Are you thinking about adopting a dog? Congratulations! If you have a cat, she probably won’t be as happy about it as we are. Introducing your kitty to your new pooch is a delicate matter. First impressions are an extremely big deal to pets. In this article, a veterinarian highlights ways to get Fido and Fluffy to start their relationship on the right paw.
Before you bring in your pup, put your new feline friend in a quiet back room with all of the necessary essentials, such as kitty furniture, toys, and catnip. After Fido has sniffed everything, allow Fluffy out, and then put your dog in the quiet room. It’s now your cat’s turn to get accustomed to the new scent. Switch them back and forth. Pay a lot of attention to Fluffy, so she doesn’t feel isolated or ignored.
It’ll take a few days of swapping places for your pets to accept the idea that they have to live together. Once they do, allow them to officially meet. Don’t let them be together just yet, however. Using a carrier or a puppy gate, allow them to see and sniff each other through the barrier. Give both pets praise and treats to help make the situation better. If all goes well, proceed with caution. Start over if it’s not going smoothly. Keep an eye on all interactions, and don’t leave Fido and Fluffy unsupervised until you’re certain they’re getting along.
Fluffy needs a place to go in every room. With her own spots, she always has an escape if she is threatened or scared. These should be areas your new dog can’t reach. Vertical spaces, like cat towers, are perfect for this. (Fluffy will also get a napping spot and scratching post from the deal.) She will also appreciate having some spots behind or beneath chairs, beds, and sofas.
In most cases, dogs and cats can learn to cohabitate, and do fine together. They just might become bffs. Or, they might ignore each other. But, there are moments when dogs and cats fight, well, like dogs and cats. This is an extremely dangerous situation. If your pets don’t start getting along, consult your veterinarian or a professional trainer. Otherwise, one of your pets, most likely Fluffy–could get seriously injured.
Contact your local animal clinic for more information for your dog and cat!