Why is your dog licking your kitten so much?
Nothing is cuter than a dog and a kitten being best friends.
It creates incredible photo opportunities that I love showing to my friends.
But are you starting to worry because your dog has begun licking your kitten excessively?
Are you wondering why this is or if it’s considered a worrying behavior?
Well, this article will answer both questions and more!
Why Is Your Dog Licking Your Kitten Excessively?
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First off, it’s essential we establish that your dog licking your kitten isn’t a bad behavior. In fact, it is probably a maternal instinct shown by dogs like this one. In a sense, they’ve become attached to the kitten and consider it a part of their family.
In other words, your dog has taken on the mothering role for the kitten. It’s not as uncommon as you think. In fact, this reaction from your dog is quite typical. My dog did this when I brought home a kitten. They’re letting you know that they feel the kitten is a part of their pack.
And you’ll probably be surprised, but this goes for both sexes of dogs. Both male and female have been known to take on the duties of the mother. They’ll groom and protect your kitten from any danger. I know, I was shocked when my male dog started mothering my new kitten.
This adorable video proves that point! I can’t say the cat looks entirely thrilled, but then again, he doesn’t seem to be trying to get away!
They might even start carrying your kitten from place to place by the scruff of their neck. Now, it’s a little scary seeing this in person. At first, it did freak me out. But as long as, your kitten doesn’t begin to cry or claw at your dog, there shouldn’t be any problem.
Now, if you start seeing the following behaviors, you should start to worry.
Concerning Behaviors Between a Dog and a Kitten
A dog growling could mean many different things. None of these things are good when it comes to interactions with a kitten.
Usually, your dog’s fixation on kitten will stop after the unfamiliarity wears off. This sense of fixation means your dog has no control. During this time, keep them separated. If the obsession doesn’t wear off, you need to look for alternatives.
I suggest checking out this article from Best Friends on how to properly introduce your dog to your kitten, and vice-versa, so that both feel a sense of control during the initial meeting.
Your dog chasing your kitten might look like they’re having fun, but your kitten is most likely terrified. Don’t let this behavior happen for any reason.
If your dog does exhibit these behaviors, there are certain things you can do to help them be less aggressive.
How to Stop A Dog From Getting Aggressive With a Kitten
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When getting a kitten, a dog owner’s worst fear is coming home to a tragedy. Unfortunately, some dogs aren’t very welcoming to our feline friends. But there are some things you can try to help make the transition smoother.
1. Designate Kitten Only Spaces
Creating a space for your kitten that your dog doesn’t have access too is essential for keeping your cat safe when you’re away, or even while you’re home and not able to focus all of your attention on the duo.
- When you’re out of the house, put the kitten in a separate room behind a closed door or a baby gate. It will make sure there are no accidents and keeps your kitten safe.
- Fill this area with some cat toys and something to climb like a cat tree.
- The litter box should also be in this room at all times.
- These items will help occupy the kitten’s time during the period you’re gone. After all, you don’t want the kitten to be meowing the whole time you’re out of the house.
Additionally, it’s essential you create kitten only spaces outside of this room. In fact, it’s an excellent idea to build them all over the house. For example, I found that cat beds on high enough places like shelves are excellent places for them to hide.
Of course, your kitten might not be old enough to start climbing. In this case, keep the kitten separate inside the room at all times when unsupervised. This level of caution might seem extreme, but remember a kitten is exceptionally fragile.
2. Exercise Both Your Dog’s Mind and Body
Sometimes, a dog’s aggression comes from excess energy that builds up from lack of exercise. In other words, your dog might not even have a problem with your kitten; they just don’t have anything else to push their excess energy towards.
Due to this, try taking your dog for longer walks or getting them more interactive toys. It did wonders for the relationship between my dog and kitten. After all, more exercise will help burn off their excess energy in a positive way rather than terrifying your kitten.
Also, it’s essential you find ways to stimulate your dog’s mind through keeping things interesting. For example, I constantly change up the route of my dog’s walk every couple of times and play games that challenge them mentally like try hiding their food around the house or some puzzle games.
Related: Best Simulating Toys for Bored Dog
3. Keep Their Food And Toys Separate
Your dog could be acting aggressive because the kitten is close to their food. As you know, dogs are very protective over their meals, and a kitten won’t care about this until the dog ends up attacking them.
- Just like how some dogs take on the mother role for kittens, they also take ownership of both their food and toys. They’ll become protective and see the kitten as a threat to that sense of ownership.
- Also, it doesn’t help that kittens tend to have no sense of boundaries. They’ll walk right up to your dog’s food and try to take some. Due to this, keep the kitten’s food in a separate room and put the dog’s food elsewhere: the same goes for their favorite toys.
Honestly, you don’t want something awful to happen over something with such an easy solution.
4. Behavioral Training Classes
If none of the above options seem like their working, it’s time you contact a professional dog trainer and invest in some behavioral training classes. These classes are expensive, but incredibly worth it, especially, for overly aggressive dogs.
With all this new information, having both a kitten and a dog shouldn’t be something that causes you a lot of worries. You should be well on your way to cultivating a best friend dynamic between your dog and kitten.
Once you do, it’s going to be one of the best parts of your life as it’s for me. I mean, just imagine all the cute photos!