If you already have a cat or dog and you want a dog or cat, what do you do? You certainly do not put them directly together. This is going too fast and the chance of a successful introduction is small. It takes time and patience for the animals to get used to each other.
To prevent the dog from flying on top of the cat, or the cat running anxiously up, you start to build it up. Below you will find tips to make the introduction a positive one.
Introduction dog to a cat
You already have a cat and you want a dog with it.
A separate room for the cat
Place the cat in a separate room, doing this regularly for a week before the new dog / puppy arrives, so that the cat can get used to it.
This ensures that when the dog comes you have the opportunity to put the cat away for a moment without causing stress. Possibly you already have a separate room where the cats may come then this is very suitable for this. There must be water, food and at least 2 litter boxes in this room.
Also read : Can Dogs Eat Yogurt? (What you Should Know)
Get used to each other’s scents
When the dog comes, it smells the scents of your cat, so he knows there is a cat. However, do not show the cat to your dog yet. Exchanging odors is very important for animals, you can also use a towel for this and introduce the scent of one animal to another. You do this by rubbing the towel over your cat / dog and leaving the towel in the room with the other animal. This way they get used to each other’s scent. You can also do this with the breeder or owner before the dog enters the house.
The first introduction
- When the dog is used to the smells and its new environment and when the cat is relaxed, the cat can be placed in the bench or travel basket and the dog can be leashed, to prevent him from falling into the basket in the basket. This way, the dog can sniff at the cat bed and get the cat used to the dog, without anything happening.
- Place the cat bed high on, for example, the dining table. Reward your dog if he behaves properly. This way you link the reward to seeing the cat so that it is experienced as positive.
- Only when your cat is relaxed in the house and in the bench do you line up the dog and sit down with the cat on your arm. Let the dog come to you (while someone else is holding it), the dog must be on a lead! Keep the cat still on your arm and let the dog sniff. Taking on the cat’s arm, not every cat likes it, if you have such a cat, let the animal explore the situation from a height (dining table), preferably not directly on the floor. A cat likes to sit high , so that it can see everything well.
- Don’t forget to keep rewarding the dog for good behavior. If he approaches the cat too wildly, you immediately ensure more distance between the animals until the dog is back under control. And then you reward again for good behavior.
Both animals loose
You repeat this a few times, and if this continues to go well, the dog can go loose. If this also goes well, the cat can run free through the house. But make sure that the cat has its own place (preferably high, where the dog cannot reach), so that he can retire once in a while.
After the first adjustment period, try to feed the animals in the same room as much as possible at the same time, if possible the cat high, for example on the table. This makes seeing each other positive through the link with food.
Escape routes are important
In the absence, make sure there is always an escape route for the cats. Cats prefer to avoid confrontations and would rather flee than attack, but if they cannot leave, they will certainly do so.
Don’t train too long
Animals (especially young animals) need their rest and sleep, so don’t make the exercises to get them together the first days too long. Disassemble them in time and preferably repeat several times a day.
Introduction cat to a dog
You already have a dog and want a cat with it.
In principle you then go through the same steps as described above. However, since the cat is not familiar with the house, the cat will not only have to get used to the dog, but also to its new environment. It is important that the cat feels comfortable in the house.
- First put the new cat or kitten in a separate room. Do not lift it out of the travel basket or cage, but allow it to come out itself and explore the area.
- Let the cat explore all the rooms of your house in the coming days so that he feels safe. Prevent the cat from encountering the dog. Do this room by room.
How long does it take before they are used to each other?
It is difficult to give an indication of the time frame that will be required to get the two animals used to each other. It depends a lot on the individual animals. Observing the animals is therefore important and taking the time too. Some animals are together and buddies within a day; others need weeks or sometimes months for this. On average, most introductions are successfully completed within 2 weeks. However, if it is still not possible after 14 days, ask for support from a behavioral therapist.
Help, I have a hunting dog
There are dogs that hunt cats. This hunting behavior is innate and in some cases very difficult to bend, especially if a dog has been successful. In such cases it is not recommended to take a cat into your home. This is especially stressful for the cat. The chance that the dog grabs the cat is present.