Now trending on Facebook is an adorable video of a kitten blatantly provoking a 100-pound Doberman. This got me thinking… what is the best way to introduce a new kitten into a dog’s home? In the video the Doberman is obviously very well-behaved, and that sure helps. Here are some tips to creating a peaceful relationship between nemesis species: the cat and the dog.
Step One: Confinement
Cats tend to be more comfortable in a confined space, given that they have their litter box, a scratching post and somewhere to sleep. By introducing your kitten into a confined area that is specifically hers, it will prevent an overly excited dog from scaring your cat. Allow the new family member time to get used to the surroundings before first introducing dog and cat.
Step Two: Swap Scents
Both cats and dogs are smell-oriented animals. By swapping a blanket or towel that each of them lies on will allow them to become familiar with one another’s scent. For animals, this allows them to acquaint themselves without first meeting face-to-face. Once this has been done, it is a good idea to allow the cat into the dog’s area when he is not there (perhaps while he is on a walk) and then vise versa, allowing the dog into the cat’s area. This will promote cross-scent familiarization.
Step Three: Face-to-Face Meeting
Give your dog and cat some time to meet. Use commands with your dog to prevent him from hastily approaching the cat. At first, only allow face time between the cat and dog when you are around.
Step Four: Friendship
By giving each pet enough attention and exercise, they will tend to be more mild-mannered, better trained, and will help create a conducive environment for a cat/dog friendship.
Do you have any advice on how you created a conducive environment for multiple pets? Have you ever had an issue between a dog/dog, cat/cat or cat/dog? If so, how did you handle it?
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