How to introduce a Dog and Cat
Cats and dogs can’t get along, a tail as old as time. In this blog we will dive into some tips on how to help your fur babies get along better.
Tip 1- Know their personalities
Despite breed stereotypes, each cat and dog has their own characteristics and personalities traits. Take these traits into consideration when introducing cats and dogs to one another. Think about where each pet feels safe. Are they easily over simulated? Are the mellow or super active? Have they lived with other animals before? Consider your pets ages. The age of each pet can impact the way they will interact with one another.
Knowing your pets personality will help equip you with the knowledge needed when looking to adopt or introduce a new pet to your family.
Tip 2 - Territory is crucial
Both pets can be territorial when it comes to their spaces. Creating a space for each pet can serve as a safe place that will provide each pet with an area they can claim as their own. Keeping their food, water, toys, and sleep spaces separate will help with any overprotectiveness they can experience with their belongings, and allow for a break from one another if needed. This can look like having a spot on opposite sides of the same room, in separate rooms, on different levels of a home, etc.
Tip 3 – Plan Their First Meeting
There are several methods for introducing pets to one another. Ultimately knowing your pets personalities and the environment will play a vital role in the introduction. If introducing pets in the past had not gone well, consider reaching out to a professional that can help mediate the situation.
Face to face introductions. A Dog can be held on leash and allowed to move around freely sniffing. Once the pup is calm and comfortable having them sit or laydown on command. Then it’s the cats turn to sniff the dog and be curious. Body language is important in this instance. If either pet seems tense or has a hyper fixation on the other, then slowing the process down or removing them from the shared area should be considered.
Slow and steady. If your pets are a little more sensitive to one another, using a form of separation like a baby gate may come in handy. Give the cat its own space with food, water and a litterbox. Let your pup watch the cat interact in its space, with the baby gate separating the two. This will help the two pets see each other in their own area without the threat of either feeling invaded or threatened. Also try brining components of the others living space in for the other pet to smell and get familiar with.
Introducing any new family member into the fold can take time and patience but the amount of joy this will bring to your life will be well worth it.