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Two days ago I adopted a cat from a shelter. I have a little dog at home. How should I introduce my new cat to the family dog?

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Congratulations on your new cat! Introducing a new cat to a resident dog can be a gradual process, and it's important to take your time to ensure that both pets feel comfortable and safe.

Here are some steps you can take to introduce your new cat to your dog:

  1. Set up a safe space for your new cat: Before bringing your new cat home, set up a separate room or area where the cat can stay for a few days to get used to the new surroundings. This room should have a litter box, food and water bowls, and a comfortable bed or hiding spot for the cat.

  2. Let your dog sniff the cat's scent: After a day or two, start swapping bedding or toys between your pets so that they can get used to each other's scent. You can also let your dog sniff the door of the room where the cat is staying.

  3. Supervise the first interactions: When you're ready to introduce your pets face-to-face, do so in a controlled environment with both pets on a leash or in a carrier. Make sure both pets have an escape route, and be prepared to separate them if needed.

  4. Reward good behavior: Use positive reinforcement to reward your pets for good behavior, such as staying calm and ignoring each other. You can offer treats or praise to encourage positive interactions.

  5. Gradually increase time together: Over the course of a few days or weeks, gradually increase the amount of time that your pets spend together. Always supervise their interactions and be prepared to separate them if needed.

Remember, the introduction process can take time, and every pet is different. Be patient and take things at a pace that is comfortable for both your cat and your dog.

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