How To Manage Introductions
Step 1: Controlling first impressions
The first impression a new cat makes when she meets your resident cat is critical. If two cats display aggression during their first meeting, this may set the mood for their future relationship. For this reason, its best to separate your resident cat from your new cat when you first bring her home so that you can control their initial meeting.
The two cats should be able to smell and hearbut not see or toucheach other. Each cat should have her own food and water bowl, litter box, scratching post, bed, etc. Feed the cats near the door that separates them so they learn that coming together results in a pleasant experience. In addition to regular cat food, feed the cats extra-special treats near the door as well, like tiny pieces of tuna, salmon, cheese, chicken or liver.
After two to three days, switch the cats locations so they can investigate each others smell. This also allows the new cat to explore a different section of your home. Some behaviorists suggest rubbing the cats separately with the same towel to intermix their scents. First gently rub one cat with the towel. Then rub the other cat. After the towel carries both cats scents, bring the towel back to the first cat and rub her with it again. After a few more days, play with each of the cats near the door. Encourage them to paw at toys under the door. Eventually the cats may play paws under the door with each other.
Step 2: Letting the cats see each other
Watch Their Body Language
During this phase, it’s very important to observe their body language for signs of stress or aggression.3 Does your dog have a prey drive? Is he very focused on your kitten or barking and whining? You’ll need to continue to keep them separate if he displays these behaviors.
Ideally, your dog will watch your cat but not fixate on her. You want him to be able to look away from your cat and respond to you.
As for your cat, she should appear relaxed. If she’s hissing, puffing her fur, growling, or slinking to the ground, she’s feeling scared and not confident. Once both seem pretty chill with each other and can look away sometimes, they may be ready to meet.
Take Special Care With Kittens
Because they are so playful, bouncy, and fearless, kittens will more quickly adapt to a new dog in the house. However, because they are so small and active they could easily be mistaken by your dog as something they should chase, or worse, grab. Never leave a kitten alone with any dog until you are completely sure they are safe together. In fact, never leave a cat of any age alone with a new dog unless you are there to supervise. When you are not home, find safe spaces for each of your pets to be separated from each other.
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Introducing A Dog Into Your Cat
Did you know that that cats and dogs dont have to know each other from kittenhood and puppyhood to be able to live together? It is definitely possible to successfully introduce an adult dog into a cat household, and even for the two to eventually become pals. So if youre an animal lover with a cat already in your home, it is still possible for you to adopt or foster a dog! Here are some tips and tricks to help facilitate successful introductions.
First, set up your cat for success! Before your bring a dog into your home, you can work on the following with your cat:
- Place the litter box, cat food and water in a safe space, where the dog cannot access it.
- Create high, safe spaces in your home that your dog cannot reach. You can use tall cat trees or install fun shelving on the walls for your cat to climb. Ideally, your cat would be able to get from one end of a room to the other without having to touch the ground. This allows your cat to observe and get used to the presence of a dog without feeling like they are in danger. This also provides your kitty with much more space as well as an easy escape route if they become overwhelmed.
- Even dogs that can be great with cats will chase anything that runs away, so work on building confidence in your cat! This can be done by spending lots of time playing with your cat, in addition to providing lots of vertical space and escape routes.
Second, take your time finding the right dog that is the right fit for your family!
Introducing Kittens And Puppies
If you are introducing a kitten to a dog, keep in mind that kittens may not have any fear of dogs, so you must watch the dog carefully. Because kittens are small and want to run and play, dogs with a strong prey drive may be very excited by a kittens movements. Even if your dog is OK with your adult cats, it is important to watch her closely when shes with a kitten. If your dog is young and high-energy, she could hurt or kill the kitten simply by trying to play. So, for safetys sake, keep kittens and dogs apart any time you are not watching them.
Introducing adult cats to puppies can sometimes be easy, since a well-socialized adult cat might be fine with a puppy acting like a puppy. However, if your rambunctious puppy is chasing your shy cat, it is up to you to intervene. Until the puppy is old enough to have more self-control and has had some training, you will want to manage their interactions. You dont want your puppy to learn that chasing the cat is a fun game. Baby gates can be used to keep the animals safely and comfortably apart. To help you keep an eye on your puppy, you can also put her on a leash. That way, if she begins to chase the cat, you will be able to easily direct her away from that behavior.
