How to Introduce a Dog to a Cat: A Trainer’s Step-by-Step Guide
Some dogs and cats get along well with one another. Others require a cautious introduction of dogs and cats. And, unfortunately, a tiny proportion of dogs and cats may never be able to get along with one another. Consider your cats and dogs objectively before deciding whether or not to introduce them. This will help you assess whether or not it is a smart idea to introduce your cats and dogs together. Take into consideration the following factors:
- Breed: Some dog breeds are more inclined than others to treat cats as prey, while some cat breeds are more friendly than others. Investigate the breeds of your dogs (our dog breed guides are a fantastic place to start) to determine how probable it is that your pets will get along—and how much training it will take to get them to cohabit happily
- Cats are frequently more comfortable with little dogs than with larger dogs. Larger canines have a greater chance of injuring a cat. There are always exceptions, of course, but when it comes to carefully introducing these furry creatures, size is a crucial consideration. Socialization history: If your pet is really friendly and interacts with other animals in a kind manner, it is probable that they will behave in the same manner with a new pet in your household. Especially if your pet is scared of other animals or hasn’t had much exposure to them previously, a housemate of a different species may be frightening to them, leading to violent behavior. If your pet has had a traumatic or terrifying experience with another species in the past—for example, if your dog has been scratched by a cat or your cat has been chased by dogs—they may be afraid of your new pet if they have previously interacted with them. It is possible that a high-energy pet will not be the ideal choice for a family that already has a low-energy pet, and vice versa.
Understanding Your Pets’ Body Language
Before allowing dogs and cats to mingle, become familiar with the body language of both dogs and cats. Recognizing and responding to your dogs’ body language can enable you to recognize signals of over-excitement or fear early on, allowing you to intervene with a diversion or separate the pets as needed. A few symptoms that your cat is feeling threatened include the following.
- A crouch, an arched back, a tucked tail, and ears that are flattened are all acceptable positions. facing sideways (as if about to flee)
Here are a few indications that your dog is under threat:
- Lip licking
- Averting one’s gaze from the cat Growingl with one paw lifted
- Tucked tail
- Ears back (tight against the skull)
WARNING: If either of your dogs is rigid and looking squarely at the other, it is possible that they are preparing to strike. Additionally, body language may assist you in determining when your dogs are comfortable enough to go to the next phase in the introduction process. The following are some indicators that your cat is comfortable and relaxed:
- The gaze is steady and gentle
- Listen with your ears forward
- A tail that is high and somewhat curled at the end
- Whiskers that aren’t twitching
The following are a few indications that your dog is comfortable and relaxed:
- Lie down with your tail down and your shoulders relaxed
- Open your mouth slightly and breathe slowly (no panting)
- Eyes that are soft (lids that are relaxed)
- Muscles should be relaxed.
Learn more about the body language clues displayed by dogs and cats.
Introducing Puppies and Kittens
Here’s one more safety suggestion to keep in mind: Take additional precautions when it comes to infant animals, such as when you’re mixing kittens and dogs, or when you’re mixing puppies and kittens or when you’re mixing kittens and puppies. Baby animals don’t always consider their actions before taking them. When both pets are infants, things can quickly spiral out of control. Make careful to manage interactions and keep meetings brief so that no one becomes overly enthused!
What You’ll Need to Introduce a Dog to a Cat
You’ll need the following items for your dog-cat introduction:
- Towels, a pet fence, dog goodies, cat snacks and engaging dog toys, such as a tug-of-war rope, are all recommended. Cat toys that are interactive, such as a teaser wand
- Someone to provide a hand—this is a two-person job—a friend or family member
How to Introduce a Dog to a Cat
Some dogs get along perfectly with cats, while others are unable to coexist in a safe environment with felines. Certain cats (depending on their age, temperament, and activity level) can sometimes coexist peacefully with dogs, but not all of them. Even if your dog has previously lived happily with cats, it is vital to remember that each dog and each cat is an individual, and as a result, each introduction will be different.
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.
When they are out in the fresh air together, she may get obsessed with the cat and begin following him. 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. Exemplifications of canine body language
Methods for introducing a dog and a cat
There are several approaches that may be used to introduce a dog to a cat. You should attempt a new approach if the initial way of introduction you try doesn’t work or you don’t feel comfortable with it. It is important to proceed with caution during the introduction, even if the dog has previous experience with cats and the cat has previously lived with a dog. It’s better to have two individuals there — one to supervise the animals and the other to intervene if required. If you have more than one dog, you should introduce each dog to the cat one at a time.
