How to Introduce a Dog to a Cat
Without a doubt, prevention is always preferable to cure. Some simple precautions may be enough to keep your cat healthy and prevent him from sneezing for the rest of his life. Have your cat vaccinated according to the schedule prescribed by your family veterinarian is one of the most effective strategies to avoid certain infections. You should consult your family veterinarian if you have any concerns about your cat’s health at any point in time. After all, that’s what doctors are for!
Body language of dogs and cats
Consider the body language of both animals when you are introducing your dog to a cat for the first time. If the cat’s ears are pinned back or his tail is swishing back and forth, he is likely to be unhappy. You should pay close attention to the body language of your dog, since this might indicate a possible danger. If your dog has a strong prey drive (the desire to seek out, hunt, and perhaps capture creatures perceived as prey — mainly smaller animals such as cats or rabbits), she may become very concentrated on the cat throughout the training session.
If you notice any of these indicators, do not allow her to get close the cat.
Even if she is paying attention to the cat, you do not want her to get focused on him.
If your dog is OK with your cat within the house, it does not necessarily follow that she will behave in the same manner outside.
As a result, pay attention to her body language while she is around the cat in each new circumstance until you figure out how she will respond to him.
Methods for introducing a dog and a cat
There are several approaches that may be used to introduce a dog to a cat. You should attempt a new approach if the initial way of introduction you try doesn’t work or you don’t feel comfortable with it. It is important to proceed with caution during the introduction, even if the dog has previous experience with cats and the cat has previously lived with a dog. It’s better to have two individuals there — one to supervise the animals and the other to intervene if required. If you have more than one dog, you should introduce each dog to the cat one at a time.
Option 1: Slow and steady desensitization
Alternatively, if your dog has become overly obsessed on the cat, you can attempt desensitization, which has the purpose of decreasing your dog’s sensitivity to the cat by progressively increasing her exposure to him. Set up a room (such as a bedroom, bathroom or spare room) with a tall baby gate over the entrance to keep the cat out of trouble. The room you pick should be one that the dog will not be able to reach and will not be required to access. For example, if your dog sleeps in your bedroom with you at night, don’t put the cat in the same room as him.
- Provide the cat with all of the necessary items in his room, including a litter box, toys, food, and water.
- As a result, be certain that your cat cannot go past the gate you have installed.
- To begin desensitization, allow the dog to see the cat through the gate for a small period of time, and then redirect the dog’s attention to something else, such as playing with a toy or practicing commands.
- Praise and reward the dog for being able to divert his or her attention elsewhere.
- Even seeing the cat for the first time might be too thrilling for the dog at times.
- For example, In his chamber, just next to the door, the cat eats his supper, while the dog eats her meal on the opposite side of the door.
- It’s also possible to change out the blankets and bedding of each animal, giving them to the other.
- Hopefully, by gradually exposing the dog to the cat and allowing the dog to grow used to the cat’s presence, the dog will finally become desensitized to the cat and lose interest in the feline companion.
- Individuality distinguishes each dog (and each cat), and each will progress at his or her own rate.
- If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your dog alone with your cat, you should separate the two of them.
Many dogs are capable of injuring or killing a cat in a short period of time, and your dog may also be wounded by the cat. Your top priority should be ensuring that everyone’s well-being is protected.
Option 2: Face-to-face introduction
This is a more brisk introduction to the subject matter. One person should be in charge of keeping the dog on a loose leash and observing the dog’s body language. Somebody else should be keeping an eye on the cat’s body language. If the cat is not hissing or rising his back in the vicinity of the dog, he can be permitted to walk around without restriction. When it comes to dogs, a cat is rarely a threat, although some cats may go on the attack when they encounter them. If the dog is calm in the presence of the cat, you can ask the dog to sit or lie down and remain, if she has been given such cues, while the cat goes around freely, smelling the dog if he so desires, while you supervise.
Option 1 and Option 3 should be tried if the dog is very focused on the cat (e.g., gazing at the cat, rigid body language, refusing to respond when you call her name), or if she lunges and attempts to chase the cat.
Option 3: Look at That
This is a more brisk introduction to the subject matter in general. Ideally, one person should be in charge of holding the dog and observing his or her body language. Watching the cat’s body language should be delegated to a third party The cat can be permitted to wander around freely if he is not rising his back or hissing at the dog while doing so. The majority of cats are not aggressive against dogs, but some cats will go on the offensive when confronted by the latter. As long as the dog behaves calmly in the presence of the cat, you can ask her to sit or lie down and remain if she has been given those cues, while the cat roams around freely, smelling the dog if he so desires.
If the dog is too preoccupied on the cat (e.g., gazing at the cat, rigid body language, refusing to respond when you call her name), or if she lunges and attempts to chase the cat, you should try a different technique for encouraging them to share space, such as Option 1 or Option 3.
