How to Introduce a Cat to a Dog: Our 8 Expert Tips

Final Up to date on: April 24, 2023 by Crystal Uys

cat and dog looking at each other

Introducing a brand new pet to your present one generally is a tense expertise, however loads of that stress could be addressed by being ready, calm, and affected person. Whereas some cats and canine don’t like one another, they’ll get alongside.

Nonetheless, most pets take time to develop accustomed to one another. Introductions and first impressions are vital, and if an introduction goes unsuitable, it may arrange a nasty relationship that’s tough to restore. So, let’s take a look at the very best methods to introduce a cat to a canine.

Earlier than You Begin

Earlier than bringing a brand new pet into your own home, analysis the breed you’re contemplating. Some canine have significantly excessive prey drives, comparable to Terriers, Greyhounds, and Collies, which suggests they could discover it more durable to get together with a cat.

Contemplating how your established pet will deal with this alteration is vital as a result of bringing in a brand new member of the family could be extremely tense. Begin by asking your veterinarian in the event that they suppose it could be a good suggestion since they know your pet effectively and can even provide you with some recommendation about introducing them to a brand new canine or cat.

friendly labradoodle dog and a fearless cat
Picture Credit score: sophiecat, Shutterstock

Our 8 Favourite Tricks to Introduce Cats and Canine:

1. Put together Their Rooms

Preparation is essential, and also you’ll wish to put together two separate rooms the place your cat and canine will keep separate. These rooms ought to be comfy and secure. Every room ought to have all the things your pets want, together with their meals, water bowls, and cat litter.

Additionally, you will want to make sure nothing may cause hurt them, like a poisonous houseplant. It’s additionally a good suggestion to pet-proof the remainder of your home, so it’s prepared when the cat and canine will meet. You’ll need to arrange alternatives to your cat to flee to an elevated place, like a cat tree, to allow them to retreat rapidly and simply if they should escape the canine.

2. Be Affected person

This course of could be lengthy, and typically an introduction journey isn’t linear—you might need to repeat a step relying on how your pets react. Taking all the things at their tempo is essential, which might typically be irritating. However keep in mind, you’re constructing a basis for his or her future relationship.

Introducing a brand new pet with no coaching could be extra time-consuming than introducing a brand new cat to an older canine. You probably have simply adopted a canine, you should definitely take a while to coach them, as instructions like “depart it” and “keep” shall be extremely useful.

A dog and a cat laying on the floor
Picture Credit score: New Africa, Shutterstock

3. Preserve Them Separate

Step one is to maintain your pets separate from each other in several rooms. This may appear unusual because you wish to introduce them, however taking this course of slowly is crucial. Your purpose in the beginning is to get the newcomer comfy with their new surroundings and familiarize it with the opposite’s scent.

It’s best to hold them separated for round 3 to 4 days. You may enable them to discover different rooms, however be sure they’re alone once they achieve this.

4. Take Benefit of Their Love of Meals

When your new pet has had the possibility to turn into accustomed to its new dwelling, you’ll use its love of meals to get one step nearer to introducing it to the opposite animal. Earlier than your pets meet nose to nose, you’ll be able to enable them to fulfill by means of a door by consuming dinner on both facet.

They will scent and listen to each other and affiliate the constructive feelings they really feel once they eat with the opposite pet. Moreover, neither pet will really feel threatened by the opposite’s presence.

cat eating food from bowl
Picture Credit score: Seattle Cat Photograph, Shutterstock

5. First Conferences

The primary time your cat and canine meet ought to be in a managed surroundings; you’ll be able to separate them swiftly if there’s a difficulty. A superb first introduction is to permit them to see one another by means of a crack within the door. It’s finest to do that at mealtime since they are going to be close to the door, and if something goes awry, at the very least the meal will finish the interplay on a constructive notice.

The following step is getting them into the room collectively. On a leash, stroll the canine towards the cat. That means, you’ve management over the canine and may take away them from the room if wanted, and the cat can escape if they’re uncomfortable. Introducing them like this will take a number of makes an attempt, and it’s very important that you’re calm and affected person with each pets by means of the method.

6. Preserve Periods Brief

5 minutes is lengthy sufficient for every interplay because you don’t wish to stress both of your pets out. Repeat these meet-and-greet classes day by day so your pets are familiarized with one another and progress is maintained.

As soon as a day is mostly sufficient, as too many is likely to be tense for everybody concerned! Think about giving treats to your canine to reward them for good conduct across the cat. This may also imply they affiliate the cat’s presence with one thing constructive. Likewise, reward your cat for behaving across the canine.

cat and dog lying on the floor
Picture Credit score: New Africa, Shutterstock

7. Enable Some Freedom

As soon as your canine isn’t making an attempt to get to the cat, or at the very least is leaving them alone more often than not, you’ll be able to try and drop the leash and permit the canine to roam freely within the room along with your cat. It’s a good suggestion to maintain the leash on so you’ll be able to seize it in case your canine makes a beeline for the cat. If both pet appears harassed, return to utilizing the leash.

8. Repeat as Vital

It’s vital to recollect you could repeat any of those steps. Animals could be unpredictable, and it’s finest to watch them at any time when they’re collectively. Being cautious will hold everybody secure.

Woman holding a white fluffy cat and Jack Russell Terrier dog while sitting on the bed
Picture Credit score: Reshetnikov_art, Shutterstock

Regularly Requested Questions

What if Each Pets Are Younger?

Kittens are a lot smaller than most puppies, they usually’re at a better danger of being by chance injured or killed by a boisterous pet or a predatory canine. You’ll need to maintain a kitten separate till they’re older, or at the very least hold your canine on the stage the place you’ve them on a leash to fulfill the kitten.

You probably have an older, well-socialized cat, it would know sufficient to maintain a pet instead. But when your older cat is shy, it won’t have the arrogance to work together with a pet.

I’ve Had Cats Round My Canine Earlier than, so Ought to This Be Simpler?

Simply because your canine has been round cats and tolerated or favored them doesn’t imply a brand new cat shall be accepted. So, even in the event you’ve had cats, don’t rush the introduction.

It’s finest to begin from the start and take it gradual.

Beagle dog and brown cat lying together on the footpath outdoor in the park
Picture Credit score: Kobkik, Shutterstock

When to Search Assist

For those who’re not assured about introducing your pets to 1 one other or really feel prefer it isn’t going effectively, search recommendation from knowledgeable. An animal behaviorist may have the talents, {qualifications}, and expertise to assist. The earlier you search this assist, the higher, for the reason that longer behavioral issues proceed, the tougher they’re to resolve.

Closing Ideas

Introducing a cat to a canine could be time-consuming, and progress can really feel gradual. Typically, bitter relationships between pets are fashioned as a result of introductions are rushed. The important thing to making a wholesome bond goes on the slowest tempo doable, so if one pet appears wonderful and one other is harassed, separate the animals.

Repeating the steps is okay and doesn’t point out that your plan isn’t working, however in the event you want steerage, contact your veterinarian or a behavioralist.

Featured Picture Credit score: StunningArt, Shutterstock

Concerning the writer

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *