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Cat and Dog Households – Introducing your new cat to your resident dog

Cats and dogs have a reputation for not getting along.  But the truth is it’s a lot cats and dogs are best friends.  According to many sources a successful cat/dog households are dependent on the introduction between the pets.  If you’re considering getting a cat and you already have a dog you’ll want to do some research to make sure you’re prepared.

Overview

Here’s a quick article to give you an overview of the introduction process:

http://cats.about.com/od/amyshojai/a/introduce-cat-and-dog.htm

Rules

If you’re introducing a new cat into a dog household here are some rules to consider for their first meeting:

  • Supervision – make sure you watch your pets as they get to know one another
  • Make sure the cat has a place to hide – somewhere off the ground will make the cat feel secure and less likely to act out against the dog
  • Make sure the dog is restrained – dogs like to play by chasing, make sure that you can easily restrain your pup by a leash if he gets too excited
  • Consider baby gates – these can be used to separate your pets and make sure they have their own space

Other Factors

There are many other factors to consider before you introduce your new cat to your dog.  These include:

  • The age and temperament of both pets
  • Don’t force interaction
  • Know your pets’ pasts
  • Prep your dog for change and have a plan for your dog’s reaction
  • When to get help – if your new cat is not settling in after a few days or you notice a change in your dog’s behaviour contact your vet to get some advice
  • Reinforcement – use praise and treats to reinforce good behaviours

Resources

For more information about introducing a new cat to your resident dog check out these links:

Do you have a cat and a dog?  What did you do when you introduced them?  Let us know on our Facebook page J

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