Introducing kittens and puppies
This is a more brisk introduction to the subject. One person should be in charge of keeping the dog on a loose lead and observing the dog’s body language. Someone else should be keeping an eye on the cat’s body language. If the cat is not hissing or rising his back in the vicinity of the dog, he can be permitted to move freely. The majority of cats are not aggressive against dogs, but some cats will go on the offensive when they encounter dogs. If the dog is calm in the presence of the cat, you can ask the dog to sit or lie down and remain, if she has been given such cues, while the cat goes around freely, smelling the dog if he likes.
Option 1 and Option 3 should be tried if the dog is very focused on the cat (e.g., gazing at the cat, rigid body language, refusing to listen to you when you call her name), or if she lunges and attempts to chase the cat.
Seeking help from a professional
It is common for animals who have had a positive previous experience to adjust easily and quickly to a new pet in the family.
However, if the introductions do not go smoothly, you should seek assistance from a professional dog trainer or behavior expert. Never resort to corporal punishment since it will not assist and may even make the situation worse. Find a professional dog trainer.
How to introduce a dog and cat
Despite popular belief, many dogs and cats are able to coexist happily with one another. It’s important to be patient and take the introduction process carefully, but it’s important to remember that whether or not your dogs get along will also rely on their respective personalities. Follow these actions to increase your chances of achieving success. Face-to-face encounters should be initiated. Once your pets are able to consume their food comfortably right next to the entrance, it is time to hold meet and greets in a common area of the home.
- Keeping the first few sessions brief and quiet is important.
- Don’t hold either pet in your arms because if either pet becomes hostile, you might end up hurting yourself or them.
- Don’t forget to give your cat some snacks as well.
- Toss a toy to the cat to entice him out of the room, or call the dog’s name and give him a treat if he pays attention to you.
Introducing Dogs to Cats
Whether you currently have a dog and are thinking about obtaining a cat, or the other way around, it is critical to determine how you will introduce them to one another. Giving an untrained cat and an untrained dog the opportunity to meet in an open room for the first time is a recipe for disaster for both of them, according to the experts. instead of rushing things, plan ahead and take your time.
Matching Cats and Dogs
- The characteristics of both animals should be taken into consideration when considering whether to get either one as a companion to your dog or as a companion to your cat. While it may be beneficial to seek for a companion who has previously been exposed to the other species in the past, it is better to avoid obtaining a cat altogether if a dog attempts to aggressively chase or pin, pick up, or otherwise “manhandle” any cat — or at the very least to continue with care. Additionally, a dog who growls, lunges at, or barks incessantly at a cat would generally fare better in an environment where cats are not present. As an example, a cat that growls at dogs or runs away from them would probably prefer not to live with them
- If a dog enjoys running after things, then a timid, shy cat who runs away would probably not be the greatest choice, as it might provoke the dog to chase after something else. Similar to this, an enthusiastic cat that sprints around and pounces would fall into this group as well. A calm, confident cat who does not flee (whether in fright or play) might be a better choice for this situation. If a dog is playing rough, it is better to keep him away from kittens or old cats, who can be easily injured. As a substitute, stick with lively grownups who enjoy themselves while still being capable of taking care of themselves. An aged dog or cat who is laid back, quiet, or worried would benefit from having a calm counterpart
- If a dog or cat who is energetic but not rowdy would benefit from having a calm counterpart. It’s best to avoid hyperactive partners that might cause annoyance, terror, or other problems for the other pet.
The Introduction Process
You should think about the characteristics of both animals if you’re considering of acquiring a cat for your dog or a dog for your cat. While it may be beneficial to look for a companion who has already been exposed to the other species in the past, it is best to avoid getting a cat altogether if a dog attempts to aggressively chase or pin, pick up, or otherwise “manhandle” any cat — or at the very least proceed with caution — any cat. Moreover, it is likely that a dog who growls at, lunges at, or barks excessively at a cat will perform best in an environment where cats are not present.
Similar to this, an enthusiastic cat that sprints around and pounces would be considered to be in a similar situation.
Avoid kittens and old cats if your dog plays rough with them since they are more vulnerable to being injured by a dog.
An aged dog or cat that is laid back, quiet, or worried would benefit from having a calm counterpart; if a dog or cat who is energetic but not rowdy would benefit from having a playful but kind companion.
Try to keep rowdy friends away from the other pet so that they do not disturb, terrify, or otherwise upset it.
