Occasionally, you may see some people raising both cat & dog at the same time and they look so cute! If you already have a dog at your home, you may be thinking: “Would it be cool if I can also raise a cat?” The good news is: you can absolutely do that. But, before bringing your new kitten to your home, you will need to do some preparations to make sure your dog readies. And with no further ado, let’s see how to introduce your kitten to your dog!
1. Teach your dog obedient manner (if you haven’t)
Seeing your dog getting out of control is the last thing you do not want to see when introducing your kitten to her new home. So just in case, it is a good idea to reinforce the obedient manner of your dog. But do not worry, you do not have to teach your dog some complicated commands. Simply teach him some simple stuff like: “come”, “leave it”, and “sit”. These commands may sound simple, yet it will help you a great deal in the long run when you bring in a new kitten for real.
One additional thing you may want to do even after bringing new kitten home is to give your dog lots of attention and praise. This will make him understand that this new family member will not steal your affection away from him.
2. Prepare a safe place for your kitten
During the early days of the introduction, it is highly recommended NOT to let your dog interacts with the kitten easily. Both your dog and your kitten are still strangers to each other and especially, your dog may feel uncomfortable because he thinks this “small creature” invades his territory. Or worse, he may see your kitten as prey and that is 100% dangerous.
For that reason, you will have to prepare a safe place for your kitten that your dog cannot access and also, make sure that your kitten cannot get out of that safe place. This safe place should also provide enough room and all the essentials like beddings, food, water, and a litter box. Until the day your kitten and your dog can freely interact with each other, this safe place will help your kitten feel pleasant and get to know your dog in a safe distance.
3. Bring your kitten to your vet ASAP
Introducing your new kitten to your home can be pretty stressful; therefore, it is a great idea to reduce the reasons for stress as much as possible. One such reason can be fleas or diseases, especially fleas since they can get to your family, including your dog. Your vet may also suggest giving your kitten flea medication, which is something you should follow to prevent this problem right from the beginning.
4. Let them get used to each other’s scents
In the animal world, the scent is one extremely sensitive thing for both cats and dogs. Therefore, making your kitten and your dog get to know their scents early is a good start to make them feel comfortable with each other.
One thing you can begin with is to swap their blankets or put towels with their scents on each other’s bed. This would help both your kitten and your dog pick up each other scent quickly and feel comfortable soon before they finally interact.
Another thing you can do is to feed your kitten and dog on either side of a door. However, make sure that your dog would not scratch, whine, or bark at the door because those actions could intimidate the new family member.
Finally, you can let your kitten and dog enter each other’s space (when they are not there of course), then let them sniff around. Just one important note though: remember not to allow your dog to eat food or scratch in the litter box of your kitten.
5. Let them meet for the first time
After all the introduction steps earlier, now is the time to let them meet each other! The way you can do this is to keep your dog on leash and your cat in a box. This will let them see each other for the first time without any physical contact. Make sure your dog sits obediently and bring your dog out of the room in case they get too excited. And remember: Do not rush this process! If they still have not felt comfortable seeing each other, that’s absolutely okay. Just keep doing this process patiently every day and eventually, they will get used to each other.
Another way to do this process (if it is viable for you and your home) is to open the door to your kitten’s area and block the entrance with a baby gate. Note that you still need to make sure that your dog cannot break into your kitten’s area, and your kitten must not be able to get past the baby gate. After that, walk your dog slowly by the baby gate each day. If he stays calm, reward him with his favorite treat to reinforce this behavior. Also, you should reward the kitten too if she approaches the baby gate when the dog visits.
Again, do not rush the process! It will take a while for your kitten and your dog to get used to each other. In some cases, it may take months for them to get to know each other but with patience, everything will work out just fine.
6. It is time for intimation!
When your kitten shows interest in your dog, you can now start introducing them in a neutral place (these introductions still need supervision!). Your kitten can walk around freely; however, your dog should still be on leash during the first few weeks. Also, make sure that this neutral space has places for the kitten to hide while the dog cannot follow.
One important note is to keep these meetings as positive as possible. You should avoid shouting, scolding, or jerking on the dog’s leash since these actions can cause tension to both your dog and kitten. Especially, your dog may prone to chasing or preying behavior when they feel tense or aroused. In addition, such negative actions mentioned above can lead them to think that people would get angry when they meet.
Introduction like this can take time depending on different dogs and cats. Sometimes it may take long but that is fine. In case you are not confident in the progress, you can always hire a professional behavior expert to help things out.
Be patient, and when both your dogs and kittens feel happy and safe with each other, that is finally a huge success. Eventually, they will feel pleasant and content when living together, then you will not need to supervise them anymore.
And that’s it folks! Is there any other tips or suggestions you want to talk about? Feel free to share with us and for now, thank you and stay tuned for more news in the future!
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