Nina Nandy

Gastroenterologist at The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center

Can Cats and Dogs Get Along?

Can Cats and Dogs Get Along?

You love, love, love cats. You’ve wanted your own ever since you went off to college and realized that you couldn’t take you family’s fluffy feline with you. Now, you’re ready to move into your own apartment and adopt a cat of your very own. But in the midst of your excitement, you realize that there’s just one problem:

Your roommate-to-be is an incurable canine fanatic, and she’s already made plans to bring a sweet-faced golden retriever into your home. Suddenly, all of your plans to care for a kitty seem to fall apart. Everyone knows that dogs and cats can’t get along….right?

Wrong.

Much like people, cats and dogs have the preferences. Some laid-back cats can’t stand to be in the same room as an excited dog; similarly, some dogs view cats as threats to chase. An elderly cat, for example, should never live with with an overly-energetic puppy. A bad pairing can be stressful and risky for everyone in the home – including you! However, our furry friends can also get along just fine. With the right pairing and enough time, you might even find your dog and cat cuddling on day!

If you want to bring a dog into a cat’s home (or vice versa) you should go through the proper steps to ensure that your pets have compatible personalities and temperaments before introducing them. Check out the list below for some guidelines!

How to Introduce Your Pets

Test Compatibility

Never, ever take your pet to the shelter for an introduction. An adoption site is chock-full of unfamiliar smells and frightening sounds that can negatively impact how your dog or cat will react upon meeting their potential housemate. Needless to say, it won’t be an accurate litmus test for how the two will behave in the home. If you want to introduce an established cat to a new dog, do the introduction in the home. If you plan to bring a new cat to meet an established dog, try bringing the dog to meet a friend’s dog-savvy cat beforehand so you can gauge their approach towards cats. If that goes well, you can try bringing the cat to your home for an introduction.

Keep an eye out! If a dog stays fixated on the cat, barks constantly, jerks, or otherwise shows aggression towards a quiet and calm cat, it may not be compatible with cats at all. You can try swapping out potential adoptees to find a good fit – but at the end of the day, some cats and dogs just aren’t cut out for a non-human housemate.

Keep Pets Separate

Between the smells, the sounds, and sights, there’s a lot to get used to in a new home. Keep your dog confined to allow a new cat the opportunity to explore the space and become accustomed to the dog’s scent. You can swap out the pet in confinement to allow both a chance to adjust. Always keep the pets confined separately while you’re out of the house; this will help you avoid potentially dangerous unsupervised interactions. If both pets seem calm and are eating, sleeping, using litter box normally, you can proceed to in-person introductions.

Make Cautious Introductions

Getting a cat and a dog used to one another may take some time. Keep your dog safely leashed in the same room as cat until all signs of fear or aggression have faded and it seems as though both are comfortable. During the first few days and weeks, you should continue confining the two in separate areas while you are out to prevent unsupervised interactions. After a month or so, you should be able to allow your pets to roam freely and enjoy the other’s company without supervision.

Why Is My Cat So Loud?

Why Is My Cat So Loud?

When you find yourself hiding out in your mercifully quiet car to do your taxes, you realize that it’s finally happened. Your cat has finally managed to meow you off the deep end.

It began nicely enough: Your cat would yowl now and again before coming in for a quick pat. Then, he began meowing before dinner; a few days later, after dinner. You thought it was normal – cute, even. You changed your mind once he started howling at the wall at three o’clock in the morning. Now, you’re hiding from your own feline best friend for some peace and quiet, wondering how the situation got to be this bad – and more importantly, how you can fix it.

All hope is not lost!

Cats vocalize for a variety of reasons, but they rarely do so out of sheer contrariness. Because so much of their communication with other felines is based in body language, full-grown cats don’t need to meow at each other; rather, they only do so if they want to convey something to their human. If your cat begins yowling out of the blue, you should go through the following basic checklist to narrow down the cause:

Food

Is it past feeding time? Cats will often meow to indicate their hunger or to express their interest in food you may be preparing for yourself. Don’t let your cat turn into a beggar! If they begin meowing for food even after they’ve been fed, try not to feed them scraps or give in to the howling. Otherwise, you might just reinforce the behavior!

