Wolfdog and Cat
How does a person manage to own a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog and a cat both in the same garden and -this is important- both living?Mutual tolerance between a dog and a cat is best established when both of them are very young. Konrad Lorenz wrote that there can only ever be interspecies peace imposed by human, not a Disney-style friendship, since at the beginning the dog doesn't understand cat's body language and vice versa. So we put together our Wolfdog and the tiny kitty from the day one. Raksha's initial reaction was fear of the little kitten, mirrored by Shiva. Then they got along fine for two years, with some playful fights and chases, never hurting one another. When Raksha reached maturity, her games with Shiva had gotten too rough. Therefore we forbid her to chase or bite Shiva at all, and now at three years of age, they can live together and sleep on our patio next to each other again.
Fear goes first
I hope you can see on the pictures that both little animals were scared of each other. (Though they would never admit to that now;)
They were also curious, so little by little, they approached and cautiously touched each other.
Shiva was doing the signature cat scare-you-to-death pose. It didn't work for long, yet I'm sure that it had nothing to do with Shiva's height being something like 15 cm.
Curiosity must be channeled
Since the beginning we were always present whenever they were together. We watched their interaction, and apart from having tremenduous fun, we let Raksha know that this little demon-kitty is under our protection.
Meaning that if Raksha's wrestling game with Shiva got too rough, we stopped her physically or verbally told her to let the poor saliva-covered kitten catch his breath.
Peace can be achieved...
Ever since Raksha's maw chewed Shiva's stomach, it was crystal clear that this was match made in heaven. Oh what fun it is to chase the cat and to nuzzle it, lick it, chew it... The hunting instinct is clearly present in any Wolfdog, and if you let it, an adult Czechoslovakian Wolfdog has no problem with chasing and killing a cat.
... and maintained
Now the cat is usually faster than Raksha, so we let them freely in the garden, knowing that if the cat is caught by our wolfish beast, it is because the cat wanted it so.
The cat also knows to meow loudly when Raksha bites too hard and we are always ready to remind Raksha that the little black provocateur is always to remain in one, healthy piece when she is done with it;]
Trees are good for you
Shiva soon discovered the glorious fact that dogs cannot climb trees. And when the distance is short, a cat is quicker than a dog. Shiva knows many places in our garden which Raksha is unable to reach (below the patio, trees, fence) or where she is forbidden to go (vegetable garden, inside the house). When Shiva doesn't feel like playing adrenaline games, he uses his safe passages in our garden and leaves for a walk in the village.
Too bad that cats sometimes get too immersed in hunting everything that is small and moving and therefore could possibly be food. While Shiva is stalking fallen leaf, Raksha uses her wolfish ability to move like a ghost (it's scary how quiet she is), tackling the unsuspecting cat to the ground in one big jump.
Apart from that, cat's are not stupid
From time to time Shiva lets Raksha catch him and seems to enjoy the massage of his belly.
When I think that Shiva's head is too deep in Raksha's throat, I pull them apart. The wet and tousled cat gives me usually an annoyed look, something along the line "Mind your OWN bussines!" and stretches his paws towards the dog's jaws again.
When he is feeling especially bold, Shiva intentionally lets Raksha chase him, he even waits right next to his hiding place for the running dog, only to gracefuly enter his haven, swinging the black tail provocatively under the wolfdog's angry nose.
You are the one who decides how your wolfdog treats cats
Shiva's natural ability to pierce Raksha's lips prevents her from harming the cat. We also keep reminding Raksha that she is not to harm Shiva, however, Raksha makes a clear distinction between Shiva and other cats. Other cats are prey, and even though we try to prevent her from chasing any cats, sometimes she disobeys. Especially if they run from her, which all cats wisely do;]
We don't know whether she would kill a stray cat, since she never caught one, but i have heard about several wolfdogs which are quite successful cat-killers.