How To Introduce A Dog To A Cat

How to Introduce a Dog to a Cat

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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

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

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.

You may also use a leash to keep an eye on your puppy to make it easier for you to keep an eye on her. 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 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

A new pet in the house is frequently well-accepted by animals who have had positive prior experiences. A skilled dog trainer or behavior expert can assist you if the introductions do not go smoothly. Never resort to corporal punishment since it will not assist and may even make the situation more difficult. Locate a professional dog trainer for your needs.

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

  • Whether you currently have a dog and are thinking about obtaining a cat, or the other way around, it is critical to plan how you will introduce them to one another in the first place. Giving an untrained cat and an untrained dog the opportunity to meet in an open space for the first time is a recipe for disaster for both of them. Preparation and patience are preferable in this situation.

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

  • 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

  • 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.
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Training Tip:

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.

Warning Signs

  • 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.

Introducing Your New Cat to Your Dog

When introducing a new pet to an existing pet, it’s crucial to have realistic expectations about how things will go. Some cats are more sociable than others, while some cats are more social than others. For example, an eight-year-old cat who has never been exposed to other animals may never learn to share her territory (and her humans) with other pets in the family since she has never been around them. An eight-week-old kitten, on the other hand, who has just been removed from her mother and littermates for the first time, may prefer to have a cat or canine friend.

  1. Slow introductions can assist to prevent the development of fear and aggressiveness issues in children.
  2. If one of the animals interprets such signs as aggressiveness, you should treat the situation as if it were “hostile.” Confinement Keep your new cat in a single medium-sized room with a litter box, food, water, and a bed for the time being.
  3. When they smell one other’s scents, they will be more likely to link them with something good (eating!).
  4. Eventually, you’ll be able to place the dishes closer to the door so that your pets may dine quietly on each side of the entranceway.
  5. Swap out the smells To give your new cat and your existing animals a time to acquire acquainted to each other’s scent, alternate sleeping blankets or beds between them.
  6. This should be done with each and every animal in the house.
  7. Once your new cat has established a routine of using her litter box and eating on a regular basis while confined, you may allow her to have some freedom in the home while keeping your other pets to the new cat’s room.

It also provides an opportunity for the newbie to grow acquainted with her new surroundings without being alarmed by the other animals.

Try to avoid any encounters with your dogs that may result in either afraid or aggressive behavior on their part.

It is preferable to introduce your pets to one another in a progressive manner so that neither animal develops fearful or violent toward the other.

As soon as either animal shows signs of being scared or hostile, separate them and begin the introduction procedure over again in a series of very modest, cautious stages, as indicated previously.

Examine all of your pets with your veterinarian to ensure that they are all in good health.

Inspect the litter box to ensure that none of the cats are being “ambushed” by another while attempting to use it.

Cats are capable of making a lot of noise, pulling each other’s hair, and rolling about in a very theatrical manner without injuring one other.

Instead, create a loud noise, throw a cushion, or spray the cats with water and vinegar using a squirt bottle filled with water and vinegar. Allow them to cool off for a few minutes before reintroducing them to each other again. Make certain that each cat has a secure hiding spot.

Cat-to-dog introductions

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Initially, the cat and the dog should be placed on separate ends of the room to avoid any confusion.
  5. Don’t let the visit stretch on for too long, or the dog will become unmanageable.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Retrace your steps back to the beginning of the introduction.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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

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

Kitty kittens are at greater risk of being harmed or killed by a young, active dog, or by a predatory dog, simply because they are smaller in stature. Once a cat is fully grown, she will need to be kept apart from a dog that is known for being too active. Even after that, she should never be left alone with the dog. Generally speaking, a well-socialized cat will be able to keep a puppy in its place, but some cats lack the confidence to do so successfully. In the case of a very timid cat, you may need to keep her isolated from your puppy until he has gained enough self-control to be able to interact with her more effectively.

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.
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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:

Changes should be made to the cat’s habitat well in advance of the arrival of the new dog or puppy if you are bringing a new dog or puppy into a home with a cat already there. As a result, your cat will not hold your dog responsible for what your cat perceives to be unnecessarily disruptive behavior. Make sure your cat’s food bowls are on a counter or in the washer where your new dog will not be able to reach them, since dogs can be particularly drawn to cat food. Additionally, cat waste may attract them.

If the changes in their environment are introduced gradually, your cat will be less anxious.

The best place for your cat to hide will be on a high shelf where they can stay away from your dog while still keeping an eye on things.

Once your cat is comfortable standing at a safe distance and watching, they will gradually become intrigued and come down to explore. Avoid rushing during this procedure. Being able to adjust at their own speed is critical to your cat’s well-being.

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.
  • 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. It is possible that you will only be able to have dogs or cats, but not both.

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.

Initial Meeting

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.

Supervised Interaction

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.

Living Together

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.

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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

According on breed, age, and attitude, some dogs may not even look at a cat twice, while others, particularly those with a high hunting drive, will require more patience and training to make a match work. Each product that we showcase has been picked and vetted by our editorial staff after being thoroughly researched and evaluated. Using the links provided, we may receive a commission if you make a purchase. Despite the fact that they are sometimes shown as eternal adversaries in cartoons, dogs and cats normally get along and may soon become the best of friends, especially if they are nurtured together.

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.

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.

