Introducing Your Cat to a New Family Member – A Dog

Hi Everyone! Happy Friday!

Introducing your cat to a new family member can be challenging.

Today Suzy, The Dog Training Lady, our resident pet trainer is sharing with us some tips on How to Introduce Your Cat to a New Dog. Enjoy!


Many dogs and felines get along just fine. Canines which are gentle, and friendly, and aren’t squirrel-chasing predatory types, can be excellent companions with cats. When you choose a new dog, you must take into consideration the breed, and the general behaviors of that breed. You need to be more cautious of a breed that has behaviors of chasing small animals as prey. Some dog breeds have been brought up for just these purposes.

It is possible to teach a dog not to chase the family cat, or hurt indoor cats once they get used to the cat as being part of the family. You should carefully prep, as well as, manage your new canine; you must have little difficulty integrating him right into your household if he’s lived quietly with a pet cat prior, or if your cat has actually lived with a dog previously. However keep in mind that felines as well as dogs, like folks, require time to get to know each other. They may not be immediate pals if they’ve never viewed each other before.

Considering that cats take awhile to accept new felines, your cat might decline to accept a brand-new pet dog as quickly as you would like. It could take years for a trusting, mutually agreeable connection to be created between a pet cat and canine that live together. The younger more energetic, and much more tolerant your pet cat is, and also the smaller sized, calmer, and also additional loyal your new canine is, the much more likely it is that your cat will approve living with a canine friend.

Know What to Expect

Dogs who have never lived with felines typically respond to them in three ways:

Your new dog may handle your cat like another pet dog, and also attempt to play with her, specifically if your canine is youthful and your feline is curious, and also approaches him.

It’s more typical for cats to respond defensively to an invite to play from an odd pet or a new young canine.

Lively pet dogs frequently don’t respond appropriately to a feline’s signals to stop, and the stress or aggressiveness between them can intensify quickly, creating the cat distress and placing her in danger.

Two things you should keep in mind:

1. Prey. Sadly, canines typically perceive pet cats as a victim. This is most likely if your feline runs when she sees a dog. Your new pet might react to your cat’s movement as he would certainly to the activity of a victim trying to get away. He may go after or even kill your cat. In a similar way, felines which have never lived with dogs, will likely see them as predators as well, and will certainly run, or end up being defensively aggressive.

2. Your cat may be cautiously inquisitive or show complete avoidance. Your cat could frighten an older or quieter dog, specifically if she’s rowdy or youthful. He might approach your cat carefully or watch her from a distance, as well as avoid her whenever possible.

Felines who have never dealt with canines generally respond to them in this way:

Felines that were raised with dogs, confident or young cats, as well as felines residing in multi-cat homes could approve a new pet as a secure and also interesting trespasser. Their response could be to see the pet dog from a distance or approach him inquisitively.

 Lots of cats don’t accept the intro of brand-new animals well. And cats, unlike dogs, don’t have a built-in social system.

How to Set Up Safe, Successful Introductions

It’s up to you to shield your pet cat, and set up introductions meticulously to make sure that she feels safe, and has a pleasurable encounter when meeting the acquaintance of your new dog.

Here are some suggestions for making the best possible introduction:

Trim your cat’s claws to keep the interaction as secure as possible for your new dog. Check with your groomer, or your vet to do this safely and correctly.

First perceptions are very important to a feline, so you need the initial meeting to be as hassle-free as possible for her. Prior to you bringing your cat, and new dog to meet each other, plan for their first intro by dealing with your pet cat first, and show her how to redirect her attention to you.

Begin by having some of her favorite treats available. A lot of felines enjoy soft treats with a strong scent, like tuna or tiny pieces of chicken.

Bring your feline into the area where you’ll likely do your introductions. Slowly permit her to move away before you call her name so that she has to move toward you, when she does praise her and give her a treat. After some practice, she’ll start to react consistently as she discovers that when she responds to her name, you offer her treats.

Before you present your new dog to your cat, work with your dog individually to review training on some obedience abilities. When your canine has actually learned these skills, you will be able to control him if he should get overexcited around your cat. Most importantly you dog should learn to come when called and most definitely the leave it command. If you need some assistance with these training commands you can find help with them on my website under the “puppy training classes” Leave It Training, and Come when Called

To start it is best to confine your new dog to a specified area using a child gate. Do not restrict your cat or alter her setting any more then necessary. You can begin to present your cat and your dog near the entrance to that area, with the use of the child gate in between them.

