Introducing a Cat into Your Canine Household
How To Introduce a Cat into Your Canine Household
Having a cat in your canine household can be a happy time, but it is also one that can trigger all sorts of unpredictable feelings and responses in a family. For many households that already have dogs in the home, a cat can represent their commitment to adding a new family together.
However, the dog may see it as a final sign that his/her attention will never be the same again. Shared attention between the cat and the canine in the house may have mixed reactions.
You may be worried that the dog may feel pushed out and get less attention than the cat. Your fears and anxieties are natural and that’s the most important thing to understand.
The first meeting between your canine pet and the cat should be done slowly and in a neutral place. Your aim is for your dog to be welcoming and accept the new relationship rather than reject the cat.
These are two creatures with different personalities coming to live in the same household. Do not rush things as dogs are territorial while cats need time to settle in.
Keep them apart for a while as they warm up to each other maybe even in separate rooms.
Tips for Introducing Your Cat into Your Household smoothly
A cat and a dog can be a hard combination to live with if the meeting is done hurriedly.
You can make it work by giving time and space for your cat to settle and adjust to the new environment before bringing the dog in the picture.
Make the encounter as pleasing and comfortable by following the below tips.
Check on Behavior Change
Your canine pet might try to get attention by breaking house rules. To stop this behavior, praise your dog when he or she is behaving well. If you suspect your dog is behaving badly to get attention, consider ignoring the behavior. This might encourage the dog to behave in a more positive way to get your attention.
Excessive barking or being aggressive are normal reactions to the stress of a new family member (cat) that require tolerance rather than punishment. Give your dog love and assurance during regressive episodes.
Give Time to Adjust, Do Not Force
Sometimes it happens the canine may be excited that he will have a new cat in the household. Spend time with your canine and cat and reassure them that your love for them has not changed.
Importantly, do not force your canine family if they’re reluctant – they may need more time.
This can be made easy by allowing them to sniff each other things before they meet to get used to the scent.
The items that you can use are blanket, bed/litter box. In case your dog becomes aggressive or barks repeat the process until you get the desired result.
Remember this will not happen overnight, continue with the training especially for the dog, and be consistent until he doesn’t bark, or act aggressively.
Get Different Supplies for Canine and Cat
The canine was used to all the attention and love and with the cat around all this might change. In addition, you might seem to show more love to the cat creating stress to your canine and resentment.
They may also resent sharing attention and things, especially because they are territorial and love their space. The dog bed, crate, favourite place, toys should be separate from the cats’ supplies.
Canine are territorial hence do not allow the dog and cat in the same room before the sniffing exercise is successful. Do not allow your dog to eat on the cat bowls and vice versa. Let both pets have different feeding bowls, beds, relaxing space, toys, etc.
Cats love to be in their own space to settle in and feel they own the place while dogs are territorial hence keep them apart in the first few weeks.
Supervised Distant Meeting
Keep a close watch as your canine family and cat meet for the first time. Ensure there is distance between them to avoid any overexcitement and aggressive behavior. Have your dog on a leash in a distance allow them to watch each other. The cat might be afraid to leave her resting place (box, tree, and tower) do not force her with time she will feel comfortable to leave.
Even if your dog seems to get along, supervision is essential. Don’t leave your cat alone with the dog until after you are comfortable they can stay together peacefully.
Always keep the dog on the leash and coach him that when the cat is around it is time to be calm and relax not barking.
Remember these are animals with different personalities. How they act in the first meeting will determine the next meetings hence give them time and space to know and understand each other.
Allow the cat by itself to learn to live in a new space. Once used to her new environment and the cat is confident then allow the dog and cat in the same room at a distance.
Once the cat is comfortable and is roaming around and your dog is calm the cat and dog can stay in the same room without a leash.
Keep Dog Close
Consider creating a feeding routine for both so that your dog doesn’t feel neglected. Keep your dog entertained with his favourite toys while you feed the cat before his feeding time.
If you have multi pets in the household, the time demands are even greater for you. Delegate or ask help from family, and friends and even strangers. When you start focusing more on taking care of the cat the canine in the house may feel left out or jealous.
Undoubtedly, your dog will need a special one-on-one time with you. Take him to the park, play with him, and groom him so that he would associate the cat with negative resentment.
Build a positive relationship with your dog for reassurance sake and this will help the cat and dog relationship greatly.
When to Leave them Alone
This stage may come after many weeks of training. Do not give up just be patient. When you get to the point where your dog can remain calm while your kitten is in the room, it’s time to let them off the lead.
Canine have a prey drive hence leaving them unsupervised for long isn’t advisable. You can allow them to be together without the dog on a leash but under supervision.
If left alone you can put the dog in a crate or barrier until your return. Subsequently, the cat can be left free to move around or stay in her little box.
Dog and cats can live together depending on their personality. They can be compatible with each other, however, the tips above can help you facilitate this and create a positive relationship. Firstly, both are different animals and from different breeds hence a lot of work needs to be done in terms of training.
It might not be easy for them in the first meeting and you may be forced to keep them in separate rooms in the house for some time. The same precautions need to be adhered to when introducing your dog to a puppy.