Dogs and cats can get along in the same house just fine, but if you’re introducing a new cat to your dog, they may need an adjustment period. Here are some steps you can take to ensure everyone lives in harmony.
CREATE A SAFE SPACE
Before your cat arrives, set up a space where dogs aren’t allowed. It doesn’t have to be big, but it should have a secure door and ceiling and include:
a litter box
a scratching post
food and water bowls
In the rest of your home, give your cat access to high areas like shelves or furniture where dogs can’t reach.
VISIT A VETERINARIAN
KEEP PETS SEPARATE
Keep your cat separate from your dog for the first three to four days. Let them get used to the other’s presence by hearing and smelling each other but avoiding face-to-face contact.
USE FEEDING AS A TOOL
Feed your dog and cat on either side of a closed door, so they can’t see each other. Move the bowls closer to the door at each feeding until they can calmly eat next to the door.
When it’s time for your animals to finally meet, do so briefly in a common area of the house. Put your dog on a leash, and let your cat come and go as it pleases. Give your pets treats. Have them meet daily and end the sessions before either gets too aggressive.
LET THEM LOOSE
Let your dog and cat loose in a room once you think they’ll get along. Ensure the cat can access its dog-free space. Keep the pets separated when you aren’t home until you know they’re safe.
KITTEN AND PUPPIES
Kittens and puppies present unique challenges. An energetic dog can easily injure or kill a kitten, so it’s best to keep a kitten isolated until it’s fully grown. A fully-grown cat can often defend itself against a rambunctious puppy. If your cat is timid, though, you may need to keep the animals separate until the puppy is more mature.
VETERINARIAN SERVICES IN SCARBOROUGH
At Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital, we offer complete veterinarian care for dogs and cats. Shop our online store for home delivery or request express pickup from our Scarborough animal clinic. To arrange for vet services, contact us to schedule an appointment.