Kitty meets the doggo – a meet cute.
Cats and dogs can have a harmonious co-existence and create such a happy household if you already have a dog and planning on bringing in a new kitty. Felines and canines can be friends, like BFFs, considering they are introduced to each other in the right way. If you have had a dog for years and your dog is described as a friendly and calm dog who has been exposed to cats occasionally, the new cat will not be on harm’s way. However, dogs are larger than cats and have the potential to “manhandle” the cat, even in the spirit of fun and games.
Here’s how you introduce a new cat to your dog.
Have them in separate rooms
When you get a new cat, it is wise to put it up in a separate room where it won’t get a surprise visit from your dog. If you have your dog sleep with you in your bedroom, make sure the cat has a different room that the dog has no access to. That way the cat settles in comfortably first before being introduced to your dog.
Leave their scents around each other
Try to feed them on either side of the door so they get used to other scents in the house. You could also try swapping their blankets or bedding. You could also try swapping their toys, so they get familiar with the scents before meeting face to face.
Keep the introduction under control
When you do introduce them face to face, make sure to keep your dog on a loose leash. The cat will rarely be a threat to the dog, but the latter could potentially hurt the cat even if while being playful. Keep the introductions short on the first meeting.
Notice signs of aggression in both
If the dog growls at the new introduction, it means it needs more time to get used to the cat. Also notice your cat’s body language. If it hisses or raises its behind, it means the cat has activated threat mode.
On the contrary if the dog wags its tail and tries to sniff the cat out and the cat does the same, it means the introduction has gone well.
Make sure your dog is used to commands
Reward your dog with treats if it behaves in a friendly way. The cat will need more time.
Take it slow
If the first introduction doesn’t go that well, give it time. Don’t try to rush it. Let the animals do their thing and get used to each other slowly.