Option 1: Slow and steady desensitization
Alternatively, if your dog has become overly obsessed on the cat, you can attempt desensitization, which has the purpose of decreasing your dog’s sensitivity to the cat by progressively increasing her exposure to him. Set up a room (such as a bedroom, bathroom or spare room) with a tall baby gate over the entrance to keep the cat out of trouble. The room you pick should be one that the dog will not be able to reach and will not be required to access. For example, if your dog sleeps in your bedroom with you at night, don’t put the cat in the same room as him.
- Provide the cat with all of the necessary items in his room, including a litter box, toys, food, and water.
- As a result, be certain that your cat cannot go past the gate you have installed.
- To begin desensitization, allow the dog to see the cat through the gate for a small period of time, and then redirect the dog’s attention to something else, such as playing with a toy or practicing commands.
- Praise and reward the dog for being able to divert his or her attention elsewhere.
- Even seeing the cat for the first time might be too thrilling for the dog at times.
- For example, In his chamber, just next to the door, the cat eats his supper, while the dog eats her meal on the opposite side of the door.
- It’s also possible to change out the blankets and bedding of each animal, giving them to the other.
- Hopefully, by gradually exposing the dog to the cat and allowing the dog to grow used to the cat’s presence, the dog will finally become desensitized to the cat and lose interest in the feline companion.
- Individuality distinguishes each dog (and each cat), and each will progress at his or her own rate.
- If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your dog alone with your cat, you should separate the two of them.
Many dogs are capable of injuring or killing a cat in a short period of time, and your dog may also be wounded by the cat. Your top priority should be ensuring that everyone’s well-being is protected.
Option 2: Face-to-face introduction
This is a more brisk introduction to the subject matter. One person should be in charge of keeping the dog on a loose leash and observing the dog’s body language. Somebody else should be keeping an eye on the cat’s body language. If the cat is not hissing or rising his back in the vicinity of the dog, he can be permitted to walk around without restriction. When it comes to dogs, a cat is rarely a threat, although some cats may go on the attack when they encounter them. If the dog is calm in the presence of the cat, you can ask the dog to sit or lie down and remain, if she has been given such cues, while the cat goes around freely, smelling the dog if he so desires, while you supervise.
Option 1 and Option 3 should be tried if the dog is very focused on the cat (e.g., gazing at the cat, rigid body language, refusing to respond when you call her name), or if she lunges and attempts to chase the cat.
Option 3: Look at That
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 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.
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.
- Slow introductions can assist to prevent the development of fear and aggressiveness issues in children.
- 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.
- When they smell one other’s scents, they will be more likely to link them with something good (eating!).
- 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.
- 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.
- This should be done with each and every animal in the house.
- 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.
It is incredibly easy for dogs to murder a cat, even if they are merely playing with it. It only takes a single shaking for the cat’s neck to snap. Some dogs have such a strong predation drive that they should never be left alone with a feline in their care. Dogs are typically drawn to cats and want to pursue and play with them, and cats are typically fearful and protective in response. To begin introducing your new cat to your resident dog, follow the procedures outlined above. In addition, there is: Put your obedience skills to the test.
- Providing your dog with little morsels of food can improve his or her incentive to perform, which will be essential in the face of a strong distraction such as a new kitten.
- Meeting that was under control Following a period of time in which your new cat and resident dog have gotten accustomed to eating on opposite sides of the door and have been exposed to each other’s odors as stated above, you may attempt a controlled face-to-face introduction.
- Allow another family member or friend to enter the room and gently sit down close to your new cat; but, do not allow them to physically restrict your cat.
- Initially, the cat and the dog should be placed on separate ends of the room to avoid any confusion.
- Don’t let the visit stretch on for too long, or the dog will become unmanageable.
- Allow your cat to investigate your dog at her own paceNext, while the dog is still on a leash and in a “down-stay,” give your cat the opportunity to explore your dog at her own speed.
- The dog should be relocated with a treat lure, and he should be complimented and rewarded for complying with the “stay” order if he gets up from the position.
- Retrace your steps back to the beginning of the introduction.
- It is important to teach your dog that chasing and being rough with your cat are not acceptable behaviors; however, he should also be taught how to behave appropriately, and should be rewarded for doing so.
