How to introduce your dog to your cat | Blue Cross
Sometimes, even seeing the cat at first is too exciting for the dog. A cat is rarely a threat to a dog, but some cats will be on the offensive when meeting dogs. So , for safety's sake, keep kittens and dogs apart any time you are not watching. History of Best Friends · No-Kill Timeline; Open submenu (Meet the Founders) Meet the Founders .. Home / Resources / Successfully Introducing Cats and Kittens to Dogs When introducing your cat to a dog, it's best to introduce her to only one dog at a time. . Kittens may not be scared of adult dogs or puppies at first. Although dogs and cats are often portrayed as enemies, If you are taking on a new cat, a spare room is ideal as they will need time to Even if your resident cat is confident, the introduction of a new dog will be unsettling at first, Allow the kitten to get used to being in the crate prior to meeting the dog.
Instead, make a loud noise, throw a pillow, or use a squirt bottle with water and vinegar to separate the cats. Give them a chance to calm down before re-introducing them to each other. Be sure each cat has a safe hiding place. Cat-to-dog introductions Dogs can kill a cat very easily, even if they're only playing.
All it takes is one shake and the cat's neck can break. Some dogs have such a high prey drive they should never be left alone with a cat.
Dogs usually want to chase and play with cats, and cats usually become afraid and defensive. Use the techniques described above to begin introducing your new cat to your resident dog. Practice obedience If your dog doesn't already know the commands "sit," "down," "come" and "stay," you should begin working on them. Small pieces of food will increase your dog's motivation to perform, which will be necessary in the presence of such a strong distraction as a new cat.
Even if your dog already knows these commands, work with obeying commands in return for a tidbit. Controlled meeting After your new cat and resident dog have become comfortable eating on opposite sides of the door, and have been exposed to each other's scents as described above, you can attempt a face-to-face introduction in a controlled manner. Put your dog's leash on, and using treats, have him either sit or lie down and stay.
Have another family member or friend enter the room and quietly sit down next to your new cat, but don't have them physically restrain her. Have this person offer your cat some special pieces of food or catnip. At first, the cat and the dog should be on opposite sides of the room.
Lots of short visits are better than a few long visits.
Don't drag out the visit so long that the dog becomes uncontrollable. Repeat this step several times until both the cat and dog are tolerating each other's presence without fear, aggression or other undesirable behavior.
Introducing Dogs to Cats - American Humane
Let your cat go Next, allow your cat freedom to explore your dog at her own pace, with the dog still on-leash and in a "down-stay. If your dog gets up from his "stay" position, he should be repositioned with a treat lure, and praised and rewarded for obeying the "stay" command. If your cat runs away or becomes aggressive, you're progressing too fast. Go back to the previous introduction steps. Positive reinforcement Although your dog must be taught that chasing or being rough with your cat is unacceptable behavior, he must also be taught how to behave appropriately, and be rewarded for doing so, such as sitting, coming when called, or lying down in return for a treat.
If your dog is always punished when your cat is around, and never has "good things" happen in the cat's presence, your dog may redirect aggression toward the cat. Directly supervise all interactions between your dog and cat You may want to keep your dog on-leash and with you whenever your cat is free in the house during the introduction process.
Be sure that your cat has an escape route and a place to hide. Keep your dog and cat separated when you aren't home until you're certain your cat will be safe. Precautions Dogs like to eat cat food. You should keep the cat food out of your dog's reach in a closet or on a high shelf.
Eating cat feces is also a relatively common behavior in dogs. Although there are no health hazards to your dog, it's probably distasteful to you. It's also upsetting to your cat to have such an important object "invaded.
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Punishment after the fact will not change your dog's behavior. The best solution is to place the litter box where your dog can't access it, for example: A word about kittens and puppies Because they're so much smaller, kittens are in more danger of being injured, of being killed by a young energetic dog, or by a predatory dog.
A kitten will need to be kept separate from an especially energetic dog until she is fully grown, and even then she should never be left alone with the dog. Even if your resident cat is confident, the introduction of a new dog will be unsettling at first, so safe access to resources will be necessary. Installing a Feliway diffuser a few days before you bring your new pet home is a good idea, especially if the cat has not lived with dogs before or is of a nervous disposition.
A Feliway diffuser emits pheromones that help cats feel safe — so this may help the cat feel more comfortable during the introduction period. It is also important to ensure that your home has plenty of high places that a cat can easily access.
Cats naturally like to rest and hide in high places, and this will be particularly important later on in the introduction process. Extra care when introducing kittens Kittens are far more vulnerable due their size and as they are usually more playful and active than an adult cat, they are more likely to excite a dog. The dog crate should be large enough for a litter tray, a scratching post, bed and places to hide.
Allow the kitten to get used to being in the crate prior to meeting the dog, by placing the crate in the area you have chosen away from the dog, so they get used to going in and out. Pop a blanket over one side which will help the kitten feel safe.
Dog crates If your dog is already crate trained, you can use it as part of the introduction process when you cannot directly supervise your dog. The importance of scent For both cats and dogs, smell is extremely important for communication.
Introducing dogs and cats
You can start this process even before you bring your new pet home by exchanging bedding between the pets if this is possible. This way, they get to know a bit about each other, even before they meet. Early days Once your new cat or dog is home, it is best to keep them separate at first. If you are bringing a new cat into your home, avoid the temptation to let them explore your home at first, as they will need a few days to adjust to their new surroundings. To do this, stroke each pet without washing your hands to mix scents and exchange bedding regularly.
For this reason, it is useful to delay the pets from meeting for a few days or even a week. If you have bought in a new cat, let them explore the rest of the house when your dog is out of the house for a few hours. If your dog gets excited easily, then first introductions are best carried out after exercise, when your dog is likely to be calm.
One of the most important rules of introducing cats and dogs is to make sure that the dog is prevented from chasing the cat.
Even if your dog does not want to hurt your cat, your cat will feel threatened and unlikely to want to be anywhere near your dog in future! Once a dog develops a habit of chasing, it can be difficult for to stop them, so it is best to prevent it from happening in the first place. Put your dog on a lead behind a stair gate and have some tasty treats at the ready to reward them for calm and relaxed behaviour.