The traditional view is that dogs and cats don’t get on! You may even have a dog that strains on the lead every time he or she spots a cat because they want to give chase! On the other hand, there are plenty of households where dogs and cats get on very well and turn out to be the best of friends.
There is a lot that you can do make help the relationship between your dog and your new cat. All you have to do is follow these tips to help your four-legged family members get on with each other.
Get the preparation right
It is worth spending some time preparing your house for their first meeting. Your priority should be to designate a room as a safe area for the cat. Make the room somewhere that your cat will want to spend time and be happy.
Obviously, you need the bowls, bed and litter tray in this room. However, you will make it even more attractive to your cat if you pop in a go pet club cat tree so that they have got something to keep them amused and somewhere that they can scratch, perch and hide. Shut the door, to begin with, then open it up and use a stairgate. The cat will be able to get in but the dog will not so this becomes a safe and comfortable haven for the cat. Also, make sure that there are plenty of ‘high ground’ areas in all the other rooms in the house. These are high up areas that the cat can reach safely if they feel threatened by the dog at any time.
Don’t rush the introductions
This is a process that can take time so it is best not to try and rush it. You could make things worse. The key to a successful introduction is to limit where the cat can wander for a few days. During this time, you can distribute the cat’s scent around the house and even ‘swap’ scents with the dog. The increases the chances of a successful introduction. All you have to do is stroke the cat, then the dog and then the cat again. It also helps if you swap over their bedding for one night and then swap them back again.
Finally they meet face to face
When you feel that they are both ready for the first face to face meeting, choose a room where there are high areas that the cat can climb to safely if they need to. Tire out the dog first by taking them for a long walk. When they get back in the house they will be tired and not so playful and boisterous. Have some tasty treats on hand for the dog and use them as a distraction if needed.
Bring the dog slowly into the room, on a lead, and never let a chase take place. This can soon turn into a habit! Soon your two pets will at least tolerate each other and may even form a friendship!
"A cat improves the garden wall in sunshine, and the hearth in foul weather." - Judith Merkle Riley
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