We all love our little furry friends, and having a new dog in the family is more exciting than ever. But it can be intimidating when it comes to bringing a dog into a cat’s territory. Of course, it can be managed if you come up with a good way to reduce both animals’ stress, and it’s important to keep the situation under control until all your pets feel safe and comfortable around each other.
Preparing Your Pets
It would help if you kept in mind that the introduction will be a stressful time, so you need to have a lot of patience. Preparation is key, and it may take a week or two. It would be best if you prepared your home and your existing pets for the arrival of the newcomer. You should set up some places where the cats can rest without the puppy disturbing them. Puppies are very boisterous and have a lot of energy, unlike cats tend to be more sedate.
There should be a separate place for the cat and the dog, and it is important that you include their litter box, food and water. This way, both can eat, drink and use the litter box without being afraid or uncomfortable because of the other.
The first day you take the puppy home, you should lock your cat in another room, give the puppy a tour of the house, and then move him to a separate room away from the cat. While your puppy is in his room, you should bring your cat out to let him get used to the scent of the dog. Do this a few times over the course of several days.
When you are ready to introduce your puppy to your cat, do so when your puppy is very calm, meaning it is better to take the little tail-wagger on a long walk beforehand. For the first face-to-face introduction, go to a place where the cat can easily go out if it does not feel safe or comfortable. Initially, put your pup in a crate or take him on a leash if you are sure how he will react.
Once you feel that both are relaxed, you can remove the crate or leash. However, you should keep the dog close to you. Praise them and give them treats to reward their calm behavior. If you see that your dog is getting too excited, you can remove him from the room; you will need to repeat this process several times until you get the appropriate reaction from both of them.
Let the bond develop naturally, don’t force any of it, or you will have trouble later; for example, the puppy may bite the cat, or the cat may scratch the puppy when you are not supervising them. While they may hiss or growl, they are unlikely to approach if you do not attempt to interact with them; if they do, you can protect your dog or puppy from any aggression.
You need to be patient and probably keep your puppy on a leash for the first few weeks, as I said earlier. Make sure your cat gets plenty of individual attention from you during the time you are introducing the puppy. Please do not leave them alone together until you are absolutely sure that they will tolerate each other; you can train the puppy not to chase the cat. If you are not sure about their reactions, continue to supervise them directly when you are home or physically separate them from each other when you are not.
The introduction of a new animal will be stressful for everyone, including you, so take your time. Let us know in the comments how the introduction went…