Are you about to adopt a dog? Congratulations! Of course, if you have a cat, your feline pal probably won’t be as enthusiastic as we are. First impressions are a very big deal to pets, so it’s important to take your time with introductions. Read on as a local vet offers some advice on introducing your canine and feline friends and getting them started out on the right paw.
Before bringing Fido in, put Fluffy in a quiet back room with kitty essentials. After your pup has sniffed everything, and is ready for a walk, take him out and let your cat out. It’s now her turn to get used to the scent. Keep switching back and forth.
After a few days of swapping places, you can let your pets officially meet. You don’t want to give them full access to each other. You can put Fluffy in a carrier. Or, if Fido has a crate, you may be able to put your pup in there. Your cat is probably not going to be particularly happy about this. Offer both pets treats and praise if they are behaving well.
One thing we recommend is making sure that your cat has a place to go in every room if she feels scared or threatened. This should be an area that your dog cannot reach. Vertical spaces, such as cat towers, work great for this. Your kitty will also gain a scratching post and napping spot out of the deal. You can also give Fluffy hiding spots behind or beneath chairs and sofas or under the bed.
In many cases, dogs and cats do learn to tolerate each other, and do just fine. You may find that Fluffy and Fido pretty much ignore each other most of the time. Occasionally, they will become best friends. However, there are times when cats and dogs fight like, well, cats and dogs. This is a situation that is best avoided if possible. This is why it’s important to make sure to choose a cat friendly dog. If things don’t go well, your cat is more likely to be injured. If your home is large enough, you may be able to give Fluffy one part, and Fido another.
For more information on helping your cat and dog get along, reach out to your local veterinarian. We are here to help!