Are you thinking about adopting a dog? But, what if you have a cat? Will they get along? How can you help them make the transition to being roommates? The introduction between your pup and kitty has to be done properly. Pets consider first impressions to be a big deal. Here, a veterinarian offers tips on getting Fido and Fluffy living cohesively and happily.
The Sniff Test
Leave Fluffy in a quiet back room with all the necessary kitty essentials, including cat furniture, treats, and toys. Then, you can bring Fido inside. Let him sniff everything. Once he’s gotten to know his new territory, switch your pets’ places. It’s now Fluffy’s turn to get accustomed to the new scent. Switch them back and forth several days, while paying a lot of attention to your feline friend. It’s important that she doesn’t feel isolated or ignored.
Meet N Greet
Swapping your pets’ places for a few days should help your pets accept the idea that they are now roomies. Now, you can make it official and allow them to meet. Don’t let them be together just yet, though. Using a carrier or puppy gate, let them see and sniff each other. Give both pets praise and treats to help make the situation sweeter. If all goes well, move to the next step with caution. If not, start over. Watch all interactions carefully, and never leave Fido and Fluffy unsupervised until you’re sure they can get along.
Keeping Your Cat Safe
Be sure that Fluffy has her own place to go in every room. That way, if she is feeling scared or threatened, she has somewhere to escape. These should be places that your dog can’t reach. Vertical spaces, like cat towers, are purrfect hiding places, and your kitty will have scratching posts and napping spots. Your cat will also enjoy having some hiding spots under or behind beds, chairs, and sofas.
In most cases, dogs and cats can learn how to live together, and be happy. Your kitty and pup may become best friends. Or, they could simply ignore each other. But, there are times when cats and dogs fight. This is an extremely dangerous situation. If all else fails and your pets don’t get along, call your local pet clinic or professional trainer. If you don’t and they can’t get used to each other, one of your pets, probably Fluffy, could get seriously hurt.
Contact your local veterinarian for more information on cats and dogs!