Attention

Contrary to what popular opinion might hold, cats aren’t naturally aloof animals. Much like dogs or even humans, cats need plenty of stimulation and attention to feel secure and happy. If your cat meows when you come back from work, give them a quick pet or cuddle! A lack of attention can be especially difficult for indoor and solitary cats who lack the stimulation an outdoor cat might enjoy. If you think your cat’s meowing stems from loneliness or boredom and can’t be solved by you alone, consider getting another cat and investing in some new cat toys!

Outdoors

As I just mentioned, indoor environments can be hard on cats. The inside of a house only offers so much stimulation, and a cat can quickly get bored if it isn’t challenged or entertained on a daily basis. If you have a yard, try building a secure outdoor enclosure! This will provide your cat with a safe space to explore and play.

If none of these reasons seem to suit your situation, there might be a more serious problem at work. Older or disabled cats will sometimes meow from mental confusion or pain. If you have a young cat that hasn’t been spayed or neutered yet, you could be dealing with a cat in heat. The latter isn’t a big deal – although you should get your cat fixed to avoid any accidental litters!

When in doubt, you should always take your cat to the vet to ensure the health of your feline friend.

Fun Facts About Your Cat

Fun Facts About Your Cat

Cats. Those furry friends we all know and love. Have you ever looked at your cat and wondered what makes it so unique? Every cat has a personality that’s fun to explore and learn about. You can get to know your cat by reading into its body language and more. Cats are fun creatures and they’re even more fun to learn about. Here are some facts about cats you may not know!

Some Cats have “Thumbs”

Although it’s more common to find a cat with 5 fingers on their paws, some cats have more. Polydactyl cats have more than 5 fingers on their paws which look like mittens. President Theodore Roosevelt had a polydactyl cat named “Slippers” which was one of the first cats to ever roam the White House. Cats only get this trait through an inherited gene from one of their parents.

They Can Hear Ultrasonic Noises

Cats are known for their strong senses– particularly hearing. Cats have a pinna which is the outer flap on their ear. The pinna allows them to hear from all directions, taking the sound directly to their eardrum. Once the sound reaches the eardrum, tiny bones inside the middle of the ear will vibrate the sound waves to the cochlea and then on to the brain.

This process is what allows cats to have ultrasonic hearing. That means cats can hear sounds up to 5 times better than humans. A cat’s hearing is what makes it such a great hunter. Hearing rodents and being able to lock in their location based on sound helps to guide the cat in the right direction.


A Cat’s Nose is like Its Thumbprint

Every cat’s nose has a print that is unique just like every human has a unique fingerprint. Although your cat’s nose will appear to have simple, small bumps on it, those small bumps make out a specific pattern just for your cat.

They Sleep A LOT

On average, cats will sleep about 15 total hours each day. Some cats can even sleep up to 24 hours. Cats are crepuscular meaning they are most active at hours pertaining to dusk and dawn. Outside of those hours, cats are usually sleeping. Cats are also affected by the weather, so on a rainy day, cats will need more sleep to conserve their energy.

A Word From Nina Nandy’s Cat


Hi, my name is Lionel and I am a long haired tuxedo likely Maine Coon mix with giant kitten mittens and a big fluffy tail. I was a stray roaming the mean streets of Albuquerque until the age of one and a half when I was picked up by Animal Humane and neutered. My Nina Nandy Photohuman mommy, Nina Nandy, came in to meet me and though she was very sweet I was scared. Nina took me home and I was nervous because I had never lived inside before. She gave me lots of love and treats and toys but I would hide and one day I saw a way out and I ran away! I know she was very worried about me and put up flyers all over town and even went door to door looking for me. It took a few months and animal control picked me up and put me in the west side shelter and because I was microchipped Nina was able to find me again. Now I know to never run away again because I have the best life ever! I have all the cuddles, snuggles and treats a kitty could ever have and all the best toys! I particularly enjoy my giant black and white cat tree because it matches my colors, my window seat where I can catch all the sun I want, getting hair all over everything particularly clean laundry and generally being naughty. =^.^= Check out pictures, videos  and the latest antics of me, Lionel the snugglisest, most mischievous kitty in the world !