- Your dog may become aggressive toward your cat if he or she is always punished while your cat is there, and if no “positive things” happen in the cat’s presence, your dog may become aggressive toward your cat.
- During the introduction process, you may want to keep your dog on a leash and in your immediate vicinity anytime your cat is free in the house.
Make certain that your cat has an escape route and a safe location to hide from danger. Until you’re comfortable that your cat will be secure, keep your dog and cat apart when you’re not at home.
Despite the fact that they are merely playing, dogs may easily murder a cat. The cat’s neck may be snapped with a single shake of the body. A cat should never be left alone with a dog who has a high hunting drive, and vice versa. Most dogs like chasing and playing with cats, while cats in turn are typically fearful and defensive of their surroundings. Utilize the methods indicated above to begin introducing your new cat to your existing dog. Additional information may be found at Obey your superiors.
- Your dog’s incentive to perform will be boosted by small morsels of food, which will be essential in the face of a powerful distraction such as a new cat.
- Meeting that was strictly controlled Following a period of time during which your new cat and resident dog have gotten accustomed to eating on opposite sides of the door and have been exposed to each other’s odors as stated above, you may attempt a controlled face-to-face introduction.
- Allow another family member or friend to enter the room and softly settle down close to your new cat; but, do not allow them to physically restrict her.
- Initially, the cat and the dog should be placed on separate ends of the room to avoid confusion.
- Make sure you don’t keep the dog waiting for too long or he’ll get out of hand.
- Allow your cat to investigate your dog at her own paceNext, while your dog is still on a leash and in a “down-stay,” give your cat the opportunity to explore your dog at her own speed.
- The dog should be relocated with a treat lure, and he should be complimented and rewarded for complying with the “stay” order if he gets out of place.
- Repeat the steps at the beginning of this section.
- However, even while your dog must be taught that chasing or being rough with your cat is undesirable behavior, he must also be taught how to act responsibly and be rewarded for doing so.
- Your dog may become aggressive against your cat if he or she is always punished when the cat is there, and if no “positive things” happen in the cat’s company, the cat may become aggressive toward your dog.
- While the introduction process is taking place, you may wish to have your dog on a leash and with you at all times when your cat is free in the house.
Provide your cat with an escape route and a safe spot to hide if necessary. Until you’re satisfied that your cat will be secure, keep your dog and cat apart when you’re not home.
A word about kittens and puppies
Because kittens are so much smaller than dogs, they are at greater risk of being harmed or killed by a young, active dog or a predatory dog. A kitten will need to be kept apart from a very lively dog until she is fully grown, and even then, she should never be left alone with the dog for more than a short period of time. Generally speaking, a well-socialized cat will be able to keep a puppy under control, but some cats lack the confidence to do so. If you have a cat that is very shy, you may need to keep her isolated from your puppy until he has gained enough self-control to be able to interact with her.
When to get help
If introductions do not go successfully, seek expert assistance as soon as possible. When animals are involved in conflicts, they can sustain serious injuries, and the longer the situation persists, the more difficult it can be to settle. Conflicts between pets that live in the same household may frequently be handled with the assistance of a specialist. Punishment, on the other hand, will not work and may even make the situation worse. Dumb Friends League has copyright protection. All intellectual property rights are retained.
How to Make Your Cat Not Afraid of Dogs
Image of a cat and a dog by jonnysek from Fotolia.com When it comes to dogs, cats are naturally fearful of them, especially if they haven’t been introduced to them from a young age or have had a negative experience with one. Rather of fearing dogs, you should encourage your feline companion to link them with pleasure and food instead of with danger and danger.
Separate the cat from any canines in your home that she is afraid of. – This method is effective for pets that are already familiar with one another in the home, as well as for the introduction of a new dog or many dogs to a resident cat. If your cat is afraid of your current canines, this will provide you with a fresh start to “reintroduce” the animals to one another. It is possible that your cat will learn to link dogs with positive things rather than negative things during the reintroduction process.
Rub a towel on your dogs’ coats and let your cat get a whiff of it. Cats are highly sensitive to smell, and the unfamiliar odor may cause her to get alarmed at first. Once she has responded calmly to the fragrance, or has become largely indifferent to it, reward her with some delicious goodies. Choose goodies she will enjoy, such as a taste of tuna or a slice of cheese. Do the same thing with your dogs, but in the other direction. In the event that any of your pups are aggressive against your cat, this will simply serve to increase her terror of them even more.
