Introducing a dog to my cat
I'm thinking of getting a puppy but I have my cat, Monica, who isn't too friendly with dogs (or cats), how can I introduce a new puppy to my cat without any problems?
Thank you in advance,
I have two dogs and a cat and they are the bestest of friends. But trust me, it wasn't easy at first. We got Finley when he was a pup and he would always want to play with my cat Alfred and sometimes, my cat would get aggressive with Finley. What's important when introducing a new pet to your cat is to make sure they each have their own personal space where they can go to if it gets too much. Be really patient with your cat and your new pup and always monitor their meetings. Don't forget to reward your cat and puppy when they behave well.
Hope that helped a little :)
Personally, I wouldn't add a new pet to the family if my cat was uncomfortable with it.
If your cat doesn't get along with other animals then it could be a difficult process. But if you want to set yourself up for success I'd recommend at least choosing a breed/type of dog that will get along with a cat. A puppy could be the worst choice for a cat who's already set in his ways and doesn't like other animals because they're so jumpy and bitey and barky. I would go to a shelter and ask whether they have an older dog who's really calm and has lived with a cat(s) before. Best of luck!
I agree with Juliet, both of your pets have to have their own places to retreat to if they need to, especially your cat since she's the one who will need to adapt the most. Cats feel safe when they can climb up on high places and watch from above. I'd recommend getting one or more cat trees prior to the dog's arrival, just to help your cat feel more comfortable.
So what I did for the first few days is alternate between giving my dog free access to the house and giving my cat free access to the house. When my dog was exploring the house, the cat would be in a closed room, safe and sound, and vice versa. That gave them time to pick up on each other's scents and get to know each other before they met face to face. The meeting between them went really well and I like to think that had something to do with it. But to be fair, both of my pets are really chill so I don't know.
For the very first introduction, make sure the dog is in a crate or at the end of a lead so you can restrain them in case they get too agitated. If they do get agitated though, separate them immediately and try again later. Don't punish any hissing or growling from your cat and make sure you reward any good behaviour.
I would advise you to think long and hard before you do this. I also had a cat who didn't like other animals but I'd always wanted a dog and when I moved out of my parents' place I finally had the opportunity to do so. I tried my best but I think I wasn't entirely prepared for the introduction process. My cat ran away 3 days after I brought Joker home and it was heartbreaking for me. I would wait to get another pet to be honest. Sorry to be such a downer! Good luck.
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