How to introduce your new cat to the family dog
The two can be a good team – contrary to what a lot of people might believe! But it takes meticulous planning to ensure that everyone is in harmony.
The outcome of your pet’s adoption is contingent on the specific pet and your family’s situation, and therefore, your preparations must reflect the specifics of your situation. Here are a few general guidelines to make their introduction go as smoothly as possible in the event that you already have a dog at home and you are considering getting a cat.
It is important to plan.
When you decide to bring an animal into your home, it’s important to prepare. Consider what pet you already have, as well as their personality and temperament. How would they react to the presence of a cat? If they exhibit indications of aggression towards predators, it’s possible that bringing them home isn’t an ideal choice. Consult your veterinarian for advice, or in the event of purchasing a pet from the RSPCA, you can inquire with the staff at the shelter for advice. Many of the cats we care for have had dogs previously.
Before you bring the cat back home
Some cats are able to fit into families with existing pets better than others. Senior cats are less likely to be energetic than kittens in their early years. So, if you have pets of a certain age, it is worth considering an adult who is a calmer and more dog-friendly cat.
Before bringing your new pet to your home, take time to prepare your home and the animals you have already in your home to welcome them. You should ensure that there is plenty of high-quality resting and areas to hide for your new cat so that they are able to be able to get away from you if they wish to. It is also essential to ensure your cat is in a safe, private, dog-free space that has everything they require (food and litter, water or bed, a hiding spot, and raised platforms).
Allowing them to get at ease
When you introduce your cat to the house, give it a few minutes for your cat to settle into their new home and feel relaxed, even without your pet present. When the cat is determined enough to explore the house, put your cat in their preferred room (with water, a bed, food, and some of their favorite toys) and let the cat explore your home at their speed and get familiar with your scent. Repeat the process over the following days, allowing each pet to roam the entire house without coming into contact with each other. While you’re at it, focus on the reinforcement of your dog’s reward-based behavior.
When you’re ready for the introduction of them, do it in a moment when both dogs are most relaxed. Perhaps go for an extensive walk before. In the beginning, make sure you have a space in the cat’s new home where it is capable of fleeing into a safe area. A high-level platform is the ideal choice.
Ideally, your dog must be trained to use a crate. In the event that your cat is a crate, offer them a distraction toy and then invite the cat into the room. Do not force interactions; provide your cat with lots of love and attention, as well as enjoyable experiences, such as playtime and treats.
If both dogs seem to be relaxed and calm, you can begin placing your dog on a leash outside of the cage. If you are unable to keep your pet in a crate, start with this method. Your dog should be on a leash with you, even if your cat is in the room. Offer them treats and praise to reward calm behavior. If your dog is getting exuberant, take your pet from their room. Repeat this process several times per day, and keep the sessions brief.
It can be a very stressful period for both animals. Therefore, it’s crucial to be willing and patient for the first time introduction, which will take a few weeks. Make sure you keep an eye on each animal and don’t punish one of them for their aggressive behavior. Please do not leave them alone until you’re sure they’re both in good spirits. Always ensure your cat has escape routes to areas where your pet won’t go.
Keep in mind that even though your cat and dog will not be the best of friends, they will learn to, at the very least, live together in peace. There is a lot of information about the introduction of a cat to the dog in the family and vice versa and the reverse through our knowledge base.