How to Introduce Your Dog to a Cat
As most people know, dogs and cats don’t always get along. Many have a love/hate relationship. However, if you introduce your dog to a cat correctly, you can establish the foundation for a peaceful union.
Steps to Introduce Your Dog to a Cat
If you bring home a cat and turn the feline loose with your dog free in the room, then the chase is on. The dog will probably chase the cat, and the cat will hiss and swipe at the pooch. You’ll want to avoid such a disaster by taking the correct steps to introduce your dog to a cat.
Pick the Right Location
Picking the right location for the first meeting will set the stage for the mood and future interactions.
Never let the dog immediately meet the cat on the first day you bring home the kitty. It is just too stressful. Instead, you’ll want to separate the animals and let the cat settle into the new home. However, please be aware that the dog and cat will know if each other’s existence in the home even if they don’t immediately meet. They will hear each other and smell one another.
Once both the dog and the cat are calm, then it’s time to proceed to the next step.
It’s time to allow both animals in the same room. You’ll leash the dog during the introductions. Bring the dog into the same room with the cat but leave the pooch securely leashed. The dog might ignore the cat, and the cat may remain calm. If there is no fear or aggression, then you can work towards removing the leash.
Remove the leash from the dog and start letting the two spend supervised time together. If everything goes okay, then you can start breathing easier and it’s time to allow unsupervised 24 hours a day visit. Hopefully, the dog and cat have reached a mutual agreement at this stage, and they are getting along.
Additional Considerations for Dog and Cat Introductions
In many cases, dogs simply do not like cats. Watch your canine closely. IF the dog should growl or lunge at the cat aggressively, then the relationship might never work out. Also, some cats simply do not like dogs. The cat might attack the dog for no reason.
Animals are a lot like people, and each one has its own individual personality and luggage. Some dogs or cats might have been traumatized and simply hate other animals.
An overly stressed cat who hates the family dog might not attack the dog but show its emotions in other ways, such as refusing to use the litter box or not eating or drinking. If the cat hides all day or starts to have accidents around the home, then the kitty might never accept the dog even if the pooch is friendly and laid back.
The dynamics between a dog and cat are complicated, so you will want to remain vigilant during introductions and for a few months afterward.