Now it’s time to offer the dogs some tasty goodies as well.
10 minutes before bedtime, open a screen door or a baby gate to allow your cat and the dogs to view each other but not interact with one other. Pet owners should keep their dogs on leashes in order to prevent them from approaching and scaring their cat. At first, your cat may flee for shelter, but after a few repetitions of this exercise, after she stays and studies the dogs without showing any signs of fear, reward her with some goodies.
Treats can be given to the pups as well, as long as they are not attempting to chase her or trouble her in any other manner.
Allow your cat to come out of her confinement area and engage with the dogs while they are on leashes for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how old she is. Make no demands that she stay and play with the dogs; instead, simply demonstrate to her that they are not a danger to her. Repetition of this procedure until mom does not attempt to flee or hiss at the puppies, and the pups do not respond negatively to her, is required. For as long as everyone is acting well, proceed with the introduction and treat both the cat and the dogs.
Remove the leashes from your dogs and allow them and your cats to freely roam about your home together without being restrained. Always enable your cat to reach a high point, such as the top of a cat tree, and make certain that she has an escape route away from the dogs in order to lower her stress levels during her contacts with them. Her feeling pushed into addressing them is something you don’t want her to experience. Continue to supervise the animals together, praising and rewarding your cat for any non-fearful conduct and your pups for any calm behavior as long as you have them.
When your kitten is exposed to your dogs or any new dogs, such as those of your visiting friends, give her a treat to show your appreciation. If she notices or hears any neighboring dogs via the window, give her plenty of praise and treats. In this way, she will come to regard the presence or noises of any and all dogs as something to anticipate rather than something to be afraid of. When your friends first meet your cat, request that they keep their dogs on a leash so that they do not respond angrily to her; otherwise, your cat may become scared and you will be faced with dealing with a kitty that is afraid of dogs again.
- When your kitten is exposed to your dogs or any new dogs, such as those of your visiting friends, pamper her with a treat. If she notices or hears the barking of neighborhood dogs via the window, give her praise and treats for doing so. The presence or noises of any and all canines will become something she looks forward to rather than something she is afraid of in this manner. To avoid scaring your cat and returning you to dealing with a cat that is afraid of dogs, ask your friends to put their dogs on a leash when they first meet her. This will prevent their dogs from reacting angrily to her. You want to make sure that your feline friend’s interactions with canines are favorable. ReferencesTips
- If your cat starts acting strangely around your dogs out of nowhere, even though she has previously gotten along with them, it’s time to take her to the veterinarian. Your cat may be experiencing discomfort as a result of an underlying medical issue, making her more vulnerable to frightened reactions when she comes into contact with canines. Never allow your cat to be around dogs who have a history of hostility toward cats, especially toward cats. If one of your pups is tormenting your kitten, this might explain why she is afraid of dogs
- It may be necessary to talk with a professional animal behaviorist about your situation.
Susan Paretts has been writing professionally since 1998, and she currently resides in Las Vegas. Pets, money, crafts, cooking, home repair, shopping, and becoming green are just a few of the topics she covers in her writing. Her essays, short tales, and reviews have featured on the City National Bank website, as well as on The Noseprint magazine’s online publication. Paretts graduated from the University of Southern California with a Master of Professional Writing degree.
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
- 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.
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.
How to Acclimate a Dog to a Cat: 12 Steps (with Pictures)
Introducing new pets to one another may be an exciting and stressful experience for both of them. It is critical to exercise caution and allow for adequate time to make a seamless transition, particularly when mixing a dog and a cat. It might take anything from a few weeks to many months to get a dog and a cat used to one other. By planning ahead of time for the procedure, you can make the transition easier on everyone while also ensuring their safety. It is very important to gently adapt them to one another so that neither the dog nor the cat gets fearful or violent.
- Make the dog comfortable before he meets the newcomer. Bringing a new cat into a home with an existing dog is a good idea since it allows the dog to become familiar with the cat’s scent before the real cat is introduced. Give the dog stuff that belong to the cat so that he or she may sniff them and grow familiar with their fragrance. You might, for example, enable the dog to scent a blanket or cushion that the cat enjoys sleeping on.