Step 1: Choose the proper location for the first meeting
- To introduce your resident cat to a new dog, you should not take your cat to meet the dog to a shelter or other place that keeps a large number of animals for health and safety concerns. Instead, the introduction should take place in the individual’s residence. If you are adopting a cat, do not bring your dog into the shelter with you and introduce him to the cats, since this may be extremely stressful or traumatic for all of the cats there. It is also not always a reliable prediction of how the dog will behave when it is returned home. Instead, inquire with the shelter’s adoption counselors about whether they have any dog-savvy, confident cats that they would be willing to let meet your dog in a controlled environment before adopting them. If this is not possible, another option would be to introduce your dog to a cat who is familiar with dogs and belongs to a friend or family. As a last option, you can bring your new kitten home and introduce him or her to your family and friends.
Step 2: Separate the animals
- Over a few days, alternate which animal has freedom and which is confined in order to give each animal ample opportunity to study the scent of the other. Sometimes it is necessary to confine the dog to a crate or another room (or to another place if he is unable to be left alone) in order to give the cat time to roam freely and examine the dog’s scent. It is probable that the interaction will not work if your dog digs persistently at the separation barrier or barks at the cat for more than a few days without sufficient training. It is possible that you will require the assistance of a professional
- In the event that no one is home, the dog or cat must always be properly confined to ensure that uncontrolled encounters do not occur. Upon achieving complete calm (or at least not obsession with the cat) and complete calm in the cat (which includes eating and using the litter box as usual), you may go to the next phase.
Step 3: Make leashed introductions
- It is okay for both animals to be in the same room at the same time, but the dog must be leashed at all times. Repeat this method of introduction until the dog is calm and ignores the cat, and the cat is calm and eating and using the litter box as usual. If either animal exhibits any signs of fear or hostility, continue to step 2 for a longer period of time. Continue endlessly until both the dog and the cat appear to be comfortable and calm in the presence of one another
- The dog and cat should be securely kept to separate places while no one is home to prevent uncontrolled encounters between the two animals.
Step 4: Allow unsupervised interactions
- It is okay for both animals to be in the same room at the same time, however the dog must be leashed at all times
- Carry on with this method of introduction until the dog is calm and ignores the cat, and the cat is calm, eating and using the litter box as usual
- Stay at step 2 for a longer period of time if either animal exhibits signs of fear or hostility. Indefinitely repeat this process until both the dog and the cat appear comfortable with one another. The dog and cat should be safely kept to different places while no one is home to prevent uncontrolled interactions between them.
If the dog is staring at the cat or the door that separates the cat from the dog, attempt to divert him and encourage him to look away using goodies, a joyful voice, or by gently walking the dog away on a leash to persuade him to look away. Once the dog has been redirected away from the cat, consider rewarding him with a goodie. Repetition of this technique until he is no longer fixated on the cat or door will be necessary.
- If the dog is staring at the cat or the door that separates the cat from the dog, attempt to divert him and encourage him to look away using goodies, a joyful voice, or by gently leading the dog away on a leash from the cat or the door. Offer a treat to the dog once he has been separated from the cat. Repetition of this technique until he is no longer fixated on the cat or door will be required.
Dog & Cat Intros: Learn How to Introduce Dogs & Cats
It is not necessary for cats and dogs to be fatal foes. The appropriate introduction of your dog and cat will go a long way toward bringing harmony to your family, even if some dogs can never be totally safe near cats.
How training works:
Correct training is vital for a long, happy and safe relationship with your dog, as it lays the groundwork for your dog to be physically healthy, intellectually aware, socially engaged and emotionally content for the rest of his or her natural life. It is highly recommended to employ a positive reinforcement approach to dog training in order to make it a joyful and gratifying pastime. This technique is reward-based, entertaining, and successful. Using positive reinforcement to train a dog may help pet parents gain a better understanding of how their pets think, learn, and communicate.
This helps to strengthen and maintain the attachment that exists between the pet parent and their dog.
Families that behave as nice, benevolent influences for their children and assist their dogs understand their place in the household have the finest connections with their canines.
Puppies that put forth the effort to achieve all of life’s positive outcomes are more confident, attentive, polite, courteous, and attached to their families.
Know your dog:
When it comes to greeting a new cat, dogs go into one of three categories:
- They pay no attention to the cat at all. They are first enthralled and intrigued by the cat, but either learn to coexist with it or rapidly get bored with it as time goes on. They never stop chasing after the cat, and they may even injure it.
Dogs that fit into the third group should always be kept under close supervision when they are in the same household as cats. In general, some breeds, such as sight hounds (greyhounds, Afghan hounds, and so on) and some terriers, fall into the third group; however, there are exceptions.
Before the introductions:
Changes in the cat’s habitat should be made well in advance of the dog’s arrival if you are introducing a new dog or puppy into a home where there is already a dog or puppy. In this manner, your cat will not hold your dog responsible for what your cat perceives to be unnecessarily turmoil. For example, place your cat’s food bowls on a counter or the top of the washing machine where your new dog will not be able to access them, as canines are known to be drawn to cat food. Cat excrement may also be a source of attraction for them.
