pit bulls are actually loyal, known to be extremely affectionate and are therapeutic animals.
Their gentle and loving nature, especially with children, have made them a popular companion choice for families. As such, they’re even being named as the “nanny dog”. Therefore, we could conclude that pit bulls aren’t naturally aggressiveto humans.
Even so, this doesn’t mean pit bulls don’t possess any prey drive. In fact, pit bulls are one of the dog breeds that possess high prey drive.
Reason is they’re initially bred for the purpose of chasing and subdue livestock. Hence, when you let your pit bull and cat socialize for the first time, it is important to be well-prepared and take necessary precautions.
Besides, cats and dogs communicate differently in the first place. Such differences might cause tension between both, thus increasing the risk of unwanted tragedy to happen.
Cats And Dogs Can Coexist With Certain Precautions
Regardless of the breed, most cats can live happily with a dog, as long as there is enough time for them to get to know each other. Usually, it’s even easier for them to get along if they’re raised together when they’re still a puppy and kitten.
However, things can be a little bit tricky if the dog is an established member of the household and you’re bringing a new cat or kitten to join the family. Which is why you need to take the right precautions when socializing your pit bull and cat for the first time to prevent tragedy from happening.
You can take precautions like keeping a firm grip on both animals when you introduce them for the first time, with the cat at the dog’s eye level.
Remove the cat right away when you sense aggression or fear from either one of the animals and try it again later. Remember, they need time to get comfortable with each other.
Also, never leave your cat and dog alone until you’re certain that they’re comfortable with each other. Which means you need to provide separate areas for your dog and cat to roam when no one is at home.
In addition, set a different feeding area for both, where neither are allowed to roam in each other’s space.
The Bottom Line
Dogs and cats are not mortal enemies, nor are cats the natural prey for dogs. In fact, both cats and dogs are predators prior to being domesticated. It’s just that dogs typically have higher prey drive than cats.
Thus, you need to firstly educate yourself about your pets beforehand before trying letting your dog and cat coexist in the same household.
Especially with pit bulls, they have higher prey drive since they initially are bred to hunt. So, in introducing a new member, a cat to your pit bull, or vice versa, you must take the right precautions so as to avoid tragedy from happening.
All in all, help the established member of the household to get familiar with the idea of having a new member in the family. Give space to your dog and cat to sniff and observe each other to their hearts’ content. But keep in mind to only do so under a supervised condition.
If, in any case, the dog and cat are unable to get along, perhaps you need to rethink your pets situation and look for a different solution.