- The fragrance of the cat that your dog will meet will help to lessen the amount of energy your dog will expend during the initial encounter with that cat. It is considerably less interesting to smell a smell that has already been smelled than it is to smell a fresh smell.
- 2 Create a safe haven for the cat. Whatever the situation is with the cat, whether it currently lives in the house or is a new addition, it will require a separate area away from the dog. Make certain that the cat has a separate room or other location where the dog is not permitted
- Most importantly,
- The litter box, food, water, and toys for the cat should all be kept in a separate place away from the dog.
- 3 Preparing a secure and clutter-free environment in which to introduce the dog and the cat is essential. Choose a location in the house that will be devoid of distractions and stuff that the dog may come to regard as his or her personal property. This will lessen the likelihood of a poor first contact occurring.
- Ensure that the area where the pets will be introduced is protected by a barrier, such as a childproof gate. As you progressively introduce them to one another, this will allow them to scent one other across the barrier. After you have brought your new pet home, you should wait a few of days before introducing the animals to one another. Therefore, you do not need to prepare this place until you are ready to make your formal introduction.
- For a few days, keep the dog and cat apart from one another. Once you’ve brought your new pet home, it shouldn’t be allowed to interact with your existing pets for a few days. Allowing the new pet to acclimatize to its new environment without the extra stress of dealing with other new animals will be beneficial in the long run.
- Put your cat, whether it’s new or old, in a room that is completely locked off from the rest of the house. This will be the quickest and most effective method of keeping it away from the dog.
- 2 Allow the animals to scent each other without allowing them to see one another. After a day or two, you should allow the dog to scent the cat beneath a closed door. The fact that you have exposed your dog to the smell of the cat even before it arrives means that the dog will be familiar with the smell yet will still be interested in it when it does arrive.
- This is an excellent moment to assess your dog’s level of interest in and hostility toward the cat. If it picks up on the cat’s scent and gets hostile, you will need to acclimate it very slowly and carefully. If your dog is just marginally interested in the smell, the acclimatization procedure may be pretty simple
- You may even feed them on separate sides of the same door if they are on the same side of the door. This will allow them to become accustomed to the odors of one another in a nice environment.
- 3 Allow the animals to sniff each other face to face for a period of time. Allowing the cat and dog to see one other for the first time should be done with the assistance of another adult. It is not advisable to hold or confine the cat because this may lead him to feel imprisoned, resulting in his being hostile. Simply hang on to the dog and enable the cat to come up to the dog if he so desires. If the cat is unwilling to approach the dog, it indicates that they are not yet ready to be buddies. Allow them to establish eye contact and sniff each other, but refrain from allowing them to come into physical touch.
- Whenever you are acclimatizing your dog to a cat, keep it on a leash and grip it firmly. It is not recommended to hold the cat in your arms since it may squirm out and scratch you if it is scared. You should place your cat in a carrier to ensure that your dog cannot access to it if you are concerned about its safety
- 4 Remove the dog from the cat’s vicinity if the cat exhibits any inappropriate behavior. It is possible that you may need to divert the animals’ interest with a new pastime. Give your cat a toy and play a game with your dog, or do anything else that will divert their focus away from you.
- If your dog or cat is acting inappropriately, such as growling or hissing, refrain from rewarding them with goodies. This will only serve to encourage the undesirable habit.
- 5 Teach the dog a command that will allow it to maintain control over its behavior around the cat. This might be a directive such as “leave it alone” or “let it alone and alone.” When you wish the dog to leave the cat alone, use this instruction to get it to do so. Alternatively, if the dog is not acting violently but you are concerned that the cat may, you might employ this strategy.
- It’s a good idea to have your dog taught in basic instructions before introducing a dog and a cat into your home. This will help you to maintain control over the dog’s behavior despite his inclinations
- 6 Give incentives to both the dog and the cat to encourage them to behave in an acceptable manner. If your dog and cat merely smell each other without displaying any signs of aggressiveness or fear, then they should be recognized for their good conduct. It is also important to recognize and thank your dog for responding to your vocal orders when being introduced to the cat.
- When the cat is gentle around the dog, praise it, and when the dog is calm around the cat, praise it as well.
- 1 Make sure your cat has its own place. It doesn’t matter whether your dog and cat get along
- Most cats like a little alone time every now and again. To guarantee that your cat is happy, it should be kept in a separate section of your home where dogs are not allowed.