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How Should I Introduce My New Dog Or Puppy To The Family Cat
Introducing a new canine member to the family is a special and exciting time but can be a little overwhelming for all concerned. However, this can be managed with planning, so that everyone feels safe and there is minimal stress. It is important that you manage the introduction to your family carefully and that your new dog or puppy and cat are always supervised until you are sure everyone is comfortable and safe.
It is important to be well-researched before the introduction of any new pet to your house, even if you already have other pets. RSPCA Australia recommends you take the time to find a detailed book on the breed/crossbreed you are acquiring well before bringing them home, so that you are well prepared for their arrival.
Dogs Usually Make Firm Friends Easily And Your Pup Will Almost Certainly Love Being Around Other Canine Companions In Fact Theyll Probably Jump At The Chance To Play With Any Animal Including Cats Here Is How To Introduce Your New Dog To The Other Pets In The Family
As with any new experience for your pup, its important to introduce them to other pets carefully, to give their friendship the best possible start. But oftentimes this is easier said than done. An older dog can get territorial when theyve stopped being the only four-legged member of the family. And a cat will let you know in no uncertain terms when theyre not happy with the new roommate.
So, how to introduce a dog to a cat or a puppy to an older dog without World War III breaking out right in your living room? Weve broken down the process of introducing a new dog into easy steps. Here is what you can do to help make the experience a smooth transition to family life for the new arrival and keep fellow pet residents calm during those first interactions.
“While dogs and cats can often get on well together, some pets are best kept away from dogs. Rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and reptiles, for example, should be protected at all times.”
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Dog Introductions Are A Process Not A One
When you get a new dog, you may be eager and excited to welcome this new member of your family into your home. But your dogs or cats already at home your “resident pets” may not exactly share in your immediate joy and excitement. Taking the time to set up a structured, deliberate process for introducing your new dog to your current pets will increase the chances of safer, more rewarding meet-and-greets and long-term relationships.
All introductions with your new dog whether youre introducing them to your resident dogs or cats, or even your human kids should occur in a structured, safe environment at a pace that is comfortable for everyone. Introductions should be thought of as a process, not a one-time, high-stakes encounter.
Introduce Them Slowly And Cautiously
If the cat seems calm when the dog’s near the door and the dog doesn’t alert to the cat’s smell, you can start to introduce them to each other visually. Try feeding them on either side of a closed screen or gate. It might take weeks to get to this point, and that’s okay.
Once they’re calmly eating while seeing each other, you can try supervised visits in a neutral room without a gate separating them. Some experts recommend keeping your dog in a crate at first and letting your cat wander around the room while you praise them both and give them treats.4 Separate them if the dog’s too excited. If you don’t have a crate, introduce them while your dog’s on a short leash. Keep the visits short, praise your pets, and give them treats for staying calm. Your cat might growl or hiss, but this will likely diminish over time.
When you finally let the dog wander free, make sure your cat has quick escape routes and watch them closely. Keep your dog on the leash so you can grab him quickly if needed. Be very cautious with each step and watch your pets’ interactions closely.
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Don’t Force An Introduction
Don’t let the dog be in control of interacting with the cat. “Provide plenty of one-on-one attention to each pet separately during times when they are separated,” says Reese.
Remember that introducing cats to new pets can take weeks or even months , so don’t rush it. “If you feel like things are going well and they start to take a turn for the worse, go back to what was working well and practice that for a while longer,” says Reese.
Get Them Used To Each Others Scent
Rub a cloth on each pet and put it in the others hang-out spot on the dog bed, under the cats food dish, on your lap. You may have to refresh the cloth with the animals scent several times.
Keep it up until neither one seems overly excited or distressed by the others smell barking and whining in your dog and a swishing tail in your cat are signs they need more time.
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Let The Cat Get Used To Your Other Pets’ Smells
Once your new cat has settled into their new home , you can allow the new cat to explore your home while your other animals are in another room. “This will allow the other cats to get used to the new smells,” says Reese.
You may also find that the cat may smell the other animals through the cracks in the door or the smells on you as you move from one area to another. These are all great ways of getting your cats used to other pets before they actually meet each other.
