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Puppies And Kittens: How To Properly Introduce Them?

Puppies And Kittens: How To Properly Introduce Them?
Puppies And Kittens

Most of us that own dogs also love other animals and some even have other pets. Usually, that other pet is a cat. However, cats and dogs are different species with different behaviors and needs. So, it can be challenging to have both a cat and a dog in a single household. On the other hand, contrary to popular belief and what you may see in movies or cartoons, cats and dogs are not enemies nor they look to kill each other at first sight. In fact, cats and dogs can get along really well and even become best friends if we as owners do some basic things the right way. One of the most important things in that aspect is to properly introduce puppies and kittens.

The proper and gradual introduction is the key if you want to have a cat and a dog that get along fine. Therefore, we will go through the most important steps of how to make this introduction as painless and stress-free as possible.

Puppies And Kittens: Step-By-Step Introduction

The most important thing when introducing a cat to a dog or any other animal is to take things gradually and don’t force anything. Yes, I understand that you love both of them and you just want them to get along and be happy. However, you need to realize that these are different species with different needs and mentality. Therefore, they need some time to get to know other animal’s behavior and accept it. Usually, it will take months before they are comfortable around each other, but you must let their relationship develop gradually. 

Obviously, it’s best to introduce them when they are still puppies and kittens. Since they learn the best when they are young. However, even if you adopt a dog or if there is a big difference between the age of cat and dog, you still need to introduce them the right way.

1. Prepare The Dog/Cat For Another Pet In The House

As we already said, it doesn’t matter that you want your cat and dog to get along. Every animal is different and each has its personality. Therefore, it’s possible that your cat and dog “click” together almost instantly. On the other hand, but it’s also possible that they don’t like each other at all. This is something you can’t affect, but you can at least do your part of the job properly. 

The first step in that direction is to prepare your dog or cat for the arrival of a new pet. You need to show them that you still love them and that arrival of other animals is not a threat to your affection.

To achieve this, give your first pet as much love, affection, and praise when you bring your new pet home. 

2. Prepare Room For A New Pet

The dog can easily kill the cat. Therefore, it’s crucial that you separate them. Preferably, you will have two separate rooms for a dog and a cat, their personal space with bed, food and water bowl, and litter box. However, if you don’t have that much space in your house, you will need to split and divide the existing one with some type of barrier so that they don’t have access to each other’s space.

This is especially true for cats that need their personal space where they will eat, scratch their claws, and poop. Cats are very particular about this and a cat will probably abandon the space altogether if he/she picks up the dog’s scent on the toys or in the litter.

It’s always good to let your new pet gets to know you and gets comfortable in your home before introduction to another pet.

3. Get Them Used To Each Other’s Scent

The best way to do this is to place their food and water bowls at each side of the door. They will be able to smell each other and get used to each other’s scent before they meet face to face. This also good practice since your cat and dog will learn to associate each other’s scent with something positive like food.

4. It’s Time For The First Face-To-Face Meeting

After your dog and cat passed through these initial steps of introduction, it’s time for the first face-to-face meeting. Make sure your dog is on the leash and sitting while the cat is in the box during the meeting. You realize don+t know what to expect and how they will react during the first meeting, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

As soon as you notice your dog getting too excited, take him out of the room. Repeat this type of introduction until both the cat and the dog are comfortable around each other.

5. Cat Is Out Of The Box

Once your cat and dog are used to seeing each other in the same room it’s time for the next step. Let your cat out of the box to explore the room, but still, keep the dog on a leash. Repeat this action until the dog is calm when the cat is in the room.

6. Let Your Dog Off The Leash

The final step is to let your dog off the lead. However, make sure your dog can stay calm and is completely relaxed when the cat is in the room. Remember, this process may take weeks, so be patient and don’t rush things. 

Conclusion

Dogs and cats can live together in harmony if introduced and trained properly. It’s best to start this process while they are still puppies and kittens, but no matter the age they can still learn to coexist and share your love and affection.

However, this is a long-term process and you will need persistence and above all patience to succeed. Also, remember not to leave your cat and dog to play without supervision. If you must leave them alone, make sure they are separated by a physical barrier.