How you can Introduce a Cat to a Canine: Our 8 Skilled Suggestions

Final Up to date on: April 24, 2023 by Crystal Uys

Introducing a brand new pet to your present one generally is a demanding expertise, however numerous that stress may be addressed by being ready, calm, and affected person. Whereas some cats and canines don’t like one another, they will get alongside.

Nonetheless, most pets take time to develop accustomed to one another. Introductions and first impressions are vital, and if an introduction goes fallacious, it might arrange a foul relationship that’s troublesome to restore. So, let’s take a look at one of the best methods to introduce a cat to a canine.

Earlier than You Begin

Earlier than bringing a brand new pet into your house, analysis the breed you’re contemplating. Some canines have significantly excessive prey drives, reminiscent of Terriers, Greyhounds, and Collies, which suggests they might discover it more durable to get together with a cat.

Contemplating how your established pet will address this alteration is vital as a result of bringing in a brand new member of the family may be extremely demanding. Begin by asking your veterinarian in the event that they suppose it will be a good suggestion since they know your pet nicely and may offer you some recommendation about introducing them to a brand new canine or cat.

friendly labradoodle dog and a fearless cat
Picture Credit score: sophiecat, Shutterstock

Our 8 Favourite Tricks to Introduce Cats and Canines:

1. Put together Their Rooms

Preparation is vital, and also you’ll wish to put together two separate rooms the place your cat and canine will keep separate. These rooms must be snug and protected. Every room ought to have the whole lot your pets want, together with their meals, water bowls, and cat litter.

Additionally, you will want to make sure nothing could cause hurt them, like a poisonous houseplant. It’s additionally a good suggestion to pet-proof the remainder of your home, so it’s prepared when the cat and canine will meet. You will want to arrange alternatives to your cat to flee to an elevated place, like a cat tree, to allow them to retreat shortly and simply if they should escape the canine.

2. Be Affected person

This course of may be lengthy, and typically an introduction journey isn’t linear—you may need to repeat a step relying on how your pets react. Taking the whole lot at their tempo is essential, which may typically be irritating. However bear in mind, you’re constructing a basis for his or her future relationship.

Introducing a brand new pet with no coaching may be extra time-consuming than introducing a brand new cat to an older canine. You probably have simply adopted a canine, you should definitely take a while to coach them, as instructions like “depart it” and “keep” shall be extremely useful.

A dog and a cat laying on the floor
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3. Hold Them Separate

Step one is to maintain your pets separate from each other in numerous rooms. This may appear unusual because you wish to introduce them, however taking this course of slowly is important. Your goal at first is to get the newcomer snug with their new setting and familiarize it with the opposite’s scent.

You must hold them separated for round 3 to 4 days. You may enable them to discover different rooms, however ensure they’re alone after they achieve this.

4. Take Benefit of Their Love of Meals

When your new pet has had the prospect to change into accustomed to its new house, you’ll use its love of meals to get one step nearer to introducing it to the opposite animal. Earlier than your pets meet nose to nose, you may enable them to fulfill by means of a door by consuming dinner on both facet.

They’ll odor and listen to each other and affiliate the optimistic feelings they really feel after they eat with the opposite pet. Moreover, neither pet will really feel threatened by the opposite’s presence.

cat eating food from bowl
Picture Credit score: Seattle Cat Photograph, Shutterstock

5. First Conferences

The primary time your cat and canine meet must be in a managed setting; you may separate them swiftly if there’s a problem. A great first introduction is to permit them to see one another by means of a crack within the door. It’s greatest to do that at mealtime since they are going to be close to the door, and if something goes awry, no less than the meal will finish the interplay on a optimistic word.

The subsequent step is getting them into the room collectively. On a leash, stroll the canine towards the cat. That method, you have got management over the canine and may take away them from the room if wanted, and the cat can escape if they’re uncomfortable. Introducing them like this could take a number of makes an attempt, and it’s important that you’re calm and affected person with each pets by means of the method.

6. Hold Classes Brief

5 minutes is lengthy sufficient for every interplay because you don’t wish to stress both of your pets out. Repeat these meet-and-greet classes day by day so your pets are familiarized with one another and progress is maintained.

As soon as a day is usually sufficient, as too many is likely to be demanding for everybody concerned! Contemplate giving treats to your canine to reward them for good conduct across the cat. This may also imply they affiliate the cat’s presence with one thing optimistic. Likewise, reward your cat for behaving across the canine.

cat and dog lying on the floor
Picture Credit score: New Africa, Shutterstock

7. Permit Some Freedom

As soon as your canine isn’t making an attempt to get to the cat, or no less than is leaving them alone more often than not, you may try to drop the leash and permit the canine to roam freely within the room together with your cat. It’s a good suggestion to maintain the leash on so you may seize it in case your canine makes a beeline for the cat. If both pet appears harassed, return to utilizing the leash.

8. Repeat as Mandatory

It’s vital to recollect you could repeat any of those steps. Animals may be unpredictable, and it’s greatest to watch them every time they’re collectively. Being cautious will hold everybody protected.

Woman holding a white fluffy cat and Jack Russell Terrier dog while sitting on the bed
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Regularly Requested Questions

What if Each Pets Are Younger?

Kittens are a lot smaller than most puppies, and so they’re at the next threat of being unintentionally injured or killed by a boisterous pet or a predatory canine. You will want to maintain a kitten separate till they’re older, or no less than hold your canine on the stage the place you have got them on a leash to fulfill the kitten.

You probably have an older, well-socialized cat, it’d know sufficient to maintain a pet as a replacement. But when your older cat is shy, it may not have the boldness to work together with a pet.

I’ve Had Cats Round My Canine Earlier than, so Ought to This Be Simpler?

Simply because your canine has been round cats and tolerated or favored them doesn’t imply a brand new cat shall be accepted. So, even in the event you’ve had cats, don’t rush the introduction.

It’s greatest to begin from the start and take it gradual.

Beagle dog and brown cat lying together on the footpath outdoor in the park
Picture Credit score: Kobkik, Shutterstock

When to Search Assist

When you’re not assured about introducing your pets to at least one one other or really feel prefer it isn’t going nicely, search recommendation from knowledgeable. An animal behaviorist could have the abilities, {qualifications}, and expertise to assist. The earlier you search this assist, the higher, for the reason that longer behavioral issues proceed, the harder they’re to resolve.

Last Ideas

Introducing a cat to a canine may be time-consuming, and progress can really feel gradual. Typically, bitter relationships between pets are shaped as a result of introductions are rushed. The important thing to making a wholesome bond goes on the slowest tempo attainable, so if one pet appears fantastic and one other is harassed, separate the animals.

Repeating the steps is ok and doesn’t point out that your plan isn’t working, however in the event you want steering, contact your veterinarian or a behavioralist.

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