How To Introduce Your New Cat To Your Dog
Though they are different species, cats and dogs can be best friends if introduced properly. It may be easier to introduce two younger animals but that doesn’t mean that your pooch cannot learn how to live under the same roof with a new feline friend. Of course, these things need some time but there are ways to speed up the process and establish peace and love in your household in no time.
For starters, keep the two pets separate for a few days. To help them get used to each other, place their food bowls at each side of the door so that they can learn to associate something they love doing with their new playmate. You could also let your new cat sleep in the dog’s bed and vice versa because this will enable them to become accustomed to each other’s smell, meaning they won’t perceive each other as complete strangers by the time you are ready to introduce them.
To make things super comfortable for your pooch, let the cat explore the house once they are used to their food and litter. While the cat is having fun around your home, confine the dog inside that room so that they could become really familiar with the feline. The kitten will, on the other hand, have enough time to inspect every corner of the house without being afraid of other animals. As far as the introduction itself is concerned, make certain that it is a gradual one. If their first meeting turns out to be too stressful for either one of the animals, maybe it’s time to take things slow.
If you have a large dog, you should also know that they can unintentionally injure the cat. That’s why you should practice obedience with your pooch and be certain that they will listen to commands such as ‘sit’ and ‘down’ if the play between the two animals becomes too rough for the cat. When you think they are ready to spend some time in the same room, put your dog’s leash on and prepare treats. In the beginning, the cat and the dog should be on opposite sides of the room. It’s necessary to slowly reduce the distance between them until you see that they are somewhat comfortable in each other’s presence. Also, a lot of short visits are much better than few long ones, as the animals may become agitated if they spend too much time together at first.
If the dog is behaving well in front of the cat, use treats and rewards to show them that they are making progress. If you always punish them when the cat’s around, the dog might associate the feline with negative feelings and never learn how to live with them peacefully. Finally, supervise all their meetings until you are absolutely sure that they get along well. Keep them in separate rooms while you’re not at home up to the point when you are 100 percent certain that the cat is safe. Good luck!