If your dog and cat are to meet face-to-face, make sure your dog has been taught to pay attention and to provide a sit and down when asked. Remove the leash from your dog and command him to “sit” or “down” while rewarding him with plenty of goodies. Allow the cat to roam free. You may tell things are going well when your dog and cat gently smell one other (or simply ignore each other). When they behave well, reward and praise them equally. If, on the other hand, your dog begins to gaze attentively at your cat, barks, or whines anxiously, redirect his attention with a toy, treat, or a command to sit or lay down followed by a reward.

How should I introduce my new dog or puppy to the family cat? – RSPCA Knowledgebase

When a new canine member is welcomed into the family, it is a joyous and exciting moment, but it can also be a bit daunting for everyone involved. This, however, may be addressed with advance planning, ensuring that everyone feels protected and that tension is kept to a minimum. It is critical that you carefully handle the introduction of your new dog or puppy to your household and that your new cat and dog are constantly under your supervision until you are confident that everyone is comfortable and safe.

Taking the time to locate a thorough book about the breed/crossbred you are purchasing well before bringing them home will ensure that you are well prepared for their arrival, according to RSPCA Australia.

Choosing the right dog

Some dogs will fit in better with a household that already has pets, while others will struggle to adjust. Young pups are tend to be more lively than older dogs; if you already have older pets, you may want to consider adopting a calm adult dog who is cat friendly. Make an RSPCA-affiliated shelter your first choice if you want to adopt a dog or puppy since they have been temperament assessed and the staff will be able to give you an idea of how the dog or puppy will react to other animals.

In order to pick a dog or puppy who will get along better with your cat, you should consider the following factors. Thousand of animals in need of a decent home are taken in by the RSPCA every year, thanks to the efforts of volunteers.


Depending on the breed, some dogs will fit along better with other pets in the household than others. Young puppies are more lively than older dogs; if you already have older pets, you may want to consider adopting a calm adult dog who is cat-friendly. Make an RSPCA-affiliated shelter your first choice if you want to adopt a dog or puppy since they have been temperament-tested and the staff will be able to give you an indication of how the dog or puppy will react to other animals. This will assist you in identifying a dog or puppy who will be more likely to get along with your cat in the long term.

When you first bring your new dog or puppy home

Secure your cat in their favorite room, complete with a bed and bedding, drink, food, and litter, on the day you bring your dog home from the groomer. Allow your dog to explore the house before confining him or her to a separate room with comfortable bedding, drink, and a favorite reward. While waiting for your dog to settle down, allow your cat to roam about the home and become acquainted with your dog’s scent. Continually repeat this process over the following few days, allowing each animal its opportunity to have access to the entire house without ever coming into contact with the other animals.

This will give you more control over them when the time comes to introduce them.

Introducing your new dog or puppy to your cat

Ideally, your dog or puppy should be crate trained; there are several advantages to doing so, but it will be especially beneficial in this circumstance since it will make the introductions easier and more secure. If feasible, the crate (or your dog’s typical location if he or she does not have a crate) should be placed away from your cat’s normal eating, drinking, toileting, and sleeping places, as well as their access to their enclosure or the outside (e.g., through their cat flap). When you are ready to meet your dog and cat, choose a time when your dog is at his or her most relaxed.

Make use of a room in which your cat may easily escape to a safe location if they so want for the first introduction (for example, a room with some familiar and well used high elevated platforms such as a multi-tiered cat scratching post tower near the area so the cat can escape from the situation and gain vertical height as cats often like to be above the scene looking down and can feel safer that way).

  1. In case your dog or puppy is in a kennel, you may distract him or her with a toy before bringing your cat into the room.
  2. Allow the cat to become used to the dog’s presence, and the same goes for the dog.
  3. In the event that you are unable to make use of a crate for the introductions, begin with this step.
  4. In order for each animal to be complimented and rewarded at the same time, it is important to have another person present during this process if at all feasible.
  5. Carry out this procedure numerous times a day, keeping the encounters brief so that tension is reduced to an absolute minimum.
  6. However, if there is no forced engagement, they are unlikely to advance and, if this does occur, you will have the opportunity to defend your dog or puppy from any aggressive advances.
  7. Be patient; it will most likely take a few weeks of walking your dog or puppy on a leash while the cat is there before everyone feels comfortable enough to try walking the dog or puppy off-leash for the first time.
  8. There may be some hissing and tail swishing during the first few days, but this should subside after a few days or so.
  9. Ensure that your cat has an easy escape path when you are ready to let go of the leash – once again, select a space with elevated platforms such as a multi-tiered scratching post tower, high window sills, or bookcases.

In order to ensure that your cat receives a high level of personalized attention from you during the period of time during which you are introducing the dog/puppy Wait until you are completely satisfied that your animals tolerate one other, that the dog/puppy has been educated not to chase the cat, and that they are all secure before you leave them alone with each other.

However, even when you feel comfortable leaving the two unsupervised together, the cat should ALWAYS have a safe haven where they may escape (somewhere that the dog cannot get, such as elevated platforms).

Obviously, this is a source of great anxiety, and it is critical that you take every precaution to ensure that the introductions are carried out as gently and slowly as possible, and that the cat always has safe and secure areas in the house where they can feel safe and secure away from the dog.

Hopefully, they will at the very least learn to tolerate one another and eventually learn to live peacefully together in the same house.

Pets are generally able to strike a balance and share their territory with their owners.

Additionally, making sure your cat has a private space to go to the bathroom as well as a safe sleeping spot may be beneficial. If your attempts at introduction are failing, or if either animal appears nervous or disturbed, it may be necessary to seek expert assistance from a skilled behaviorist.

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