Despite what the stereotype tells us, dogs and cats can cohabitate, sharing a home peacefully. If your canine and feline friends are compatible with each other's personalities, they'll be able to get along just fine! However, the first impression is highly important. Here's how to introduce a dog to a cat with higher chances of success!
Choose an Appropriate Location
The perfect location to introduce your cat and dog will depend on which pet is newly joining your family. If you're adopting a new dog to your home with a resident cat, you should avoid bringing your cat to meet the dog at an adoption shelter, or any other location housing various animals for the sake of your cat's health and safety. Instead, your introduction should take place at home.
If you're a dog owner adopting a new cat into your home, you should ask an adoption counselor at your local shelter or a friend for dog-savvy cats to introduce your dog to. If you are unable to, you can immediately bring the cat home as a last resort. However, by any means, you should not bring your dog to a cat shelter, as it can stress the cats out and be a potentially traumatizing experience for them.
Separate Both Pets from Each Other
After returning home, safely confine one pet while letting another roam around the home freely. Remember to swap their roles across these few days to let both pets investigate and get used to each other's scent and presence in the house. You should also ensure that they don't engage in unsupervised interactions, such as confining both of them safely and separately when nobody is home. Once both of your pets are eating properly and seem more calm and stable, you can attempt the next step.
Facilitate Safe Introductions
Moving onto the introduction stage consists of several meet and greet sessions for your pets to familiarize themselves with each other. When you finally allow both of your pets in the same room at the same time, you should ensure that you properly hold your dog’s leash. Furthermore, these meet and greets shouldn't take place in either of the areas they were confined in. The introduction phase should go on indefinitely, until both of your pets seem relaxed in each other's presence, without negative reactions to each other. On the other hand, if there are any signs of aggression from either animal, you should revert to the previous stage of separate sanctuary areas for a while more.
Ready for Unsupervised Fun!
After a significant amount of time (a month or more), when you're sure that both animals are safe and comfortable enough with each other, you can finally allow them to remain around each other unsupervised!
If you need a new leash for your resident dog to use during the meet and greet sessions between your cat and dog, visit HUND Denmark's dog leash collection! If you're introducing a new dog to your family, celebrate your new adoption with some new dog accessories from HUND Denmark.