The gradual alteration of their environment will reduce the amount of stress experienced by your cat.
Your cat will require a safe haven on a high shelf where they can stay away from your dog while still keeping an eye on things.
Once your cat has become accustomed to watching from a distance, they will gradually get more intrigued and come down to inspect the situation more closely. Do not try to hasten this procedure in any way. The ability of your cat to adjust at their own speed is critical to their overall comfort.
The homecoming and introduction:
You should keep your new dog or cat to a private room with the door closed when you first bring him or her into your house. Pets can sniff each other beneath the door if they’re both old and new. Keep the dog from digging at the door or standing and barking incessantly on the porch. In the dog’s area, put towels or bedding that smell like the cat, and the opposite in the cat’s area. Allow your cat to prowl around your dog’s territory while your dog is outdoors, sniffing the scent of your dog.
- Your dog will then be able to detect the scent that your cat has left in your dog’s territory.
- Allowing your cat to wander freely will help to reduce tension during their first true face-to-face encounter.
- Maintain control over your dog by keeping him on a leash or behind a solid gate.
- In the event that your dog has a negative reaction to your cat while on leash, instruct your dog to “Leave it” and redirect your dog’s behavior by rewarding him with a toy or treat when he responds appropriately to a signal such as “Sit” or “Lie down.” Make sure you have some snacks on hand.
- Give your dog a reward to express your appreciation for his good conduct, and to encourage his good behavior.
- Please be patient.
- If you have just introduced pets, never leave them unattended until you are convinced that each creature is accepting of the other.
- Please keep in mind that the information on this Treatment Sheet is not a replacement for professional veterinarian care.
Introducing Your New Cat to Your Dog
You should keep your new dog or cat to a private room with the door closed when you first bring them home. Pets can sniff each other beneath the door if they’re old and new friends. Keep the dog from digging at the door or standing and barking incessantly at the door. In the dog’s area, place towels or beds that smell like the cat, and the opposite is true. Allow your cat to prowl around your dog’s territory when he or she is outside, examining the scent of your dog. Before your dog comes back in, take your cat back to their own space.
- To ensure your cat’s safety before meeting your dog, cut your cat’s nails to prevent injury in the event that your cat turns hostile.
- Cats have a way of establishing a mood.
- The regulated and safe environment allows them to view and potentially touch one other.
- Redirect your dog’s behavior with a toy or treat until your dog responds appropriately to a signal such as “Sit” or “Lie down.” Prepare some sweets.
- Give your dog a reward to express your appreciation for his good conduct, and to encourage it.
- Wait for a while.
- If you have just introduced pets, never leave them unattended until you are positive that each creature is accepting of the others.
This Care Sheet should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. If you require any further information, please consult the sources listed above or contact your veterinarian as necessary..
It is incredibly easy for dogs to murder a cat, even if they are merely playing with it. It only takes a single shaking for the cat’s neck to snap. Some dogs have such a strong predation drive that they should never be left alone with a feline in their care. Dogs are typically drawn to cats and want to pursue and play with them, and cats are typically fearful and protective in response. To begin introducing your new cat to your resident dog, follow the procedures outlined above. In addition, there is: Put your obedience skills to the test.
- Providing your dog with little morsels of food can improve his or her incentive to perform, which will be essential in the face of a strong distraction such as a new kitten.
- Meeting that was under control Following a period of time in which your new cat and resident dog have gotten accustomed to eating on opposite sides of the door and have been exposed to each other’s odors as stated above, you may attempt a controlled face-to-face introduction.
- Allow another family member or friend to enter the room and gently sit down close to your new cat; but, do not allow them to physically restrict your cat.
- Initially, the cat and the dog should be placed on separate ends of the room to avoid any confusion.
- Don’t let the visit stretch on for too long, or the dog will become unmanageable.
- Allow your cat to investigate your dog at her own paceNext, while the dog is still on a leash and in a “down-stay,” give your cat the opportunity to explore your dog at her own speed.
- The dog should be relocated with a treat lure, and he should be complimented and rewarded for complying with the “stay” order if he gets up from the position.
- Retrace your steps back to the beginning of the introduction.
- It is important to teach your dog that chasing and being rough with your cat are not acceptable behaviors; however, he should also be taught how to behave appropriately, and should be rewarded for doing so.
- Your dog may become aggressive toward your cat if he or she is always punished while your cat is there, and if no “positive things” happen in the cat’s presence, your dog may become aggressive toward your cat.
- During the introduction process, you may want to keep your dog on a leash and in your immediate vicinity anytime your cat is free in the house.
Make certain that your cat has an escape route and a safe location to hide from danger. Until you’re comfortable that your cat will be secure, keep your dog and cat apart when you’re not at home.
