Knowing how to introduce a dog in a cat properly is essential, if we’re thinking of having them under the same roof. However, we need to bear in mind that not all cases will follow the same guidelines.

The personality of the individual animals, their previous education, their formative experience and the specific environment will all play a part. So here we will show you the best way to introduce a dog to a cat for the first time.

Before Adopting a Dog or a Cat…

Before adopting a dog or a cat…

Allow some breeds are stereotypically more predisposed to sociability, any animal which is not given an adequate amount of socialization when they are a puppy or kitten especially in terms of coexisting with others can have problems in their adult stage. Fear, aggression or other behavioral problems may appear in.

These cases you should contact a veterinarian specialized in ethology, to offer the best guidelines for your specific situation. Otherwise, it’s likely a healthy coexistence will never happen and it can make both our ear animal chronically stressed or anxious.

Likewise, we also need to consider the character of each animal, we want to adopt so we can judge if their potential good fit.

The Presentation of a Dog and a Cat

Even if both animals are correctly socialized, we need to do all we can to ensure a positive association it takes place.

introduce dog to a cat

When cats feel threatened, they tend to seek refuge in high places. For this reason, a scratching tree, shelves cat walks or a wall bed are excellent ways to help our cat know they have somewhere to hide when they feel overwhelmed.

As for the dog, we should also look for a nest style bed for them to do the same. It’s also very important that the newcomer has everything they need such as a food bowl, water fountain litter tray and everything else.

Present The Smell

Present the smell - introduce dog to a cat

Some professionals make progressive presentations by using the natural sense of both animals before they even meet.

They let each animal stay in their own room then they exchange blankets or other objects from the rooms so the animals can get used to each other’s smell. this means when they do meet, they already have some familiarity.

The separate rooms also allow for a place to seek refuge after the introduction, not all specialists agree with this method but all can concur that this period of separation shouldn’t last too long.

The Actual Presentation

the actual presentation

We need to create a relaxed atmosphere free of shouting, loud noises and any stressful elements. Once our new dog or cat arrives, they will need to have some time on their own to get used to their new environment.

In these cases, synthetic pheromones may work for some to help booth dogs and cats feel more relaxed, secure and generally promote their well-being.

The introduction can produce many different outcomes, some cats are curious and eager to interact while others may recoil in shock when they see another animal enter their home. dogs are just the same, some may want to go up and sniff the newcomer, others may be reluctant to make contact.

Whatever happens, don’t force the situation but let each animal express themselves naturally and positively reinforce any healthy interaction. Especially, if the initial presentation doesn’t go well, it’s important to ensure you’re always there during their interactions.

Don’t force the situation and ensure the two animals can go back to their own safe zones afterwards.

The First New Days

Although the animals may snarl or swipe at each other at the beginning, it’s essential to avoid shouting or punishment. The objective is to positively reinforce good behavior, so using a gentle voice, reassuring petting and treats for both animals will show them, that getting along will be best for both of them.

They will then associate each other’s presence with positivity and will hopefully become friends, ensuring they both have everything, they need in terms of food, water, toys and anything else, will also help reduce the possibility of conflict.

You need to remember that the adaptation time is variable and can range from almost immediate to several months. patience is therefore necessary.

Problems with coexistence

Problems with coexistence

Even with well socialized animals and the above steps correctly followed, problems getting along can occur. Aggression fear or anxiety, our behavioral problems which shouldn’t be overlooked and they can exacerbate if they are not addressed.

We advise you seek the advice of a vet, pathologist or a dog or cat trainer. We also recommend using professionals who use positive methods.

We’re not in favor of education which causes stress in the animals, as even if they work initially. They can lead to worsening behavior problems down the line.

Now that you know how to introduce a dog to a cat for the first time, you can try to use these methods for your own animals. If you have any experiences of doing this in the past, please share them in the comments below.

Don’t miss our post on how to choose the best dog breeds for family


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