The phrase "fighting like cats and dogs" doesn't have to be true for your dachsie and your feline friend. Dachshunds and cats can get along under certain circumstances -- in some cases, however, it may be safest to keep them separate.
Whether your wiener dog and your feline friend hit it off depends on their individual personalities, experiences and backgrounds. If you adopt a dachshund as a puppy, it is relatively easy to socialize the dog to get along with cats in the home. If your pets are socialized together from day one, they are likely to get along with one another. Be careful if your dog's history is unknown, as a dachsie that hasn't been socialized with felines may attack or even kill a cat.
Dachshunds are hunting dogs, and their instinct to chase and hunt other small animals can be incredibly strong. A dachsie's instinct to chase -- or even harm -- other pets such as cats, rodents or birds may be overwhelming. The risk is greatest if you adopt an adult dachshund that has not been socialized with animals of other species. If it is too late in the dog's adult life to safely socialize it with cats, keep both pets safe by separating them.
Setting the Scene
Successful cat-dachshund relationships are often formed when the dachshund is the second pet to join the household -- introducing a cat once a dachshund has established your home as its territory is more risky than introducing a young dachsie to an established cat If you have to introduce a new pet when one is already established, block off an area of the home that "belongs" to the pet who was there first. For example, you might designate a particular bedroom as a cat-only space, or allow the dachsie to roam over only the ground floor of the house. If your cat lives upstairs, it's a good idea to keep your wiener from climbing the stairs anyway -- this can cause problems in the dog's long and fragile back.
Tips and Tricks
You may need to place barriers between your dachsie and your cat, at least to begin with. If you feed your dachsie and your cat simultaneously on opposite sides of a closed door, they will associate the happy time of eating meals with the scent and presence of the other animal. Allowing the pets to roam on opposite sides of a mesh baby-gate allows them to get used to seeing one another. Make sure to give both pets equal attention and praise so the established pet doesn't feel neglected or jealous. Don't leave your pets together unsupervised until you are absolutely sure they will not hurt one another.
- Dachshunds For Dummies; Eve Adamson
Jae Allen has been a writer since 1999, with articles published in "The Hub," "Innocent Words" and "Rhythm." She has worked as a medical writer, paralegal, veterinary assistant, stage manager, session musician, ghostwriter and university professor. Allen specializes in travel, health/fitness, animals and other topics.