How To Introduce A New Dog To A Cat

Have you ever seen a twin brother and sister? Even if they are born together, they might have completely different traits. Dogs and cats are no different.

It does not mean they can never get comfortable with each other. However, it can take some time and patience.

Before introducing them, make sure your kitty and mutt are in a controlled position and environment. Otherwise, introducing a new dog to cat can be a complete failure.

Do you want to adopt a dog while having a cat? Are you wondering how to get a dog and cat to get along? If yes, then it is possible if you follow the right steps!

Here is a guide that can help you make this awkward interaction smooth and uncomplicated. 

1.Learn The Body Language Of Pets

A great beginning is to notice the body movements and behavior of your cat and dog.

A cat might wiggle its tail and have ears laid flat against its head. This indicates a “fright or flight” response. This expression shows that it is clearly not happy with the dog’s presence. 

Similarly, a dog can perhaps get completely fixated after seeing your kitten. If he is constantly staring at the cat, this is also not a good sign. It would be better to separate them immediately.

 

Some of the dogs have predator or hunter instincts. Breeds such as Hounds, Australian Shepherds, Border Collies, and Retrievers. These dogs might start pinning and chasing your cats. If this worries you, the best idea may be to not to adopt a dog from these dog breeds to live with you and your cat.

The temperament of your both pets must suit each other. If a dog is very energetic and loves change, a fearful cat won’t be a good fit. A cat that is calmer and more confident in nature would be a better option. Otherwise, your new dog might start chasing your cat leaving her traumatized.

There’s another thing you need to notice: the lifestyle of both of them. If you are adopting a dog that has never been with any other animal, the adjustment would be difficult. Similarly, the chances of an amicable relationship are very low if your cat is old. A cat can be unfriendly to dogs at the best of times, an old cat simply may not tolerate a new dog.

2.Separate Your Dog And Cat

Initially, it is necessary to keep your dog and cat in separate localities. Make sure the dog has no access to your kitty’s room. Other than that, keep your cat’s food, scratching pad, water, and other essentials at the same place. 

Don’t forget the litter box and toys too! Cats and kittens can easily squeeze into compact places. Select a room that has no such hidey holes.

 

 

Make sure to canine-proof your house. Dogs can damage the whole place if they are not behaviorally trained. Cover all the electric sockets and remove dangling cords inside the room. Your new pooch might start chewing the wires and get electrocuted.

Other than that, place all the books and planters on higher shelves. This way, he won’t be able to reach and destroy any of it. Along with that, make sure that the cabinets have baby-friendly cabinet lashes. This will prevent your new puppy from sneaking inside drawers.

The main goal of this whole process is to avoid the first ruinous interaction of both of your pets. Gradually, start placing cat’s meal inside the room door while dog’s meal on the outside of the entrance area. This will aid in gradually introducing a new dog to cat.

After a while, you can also place the meals of both of your pets inside the room. Keep the dog from being able to eat the cat’s food. Make sure to use a child gate for your cat. Dogs are conventionally known to be prey-driven for small animals like cats and rabbits. It will prevent any undesired chasing.

3.Direct Interaction

Before initiating this phase, make your new dog learn some behavioral techniques. You and your mutt are just in the communication phase at this point. It is suggested to allow your puppy to adjust a bit before direct interaction with the resident kitten.

 

Start by making your new dog learn basic commands. Commands should include “sit”, “go” or “stand”. It might take some time depending upon the nature of your pooch. However, you should stay patient and consistent.

Once your dog is trained enough, he will be ready for direct interaction. It is recommended to keep the leash on your dog while performing this step. Cats and kittens usually do not attack dogs. 

However, your pooch might try to chase or grab your kitten right away. This step would be perfect under your strict observation. Try your best to keep an eye on the body language of both of your pets. 

These meeting sessions should last a few minutes. If your cat is moving around freely and playing around, it is a good sign. Let him sniff the new guy and be familiar with his presence. 

However, if your cute cat is displeased and afraid, stop this session immediately. Let your cat leave the place if she wants. Don’t let your dog follow the kitten. Repeat these sessions slowly. 

Make sure your pooch is wearing a leash the whole time. Your pet’s behavior is still new to you. You cannot predict his next step. Therefore, always stay alert!

4.Permit Unmonitored Association

Be certain that your dog and cat have become familiar with each other. After that, you can leave them alone. You should wait a month or so before initiating this step. 

However, you can look for some signs before taking the next move. See if both of them calmly eat their meals, and carry on with their activities. 

Other than that, the dog should not stare at the cat at all.  Most importantly, if he continues to play with his toys, it means all your efforts have borne fruit!

Red Flags

If the dog is super aggressive towards your calm but fearful cat, consider this as a warning sign. If a cat does the same, it still holds the same weightage. It is recommended to drop this idea to adopt a dog in this case. However, if you want to make this work, see a professional trainer’s  help. 

If your new dog does not stop staring at your cat, try some commands. If he still disobeys your commands and obsesses over the cat, and stalks her, separate them again.

 

Another indication is the behavior of your cat. Your kitty is probably not happy if she has stopped eating food or has limited interaction with others. Probably, our new dog is not the right fit for her. Consider consulting a pet behavioral specialist. 

Your kitten and pooch might have some previous bad experiences. This can be a reason for their aggression and distress. However, try not to punish your new pet. Instead, consult a behavior trainer or a professional dog trainer.

 

Wrapping Up

Introducing a new dog to a cat can be tricky, but not impossible. It’s alright if your resident kitten doesn’t co-exist peacefully with your new puppy. I mean, it’s not the end of the world, it’s just the beginning of making accommodations so neither animal is hurt.

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Does your new dog doesn’t get along with your cat? Here’s how you can deal with it!


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