How to Introduce a Dog to a Cat
In the case of dog allergy, treatment options differ based on the symptoms. Your allergist can assist you in determining the most effective treatment for your dog allergy. Treatment for nasal symptoms is frequently accomplished by the use of steroid nasal sprays, oral antihistamines, and other oral drugs. Antihistamine eyedrops are frequently used to treat the symptoms of allergies in the eyes. Inhaled corticosteroids or bronchodilators can be used to treat respiratory or asthma symptoms in order to either prevent or alleviate respiratory symptoms.
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
Initiating a dog’s relationship with a cat can take various forms. Consider trying an alternative technique of introduction if the first one doesn’t work or if you don’t feel comfortable with the first. However, even if your dog has previous experience with cats and your cat has previously lived with a dog, continue with caution during the initial introduction.
The presence of two individuals is recommended — one to interfere with each animal if required, and another to supervise the entire event. You should introduce each dog to the cat separately if you have more than one dog in your household.
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
Alternatively, if the short introduction did not work and your dog is still not becoming acclimated to the cat, you may need to attempt some more formal training methods. By engaging in Look at That (LAT) with your dog, you can assist her in learning not to become preoccupied with the cat. In order to receive a reward, you’ll need to train her to gaze at the cat and then back at you. Essentially, she will learn that it is more rewarding to ignore the cat than it is to pay attention to it. Take a look at that training schedule.
- That is her breaking point.
- One dog’s threshold may be five feet away from the cat, while another dog’s threshold may be 25 feet away from the cat.
- The cat may also show signs of distress if she begins to move more slowly, stares, and stiffens her body as a result of your proximity to her.
- Once you’ve determined the dog’s comfort level, arm yourself with a clicker and some extremely tasty pea-sized goodies.
- Put 10 goodies in your palm and keep the bag near by in case you want to consume them later.
- You may have to place the reward directly in front of her nose the first few times, but after a few repetitions, she should begin to look eagerly at you as soon as she hears the marking.
- Spend the 10 treats by clicking every time she stares at the cat until she has used them all up.
- If she does that, either click or use the verbal signal when she looks at you, and then give her a reward, she will learn to behave better.
- Mark her for staring at the cat a further ten times and then try it one more.
- If the dog becomes transfixed on the cat as you go closer, you’ve over the line and need to back away from the cat.
- Continue to work on LAT with your dog until she is comfortable being right near to the cat without being bothered.
The amount of practice you put in and the sorts of goodies you use will determine how quickly your dog’s threshold falls. It will also rely on your dog (since every dog learns at a different speed) and your cat’s comfort level.
Introducing kittens and puppies
It is important to remember that kittens may not be afraid of dogs, therefore you must keep a close eye on the dog while meeting the two of them. Because kittens are little and have a great desire to run and play, dogs with a high prey drive may become extremely stimulated by the movement of a kitten. Even if your dog gets along with your adult cats, it’s crucial to keep a watchful eye on her while she’s around a young kitten. Your dog, especially if she is young and energetic, has the potential to injure or kill the kitten just by attempting to play with it.
- Adult cats and puppies can occasionally get along well together because a highly-socialized adult cat may be comfortable with a puppy acting like a puppy in particular situations.
- For the time being, you will need to supervise their interactions until the puppy is old enough to exert greater self-control and has received some training.
- Baby gates may be used to keep the animals secure and comfortable while yet allowing them to interact.
- If she starts chasing the cat, you will be able to simply redirect her away from the undesirable behavior.
Seeking help from a professional
It is important to remember that kittens may not have any fear of dogs, therefore you must keep a close eye on the dog while introducing them to one another. Pet dogs who have a high hunting drive may become overexcited by the motions of a kitten since kittens are little and want to run and play. If your dog is OK with your adult cats, it’s crucial to keep an eye on her when she’s playing with a kitten or puppy. It is possible that your dog, if she is young and energetic, will accidentally injure or kill the kitten just by attempting to play with it.
Adult cats and puppies can occasionally get along well together because a well-socialized adult cat may be happy with a puppy acting like a puppy in certain situations.
