Their apparent animosity stretches back through the ages. Dog and cat – two very different dispositions, two very different natures. The comfortable, cozy image of dog and cat abiding together in amicable union is grand illusion, a mere aberration of nature’s intended order. But is it really? Can dog and cat live together in peaceful coexistence, like in so many Norman Rockwell stills? We at The Park on Main® say emphatically: Yes, they can. To set aside our particular biases for this article, the playful caricature of dog chasing cat, cat climbing tree, fits quaintly into our imagination. But at The Park on Main® – the most pet-friendly hotel in Highlands, North Carolina – canine-feline peace reigns.
A Pleasant Respite for Dogs, Cats and Pet Lovers: The Park on Main®
The Park on Main® is an oasis for pets of most makes and models. We accommodate the needs of pet lovers the world over – at least to a point. (Please leave your gorillas and cheetahs at home.) In fact, our mascot – a one Mr. Pickles – serves as an accommodating and very well loved in-house diplomat to the human corps. Mr. Pickles is an 18-month-old solid black Scottish terrier who joined the “staff” at The Park on Main® a year ago. Mr. Pickles has stated, in so many barks, that he holds nary a negative sentiment against the feline species. (At least that’s what he says for the record.) And lest we forget: There’s Clyde, the newest canine resident who is calling The Park on Main® his foster home. We at The Park on Main® present to you the tranquility of the animal kingdom at its highest. And we extend an open hand of welcome (Mr. Pickles: an open paw) to pet lovers and their pets for a pleasant interlude that’ll remain fixed in your memory for years to come.
The Park On Main® Reveals Secrets
WebMD offers some insight into the dog-cat relationship – borne from millennia of having to adapt to the rigors of their individual environments in the wild. Katherine A. Houpt told WebMD that dogs are generally inclined to chase moving objects, which means “a dog often feels honor-bound to chase” a frightened cat. Houpt is a professor of Behavior Medicine at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Here are some simple steps from WebMD to establish pet detente between dog and cat as you travel to The Park on Main® or in your home:
- Runner Up: Make sure your cat has room to run and hide. Cats need space – and an escape route (except, obviously, when you’re on the road.) “You basically want an elevated resting place [for your cat],” said veterinarian Christopher Pachel.
- Slow down Sally: Don’t allow your dog to run – after a cat. “It’s really a hardwired response in all dogs to chase small fluffy things that run away quickly,” Pachel said.
- Be cool, dude: Gates are a good way to introduce dogs and cats to each other. Gates protect cats and give them freedom to move.
- Age before fluff: Introducing puppies to cats is easier mostly because puppies pose little threat to adult cats. On the other hand, kittens tend to be fearless with adult dogs, so introducing the two may take more time.
Bringing cats and dogs together for the first time at your home requires patience. Here are some tips on what not to do:
- United we stand: Forcing the two together may tempt the cat to scratch the dog or encourage the dog’s natural distrust of cats. In this case, let the cat make the first move on its own.
- Background checks: You need to know the dog’s history. Is it aggressive? Was it destructive?
- Change your ways: You have to allow both the cat and the dog to get better acquainted on their own terms. You can help prepare a current pet for the arrival of a new one with simple changes, like moving your cat’s litter box, putting up gates, closing doors or adding pet furniture.
- Behold, the pet: Try to see things through your pet’s eyes. Pachel said that may mean not putting the cat’s litter box so close to the noisy dog. Each pet must be allowed its own space.
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