The basic things you need to know on how to introduce a kitten to a dog especially if you are planning to get a kitten. The goal is to get them both to start associating the other pet’s presence with good things, like food.
Many people think cats and dogs can not live peacefully together. In fact, someone once coined the phrase “fighting like cats and dogs” and there is obviously some truth to the statement, as it’s been around for a while.
Well, it’s true that some cats and dogs will not make good housemates. They are two different animals with two different distinctive personalities that will not necessarily blend. However, under the right conditions, many cats and dogs can live together in perfect harmony.
We will be looking at various methods regarding how to introduce a kitten to a dog.
Things You Must Consider Before Engaging In Such Bond
From my observation, If given the opportunity to comfortably get to know one another, the majority of cats can coexist with a dog. If a puppy and kitten are raised together, they will typically learn to tolerate one another immediately soon. However, some cats and dogs develop into true friends and may even play and nap together.
However, if a dog is already an established member of the household and a new cat or kitten is going to join the family, certain precautions need to be taken.
The idea is to let the animals become accustomed to each other’s presence without making direct eye contact. They can still hear and smell each other even when they can’t see each other. Feed them on either side of a door that is closed.
It is absolutely essential that all the animals are given a space of their own to which they can retreat and escape the attentions of all the others. And that there is a safe space in which meetings can take place.
Never feed them in the same place at the same time or give them anything else over which to fight. This is a necessary step to take note regarding how to introduce a kitten to a dog.
Tip 1~ How To Introduce A Kitten To A Dog
When you bring a new cat into your house, you need to set up a “safe room” where the cat can stay for at least the first week. The room chosen must have a door and should be in a quiet part of the house.
You will need to provide access to food, water, litter box, and scratching post at all times (see first bullet point above for more details).
If you have cats as well as dogs in your home, the cats should have already been successfully introduced to the newcomer before initiating the introduction of the new cat to your dogs. This tip is necessary regarding how to introduce a kitten to a dog.
There should be no face-to-face interactions between the new cat and resident dog for the first week. Bring the cat into the house in his carrier and take him directly to his “safe room.”
Don’t introduce the cat to any other pets until he has settled in and seems to be comfortable with the human members of the household.
This comfort will be evidenced by the cat becoming interactive with you when you enter his “safe room.” Many cats will initially hide for a couple of days when brought to a new home, but will soon become comfortable if given time and space.
When your new cat seems to be comfortable with you, it is time to start the introductions with your dog. During these introductions, the dog should always be crated or on a leash, allowing the cat to approach the dog on his own terms.
This may well be the first time that the cat is outside of his “safe room.” Allow him
to explore at his own pace and approach the dog if he is comfortable doing so. All introductions should be supervised and conducted during quiet times of the day.
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Carefully watch the first contact between cat and dog. Let them sniff each other. Be ready with a towel or squirt gun in case of any aggressive behaviour. The situation should be fairly well controlled, though, because the dog will be confined in his crate or on a leash.
- If either animal displays aggressive or fearful behaviour, separate them immediately. Try again later (possibly the next day) after things have calmed down.
- If the initial meeting goes well, you will still want to repeat the encounter several times under controlled circumstances before letting the animals roam freely in the house or leaving them together unsupervised.
If your new cat is a small kitten, take special precautions whenever the cat and dog are together. A large dog may not intend to harm a kitten, he simply may not know his own strength or understand the fragility of a young kitten.
Be sensitive to the fact that some dog breeds are naturally not good at cohabitating with cats—certain breeds may instinctually be driven to chase or act aggressively toward a cat.
You will need to evaluate your pet’s personality and determine if he is an exception to the general rule for his breed. Take extra time and care when introducing the two animals—always under close supervision.
Be aware that your dog may behave better when you are present, so allow ample time for supervised interactions before letting them be alone together.
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Even if a kitten is not opposed to all dogs and doesn’t mind seeing one from a distance now and then, he may have a particular dislike for a specific dog living in his home.
Many people could happily cohabitate with any roommate… except for one particular person that would drive them crazy. Some cats are the same way. A cat may just dislike one particular dog. This may be the case if you’ve devoted a lot of time and patience to try to get a cat and dog comfortable with each other, but the scratching and hissing aren’t letting up.
If you are ready for a new kitten or cat to join your family, help your dog get accustomed to the idea, too. Under strictly supervised conditions, allow the cat and dog to sniff and inspect each other to their hearts’ content.
This interaction should get them used to each other in no time. If, however, they seem to be incapable of getting along, you may need to reevaluate your pet situation.
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