Adopting a dog is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself. Of course, if you have a kitty, she probably won’t be as happy about it as you are. Since first impressions are a big deal to pets, it’s important to handle introductions the right way to make things go smoothly. In this article, a veterinarian talks about how to get your cat and dog to get along.
Before you bring your kitty inside, put her in a quiet back room with all of the essentials a cat needs, including kitty furniture and toys. After your pooch has sniffed everything, let Fluffy out, and put Fido in the quiet room. It’s now it’s your kitty’s turn to get adapted to the new scent. Switch them back and forth while paying close attention to your cat so she doesn’t feel isolated or ignored.
You’ll need to swap them for a few days. By then, your pets should have accepted the idea that they have a roommate. Now you can have them officially meet. But, don’t allow them to be together just yet. Get a puppy gate or carrier to let them see and sniff each other through a barrier. Give both pets treats and praise to help them like the idea, at least a little. If all runs smoothly, proceed with caution. If not, start over. Watch all interactions carefully, and never leave your Fido and Fluffy alone until you’re sure they can get along.
Be sure that Fluffy has a safe place to go in every room. That way, if she is feeling threatened or frightened she always has an escape. Fido shouldn’t be able to reach these places. Vertical spaces, such as cat towers, are excellent for this. Plus, your kitty will have scratching posts and napping spots. You can also have some hiding spots for Fluffy behind or beneath beds, chairs, and couches.
In most cases, dogs and cats can learn to live together just fine. Fido and Fluffy just might become best friends. Or, they might ignore each other. But, cats and dogs do fight, which is a very dangerous situation, especially for Fluffy. If your pets don’t start getting along, talk to your vet or a professional trainer. If you don’t, most likely it’ll be Fluffy that gets hurt.
If you have questions about introducing your cat to your dog, call your local pet clinic!