Introducing a Cat to My Dog
Hints & Tips
Introducing a cat to a dog is not always a cut-and-dried system. There are several factors you need to consider. The most important factor is the breed of dog that you are working with. If your dog is a cross-breed and the two breeds are not compatible within themselves, you will have a genetically confused dog. This can make for a bit of a problem when you want to introduce Fido to another cat. If you are not Alpha over your dog, then he does not respect you, he will not listen to you, and introductions to another cat should wait.
Here are some more tips:
When you are introducing a cat to a dog, there are several factors to consider.
- You cannot control the cat.
- Your focus should be on controlling the dog.
- You need to consider the breed of dog you are working with.
- The dog should be obedience-trained, and respect you.
- A puppy will become overly excited, and could hurt the cat unintentionally.
- When it goes right, you praise, praise, praise. If it goes wrong NEVER punish!
Dogs respond to other dogs differently. Don't make the mistake of thinking that because he is accepting of other dogs in Obedience Class, he will respond to a cat favourably right away.
If you have a purebred dog, be sure to research how this breed gets along with other pets. For example; an Afghan Hound is a hunter. If an Afghan sees a cat outside, it will chase the cat. But inside the home, it will not. Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, Bassett Hounds and Dachshunds are good with other pets. Do your homework on this issue.
Obedience classes are a must. If your dog has not been through an obedience course, do not attempt introductions. Here are a few tips to get you through that stage:
- Keep your cat isolated from your dog.
- Make a safe and secure room for the cat.
- Swap scents; using an old blanket or towel, give the item to your cat. Let her play on it, sleep on it, eat on it. Rub her with this blanket and then leave it in her room for 24 hours.
- Remove the blanket and present it to your dog. Rub him all over with it, let him roll on it, sniff it, sleep on it for 24 hours, then switch and do the same thing again. This blends their scents, making them a bit more at ease with each other.
- Use a soft plush dog toy, give it to the dog first, let him play with it, slobber on it and then toss the toy into the room with the cat and just leave that toy there.
Over time you will find that you are able to let them see each other and even be in the same room as each other. Make sure you are with them for the first few occasions. After a while they will hopefully be calm enough to be left together without supervision.
Dogs are pack animals and cats are generally quite sociable. The two animals can get along in your world, if you pay attention to details and remember that patience is key.