Many people think that cats and dogs do NOT mix. Contrary to popular belief, cats and dogs can learn to live together in harmony. It may take some time and effort, but by taking the right steps, they can enjoy their company.
So, how can you introduce your dog to a new cat (or vice versa)? Here are a few helpful tips!
- Before introducing them
Be sure that your cat has access to a room that is dog-free. The room should have a scratch post, litter box, toys, as well as a water and food bowl. Cat-proof the area as well and consider adding hiding spots and tunnels for the cat to feel safe.
Also, be prepared that the introduction process may take a few weeks, or even longer than that. Take the time out of your day for them to interact and keep them separate while you’re gone until they are safe to be around one another.
- Separate the pets
Before they are formally introduced, keep your cat and dog separate for at least 3-4 days. Do not let them get into contact until your vet gives you the go signal that both pets are cleared from any illnesses.
Confine your new cat to the sanctuary room, with the doors closed. Or, you can keep your cat on a separate floor of the home. Let your pets get used to their presence without any face-to-face meetings. While they can’t see one another, they can hear and smell another being around.
- Teach the basic commands
It’s best to feed your dog and cat from opposite sides of closed doors so they associate their presence with pleasant things like food. With every feeding, move their food a bit closer to closed doors, continuing the process until they can eat peacefully next to the door.
Furthermore, teach your dog basic commands, such as ‘down’ or ‘sit’. Keep these training sessions short and pleasant, with a lot of rewards for your dog. This will help them stay behaved once they meet the new cat.
- Face-to-face meetings
When your pets can eat next to the door, it’s time to have them meet face-to-face! Conduct your meet and greet in any common area of your home, not using any sanctuary area.
The sessions should be quick and calm, with your dog on a leash. Let your cat go wherever he wants and do not restrain your pets in your arms, as you may end up injured if any pet ends up acting aggressively.
Let your dog sit and reward with treats for his calmness. Give your cat a treat or two as well. If they feel aggressive, distract them and redirect their emotions, using dog toys like Peggasus Pets.
Wrapping It Up
If ever your cat and dog still don’t get along, then it’s best to seek professional help right away to prevent fights and injuries. However, I hope that these tips will help you immensely and that you’ll find your pets being lifelong buddies in the long run. Good luck!