While chatting with other dog-loving pals the other day, one brought up the age old question of how to introduce cats & dogs. She said “I‘m wondering about the best way to introduce cats & dogs! I’m moving in with my boyfriend and he has a cat. I have a dog who’s never even SEEN a cat! She loves other dogs, but I have no idea how she’ll react to his kitty. What can I expect?” Now THAT’s a good question! We have an answer!
Whether you are a dog lover who is either thinking about bringing a cat home or you are moving in with someone who has a cat. introducing cats and dogs really works the same way. Contrary to popular belief, cats & dogs are not mortal enemies. I have done this a couple times. Here is what I have experienced.
Introduce Cats & Dogs without any fur flying!
I had a dog, a Westie to be exact, and I wanted to bring a cat home (well, a kitten). I thought I could just come home with the kitten and they would be instant friends! (Not quite sure what made me have that crazy thought). I couldn’t have been more wrong. Keep reading for real tips on how to introduce cats & dogs, it gets better (I mean that, it really does).
So here I am, with my new, tiny, black and white kitten (whom I have named Tux), thinking my dog would love him, which he kind of did. It was the kitten that had the problem. He hissed and batted at my poor unsuspecting dog. The kitten ran and hid in the bathroom and stayed there for a few hours. He was gone so long, I started to think maybe he got out somehow!
I began to wonder how (and if) this was really going to work! I decided they needed to get to know each other, but separately. So I put a baby gate up in the bathroom doorway allowing the kitten to come to the door as he wanted and the dog to sniff and wait (and cry) for him. Eventually, the kitten got brave and came out of hiding.
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It took a good few days of them getting used to each other (through the baby gate) before they both got along and understood neither one was leaving. So what did I do? Little by little I brought the kitten out and held him while the dog was near me. Of course there was jumping and hissing at first, but they both learned. I would tell my dog “no, you be nice” but you can use whatever command you have for telling your dog to be calm or get down.
It all ended very well actually. Before I knew it, I was catching them sitting together, the dog grooming the cats ears (clearly we had an alpha kitten here, not an alpha dog). They played together and ate together as well (yes, they shared food, no matter what I tried to do to stop it).
The moral of my real life story is that it is possible for dogs and cats to cohabitate. It would be the same if you brought another dog home, or another cat (or another child for that matter, sometimes little siblings want the new one to go back where they came from!) They just need a chance to get to know each other.
Did you ever introduce cats & dogs to each other? What was your experience? Share your stories below!