Introducing Your New Dog to Your Cat

STEP 1: CHOOSE THE PROPER LOCATION FOR THE FIRST MEETING
  • The introduction should take place at home away from other animals. Do not take your cat to the shelter to meet the new dog, this can stress the cat.

 

STEP 2: SEPARATE THE ANIMALS
  • Across the next  couple of days, allow each animal to take turns being confined. This allows each pet plenty of time to investigate the others scent.
  • When the dog obsessively digs at the separation barrier or barks at the cat for over a day or two, the interaction probably won’t work without appropriate training. You might need the support of a professional.
  • When nobody is home, the cat or dog must always be securely confined so unsupervised interactions aren’t possible.
  • Proceed to the next step only once the dog is more calm around the cat and the cat is calm, eating and using the litter box normally.

 

STEP 3: MAKE LEASHED INTRODUCTIONS
  • Secure the dog on a leash but allow both animals to be in the same room at the same time.
  • If you notice aggression or fear coming from either of the animals you need to stay at step 2 until this is resolved.
  • Continue this until both the dog and cat are relaxed around each other.
  • Once again, confine the dog and the cat to separate areas when nobody is home so that unsupervised interactions are not possible.

 

STEP 4: UNSUPERVISED INTERACTIONS
  • After a month or so, unsupervised interactions are allowed only if you are sure the cat and the dog can get along and not hurt each other.

 

WARNING SIGNS
  • If the dog remains overly concentrated, does not take his eyes off the cat, completely ignores you or lunges suddenly as soon as the cat moves, this is probably a dangerous match.
  • If your cat’s behavior changes then that is a sign that she is not happy. If she stops eating, drinking, or using the litter box then you may want to consider finding a better match or contacting a professional in animal behavior for help.

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