- If you reside in a house, this might refer to the floor on which you are now located. The dog may not be permitted to enter a room if you live in an apartment
- If you live in a house, the dog may not be permitted to enter any rooms. Install a baby gate on a permanent basis to provide the cat with its own secure haven. However, the baby gate will allow the cat to pass through freely while keeping the vast majority of dogs out of specified rooms.
- Maintain a clear separation between feeding sites. Many of the confrontations that arise between cats and dogs are triggered by food. Typically, this involves the dog requesting the cat’s food and the cat refusing to eat the dog’s food. If you want to prevent a fight over food, feed your pets in different places.
- If your cat has a separate location to eat in, put the food there. Importantly, the dog must not have access to the cat’s food. If your cat and dog become acquainted and you wish to feed them in the same room, you can simply place the cat’s food on an elevated surface that the dog cannot reach, such as your kitchen counter, and leave the dog alone. A cat’s sense of security is enhanced by its height.
- 3 Don’t compel people to interact with one another. You will not be able to make your cat and dog fall in love with each other. Instead, they must provide time for them to become acquainted naturally. Once you are confident that they will not injure each other, you must step back and let them to sort out their differences on their own.
- In many circumstances, dogs and cats will just accept each other’s presence over time. If you’re very lucky, though, they could wind up becoming friends with you. Best case scenario: the dog will have been trained to be calm and obedient, and the cat will be able to demonstrate calm and assertive behavior around the dog
- Worst case scenario: there will be no training.
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- Question I have a three-year-old cat, and I’m about to adopt a 12-week-old puppy. Because the puppy is still so young, will it be simple to introduce them to one another? When my puppy was 6 weeks old, I introduced him to my friend’s cats, and he has become rather fond of them. You should not leave them alone together unless you are positive that they will get along. Question My cat is not fond of other animals, therefore if I do decide to buy a dog, it is possible that my cat may attack it. What should I do in this situation? Try taking a calm dog from a shelter home for a day to observe how your cat behaves, or invite a friend’s dog over to watch how your cat reacts. If your cat does not get along with the dog, it is possible that now is not the best time to bring a dog into your family. Question When it comes to dog and cat friendships, is there anything that can be done to assist them get back on track after a rocky start? My cat has now aggressively dominated the tiny dog to the point where he no longer ventures outside into the garden. VenatrixxCommunity Answer Yes. If you want to keep them apart for a time, then you should reintroduce them. Question When cats are terrified, how do they manage to eat? It is recommended that you remove your dog from your cat before feeding him. This will prevent your cat from being terrified. Allow enough time for the cat to feed before allowing the dog to go outside
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- Ignore hissing, barking, or growling unless it is offensive to you. Keep in mind that if tensions grow, you may need to intercede. Some dogs do not get along with cats. Several hunting breeds, such as hounds and terriers, may be driven by a predatory instinct that is too strong to allow them to cohabit peacefully with cats. Keep the cat’s claws as short as possible. A swift swipe with an open claw can inflict discomfort and provoke an angry response from the dog, if it happens too quickly. While you are gone, make sure that your dog and cat are kept in different sections of the house. Even if everything appears to be fine in your presence, violence can quickly escalate and become lethal if there is no one to interfere.
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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.
Once you’ve settled on a dog or puppy, you’ll need to consider how to introduce them to your other pets in order to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible for everyone involved. As a result, all of the animals may be stressed at this time, and it is critical that you remain patient and prepared for the introduction to take place over the course of at least a week, if not many weeks. If you have more than one cat, you should follow the same procedure as described above. Prepare your household and current pets for your new dog or puppy’s arrival by spending some time with them before bringing them home with you.
Additionally, if your cat regularly has its food, water, litter tray, and other necessities in an area where the dog will now be, it is a good idea to plan ahead and relocate these items to a location that only the cat has access to, and to get the cat adjusted to the change before the dog or puppy comes.
In this way, you may lessen tension and avoid problems such as your cat becoming frightened to eat/drink or use the litter box once your dog comes.
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).
- 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.
- Allow the cat to become used to the dog’s presence, and the same goes for the dog.
- In the event that you are unable to make use of a crate for the introductions, begin with this step.
- 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.
- Carry out this procedure numerous times a day, keeping the encounters brief so that tension is reduced to an absolute minimum.
- 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.
- 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.
- There may be some hissing and tail swishing during the first few days, but this should subside after a few days or so.
- 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.