While there are many families who are strictly ‘Cat Families’ or ‘Dog Families’ there are a number who prefer to have a mix of animals in their herd. If you’re part of one of these hybrid families, you’ll know that dogs and cats can actually get along, it just takes a bit of time and patience to introduce them.
First things first – remember that dogs are pack animals and will take their cues from you. This may require you to make some changes in your cat-loving home if you wish to introduce a puppy or dog into your family.
- Make sure your puppy is relaxed. Giving him or her a snack, meal or taking him for a walk will help with this.
- Provide a safe environment within which you can expose the cat and dog to each other, keeping the dog on a leash to begin with.
- Set boundaries – make sure your pup understands that nipping the cat or chasing it is not going to make you happy. A firm “No” should do the trick if repeated.
- Keep interactions short to begin with, removing your puppy from the room if s/he gets too excited.
- Make sure you give your cat lots of attention when you are alone without the puppy.
A final note – if you’re bringing a puppy into what was cat territory, remember that claws can hurt your puppy so guide him/her around the cat, and be patient.
Have you had experience introducing a dog into a cat household? What helped?