 To get ready for this first meeting, begin by taking your canine outside and running him around, try to tire him out a bit. Generally, a tired dog is a good dog. Bring delicious treats with you for your new dog, again these should be premium treats that he will like, bite-sized pieces of poultry, cheese, and steak work really well.

Practice sit, down, as well as stay, after he’s run about for some time, and also appears to be tiring out. Then bring him to the meeting area and place him, behind the child gate.

Next, fill your pockets with your pet cat’s preferred snacks. If your new dog is rowdy, place his leash on him, and also have someone on his side of the gate to manage the leash.

Sit in front of the door and call your cat. Have your dog sit or have him in a down, or resting position to keep him from behaving threateningly as your cat comes closer.

The introduction of a new dog to your existing family cat is possible, but it will require effort on your part to make this a success.

In Summary:

You must carefully prepare and monitor your new pet; you must have little difficulty incorporating him into your family, if he’s lived quietly with a cat before, or if your feline has lived with a dog. Given that felines take some time to approve brand-new felines, your feline may not accept a brand-new canine as quickly as you would like. The younger, much more energetic, and more tolerant your cat is, as well as the smaller sized, calmer, and also additionally loyal your new dog is, the more likely it is that your pet cat will certainly approve living with a new canine buddy.

Your new dog may try to handle your cat like another dog, and try to play with her, specifically if your canine is young, and your cat is inquisitive, and approaches him. Cats that were raised with dogs, as well as felines living in multi-cat families may accept a new canine as a secure and intriguing trespasser.

You must be diligent with the new introduction, keep a close eye during the first few weeks, and adjust your pet’s behavior accordingly. If you have additional questions or need a specific question answered, please contact Rachel, and I will help her address your questions.

Pawsatively Yours,

Suzanne Dean, ABCDT

I want to once again thank Suzy for sharing such valuable information with us.

Has your family been through this situation? What was your personal experience?

You Might Also Like

Previous Story
Next Story

7 Comment

  1. Reply
    September 23, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    I was with cats as a puppy so I’m cool with them. Bringing them up together when both are young is best.
    Kyla recently posted…Do me a favorMy Profile

    1. Reply
      October 3, 2014 at 8:12 am

      Kyla, I completely agree, when you bring them up together, you are avoiding a lot of extra training.

  2. Reply
    Caren Gittleman
    September 24, 2014 at 10:16 am

    this is too much of a coincidence. I was going to repeat much of a post I did on Cat Chat (YEARS AGO), NEXT WEEK….I have a fool proof way that I used that I found on the internet and it worked like a charm…….didn’t go through nearly all of this……that being said, good suggestions……….all suggestions are always helpful to help with the introduction.
    Caren Gittleman recently posted…Rosh Hashanah, wishes for the New YearMy Profile

    1. Reply
      October 3, 2014 at 8:12 am

      Caren, that is awesome! Let me know when you post that post, I will be sure to share 🙂

  3. Reply
    Cathy Armato
    September 25, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Excellent tips! When I brought Isis, my Husky, home as a puppy she saw my senior cat as a toy & kept chasing her. The Leave It command and a doggie gate saved us and taught them to co-exist peacefully in our home. It took a couple of months to solidify but it worked! Sharing this post.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Cathy, Isis & Phoebe
    Cathy Armato recently posted…WORDLESS WEDNESDAY: Puppies In PrisonMy Profile

  4. Reply
    Cute Pets
    October 1, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    This is a wonderful post. Introducing a new pet in the home is a very challenging task even not just with felines but with other dogs as well. I’ve had my share of this with my siberian husky, and we got a new pup – a terrier poodle. Playtime can sometimes get rough and hurt the poodle. Thanks for sharing this. – Lisa Williams

    1. Reply
      October 3, 2014 at 8:26 am

      Lisa, no problem, thank you for stopping by! It can be a real challenge to bring a new pet into the home, that is why I wanted to address this topic, we hope to do this with Rooney soon, and we will have to see how it goes.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge