You may be a little hesitant when it comes to welcoming a cat into your dog’s house – sorry, your house (and vice versa!)
It’s only natural that cats and dogs don’t necessarily get along from the get go.
At the Pets Ark, our pets have proven that they can all live happily together and become besties, but they need a little help from their humans first! Here’s a couple pointers that we’ve noticed to be important to give their new friendship a go:
Welcoming a cat:
- Your dog needs to obey to some basic commands, such as “sit”, “down” and “stay”, just in case the first introduction goes sideways
- Make sure to supervise the first couple days – never leave the cat alone with the dog, or at least make sure the cat has a way out or a safe spot to hide or to be alone
- The dog must be aware of the cat’s presence but without necessarily being in the exact same room. They both need to smell each other – at a distance – to find their new normal.
- Let time and nature work their magic, it’s not going to happen overnight!
- Welcoming a kitten is much easier but we believe it works just as much with adult cats that haven’t necessarily lived with dogs in the past.
Welcoming a dog:
- Dogs are usually frightened and excited when they enter their brand-new environment. They won’t even notice the cat until they’re well acquainted with you and their new home.
- Cats will not join the party to introduce themselves right away, they’ll naturally stay behind until the fuss is over.
- The dog will probably want to play – make sure the cat still has a safe spot the dog cannot access, just in case they get annoyed and can’t stand each other’s presence for an hour or two.
- The cat came first, it will always make sure it is treated as such.
In both cases, I have also found imperative to force a (supervised) face-to-face introduction (literally!).
In a quiet and positive atmosphere, I would present the cat to the dog (and vice versa) – make sure one person is holding the cat and the other holding the dog.
You need to have a positive attitude towards this introduction to show your pets you are happy with them being friends!
In my experience it has always worked like a charm!
The above also works for other types of pets – we’ve used the exact same principles for our chickens:
- When they first arrived home, they stayed in their chicken coop to get to know their new place and settle down peacefully
- The dogs watched them be from afar
- We introduced them calmly
- When everyone was okay with the idea of sharing the yard, we let the chickens out of their coop. It required very little supervision; the dogs wanted to play but never showed any aggression towards the chickens.
- They are now all free to wander around the garde
Watch this space for more updates on the Pets Ark!
The Pets Ark family