You will want to supervise their interactions until the puppy is old enough to exert greater self-control and has received some training.
It is possible to separate the animals safely and pleasantly by using baby gates. You may also use a leash to keep an eye on your puppy to make it easier for you to keep track of her. Then you’ll have an easier time redirecting her if she ever starts chasing after the cat on its own own.
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
A very significant aspect of the procedure is the initial introduction between your current pet and your new pet, regardless of whether you are adopting a new cat or a new dog. Listed below are four actions that can assist you in ensuring a successful meeting:
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
- Distribute the animals’ freedom and confinement evenly across a few days, giving them ample opportunity to study the fragrance of their companions. To give the cat time to wander free and examine the smell of the dog, it is often necessary to confine the dog to a crate or another room (or to another place if he cannot be left alone). After more than a day or two of compulsive digging at the separation barrier or barking at the cat, it is likely that the contact will fail due to a lack of appropriate training. In some cases, professional assistance is required
- In the event that no one is home, the dog or cat must always be properly confined to ensure that no uncontrolled encounters occur. The following step can be taken if the dog has calmed down (or at least hasn’t become fascinated with the cat) and the cat has calmed down, is eating and using the litter box as usual.
Step 4: Allow unsupervised interactions
- You can allow your cat and dog to spend unsupervised time together once they have been supervised around each other for a substantial amount of time (around a month) and you are certain that they will not harm each other.
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.
- The dog is likely to be in a hazardous match if he remains extremely concentrated, does not shift his gaze away from the cat or the door, completely ignores you, or lunges immediately as soon as the cat moves. If you are searching for a dog to replace your resident cat, you should choose another breed. You should generally avoid getting a cat for your dog if this is the case
- If the dog lunges toward, growls at, snaps at, or otherwise displays aggressiveness against a calm, quiet, motionless cat, this will most likely not be a successful match. Same holds true in the case of a cat attacking a calm and quiet dog. If you are serious about making the relationship work, you will almost certainly want the assistance of a professional at this stage. You should try again with another, calmer cat if you are looking for a cat for your dog and your dog exhibits suspicious behavior while near a cat that is snarling, hissing, and swatting at it. He should not be allowed to live with cats if he continues to exhibit problematic behavior with many cats. If it is your cat that is growling, hissing, or spitting at you, give the cat a break and try again another day. It’s possible that you’ll need to try a different dog. The chances are good that a cat that hisses and growls at all sorts of dogs will not want to live with dogs in the future. Even if your cat tolerates the presence of a dog, she is unlikely to be pleased — which is an unfair condition for her. If the cat stops eating and drinking, using the litter box, or socializing with family members, she is not happy. If this is the case, you might want to consider finding a better fit or seeking assistance from a professional animal behaviorist.
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.
Knowing that their pet parents are making the decisions and setting limits is the most secure and confident situation for dogs. 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.
- 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. If you want further information, please consult the sources listed above or contact your veterinarian as appropriate.
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.
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.
Cat food is a favorite of dogs. If you have a dog, you should keep the cat food out of his reach (in a closet or on a high shelf). Dogs are also known to indulge in cat excrement, which is a typical occurrence. Despite the fact that it poses no health risks to your dog, it is likely to be offensive to you. It’s also disturbing to your cat to have such a significant thing “invaded” by another creature. Unfortunately, attempts to keep your dog out of the litter box by “booby trapping” it will also keep your cat out of the litter box as a result of this.
If possible, keep the litter box hidden behind a baby gate, in a closet with the door secured open on both sides and just wide enough for your cat, or inside a tall, topless cardboard box that your cat can easily reach.
A word about kittens and puppies
Cat food is a favorite of canines everywhere! The cat food should be stored away from the reach of your canine companion (in a closet or on a high shelf). Dogs are also known to engage in the practice of eating cat excrement. Despite the fact that it poses no health risks to your dog, you are undoubtedly not fond of it. Additionally, having such a significant thing “invaded” is unsettling to your cat. The unfortunate reality is that attempts to keep your dog out of the litter box by “booby trapping” it will also keep your cat out of the litter box as well.