Despite the fact that they are merely playing, dogs may easily murder a cat. The cat’s neck may be snapped with a single shake of the body. A cat should never be left alone with a dog who has a high hunting drive, and vice versa. Most dogs like chasing and playing with cats, while cats in turn are typically fearful and defensive of their surroundings. Utilize the methods indicated above to begin introducing your new cat to your existing dog. Additional information may be found at Obey your superiors.
- Your dog’s incentive to perform will be boosted by small morsels of food, which will be essential in the face of a powerful distraction such as a new cat.
- Meeting that was strictly controlled Following a period of time during which your new cat and resident dog have gotten accustomed to eating on opposite sides of the door and have been exposed to each other’s odors as stated above, you may attempt a controlled face-to-face introduction.
- Allow another family member or friend to enter the room and softly settle down close to your new cat; but, do not allow them to physically restrict her.
- Initially, the cat and the dog should be placed on separate ends of the room to avoid confusion.
- Make sure you don’t keep the dog waiting for too long or he’ll get out of hand.
- Allow your cat to investigate your dog at her own paceNext, while your dog is still on a leash and in a “down-stay,” give your cat the opportunity to explore your dog at her own speed.
- The dog should be relocated with a treat lure, and he should be complimented and rewarded for complying with the “stay” order if he gets out of place.
- Repeat the steps at the beginning of this section.
- However, even while your dog must be taught that chasing or being rough with your cat is undesirable behavior, he must also be taught how to act responsibly and be rewarded for doing so.
- Your dog may become aggressive against your cat if he or she is always punished when the cat is there, and if no “positive things” happen in the cat’s company, the cat may become aggressive toward your dog.
- While the introduction process is taking place, you may wish to have your dog on a leash and with you at all times when your cat is free in the house.
Provide your cat with an escape route and a safe spot to hide if necessary. Until you’re satisfied that your cat will be secure, keep your dog and cat apart when you’re not home.
A word about kittens and puppies
Because kittens are so much smaller than dogs, they are at greater risk of being harmed or killed by a young, active dog or a predatory dog. A kitten will need to be kept apart from a very lively dog until she is fully grown, and even then, she should never be left alone with the dog for more than a short period of time. Generally speaking, a well-socialized cat will be able to keep a puppy under control, but some cats lack the confidence to do so. If you have a cat that is very shy, you may need to keep her isolated from your puppy until he has gained enough self-control to be able to interact with her.
When to get help
If introductions do not go successfully, seek expert assistance as soon as possible. When animals are involved in conflicts, they can sustain serious injuries, and the longer the situation persists, the more difficult it can be to settle. Conflicts between pets that live in the same household may frequently be handled with the assistance of a specialist. Punishment, on the other hand, will not work and may even make the situation worse. Dumb Friends League has copyright protection. All intellectual property rights are retained.
How To Safely Introduce Dogs and Cats
Even though we have taught through cartoons that dogs and cats are fatal adversaries, this is not always the case. Many dogs and cats may learn to cohabit peacefully if they are introduced to one other and trained properly. You might be able to get your dog and cat to tolerate one another, if not become friends.
Can Dogs and Cats Get Along?
The reality is that cats and dogs can coexist harmoniously in the majority of families. Conflicts are most likely to arise during the first introduction phase of a project. This is due to the fact that these creatures have a typical character. Dogs and cats are both predatory beasts, with their genes programmed to pursue and chase smaller prey such as rodents and mice. Animals’ natural prey drive varies from species to species, and breeding has a significant influence on prey drive in many cases.
- The presence of a cat may arouse this predatory impulse, which may result in a chase or an attack.
- A puppy or extremely little “teacup” dog, on the other hand, may be enough to arouse a cat’s predatory drive.
- Both cats and dogs are known to engage in territorial behavior when they feel threatened.
- Cats may growl and hiss at a new dog in order to convey the message “this is my territory.” A new cat may elicit growls and barks from dogs.
- As a general rule, a resident cat is more likely than a new dog to exhibit territorial and protective behavior against the newcomer.
A resident dog is more likely to see a new cat as prey and to pursue after that cat if the cat is unfamiliar to the dog. In most cases, however, appropriate introductions and training can help to alter the way that dogs and cats perceive one another.
Matching Dogs and Cats
Not all dogs and cats are compatible with one another. Consider the following scenario: a scared cat is not a good fit for a lively, playful dog. Before you pick a new pet to bring into your house, take into consideration your present pet’s personality and energy level. Pets that are younger tend to be more accepting of new creatures. Small kittens and puppies, on the other hand, are particularly susceptible and may be injured by a larger dog or cat that enjoys rough play. Older pets might be stubborn and reluctant to new animals, especially when they are young.
If your current pet is suffering from a serious disease or has a behavioral problem, you should avoid obtaining a second pet.
