Are you adopting a dog? Congratulations! Of course, if you already have a cat, she probably won’t be as enthusiastic as we are. First impressions are important to pets so it’s important to handle the introduction phase well. Here, a vet offers some pointers on how to get Fido and Fluffy started out on the right foot.
Before bringing Fido in the house, place Fluffy in a quiet back room with kitten essentials. Once your puppy has sniffed around and gotten his full, release the cat and bring Fido into a quiet room. Now it’s your cat’s turn to get used to the new scent. Continue alternating. Pay close attention to your cat so they don’t feel ignored or isolated.
Meet & Greet
After a few days of swapping, your pet should accept the idea that there’s another furball in town. At this point, you can let them meet officially. Don’t give them full access to each other yet. Use a puppy gate or carrier to let them see and sniff each other through a barrier. Give your cat treats and praise to make the interaction easier. If all goes well, proceed with caution. If not, start over. Monitor all interactions carefully and do not leave your dog and cat unattended until you are sure they are getting along.
Keep Fluffy Safe
Make sure your cat has a place to go in every room. That way she always has an outlet if she feels scared or threatened. This must be an area that Fido can’t reach. Vertical spaces, such as cat towers, are very effective for this. (Your cat will also gain a scratching post and places to nap out of the.) Fluffy will also appreciate having some hiding spots behind or beneath chairs, sofas, and beds.
In many cases, dogs and cats learn to live together and do very well. Fluffy and Fido can become best friends. Or, they may simply ignore each other. However, there are times when dogs and cats fight like dogs and cats. This can be a very dangerous situation. If your pets do not warm up, consult a veterinarian or professional trainer. Otherwise, if things don’t go well, one of your pets, possibly your cat, could get seriously injured.
As a veterinary hospital in Carlisle, ON, we are always here to help you. Don’t hesitate to call us anytime!