Can cats and dogs be friends?
We will transport you once again in the skin of a cat to know if the saying “like cats and dogs” is true or not.
What idea crossed their mind? Adopting a dog? You had peace in your kingdom, and now this foolish scatterbrained arrives! In addition, they chose the “large” size for a dog. Well, that’s not a big deal! No matter how small or large a dog is, no dog is big enough to scare a cat like you. You are much more agile and fast, so you can do a lot of damage in a short time to an animal that can be 20 times your size. That’s probably why they trimmed your nails this morning. The Internet is full of videos where we see cats attacking crocodiles and even bears and winning. In a fight against big dogs, the cat has the advantage 95% of the time. The only problem is that the remaining 5% is often deadly for the cat so we’ll have to be careful here.
Fortunately, the saying “like cats and dogs”, which implies that two people cannot get along, is totally wrong. In fact, you as a cat, get along more easily with a dog than with another cat. The problem is that you do not know anything about this big dog that your human servants hold on a leash. Since you have rarely seen dogs in your life, it is difficult to know if the tail that wags in all directions, the yelps and the tongue that comes out mean that he wants to play or he wants to eat you. So you have to get to know him.
– No, don’t be afraid, says your favorite human. His name is Chocolate and he is very nice. He’s just a little too excited to see you. He wants to play with you.
You look at your human with a desperate look. Chocolate? Really? They called this brown dog, Chocolate? Seriously, creativity is not the biggest quality of the family! Since your name is Vanilla because you are white, you do not even imagine how they are going to call their baby on the way. Besides, it’s another event that, you know, will affect you soon. But that’s a problem for another day, (subject our next blog). For now, let’s focus on Chocolate, who seems to take you more for a chew toy than a cat.
Fortunately, your human has taken the time to learn more about the subject on the BeOneBreed website. They can follow the advices that canine and feline behavior experts post online. They may not be creative, but at least they are smart your humans! The last thing to do would have been to hold you in their arms and try to get close to the dog. This kind of strategy can easily turn into a disaster for humans and also for dogs and cats. The strategy of putting the cat in a crate and having the dog turn around would not have been much more pleasant. They chose the reassuring way to do thing, that is to let you escape if you want to. Also, they offer you a safe high spot and far away enough from the dog on a leash so you will not want to escape. Cats know very well that dogs do not climb. In fact, you noticed that they took great care to position high places in each room of the house like cat trees or furniture, especially in the rooms along the corridor leading to the bedroom. They did well because you probably would not have taken the chance to go so far on the floor and risk being chased by the dog. That way, you have a safety island everywhere that allows you to get from the bedroom to the living room without any problem.
In addition, these islands provide you an excellent watchtower to properly analyze the body language of the dog and to decide if the tail that wags like that means that you can risk yourself on the ground or if you’d better wait for him to sleep. Without these many high places, you would need a lot more time to get to know this dog.
Hey there, wait …. but what is your human doing here? Yes Yes! That’s right! He brings you wet canned food! A flavor that you love and that you rarely have! WOW! He also brings it to you on your cat tree? All because there is a dog in the house? If it’s going to be like that every time, then bring on the doggies!
But, what’s going on now? Now they are approaching you with the dog, always on a leash! Well, as long as you can stuff yourself with canned food, life is beautiful! They are getting closer … it’s still fine for me! They continue to approach. But here it is a little too close for you and you stop eating. As good and informed humans, they step back a few steps with the dog. Perfect, it’s good now so you start eating again. As long as they respect your pace and the tolerable distance for you, he’ll be fine. As you finish your canned food, your humans enhance this experience, which is pleasing for the moment, bringing treats and playing with you every time you look at the dog or approach him. Definitely, he’s paying this dog! The closer you get, more rewards you have! So why not get closer to him faster?
What is weird is that the technique they use with the dog seems completely contrary to yours. The more Chocolate ignores you, the more they seem to reward him. This is not stupid. They encourage the dog to ignore you and not take you like a toy while associating your presence with something pleasant. At this rate, and especially with so many treats and games, it will not take much time for Chocolate and you to become the new best friends in the world!
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