In the event that it is practicable, adopt a pet that has been tested with other species.
Unfortunately, some dogs and cats will never be able to get along with one another.
How to Introduce a New Dog to a Cat
Dogs and cats need to be introduced to new situations slowly and gradually. Don’t just dump the new pet into the mix and hope for the best; plan ahead of time. Before you know it, the hair will be flying everywhere, and you or your pets might get major injuries as a result. Begin with little steps. The most critical component of the procedure is that you must personally watch both creatures at all times. There should be no unsupervised direct interaction between the animals until you are certain that both animals will behave in a responsible manner.
An angry cat or dog may wrongly turn its hostility towards you, and scratches or bites are the last thing you need in this situation.
Continue to maintain command of the situation.
This procedure might take many days, several weeks, or even several months.
Separation and Confinement
When you first bring your new pet home, restrict him or her to a single room in your house. Prepare the space by putting in bedding, food, drink, and toys (plus a litterbox and scratching pad for a cat). Create safe hiding spots for your new pet, especially if the animal appears to be scared of being left unsupervised. Keep eye contact between the animals to a minimum. Allow the new pet to sniff about and investigate the room while the current pet has access to the rest of the house, if possible.
- Allow each animal to gradually become acquainted with the odors and noises of the other throughout the first several days (between the closed door).
- Every pet that exhibits calm inquiry or neutral conduct should be praised and rewarded with goodies and affection.
- Distract the pet’s attention with something fun, such as a toy.
- Allow the new pet to explore the house on a few occasions each day when the current pet is not around.
- Allow the cat to explore the dog’s room while the canine is not in attendance.
- Make room for the new cat to explore the house by removing the dog from the house or moving him to another room.
- Make sure to leave the door open to allow your new cat access to the house, but do not force the cat to leave the room.
Be prepared for a lengthier wait time if this is the case. If both creatures appear to be adapting well (feeding, drinking, urinating, and defecting as expected), proceed to the following stage.
Visual Contact Through a Barrier
Now that the two dogs have demonstrated their ability to detect, smell, and hear one another, it is time to allow them to interact visually. Purchase a pet gate or a baby gate that you can use to separate the room where the new pet will be staying from the rest of the house. As a precaution, keep the dog on a leash at all times. If you try to hold the cat, you may end up getting clawed or bitten. If you have another individual who can assist you, this procedure will be much easier. As a result, each pet is being closely monitored on an individual basis.
- Praise and rewards should be given.
- Maintain a quiet atmosphere and enable each animal to find the open door from a distance without making a big deal out of it.
- In the beginning, you may only be able to perform this for a few seconds.
- You might try feeding the animals with the door open to encourage them to form positive connections with the other animal.
This level is quite similar to the previous one, with the exception that you now want to let each pet to approach the gate. Maintain control of each animal, as you have done in the past. A leash should be provided for the dog. Lunging towards the gate should be avoided at all costs and should be strongly discouraged. If your cat is happy wearing a harness, consider using one and attaching a leash to it. Otherwise, keep your distance from the gate to prevent the cat from leaping over it to escape.
If you pick up your cat while it is hissing or spitting at the dog, you run the risk of being bitten or scratched.
If both creatures remain quiet and exhibit desirable reactions for a period of one or more days, you are ready to proceed with the procedure.
During this final round of introductions, the cat and dog are permitted to remain in the same room together while being closely monitored. The dog should still be restrained by a leash at this time. It is more likely that the cat will be hurt, thus it should be able to flee if required without being pursued by the dog. Hold short sessions in which both pets are present in the same room at the same time. Follow the same procedures as you did in the previous phases when dealing with their reactions.
Increase the duration of these sessions gradually, allowing the pets to become more familiar with one another with each session. Even though this final stage may take the longest to complete, the pets should still be kept apart if they are left alone during this period.
After some time, you may discover that your cat and dog have just come to accept one another’s presence in their home. Perhaps they will become friends and spend their time playing or snuggling together, if you are lucky. In some instances, it is impossible to leave the cat and dog alone together in a secure environment. In these cases, you should use your best judgment. Just keep in mind that it is always preferable to be cautious than sorry. Regardless of the outcome, make certain that your home is set up to provide the cat with a dog-free haven.
Additionally, you may choose tocrate trainyour dog in order to assist him in keeping things secure while you are away.
How to Introduce a Dog to a Cat
Some dogs, depending on their breed, age, and disposition, will not even give a cat a second glance, while others, particularly those with a high hunting drive, will require more patience and training in order to make a pairing work well. Each product that we showcase has been picked and vetted by our editorial staff after being thoroughly researched and tested. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of the links on this page, we may receive a commission. Despite the fact that they’re sometimes shown in cartoons as eternal adversaries, dogs and cats normally get along and may soon become the best of friends, especially if they’re reared in the same household.
6 Tips to Help You Introduce a Dog to a Cat
If you are adopting a dog from a shelter, make sure to inquire if he has been cat tested before you make the decision to adopt. The chances of your dog getting along with your cat at home are higher if he or she is already acquainted to cats. Also take into consideration the breed or combination you choose. Dogs with a high prey drive, such as terriers and hounds, may find it difficult to remain calm in the presence of your cat. Keep in mind, however, that all dogs, regardless of their breed, are individuals, and there is no hard and fast rule concerning which dogs get along best with cats.
If your cat is older, you may want to consider putting off getting a new dog for the time being.
2. Create safe spaces.
In the event that you are adopting a dog from a shelter, you should inquire as to whether he has been cat tested prior to adoption. The chances of your dog getting along with your cat at home are higher if he or she is already acquainted to them. It’s also important to think about the breed or combination that you choose. When it comes to your cat, dogs with a high prey drive, such as terriers and hounds, may find it difficult to maintain their cool. Take into consideration that all dogs are individuals irrespective of their breeding; thus, there is no definitive rule on which dogs are the most compatible with cats in general.
In order to minimize unnecessary stress on your cat, you may want to postpone getting a new dog for the time being. If your cat is older, you may want to consider putting off getting a new dog.
3. Keep your pets separate at first.
You should keep your new puppy in a different room from your cat for the time being. They will become accustomed to each other’s odors and noises in this manner, reducing the likelihood of a negative meeting. In addition, it is a good idea to kennel your dog anytime you let your cat to roam about freely. In this manner, the dog will be able to see the cat but will be unable to pursue it. Meanwhile, while he is safely tucked away in the crate, your cat may explore and get a feel for the unfamiliar surroundings.
4. Don’t expect miracles.
Introduction of canines and felines is a lot like dating: you could find a match straight immediately, or it might take weeks or months. So don’t hurry into anything! Take your time, and if your dog’s barking, chasing, or growling persists after a few weeks, you’ll most likely need to seek the assistance of a trained animal behavior expert to help you resolve the situation. Fernando Trabanco Fotografa / Getty ImagesA kitty and an adult dog look at one other.Credit: Fernando Trabanco Fotografa / Getty Images
5. Control introductions between your dog and cat.
Before allowing your dog and cat to meet face-to-face, make sure your dog has been trained to provide attention and to sit and down on command. Put your dog on a leash, command him to “sit” or “down” (while rewarding him with plenty of treats!) and let the cat roam freely. If your dog and cat are gently sniffing one other (or ignoring each other), it’s a positive indication that everything is going well. Treating and praising them both for their exemplary behavior is appropriate. If, on the other hand, your dog begins to gaze attentively at your cat, barks, or whines anxiously, refocus his attention with a toy, reward, or a command to sit or lay down, followed by another treat.
6. Take special care with kittens.
Because kittens are so active, bouncy, and fearless, they will adjust to having a new canine in the house more rapidly than other animals. However, because they are so little and active, your dog may mistakenly believe that they are something to pursue or, worse, something to grab. Never leave a kitten alone with a dog unless you are absolutely certain that they are entirely safe together. In fact, you should never leave a cat of any age alone with a new dog unless you are present to monitor the interaction.
7 mistakes to avoid when introducing cats and dogs
Cats and dogs have vastly different inclinations, characteristics, and personalities from one another. So, is it difficult for these furry buddies to coexist in the same house, let alone make friends with one another? Pet lovers may truly experience the best of both worlds under one roof if they want to do so. However, just as with any other relationship, building and cultivating a happy coexistence takes time and effort, and there are various factors to consider while maintaining a dog and cat friendly environment.
The first two weeks of a kitten’s existence, from when they are two weeks old to when they are around seven weeks old, are critical for socializing.
Consequently, if they had favorable encounters with dogs in their initial home (with the breeder) and then in your house as well while they are still kittens, that would be perfect,” Todd explained.
She believes that the success of the introduction will be determined by the dog parent’s control over the dog in terms of training and how safe the cat feels, both of which are important factors.
“Take the time to develop complimentary matches to guarantee the safety of all those involved and to maximize the likelihood of success.” Johnson-Bennett advised taking all of the information you have about your current pet with you to assist you in assessing whether or not a companion would be advantageous.
In a grassy field, a dog is playing with a couple of kittens. iStock / Getty Images Plus courtesy of Leoba Specifically, we will look at some of the pitfalls to avoid and what not to do when bringing cats and dogs to a home environment.
Don’t Let Dogs Have Access to Cat Areas
According to Todd, one of the most important components in developing a strong cat-dog connection is how comfortable and protected the cat feels. A cat’s sense of security may be enhanced by providing it with a safe haven where the dog cannot enter, such as high-up spots like cat trees or shelves, and hiding places that are only large enough for the cat to access, according to the expert. In order to make these places more accessible for cats, it may be necessary to remove seats from the dining table or pull a sofa slightly away from the wall so that just the cat can pass through the opening.
