Hi there, and a very warm welcome to Pupster Passion USA, the doggy site, and the blog.
Our goal is very simple. We want to help as many new dog owners as possible to live a great life with their pet puppies.
In this blog post, we will talk about making introductions between young dogs and cats as safely as possible.
Introducing Your Cats to Your New Dog
- Introduce smells first
- Make sure they are both comfortable in their own areas.
- Introduce them through a barrier at first
- Keep the dog on a least during the first meeting.
- Encourage and praise the puppy for being calm and gentle.
- Double-check, the adult cat, has some escape routes.
- Give it time and patience.
So now let us look at cats and bringing them to meet your puppy in more detail.
Introduce Smells First
The first step is straightforward. You need to let both pets get accustomed to the smell of the other well before they meet face to face.
An easy way to do this is to swap over some of the bedding they sleep on.
So put the cat’s blanket, cat food, or cat litter box in the room where the puppy and put the puppy’s blanket in the room with the cat.
This is an elementary but important first step in the introduction of the cat and dog safely.
Make Sure They are Both Comfortable in Their Own Areas
As you let them get used to the smell from one another, give them lots of treats, pets, and attention.
The goal is for the new dog and cat to feel totally relaxed around the other animal’s smell.
Introduce them Through a Barrier at First
If you can let them see each other through a glass door, or a fence of some sort, or a baby gate, it’s a great idea.
(BTW, we think that baby gates are a great investment for dealing with young pets of all types).
This allows them to check each other out with no risk of the resident cat being aggressive to the puppy.
If you can do this a few times, watching out for warning signs or aggressive behavior from the cat until they get bored of seeing each other and are totally relaxed, that would be ideal.
Keep the Dog on a Leash During First Meeting
During the very first introduction process between the puppy and cat, keep the young dog on a leash, so you have total control.
We suggest having the puppy in a room and bringing that cat in. This way, if the cat doesn’t feel like its space is being invaded.
You need to make sure you have the dog under good control and have a firm grip on the dog leash.
It would probably be a good idea to already have the dog accustomed to being on the leash, as you don’t want too many new things going on at once.
Encourage and Praise the Puppy for Being Calm and Gentle
Keep a close eye on the puppy. If it behaves well, give it praise and food rewards (treats) and vice versa; tell them off if they are a naughty dog.
If your cat has never been exposed to other animals, then its first couple meetings with the new puppy should be real quiet and calm.
Double Check that the Cat has Some Escape Routes
Be sure to check that it can get far away from the puppy using an easy escape route if the cat wants to.
A cat will be most dangerous and aggressive if it feels cornered in one place, so ensure that is not the case.
You also do not want the dog’s prey drive to be activated by the cat.
So the cat should be able to walk away nice and easily (a cat flap could work great for this).
Give it Time and Patience.
Successfully introducing a cat with a puppy can take time. Over time if you are careful and patient, they will find a way of living together in your home.
The cat and dog might not become the best of friends, but if they can live together without being in a constant state of war, that is good enough.
It is worth noting that very often, the dangerous interactions will come from a cat, not the dog. A cornered cat is very dangerous!
Some More Advice on How to Introduce Your Young Dog to Your Cats
In case you may need some more advice introducing a puppy to being around the cat safely, we have shared this handy video.
It gives tips for introducing a new dog to their new cat family members.
No one knows everything (even the Pupster Passion team, lol), so we think it is always worth getting advice from one or two other, different sources of expertise on dogs and cats.
That is the end of this short post; we hope that it helps your young new dog and cat become best friends.
As dog lovers ourselves, the Pupster Passion dog blogging team understand how much pets mean to new pet owners.
You really want your family cat and dog to be friends from day one, so you can all live in a happy little family of hum and animals.
Who knows, if this first one goes well, you might end up with a house full of dogs and other pets! (Sounds like heaven to us).