How to introduce your Cat to a Dog
If you’re bringing a cat into your home when you already have a dog (or vice versa) you may be wondering how it’s going to go. While some cats and dogs will integrate with no issue, others will find the change extremely stressful. You can take various steps to help make the process a smooth one.
Research before you make the decision
Different breeds of cats and dogs have different temperaments. It’s extremely important that you do your research to ensure that the two breeds are a good match. If you’re not sure, speak to your vet. If you are adopting either the cat or the dog, be sure to talk to the staff at the shelter. They will have a good idea of your new pet’s personality and how may they cope living with another pet.
Let the new pet explore the new setting
The first step is to bring your new pet into the home without the other pet being there. If you can’t remove your pet from the house, secure them in a space, such as separate room. Initially, you want the new pet to become used to their new surroundings. Let them explore and become familiar with the scent of the pet who already lives there. Over the next few days you can repeat the exercise and allow your existing pet to smell the scent of the new pet. Keep your pets separated during the stage – they don’t event have to see each other.
Remember that this is going to be a big change for both pets and may take time. The introduction should be done slowly and in a controlled manner. Keep your dog on a leash. You can also keep your cat in a cage/carrier on a high table. Be patient and let the pets become used to each other. When you let the cat out, make sure the dog is on it’s leash. Let them gradually become used to one another. Make sure both pets receive lots of attention and reassurance during this time.
Finally, it’s important to give both pets their own space. While they may become the best of friends, they may also just learn to co-exist. Make sure they each have areas they can retreat to, separate from one another.
Topic: Owning a Pet, Cats, Dogs