You’ve decided to add a new puppy to your family, congratulations!
However, you might be wondering about how to introduce your new puppy to your cat in the best way possible. There are steps you can take that can help make it quick and easy for you, your new puppy and your cat.
Cats and dogs can absolutely become the best of friends, or at least tolerate each other in the same home.
It’s important to remember in this scenario that your cat was there first, so they will need to be the one that you are reassuring more often.
This isn’t a cat vs. dogs situation.
To the cat, the new puppy is an unwelcome intruder into their home. They need to be shown that the puppy is okay, and using these steps, they should accept your new family member pretty quickly, too.
1. Make Sure You Give Your Cat Space
This is your cat’s home, and they must have a puppy free space that they can go to if they want to. Cats love being solitary animals at times, so ensuring your cat has a safe place to go to will allow him/her to feel more comfortable and at ease with the new addition.
2. Always Supervise at First
Make sure to supervise when your new puppy and cat are together in your home at first, this way, you can monitor their behavior and correct any bad behavior or instincts as they come up. Make sure you stay consistent with the training of both the puppy and cat when they are around each other if there seems to be any tension between them. You don’t want a situation to escalate.
3. Allow Them to Exchange Scents
The best method for the initial introduction is to allow the animals to exchange scents. When bringing your new puppy into your home for the first time, keep him/her on their leash at first, and allow your cat to smell and investigate the puppy. Keeping the puppy on the leash during this initial introduction will enable you to have some control over the situation.
Animals have a keen sense of smell and allowing them to sniff each other first will make both pets feel more at ease.
4. Prevent Chasing Instincts
Most dogs have chasing instincts, but when you have a cat this isn’t something you want to encourage between them, Make sure to correct any puppy behavior that seems to put your canine into chase mode with your cat. After correcting this behavior for a small amount of time, your puppy will learn quickly that the cat is not something that should be chased.
5. Reinforce Good Behavior
When your new puppy and cat interact well and arebehaving well with each other, make sure you are providing them both with praise and positive reinforcements. This type of training works wonderfully well with both cats and dogs and will ensure that they learn to respect each other much quicker.
How Can I Get My Puppy and Cat to Get Along?
Using the steps above will ensure that your new puppy and your cat will be able to live in harmony together. This isn’t to say there won’t be small altercations in the future, or that they will become the best of friends. Exactly how close your new puppy and your cat become really depends on the individual pets and their personalities. The main goal is to ensure that they can live together comfortably and happily.
How Long Does it Take?
This depends on the specific personality of the puppy and the cat involved. If your cat has been the sole pet for many years, it might take a little longer than usual. On average, it should take about 2-4 weeks before you can be assured your pets are comfortable with each other.
Adding a new puppy to your family is an exciting time, and as long as you are keeping your cat’s comfort levels in mind during all interactions, the whole process will go smoothly. Make sure to follow our tips above, stay consistent, and be patient. Your cat and dog will learn to adapt and accept each other as pack members of another species, it will just take some time and work from you, as the pack leader. Bringing your new puppy home can cause anxiety for your cat. Introducing them the right way can alleviate stress and help them become the best of friends.