You may have a dog and want to get a cat too, or vice versa. But you are understandably concerned about how the two animals will get along. To ensure a friendly relationship, you need to pay special attention to the way in which you introduce the animals to each other. This is of key importance. Here’s what you do.
- Do some preparation.
Setting up the right conditions is essential. For instance, you need to make sure that your dog will follow your commands. If your dog gets excited when first meeting the cat, and you cannot control it, you may have real trouble.
Also, make sure you have enough space in your home so that you can keep the animals apart from each other initially.
- Do things gradually.
You don’t want to just put the animals together and hope for the best. Things are much more likely to turn out well if you let the animals get used to each other gradually, beginning with their smells.
- Mixing smells.
To get each animal accustomed to the other’s smell, begin by petting both animals. Then, switch the rooms that the animals stay in.
The next step would be to put the animals in adjacent rooms so that they can smell the other under the door.
- Making the introduction.
When you first bring them together, make sure the cat is relaxed and receptive. If you notice that the cat runs away whenever the dog comes near its door, you know you need to wait before bringing them together. You need to wait until you see that the cat is used to the smell and sound of the dog.
For their first meeting, hold the cat in your arms. Then, have another person bring the dog into the room on a leash. Bring the dog closer to the cat very gradually, but do not let the animals touch each other. Do this only for a short time so that you don’t stress the animals too much. As you continue to bring them together, you can gradually lengthen the amount of time they spend with each other.
Then, keep the dog on a leash, but allow the cat to roam freely around the room. After your dog gets used to this, you can eventually take him off the leash. Always praise him for good behavior.
- Show affection.
Make sure you show affection to both animals equally so that one does not become jealous of the other.
- When you go out.
Always separate the animals when you leave the house. Also, make sure you have a place where your cat can go to get away from the dog.
If your dog could use a break from his new four-legged housemate and have a date with “his boys” (so to speak), consider giving him the treat of a day away from the cat at Barney’s Ranch, where he’ll be able to run around and play to his heart’s content in our 4,000-square-foot, outdoor run. Give us a call at (469) 273-1661 for more information.