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Things to know before introducing your cat to a new dog in a same home

 08/08/2019

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The war between cats and dogs has been going on for ages. It’s a dog’s natural instinct to chase a creature smaller than him and his first target is always a cat. Cats, on the other hand, are predators, so whenever a dog chases a cat, the cat will most likely show aggression. Generally, the pets that have been raised by humans need very little coaxing when it comes to staying in the same house. However, stray dogs or cats might need some supervision and training.

If you have a dog and are thinking of getting a cat (or vice versa), we’re here to help make the process smoother. Below are few things that you need to keep in mind while bringing another pet home.

Getting Acquainted

Before introducing your cat to the dog, set up a place where both will be comfortable and at ease. Moreover, keep a barrier between them until they get used to each other’s smell. You can put your cat on one side of the door and dog on the other. This way, both will get acquainted with each other’s smell and presence. Furthermore, providing food can also be beneficial as everyone is the happiest when they’re eating food and your pets can bond over food.

Meeting Each Other

Now it’s time for the big reveal – introducing both animals. When you’re bringing the dog in front of your kitty, ensure that the cat/dog is on a leash. It’ll prevent any aggressive reaction and you’ll be in control of the entire situation. However, if your dog lunges at your cat, it’s not a good sign. Any kind of aggressive behaviour is an indication that your dog and cat is not a good match. Thus, ask their vet about their behavioural patterns and what kind of personality the dog has.  

Swap Places

Have a rotation period where one pet is in confinement (crate or a room) and the other one is free to roam around the house. This trick will help a new pet in getting used to the scent of another animal without feeling threatened. You could also switch the places by keeping the dog in your cat’s room and vice versa. Keeping one pet in confinement is advised until they both can stay in one room without getting into a fight. Once both are well accustomed to the living arrangement and aren’t fighting with each other, you can move on to the next step. 

Putting On Leash

Until now, your pets haven’t been together without a barrier, so now it’s time to put them on the leash and make a proper introduction. After observing both your pets together on the leash, you can anticipate how they’ll behave around each other. Moreover, make sure that your pets know who’s in control – you. Don’t be liberal during this phase because if you don’t train them properly, their behaviour will be difficult to amend later on. Besides, you want your cat and dog to get along, at the end of the day. So provide as much time as they need to reach a point where one doesn’t get bothered by other pet.

Reward Your Pets

To encourage positive and friendly behaviour, reward your pet with treats and love whenever they’ve behaved in a good way. They must learn how to be patient, so praising your dog when the cat is exploring will instil a positive attitude towards another canine.

Safety Measures To Be Taken

Below are the precautions you need to take when having a dog and a cat in the house:

  • If your dog is hyperactive, it is better you don’t let him stay with a kitten as they’re very small in size. These kinds of dogs don’t realize they’re inflicting harm on other small animals; hence ensure that at least one of the pet is level headed. Getting a dog after your cat is full-grown will prevent such dangerous situations.
  • Some dogs tend to eat cat food, so always keep it out of their reach. Furthermore, a cat litter box is also tempting for dogs. Thus, ensure that he doesn’t have access to it.
  • Only allow unsupervised interaction after a couple months of observation. You don’t want your furry friend getting hurt.
  • Observe the behaviour of both cat and dog. If either of them stops eating or playing, it’s a sign that they’re not happy.

Pets make your house lively with their adorable faces and cute actions. You must have come across videos and pictures where a dog and cat are getting along like best friends. Well, it takes a lot of time and patience to get to that point but once you do, the efforts will be worth it! Always take things slowly and you’ll eventually get there. If you’re considering getting a dog for your cat (or vice versa), go for it! It could the best decision of your life.

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