There are a lot of misconceptions or myths found in our daily life about animals, especially pets like dogs and cats. One of the famous misconceptions is that dogs and cats cannot live together in the same family. It is incorrect, except in some cases depending on the different circumstances. Introducing a new canine member to the family is a moment full of excitement, but it might be a little troubled for all the pet lovers. But you can manage all this matter with patience and proper planning.
It is necessary to take some steps before introducing your new puppy to the family cat carefully. You will have to supervise both of your friends until they are comfortable and feel safe with one another. In this article, I will discuss how to safely introduce your new puppy to your family cat without any serious concerns. If you already have a family cat and want to add a new puppy, I have some beneficial information for you.
Select the Right Dog Breed
Being prepared beforehand is essential if you are thinking to keep your cat and a new puppy under the same roof. However, you need to bear in mind that not all pets will follow the same guidelines. The personality of the individual animals varies according to their previous education and experience. The specific new environment will play an important role in this matter.
As you know, there are a lot of dog breeds available in the market. But some of the dog breeds can integrate in a good way with the already existing pet family than others. Some breeds are stereotypically predisposed to sociability any animal that is not given adequate socialization when they are a puppy or a kitten. Especially in terms of coexisting with each other can have problems in their adult age. Younger puppies are more energetic as compared to older dogs. Choose a calm and cat-friendly adult dog as they are less energetic and don’t make a lot of noise all the time.
Moreover, adopting a new puppy from a reputable shelter in which they are regularly maintained and tested with their temperament can solve many future issues. The shelter staff will be able to provide you with all the information or ideas about that puppy that how they will respond to other animals. This information can help you to know whether this puppy is suitable to introduce to your family cat or not. You can find several good shelters where they keep the animals who need a good home.
Do your Homework
Do your homework before entering a new canine member into your pet family. Spend enough time researching the breed of the puppy that you want to induct into your home. You can find a detailed book or read the articles on different websites online to know the advantages and disadvantages of the dog breed you plan to introduce. You need to judge the character of a specific animal that you are going to acquire. Proper investigation will help you a lot to be prepared for a safe introduction.
Prepare before Introduction
Once you have selected the puppy you want to get, you can understand the preparations before a smooth and safe introduction. Introducing a new puppy to your family cat may be stressful for both of your little friends, and it is necessary to be patient and prepared for the introduction at least a week ago.
If cats feel threatened, they tend to seek refuge in high places. It is crucial to prepare your house before bringing the new pup. Prepare some extra high resting places for your beloved cat in case she wants to relax away from the dog if she wants. If there is a specific area where your cat normally has their food and water, shift it to the place where the new puppy cannot access it. But don’t forget to make the cat used to the new area before the arrival of the new puppy. All this process is quite helpful to reduce the stress on both, and they will be able to avoid any problems like the cat may be too frightful to eat or drink or using the litter tray when the dog is nearby. In the first days of introduction, separate the areas of eating, drinking, and litter tray of both the friends.
What To Do When the First Time You Bring the New Puppy or Dog Home?
It is important to secure your family cat in its favourite room place with its bedding, favourite food, water, litter tray if you want to avoid any trouble on the first day of arrival. To make sure the positive association, the newcomer should have everything they need like food, treat, bedding, and litter tray. Now leave the puppy to explore the house and then settle him at the place specified with favourite food, treat meal, bedding, litter tray, etc. After the dog is settled down, leave your cat to explore the house to become used to the dog’s scent. You will have to repeat this process again and again for a few days so that both the furry friends become familiar with the presence of each other without confronting. Exchange the blankets or any other objects of both the friends during these days so they can get intimated to each other’s smell. This means when they meet, they already have some familiarity with each other. According to some experts, this separation should not last too long.
During that process, train your new puppy to have some control over him because it will help you on the time of introduction of your puppy to the cat.
Finally, Introduce your new puppy or dog to your cat
First of all, you need to create a relaxed atmosphere free of shouting, loud noises, and any stressful elements. Once your new dog or puppy arrives, they will need to have some time on their own to get used to their new environment. To create a stress-free environment, you can take help from synthetic pheromones. They can work for some to help both dogs and cats feel more relaxed, secure and to promote their general well-being.
- Generally, your new dog or puppy should be crate trained because it will help to make the introduction safer and easier. Keep the dog’s crate away from the cat’s place of eating, drinking, and sleeping, etc.
- For the first-time introduction, choose the time when your dog and cat are at their calmest usually. A long walk before introduction may be useful for this.
- Cats feel threatened when they see the dogs the first time. So, choose the room where adequate places to escape for your cat if they want to.
- Before bringing your cat into the room, give your dog or puppy a distracting toy in the crate.
- Give your cat a lot of attention and positive signs like grooming, playing, and treats while they are in the same room.
- Don’t force any interaction and let them act spontaneously until they are comfortable with each other’s presence.
- Reward your dog or puppy for being calm and quiet when the cat is near and encourage the calm behavior of your dog. Don’t encourage or allow bad behavior, but the dog should not be punished as it may create troubles between your cat and dog.
- If they show relaxed and comfortable behavior in each other’s presence, then reward them both with treats at the same time. Both the animals need praise and care at this time.
- Repeat this process many times in a day but keep the meeting time short to reduce the stress, if any.
- Let your cat move towards the puppy if they want. But make sure they don’t get furious.
- This process may take a few weeks to have your puppy and cat on the same leash, so you will have to be patient. Wait patiently until both the friends are comfortable during each other’s presence.
- Supervise both the pets with a close eye and never punish either for showing aggression as it will create a negative experience for both of them.
This introduction can produce many different outputs. Some cats are curious and eager to interact, while some others may recoil in shock when they see another animal, and the same case is with the dogs. Whatever happens, don’t force the situation and be patient. Let each friend express themselves naturally and positively.
Fear, aggression, or any other behavioral changes may appear in these cases in both the animals. You should contact a veterinarian specializing in ethology to offer the best guidelines for your specific situation. Otherwise, it is likely that a healthy coexistence will never happen, and the animal might be chronically stressed or anxious.