It’s not easy to introduce a new cat in your household when there is already one walking around. But what about a dog? It may seem like an uncommon match, but it’s definitely not impossible. Having a lot of patience and following the tips in this blog article will already you get a long way!
The younger your cat and dog are when introducing them for the first time, the easier it will be. It’s beautiful to see them grow up together. Is your cat already 6 years or older and they have never seen a dog before? Chances are slim they will ever get along! In this case it’s better to not try this combination.
Just like introducing a new cat with another cat, it’s very important to choose carefully which other personality you put together. A cat that likes peace and quiet won’t have an easy time with a troublemaker. The same scenario applies for dogs. Is your cat used to small dogs, then don’t show up with a huge dog. They might get really scared. A hunting dog is also not a smart choice, especially if they used to hunt cats in another life. Make sure you take enough time to consider which type of dog will be the best match for your cat.
Introducing a new dog will be similar to introducing a new cat. Start with two separate rooms for each animal. Make sure your cat still has access to their favorite spot. This will give them some time to get used to the new situation. Don’t forget to put enough food, water, toys and other stuff they might like.
One of the main ways that dogs and cats use to communicate is with their sense of smell. Try to exchange some scents by putting a blanket or sock for example with their smell on it. Don’t rub it on them, it can be very threatening for them! Leave the piece of clothing on a safe distance and give them enough time to discover it at their own pace. Give them a reward when they remain calm while they are sniffing it.
The next step is finally seeing each other. Make sure your dog is wearing a leash or they could be so excited to run towards your cat, which could obviously terrify them! Try to find something to separate them with a safe distance in between, but make it possible for them to see each other. Give both a treat and give them a nice feeling. If you notice tension is rising, it’s time to separate them again. Keep it short!
If this goes well too, then it’s time to have a real meeting in the same room. Always provide an escape route for your cat in case they are feeling uncomfortable. It could be a climbing pole or another high spot. In this phase, it’s still important to keep your dog on a leash. Use positive distraction for both: a toy or a treat. Don’t forget to watch their body language. Keep this short and repeat this process until they are completely used to being in the same room. At a certain moment, you won’t need the leash anymore. Don’t punish them when they are barking or hissing. They didn’t ask for a new roommate, so give them some time.
Don’t forget: be patient and enjoy your time together!
My Purry Friends