Are you thinking about adopting a dog? Congratulations! Of course, if you have a cat, he probably won’t be as enthusiastic as you are. First impressions are a very big deal to pets, so properly handling introductions is important. Here, a vet discusses getting Fido and Fluffy started out on the right paw.
Be sure to put Fluffy in a quiet back room with kitty essentials before bringing Fido in. Once your pup has sniffed everything, put her in the quiet room after letting your cat out. It’s now your kitty’s turn to get familiar with the new scent. Keep switching back and forth. Be sure to pay lots of attention to your cat, so he doesn’t feel isolated or ignored.
Meet N Greet
Your pets should have accepted the idea that there’s another furball in town after a few days of swapping places. At this point, you can let them officially meet. It’s best not to give them full access to each other just yet, though. You can use a carrier or a puppy gate to let them sniff and see each other through a barrier. Offer both pets praises and treats to help sweeten the deal. If all goes smoothly, proceed with caution. If not, start over. Be sure to monitor all interactions closely, and don’t leave your dog and cat alone unsupervised unless you’re sure they’re getting along.
Keeping Fluffy Safe
Every room should have a place where your cat can go. That way, she’ll always have an escape if she feels threatened or scared. This should be an area Fido can’t reach. Vertical spaces, like the kind cat towers provide, work great for this. (Your kitty will also gain a napping spot and scratching post out of the deal.) Hiding spots behind or beneath beds, chairs, and sofas will also work well for Fluffy.
Oftentimes, dogs and cats learn to cohabitate, and do just fine. Fluffy and Fido may become bffs. Or, they may just choose to stay out of each other’s way. However, there are times when cats and dogs fight like, well, cats and dogs. This can be very dangerous. Consult your vet or a professional trainer if your pets don’t warm up to each other. Otherwise, if things don’t improve, one of your pets–most likely your kitty–could be seriously hurt.
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