Are you considering adopting a dog? You’re in for some fun! If you have a cat, she probably won’t be as happy about it as you are. Pets think first impressions are a very big deal, so it’s critical to handle introductions the right way. In this article, a veterinarian discusses four ideas for introducing a dog to your cat.
Before bringing your new dog inside, put your cat in a quiet back room with kitty essentials, like cat furniture and toys. After Fido has sniffed the territory, let Fluffy out, and put your dog in the quiet room. It’s now your kitty’s turn to get accustomed to the new scent. Switch them back and forth. Pay a lot of attention to Fluffy, so she doesn’t feel isolated or ignored.
Take a few days of swapping places. This will help your pets accept the idea that they’re roommates. Now you can let Fido and Fluffy officially meet. Don’t let them fully be with each other just yet. Using a carrier or a puppy gate, let them see and sniff each other through the barrier. Give both pets treats and praise to help make the situation better. If all goes well, let them meet, but use caution. If not, start over. Watch their interactions carefully, never leaving Fido and Fluffy alone until you’re sure they can get along.
Check every room to be sure that your kitty has escape places if she feels scared or threatened. This should be an area your pooch can’t reach. Vertical spaces, such as cat towers, are excellent for this. Your kitty will also get scratching posts and napping spots out of the deal. Put more hiding spots behind or underneath sofas, chairs, and beds.
In most cases, dogs and cats do learn how to live cohesively. Fido and Fluffy just may become best friends. Or, they might ignore each other. But, there are times when dogs and cats fight. This is an extremely dangerous situation. If your pets don’t like each other, consult your veterinarian or a professional trainer. Otherwise, if things don’t go well, one of your pets, most likely Fluffy, could get seriously hurt.
Contact your local pet clinic for more information on how to introduce your dog and cat!