A kitten is seen racing through a field.
Don’t Keep a Cat in the Carrier for First Meeting
Cats despise carriers in general, and placing them in one will likely make their first encounter with dogs more difficult, since they will have no way to get away. “Whatever you do, don’t put the cat in their carrier for these initial interactions,” Todd advised Newsweek. “It means they won’t be able to run away if they feel scared when the dog comes up to smell the container.” When you are performing visual introductions, it is best to keep the dog behind a pet fence to keep him safe. The fact that they are separated to this degree during visual introductions allows them to meet without the risk of being injured.
If possible, choose a neutral site rather than the dog’s or cat’s safe haven for their encounter rather than their own homes.
Todd further stated that studies has shown that having the cat in the house initially, before the dog arrives, might be beneficial during the introduction process.
Image courtesy of Serhii Shleihel / Getty Images Plus
Don’t Let the Dog Chase the Cat
The fact that cats despise carriers in general, and that placing them in one would make their initial encounter with dogs even more difficult, because they won’t have an escape path, is well documented. “Whatever you do, don’t put the cat in their carrier for these initial interactions,” Todd advised Newsweek. “It means they won’t be able to run away if they feel scared when the dog comes up to smell the container. When you are performing visual introductions, it is best to keep the dog behind a pet fence to avoid any confusion.
Bringing them together in the same room is a good idea if they have seemed to be calm in their isolated environment, according to the American Kennel Club.
In order to ensure that the cat can escape if they feel the need to, they should be allowed to roam free, but the dog should be restrained so that you can regulate their movements and prevent them from going after the cat (more on chasing further below).
Additionally, Todd stated that studies has shown that having the cat in the house initially, prior to the dog arriving, might be beneficial for the introduction process as well. a kitten safely contained in a container iStock Photo / Getty Images Plus / Serhii Shleihel
Don’t Put Their Food in the Same Space
Todd emphasizes the need of providing food and water in different areas for the dog and the cat in order to ensure that the cat does not have to compete with the dog for resources. If you have a cat, make sure it gets some quality time with you. Feeding the cat separately from feeding the dog is best. For this reason, Todd recommends that owners consider keeping their dogs out of the room while they are spending time with their cats, especially when you are playing games with them using a wand, in order to prevent triggering their dog’s natural instinct to run after them.
A cat savoring food from a serving dish.
Don’t Have Prolonged Introductions
Dog and cat meetings should be brief and to the point, according to the rules of engagement. According to the American Kennel Club, these brief contacts should be spaced throughout the day for at least a week. Providing goodies to both pets during these interactions can aid in the development of positive connections between the two animals. As recommended by the American Kennel Club, “consider saving an especially delectable food for only these sessions so your pets will look forward to seeing one other.” According to International Cat Care, a nonprofit based in the United Kingdom, the early encounters should progressively allow the cat and dog to spend more time “simply being” together.
An example of a puppy attacking a dog toy iStock / Getty Images Plus courtesy of Piotr Wytrazek
Avoid Crisis Management
International Cat Care recommends that if the contact appears to be tense, avoid the temptation to intervene immediately and remove one of the pets from the situation. Arousal levels will be raised as a result of actions such as swooping in and seizing either the cat or the dog in an attempt to alleviate the tension, according to the charity. “This might result in a negative experience that could be damaging to future relationships,” the organization notes. When you predict that the pets will be able to coexist peacefully in an area, you can remove the boundaries for a period of time.
Using food or toys to lure the pets away from each other will provide for more distance between them if it is required at any stage throughout their encounter.
Image courtesy of FamVeld through iStock / Getty Images Plus
.But Don’t Leave Them Unsupervised
Direct supervision is required at all times during introductions. This involves actively watching and preventing any problems from occurring through pleasant diversions such as tempting the pets with food or toys, among other things. “Supervise at all times and be continually watchful for any outward indicators of emotional arousal, such as fear or excitement, changes in body language or posture,” according to the International Cat Care. Never take any chances and always conclude a meeting when both pets look to be comfortable, even if you are concerned that things could get heated.
It is important for owners to continue to praise and encourage their pets as they become more calm and comfortable near one another, so that these pleasant interactions become etched in their pets’ minds.
Even when your pets have reached the stage when they may coexist without monitoring, owners must nevertheless take cautious steps to ensure the safety of both animals.
According to the American Kennel Club, cats should also have a permanent dog-free zone in the house, which may be created with baby gates or a cat door. A dog and a cat are tucked away under a sheet. Getty Images Plus/iStock / Prystai via iStock