Keep Them Separate For Their First Face
Their first meeting should be face-to-face but not in the same room. You’ll want to use a screen door or gate to separate them. Make sure your kitten can’t squeeze through the door or climb over it. Your dog and kitten need to be able to smell, hear, and see each other without touching each other. Just like you did with the closed door, start by feeding them from a distance and slowly move them closer to each other over time.
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How To Introduce A New Puppy To Your Cat
So you’ve just got a new dog and you want to introduce them to your cat. When introducing any new pets to each other, its much better to control the situation rather than leave the animals to sort it out for themselves.
Cats and dogs are often depicted as enemies, but when introduced very carefully, they can actually get along well follow our steps here so that your cat and new puppy or adult dog can live together in harmony.
First impressions are important and a negative start could lead to lifelong conflict.
If a kitten and puppy have had plenty of positive experiences with each other then theyre more likely to get along with each other. Unfortunately, this may not have been possible or, if you’ve adopted one or both of your pets, you may not know much about their history and so how theyll behave when they meet.
Regardless of their past experiences, its really important your new dog and cat are introduced really gradually and in a controlled manner. Remember your home is your cats home and they should feel safe in this environment.
First impressions between a dog and cat are important. Photo: nguyen hoangnam via flickr / Creative Commons
Heres how to safely introduce your new dog and your cat:
Control Introductions Between Your Dog And Cat
Before you let your dog and cat interact face-to-face, make sure your dog has been taught to give attention and offer a sit and down on cue. Put your dog on a leash, ask for a “sit” or “down” and let the cat wander about. If your dog and cat gently sniff each other it’s a good sign things are working out. Treat and praise them both for good behavior.
However, if your dog starts to stare intently at your cat, barks, or whines anxiously, redirect his attention with a toy, treat, or a cue to sit or lay down followed by a treat. You want to make being around the cat a positive experience your dog looks forward to.
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Introducing Dogs And Cats
Although dogs and cats are often portrayed as enemies, if introduced carefully, they can actually get on extremely well. If either pet or both have lived with the other in a previous home, then the introduction process is likely to be easier. However it is still a good idea to take things slowly by following the advice in this leaflet a gentle introduction is far safer than a rushed one, and will hopefully result in both pets becoming good friends.
Introducing A Cat To A Dog Face
- Begin facilitating quick, positive greetings to introduce your new cat and dog on leash.
When Phoebe and the doggos seemed less interested in each others presence, I started removing barriers. In this phase, I kept the dogs on a leash at my side, but Phoebe was no longer behind a barrier.
Instead, as she sauntered around the living room, I rewarded the dogs for remaining calm, giving them a Yes! followed by a food reward when they turned her way.
Anytime the dogs got more aroused by her presence, I calmly asked them to return to me and played a brief game of tug or asked them to put their energy into a fun behavior like spin or touch.
In the beginning, when the dogs were still a little over-eager, we kept these sessions to a short 10-15 minutes, but once they got more used to Phoebes movements, we kept the interaction going for up to two hours.
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How To Introduce A New Dog To Your Current Dog
Youve decided to welcome another dog into your fur family hooray! With many people staying at home, its a great time to introduce a new pet to the household.
Although dogs are social animals that tend to love the company of other dogs, there are times when introducing a new dog into the family can be tricky. First impressions are very important, especially if your resident dog is used to being the only dog vying for your attention. Here are a few ways to help your current dog accept your new pup.
Start Careful Exposure Through A Barrier
Now that the cat and dog are familiar with each others smells, its time to get them used to hearing each other. Youll need two people for the next few steps, so enlist a friend or family member if you live alone.
Have one person with the cat on one side of the closed door, and the other with the dog on the other side. Each person should do something fun with their pet. For example, you could do treat training with the dog, or play with a tug toy or a flirt pole like the Outward Hound Tail Teaser. For the cat, try a Frisco Bird Teaser or other toy, or if your cat likes , do treat training with your cat, too! The idea is to get both pets enjoying themselves, while also hearing the other pet beyond the door.
Good training goals to work on with your dog during this period are coming when called, eye contact , and leave itall three will come in handy when the cat and dog are in the same space together later on.
At first, one or both pets may be too distracted by the sound of the other pet to play or eat treats. Keep practicingwith the door closed and both pets having funfor as long as it takes for both pets to be completely focused on the game or the food.
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