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Introducing a Dog to a Cat: Tips for a Successful Introduction

Learn how to introduce a dog to a cat successfully. Follow expert tips for a harmonious relationship between your pets. Patience and time are essential.

How long should it take for a cat to get used to a dog?

Introducing a dog to a cat or vice versa can be nerve-racking, but do it right; they can get along famously. Ben Randall explains how.

If you are a cat owner who has just decided to add a puppy to your family, you may be nervous, and rightly so. However, if you get it wrong, there is a chance that your new canine friend will end up fearing its feline counterparts for life.

But in most cases, there is no reason why dogs and cats should not get along ideally, mainly if they are introduced to each other while the dog is still a puppy. So this week’s reader did the right thing: think ahead for help.

We have had a cat for several years, and he is a lovely, friendly pet, but now we are getting a labrador puppy, and friends have warned us that we might be in some trouble. Now we’re apprehensive that the two of them might not get along; how can we make sure they do?

Question by JS from Surrey

How to introduce a new puppy to your cat

We will start with the good news: the cat will be fine. In my experience, cats are resilient and assertive, hold their position well, and are calm. I’ll never forget going to a client’s house to help him deal with a dog-cat relationship that wasn’t going well, only to find that the cat was quietly sitting out of reach of the frantic terrier, doing the odd, boring swipe of a paw amidst the chaos and barking.

It was like watching a pair of brothers fussing over each other: they just seemed to know which buttons to press. And it’s also worth remembering that some cats are just a bit wild – their owners know who they are – and will probably never become friends with a dog.

But for most nice, relaxed cats, there’s no reason they won’t get along ideally with your pet, if not brilliantly. So here’s how to proceed.

Don’t start the moment your puppy gets home.

Don’t worry about introducing your cat at the start: your new puppy will already be overwhelmed with new things. Raise the environment first and start with the basics of training in the first week, such as the leave command and how to get a dog to sit. You want your pup to be happy and settled before introducing another new element.

Whatever you do, please do not bring the two animals into view of each other before they can meet adequately. This factor is essential, so vital that it is our next step.

We are introducing a puppy to a cat. Please DON’T keep the animals apart while showing them from a distance.

The main mistake I see in dog and cat owners is to keep the two animals separate.
Introducing a dog to a cat can be daunting, but it’s important to remember that it can be a successful experience for both animals with patience and a little planning.

Whenever a dog sees a cat but can’t get close, it becomes frustrated and anxious, and this frustration can lead to problems over time.

The main mistake I see in dog and cat owners is to keep the two animals separate. But if the dog only sees the cat and vice versa now and then, this creates a massive desire for the dog.

If the dog sits in his cage while the catwalks as if he were the owner of the place, he is taken out just when the cage is opened, or if the dog is inside and can see the cat wandering outside, the frustration increases more and more. I have known owners who have let this tension build up for weeks: curiosity turns to anxiety, and then, once you leave a door open, all hell can break loose!

Generally, this is not a good thing for the dog, as cats tend to be faster, smarter and wiser when things go wrong – I know of very few dogs who can get the better of a cat in a fight.

You are introducing a doggy to a cat. Make it calm and gentle, and train your puppy to the cat.

When the hound sees the cat, he will be fascinated and see him as another puppy they can play with together. But, it still runs towards it and is ready to play – and if the cat gets scared and lashes out, it could make the dog afraid of cats for the rest of its life.

So, you have to be in complete control of the situation. Hold the puppy, pet it, talk to it calmly, then bring the cat inside to get closer, smell it and cuddle it so that the animals get used to each other gently and calmly with you right there.

Once the kitten and cat have been introduced, kindly let them know.

Usually, once the cat has touched and smelled the puppy, he will be a little wary but curious. She slowly releases the puppy, keeping calm by stroking and talking, and lets the two animals get to know each other. Keep your cool and calm for both of you; this could start a great relationship, and even if they don’t, they can still go together successfully for many years.

For more detailed advice on Ben Randall’s positive, reward-based and proven BG training methods, individual training sessions, residential training or five-star retirement at his BGHQ in Herefordshire, call 01531 670960 or visit ledburylodgekennels. For a seven-day free trial of the Gundog app, which costs £ 24.99 per month or £ 249.99 per year, visit www.gundog.app/.

Introducing a dog to a cat can be daunting, but it is essential to remember that it can be a successful experience for both animals with patience and time. Here are some tips for introducing a dog to a cat:

  1. Prepare your home. Before you bring your new dog home, take some time to prepare your home for its arrival. This includes ensuring that your cat’s belongings, such as food and water bowls, litter boxes, and scratching posts, are out of the dog’s reach. You may also want to consider creating a safe space for your cat to retreat if they feel overwhelmed or threatened by the dog. This could be a room with a closed door, a cat tree, or a carrier.
  2. Introduce the animals slowly. When you first bring your new dog home, separate them from your cat for a few days. This will give them time to get used to each other’s scents and sounds. You can start by letting them sniff each other through a closed door or a baby gate. Once they seem comfortable with each other’s presence, you can slowly introduce them in person.
  3. Supervise all interactions. When first introducing your dog and cat, it is important to supervise all interactions. This will help ensure the animals do not get into fights. If your dog shows signs of aggression, such as growling or barking, calmly separate the animals and give them a break.
  4. Be patient and consistent. Introducing a dog to a cat can take time and patience. It is essential to be compatible with your training and to never punish your dog for showing aggression towards the cat. Your dog and cat will learn to live together peacefully with time and patience.

Here are some additional tips for introducing a dog to a cat:

  • Teach your dog basic obedience commands. This will help you have more control over your dog and keep them calm during introductions.
  • Reward your dog for good behaviour around the cat. This will help them to associate the cat with positive things.
  • Do not force the animals to interact. If either animal seems uncomfortable, let them have some space.
  • Be upbeat. Your energy will be contagious and help create a positive animal environment.

You can successfully introduce a dog to a cat with patience and time.

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The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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Written by Frenchie Breed

The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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