Everyone agrees that cats are a conundrum. Even cat people are the first to admit that their furry friends are not easy to deal with. So imagine what would happen when you have a dog like the Alaskan Malamute living with an entitled cat. Will it be a perpetual war or can those eternal foes find common ground?
Even though Alaskan Malamutes are not the type of dogs to lose face or give in to an adversary, especially one that is of such diminutive stature as a cat, both those animals have shown resilience and an admirable ability to co-exist and even become close chums. To be fair it’s the Alaskan Malamute that gets credit for diffusing a potentially explosive situation and establishing a cordial relationship with their feline housemates.
But make no mistake about it. It’s not always a slam dunk as how those two will get along well. At some point, you might have to intervene, persuade both parties to accept a ceasefire and declare a truce. From there you can become a mediator and encourage them to opt for peace and renounce their ongoing feud. Here’s how you can ensure that peace prevails in your household.
Alaskan Malamutes and Their Relationship With Cats
Love them or hate them, cats are a force of nature that can’t be ignored, counted out, or written off. These resilient animals have been a fixture of homes in villages and towns throughout history. Ever since they were domesticated, cats have learned to love our homes and stay by our side offering emotional support and keeping our houses.
Alaskan Malamutes, on the other hand, are a relatively new come on the scene. Bred mostly in the frigid northern regions for their strength and endurance, these are working dogs that get by with the power of their impressive physique. In turn, that means they don’t have the same emotional complexity that defines and distinguishes cats.
As famously lazy animals, a cat wouldn’t engage in a physical activity beyond grooming itself and pushing cups off the edges of tables and shelves. And when you have two opposing personalities in the same place, they’re bound to be sparks flying. A highly active dog that takes things mostly at face value and a conniving and manipulative cat that spends hours scheming and planning.
To say that it tends to get tense at times between those two animals is an understatement. If left to their own devices, they’d have daily fights and combats. The Alaskan Malamute depending on its physical prowess while the cat is deploying guerrilla war tactics.
Importance of Socializing Your Alaskan Malamute
The lack of social skills can be detrimental to your Alaskan Malamute. As we have already pointed out, this is not the kind of dog that spends hours pondering over abstract matters. It’s a simple dog with a very uncomplicated nature. If you smile at him he is happy and if you turn away from him, he becomes sad.
This social naivete is a disadvantage when facing a formidable foe such as the devious and sly cat. It can even come in the way of those two hitting it off and finding common grounds to build a strong and lasting friendship or at least an amicable relationship. And that’s where you come in.
Encouraging the Alaskan Malamute to spend more time with both humans and other pets in and around the house is not only advisable but very much recommended. Without a healthy dose of socializing the dog’s ability to deal with other members of the household, including cats, becomes diminished.
The more socially adept the Alaskan Malamute is, the better they are at developing healthy relationships with cats. And that’s your path toward making those two pets get along. We’ll elaborate on that more in the next section.
Can Alaskan Malamutes and Cats Learn to Get Along?
If you’ve been following so far, you’ll have undoubtedly noticed a common theme that keeps popping up. Alaskan Malamutes and cats couldn’t be any different from each other. One is straightforward in their dealings with those around them. The other is the cat that lives inside its head most of the time.
If you ever wondered what the cat is thinking about, you can be sure it’s a mean prank to pull on the dog in the house. If there’s no dog in the house then the human in the house. So how can you put those two on the path of reconciliation?
Just as cats and mice have learned to become good friends and put aside their long years of hostility, cats and Alaskan Malamutes can achieve the same degree of friendship. You have a major role to play in this and as we detail later, those two can be brought together. They just need a guide to show them the benefits of living in peace as opposed to constant squabbling.
It all starts with that delicate step called introducing the Alaskan Malamute to the cat.
How to Introduce Your Alaskan Malamute to a Cat
This is a crucial step and you need to make sure you got it right. The thing about cats is they are peevish and know how to hold a grudge, for years if they have to. Alaskan Malamutes are too easy-going to worry about grudges. And because of their large size and apparent strength, they can be intimidating.
You need to avoid that first impression. When the cat sees this lumbering hulk approaching it, it will feel threatened. So you don’t want it to flee the place in fear. Make sure they both meet each other for the first time under favorable circumstances. The Alaskan Malamute looks more peaceful when it’s lying down.
So what you need to do here is to get the cat to get familiar with the dog and to feel safe. The cat needs to accept the Alaskan Malamute as a housemate, not a potential enemy. First impressions count and it would be much easier to develop a cordial atmosphere than to fix a hostile one. You can encourage them to accept each other. How you can do that is what we explain below.
How to Help A Cat Get Along With an Alaskan Malamute
Two things that most pets tend to enjoy: food and playing. In the case of the cat, napping is another daily activity that they enjoy a whole lot. But since the Alaskan Malamute is more active then you can take that out napping or sleep time as a bonding activity off your list.
You’re left with food and playing. You can encourage them both to eat at the same time. Put their food bowls in different places but give them food at the exact time. Since they don’t share the same food, that means they won’t see each other as competitors. Instead, they will share an enjoyable activity together. This creates the right vibes that you’d want to build and nourish.
Then you have game time. Even though they both have a huge difference in temperament as well as size, you can still find a middle ground where the Alaskan Malamute and the cat can share a game and enjoy playing it together. Balls are the first thing that comes to mind here. Cats love playing with balls and so do the Alaskan Malamutes.
Cuddling and belly rubs are two activities that no pet would say no to. Make sure you bestow your love and attention equally on both pets. If one of them hogs your cuddles, the other would feel left out and get jealous.
Alaskan Malamutes and Other Small Animals
One thing is for sure, if you can get your Alaskan Malamute to befriend the cat, then you’ll have great success with the rest of your furry household. Bunnies, for example, are less peevish than the cat and once they know that the Alaskan Malamute is not there to eat them, they will learn to love that big brute and accept it in their lives.
You can apply the same techniques we discussed earlier as well as the tips that you will find below with most pets. Whether you’re talking about a chihuahua or a gerbil, the rules of engagement are basically the same. You allow the two animals to get to know each other, you encourage them to interact without forcing, you allow them to have space, and you don’t put them in a situation that could create contention and animosity.
While animals have complex lives and the dynamics of their relationships are fluid and tend to change from one day to the next, there are still some guidelines to help you establish a harmonious atmosphere in your household and create the right conditions where a loving friendship between the cat and the Alaskan Malamute might blossom.
- Make sure their living areas don’t overlap when you’re introducing them to each other.
- Allow the Alaskan Malamute and the cat to take their time to explore each other and come to terms with having the other in their lives.
- Cats value their privacy, so ensure they get their own place that the dog cannot reach or get into.
- Scent is a powerful tool of introduction. So drop some of the cat’s items in the dog’s space and make sure the cat runs into the dog’s ball occasionally.
- Don’t scold either of them in the presence of the other. They both have their dignity and pride to keep.
- Don’t get anxious around the Alaskan Malamute, that might make them more hostile toward the cat or even blame it for your anxiety.
- Encourage them to be nice to each other. Treats play a big role in reinforcing positive behaviors and discouraging them from getting antsy toward each other.
- Give them love and cuddles in equal proportions. Don’t make one of them feels left out or less loved by you as it creates unnecessary competition.