Introducing a Dog to a Cat at Home Correctly
Knowing how to present a dog to a cat is essential if you are thinking of welcoming a new member into your family, but you should keep in mind that not all cases must follow the same rules, this will vary depending on the personality of the pet, your education and the specific situation.
In this article from PeritoAnimal we will give you some advice on what the presentation of an adult dog and cat should be like, and how it should be between a puppy and an adult.
Remember that each case is different and concrete, so you must be very attentive to all reactions and carefully follow our advice. Continue reading our article and find out how you can introduce a dog to a cat correctly.
Factors to take into account before introducing the dog to the cat
Although there are breeds that tend to be more sociable with other animals, the truth is that if we have not carried out the socialization process of our dog or cat correctly, coexistence can be very complicated in adulthood.
What is socialization? Why is it so important?
Socialization consists of introducing our dog or cat when it is a puppy to all kinds of people, animals, environments and stimuli so that, when it reaches its adult age, it will be an animal without fear, stable and without reactive behaviors.
If you are not able to work this part of the puppy's education properly, it will be very important to follow some advice to avoid any accidents that may happen when you are not present or in your first interactions. For this reason, knowing your pet's behavior with other animals is essential before thinking about adopting another animal.
Some dogs and cats, despite having followed an appropriate socialization process, do not always get along with other animals. There are also cases of animals suffering from behavioral problems. In these cases it is very important to have the presence of a specialist such as an ethologist. The professional will guide us in the process of adaptation, presentation and will offer us appropriate advice for the specific case. If your pet has behavioral problems, it is especially important to ask for help.
Do you have enough space? What can you do if you go wrong?
During the first days of coexistence of the dog and the cat, we will need to isolate both animals so as not to have a negative reaction when they meet. For this reason it is essential to have a minimally large house that has several rooms. The space will also be important to be able to separate the bed and the container of the food and drink of each one, objects that can generate disputes in the coexistence.
Finally, we remind you that it is important to know what we are going to do if our pets get along. Although coexistence usually improves over time, in some cases it may not be possible. To prevent this from happening, we recommend that you adopt your future pet in an animal refuge, a place where you will always have the doors open. The abandonment of animals is a very common practice in these cases, so we must be responsible and think carefully about what the solution will be in case the dog and the cat go wrong.
The presentation of an adult dog and cat
The presentation of a cat and a dog, both adults, is probably the most delicate of all since in some cases we do not know how they will react. To do this, we recommend that you follow these tips:
1. Prepare a safe area for your cat
When cats feel threatened, they often take refuge in high places that the dog will not be able to reach. The multi-story scratchers and shelves are excellent tools for the feline to escape if he feels threatened. Preparing the safety zone correctly is the most important point of the presentation.
2. Outline the dog and cat zones
In the first days you should not bring both animals together. For this, it will be useful to delimit the house in two separate areas in which you will place the utensils of each pet: the bed, the toys and the food container. During these first days, both animals will get used to eating and resting in their particular space.
3. Present them with the smell
A good way to introduce your dog and cat is with the smell of each one. At first they will smell themselves under the doors with great curiosity, but then they are likely to ignore the presence of the other animal. For this, you can use a trick that consists of leaving a blanket in each of your pets' beds. After two days you must change the blankets.
This is intended to make the other pet known as they thus obtain information from each other, through smell.
4. The first face to face
If you are unsure about the reaction of both animals, it is very important to physically present them in a room that has a safe zone for the cat, so in the event of any unforeseen circumstances, he can take refuge. It can also be useful to put a collar on the dog or use the muzzle (only if you are used to it).
If you decide to use the collar at the time of the presentation, you should not keep it short, on the contrary, you should hold it tight in case the dog tries to attack the cat but it should be loose so that he does not have the feeling of control or tension. You must relate the cat to something positive.
In this first face to face you must be very attentive to the reaction of both animals and, it is best to have the presence of another person who can help you if necessary. The snarls, snores and pursuit attempts are normal, don't worry, little by little they will end.
The physical presentation should last a short time and try to make it the most positive and pleasant for each of the animals. Repeat this process every day to get them used to the presence of the other.
5. Allow them to interact
After a week of short meetings, you should make a general assessment: Did they react well or badly in the presence of the other? Did either animal try to attack the other? Did they ignore each other? If everything seems to be going well, it will be time to let your animals free and stop using the collar.
At the beginning, both will be alert for the presence of the other, so there should be no surprises. The cat will take refuge in the heights if he deems it necessary and the dog will be able to escape to his comfort zone.
During the first month of living together it will be very important to always be present in your interactions and, when you leave, you must leave each one in his / her own defined area of the house so that no incident occurs while you are not present.
The presentation of a puppy and an adult
This type of presentation is the one that you have to be more careful since you are one of the members is very young and could come out of this presentation badly. However, and with the exception of cases of serious behavior problems, adult animals will show surprise and tenderness when meeting the new member of the family.
It is important to consider that in this type of adoption, that of a puppy, it can cause jealousy in the oldest animal so we must continue offering affection and attention to the most child always in the first place, preventing conflicts that may arise.
1. Smell as a presentation
If you are not sure of the reaction that your pet will have when meeting a puppy or cat, you should not introduce them without warning. You can let the adult specimen watch the little one, but you should not expose it directly.
As we mentioned before, animals know each other and identify other animals by smell, so it can be useful to offer a used blanket from the puppy to the cat or from the dog to the adult cat. In this way you will begin to recognize the little one.
2. Let them know each other
If you are not sure how the adult animal will react, you can use a loose collar for the first face to face, so if something goes wrong it can act correctly. The use of the muzzle in dogs that are accustomed may also be appropriate.
Let the adult specimen smell and observe the little one, it is his way of interacting. You must be very attentive to his reaction and reward him whenever you observe positive attitudes: smell, touch, observe, be calm ... Repeat this interaction regularly during these first days and always under your supervision.
Do not leave the dog or cat alone, when leaving the house look for separate areas where they are quiet and safe, so you will be sure that nothing happens.
The presentation of a cat and dog puppies
The presentation of two puppies and, simply, a presentation. Baby animals are so tender and sweet that there will be no problem in presenting them, they will also not be hurt because their teeth and nails are very small.
Introducing two puppies will be great for strengthening the socialization of both animals in addition to providing them with a best friend with whom they can grow and have fun. Use treats, prizes, words of affection and caresses whenever you observe positive attitudes between them and avoid the punishment for an education based on positive reinforcement.
- Prevent the dog or cat from eating each other's food, as well as not being beneficial for them, it can also generate conflicts.
- Always prepare a safety zone for your cat as we explained.
- Have patience in the evolution of your relationship.
- Consult a specialist if you notice serious problems with living together.
- Always separate them before leaving the house in different rooms.
- Be patient and use positive reinforcement, never punish them.