The ideal approach is to install the litter box in an area where your dog cannot get it, such as behind a baby gate, in a closet with the door secured open from both sides and just wide enough for your cat, or inside a tall, topless cardboard box with easy access for your cat, as described above.
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 catsare both predatory species; they are naturally predisposed to seek and chase smaller things. Animals’ natural prey drive varies from species to species, and breeding has a significant influence on prey drive in many cases. For example, several dog breeds were initially created to hunt and/or kill other animals.
- Because of the size disparity between cats and dogs, cats are less likely to see dogs as prey.
- Cats, on the other hand, may misread a dog’s body language and become protective or afraid as a result.
- The present four-legged occupant of the household may feel frightened by the sudden arrival of another species and act protective.
- 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
All dogs and cats are not compatible with one another in every situation. Example: A scared cat is not a good match for an overly energetic and lively dog. Take into consideration the personality and energy level of your present pet before making a decision on the new pet to adopt. When it comes to new animals, younger pets tend to be more accepting. A larger dog or cat that likes to play rough with a smaller kitten or puppy, on the other hand, may cause injury to them. Older pets might be stubborn and averse to new animals, especially if they are not socialized properly.
If your current pet is suffering from a serious disease or has a behavioral problem, you should avoid adding another pet to the household.
In many cases, pet adoption organizations are aware of a pet’s past or have tested the pet’s temperament with other animals.
Some communities allow just dogs or cats, but not both, so check with your local animal control officer.
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
Constrict the new pet to a single room of the house when you first bring it home. Organize the space by supplying it with bedding, food, drink, and toys (plus a litterbox and scratching pad for a cat). Make sure your new pet has a comfortable spot to hide, especially if the animal appears to be afraid. Maintain a safe sight distance between the creatures. Allocate time for the new pet to sniff and explore while the incumbent pet has access to the remainder of the house. If your dog is digging or scratching at the door in an attempt to get to the cat, you may need to confine him.
- (between the closed door).
- Every pet that displays calm curiosity or neutral conduct should be praised and rewarded with goodies.
- Using a toy, you can divert the pet’s focus away from you.
- Allow the new pet to explore the house on a couple occasions each day when the current pet isn’t around.
- Do not allow the cat to enter the dog’s room if the dog is not present.
- Allow the new cat to explore the house while the dog is taken outside or to another room.
- Allow the new cat access to the house by leaving the door open, but do not force the cat to leave the room.
- Prepare yourself for a lengthier wait time.
When you first bring your new pet home, keep him or her in a single room of the house. Prepare the room by providing bedding, food, drink, and toys (plus a litterbox and scratching pad for a cat). Make sure your new pet has a comfortable spot to hide, especially if the pet appears to be scared. Keep eye contact between the animals to a bare minimum. Allow the new pet to sniff and explore the room while the current pet has access to the rest of the house. If your dog is digging or scratching at the door in an attempt to get to the cat, you may need to confine him in a crate.
- Allow each pet to sniff objects that have the fragrance of the other pet.
- If a pet exhibits aggressive, anxious, or overexcited behavior, the animal should be removed from the situation immediately.
- Never reprimand or punish your pet.
- New Dog, Existing Cat: Keep the cat under control while allowing the new dog to explore your house.
- A new cat has joined the household, and the resident dog has returned.
- It is possible that some cats will take a long time to leave the room where they are kept.
Each animal will hopefully become accustomed to the presence of the other after a few days of this. Be prepared to wait a little longer if this takes longer. If both creatures are adapting well (feeding, drinking, urinating, and defecting normally), proceed to the following phase.
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.
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.
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 for the time being.
2. Create safe spaces.
“Make certain that the cat has access to high places or under items, such as behind a piece of furniture,” she advises. Move a couple of dining chairs away from the wall and you’ll have more breathing room.” These little spaces provide an opportunity for a scared cat to flee in an area where the dog cannot pursue.
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.
