Getting a new puppy is a fun experience for any household. But what do you do if you already have a cat in the house?
How to introduce a new puppy to your cat can be challenging at first, but it doesn’t have to be stress-inducing. There are some simple things to keep in mind that can really help you successfully introduce the two. Continue reading below to learn how to introduce a new puppy to your cat.
How to Introduce a New Puppy to Your Cat
Getting two pets who are new to each other to get along can be difficult sometimes, but it’s certainly not impossible. Patience is key, but there are also some easy steps you can take to ensure they start their relationship off on the right foot. If you’re looking for how to introduce a new puppy to your cat, read some of our suggestions below. Just remember that it is a slow process. Take your time and your pets will be cuddle partners in no time.
When introducing a new puppy to your cat, you’ll want to be sure you start slowly. Cats are naturally a territorial animal. They will think of your home as “theirs.” When you introduce a puppy, your cat may become upset if they think someone new in moving in on their turf.
The best way to introduce your new puppy to your home is to keep them completely separated from your cat. Try that out and after a few days you can try introducing some used blankets to one another. Give your dog one of your cat’s blankets and vice versa. By doing this, you’ll allow the animals to get familiar with the other animal’s scent. One more step would be letting your animals switch rooms. Put your cat in what was your dog’s room and your dog in what was your cat’s room. This will allow them to become even more familiar with the other animal.
Once your pets have gotten accustomed to each other’s scents, you can consider letting them meet for the first time. It’s probably a good idea to confine one of the animals. First, try confining your dog. Put them in a crate and bring them into your cat’s room. Cats are naturally curious animals, so they will watch your dog from a safe place.
Let your cat get a good look at your puppy so they understand what they are dealing with. Once your cat has gotten a look, it’s time to switch. Put your cat in a confined space and let your dog check them out. It might be a good idea to keep your dog on a leash too. This will help you to manage any aggressive or otherwise difficult behaviors.
If you don’t have a crate for either animal, you can consider simply putting a divider in the room. Your cat will be able to jump right over a divider, but you really just want to make sure your puppy is in a confined area that you can control.
Watch them and make sure they do not show any aggression. If there is any trouble, be sure to give the animals space from each other.
Once you have successfully introduced your two pets together, simply watch them. Puppies are naturally curious and social. They’ll likely always want to check in with your cat to see what they’re up to.
Spending time together should be encouraged, but be sure to take cues from your cat to know when they need their space. Your cat will also likely want to have some high places available so they can escape from your puppy if they ever feel the need to do so. Also, be sure that you are properly training your puppy. If they are all over your cat and causing issues, try to distract them with toys or treats. It’s not a great idea to discipline your puppy just for trying to play. This can lead to worse problems down the line.
In the end, how well your two pets get along is really going to depend on their personalities. If your cat wants to be a loner, they’re likely not going to want to have a young puppy jumping all over them. Likewise, if your dog loves to give chase, a shy cat slinking around the corners probably isn’t going to work very well.
Just be sure that you are constantly monitoring your pets. Strong training and proper disciple should help almost any new pet pair get together well.