Introducing dogs and cats is similar to dating in that you may find a match immediately away or it may take months. Take your time and be patient. 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 problem. Getty Images/Fernando Trabanco Fotografa/Getty ImagesKitty and an adult dog look at each otherCredit: Fernando Trabanco Fotografa / Getty Images
6. Take special care with kittens.
A much like dating, introducing dogs and cats is a process that might take months or even years. Don’t hurry into anything! Take your time, and if your dog’s barking, chasing, or growling persists after a few weeks, you may need to seek the assistance of a trained animal behavior specialist. Kitty and an adult dog are staring at each other in this photograph.Credit: Fernando Trabanco Fotografa / Getty Images
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
There are significant differences between cats and dogs in terms of their habits, characteristics, and personalities. Consequently, is it difficult for these four-legged family members to live together peacefully and even become friends? The best of both worlds may definitely be enjoyed by pet lovers in one location. 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 household environment.
From the time a kitten is two weeks old until it is around seven weeks old, the early stages of his or her existence are the most delicate.
Consequently, if they have favorable encounters with dogs in their initial home (with the breeder) and then in your house as well while they are still kittens, that’s excellent,” Todd explained.
It is the dog parent’s ability to regulate the dog in terms of training and the cat’s sense of security that will determine the success of the introduction, according to her.
“Take the time to establish complimentary matches in order to secure the safety of all parties involved and to maximize the likelihood of achieving success.” To assist you in assessing whether or not a companion might be good, gather all of the facts regarding your current pet,” Johnson-Bennett stated.” Introducing a dog in a safe and progressive manner is vital, according to Todd, who recommends beginning with scent and progressing to sight before initiating short, safe interactions in the same room.
In a grassy field, there’s a dog with a couple of kittens.
Don’t Keep a Cat in the Carrier for First Meeting
Cats and dogs have vastly different inclinations, characteristics, and personalities than humans. So, is it difficult for these furry buddies to coexist in the same house, much alone make friends with one other? Pet lovers will be able to experience the finest of both worlds under one roof. 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 household.
- The first two weeks of a kitten’s existence, from when they are two weeks old until roughly seven weeks old, are a critical period for socializing and development.
- So if they have nice experiences with dogs in their initial home (with the breeder) and then in your house as well while they are still kittens, that is excellent,” Todd explained.
- According to her, the success of the introduction will be determined by the dog parent’s control over the dog in terms of training as well as how safe the cat feels.
- “Take the time to establish complementing matches to ensure the safety of everyone involved and to boost the likelihood of success.” “Collect all of the information you can about your current pet to help you decide whether or not a companion would be useful,” Johnson-Bennett said.
In a grassy field, a puppy and a couple of kittens are playing. Photograph by Leoba through iStock / Getty Images Plus. When integrating cats and dogs into a home, there are several faults that should be avoided.
Don’t Let the Dog Chase the Cat
Cats and dogs have vastly different inclinations, characteristics, and dispositions. So, is it difficult for these four-legged companions to coexist in the same house, let alone become friends? Pet lovers will be able to have the finest of both worlds under one roof. However, like with other partnerships, building and cultivating a happy coexistence takes time and effort, and there are various factors to consider while maintaining a dog and cat friendly household. In an interview with Newsweek, Zazie Todd, author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy and the forthcoming book Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy, which will be published in spring 2022, stated that positive early life experiences are essential, and that cats will get along better with dogs if they are introduced as kittens.
“Having a diverse range of favorable experiences at this period helps them grow up to be sociable, confident adult cats.” So if they have nice experiences with dogs in their first home (with the breeder) and then in your house as well while they are still kittens, that’s fantastic,” Todd explained.
According to her, 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.
“Take the time to establish complimentary matches in order to secure the safety of all parties involved and to maximize the likelihood of success.” Take all of the information you have about your current pet with you to help you decide whether or not a companion might be useful,” Johnson-Bennett said.
A puppy and a couple of kittens play in a grassy area.
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.
They shouldn’t have to go through the dog to get to their litter pan, Todd said in a recent interview with Newsweek. A cat savoring food from a serving dish. Nils Jacobi is credited via iStock / Getty Images Plus for this image.
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