A Vet Shares How to Socialize a Cat With a Dog

Are you looking to add a feline companion for your canine buddy? There can be challenges when trying to get your dog to accept a cat when they are used to being by themselves. As a veterinarian, this is one of the most common questions I get asked. Read on to learn my tips on how to socialize a cat with a dog, and ensure a smooth transition for both pets. 

Act as a Matchmaker

When considering a potential feline best friend for your dog, take their personalities into consideration. It is likely that you will know the personality of your dog the best. Once you understand their personality, make it your goal to find a cat companion whose personality compliments that of your dog.

Is your canine into rough play? If the answer is yes, then it’s best to get a cat that is confident and can hold their own. A young adult cat would be the best to fit the bill. Young kittens may not be the best match since there is a risk that they could be hurt with rough play. You would also need to be careful with geriatric cats because of their tendency to be frail.

If your dog has a laid-back personality, getting a cat with high energy may be a problem. A rambunctious cat is likely to cause fear or heighten anxiety. While you can use Purity Preferred Calming oil to help alleviate some of the stress and promote calmness in your dog, you would want to make sure your feline companion is on the mellow side.

On the other hand, if you have a dog that is super social and playful, getting a shy or stressed cat will not be a suitable match. Getting a feline who is able to keep up with your active pup’s energy, on the other hand, will be sure to tire your cat out after a day of playing. Considering that many people, particularly in cities, spend a majority of their time in smaller spaces, it’s critical to ensure that your cat and dog can match each other’s energies — and that you won’t get caught in their play!

How to Introduce a Cat to a Dog

Once you figured out that you have a great match for your canine friend, how you introduce them is very crucial. With introductions, slow and steady improves the chances of success. Here are tips to consider for introducing.

Choose the Location for the First Meeting

Typically, when introducing a new dog to another one, it is practical to bring them to a neutral space. Since some cats can be stressed easily that likely is not an option. Because of this, the initial introduction will need to be at home.

Set Up Separate Locations for Each Pet

It will be important to allow for a gradual introduction that each pet at least initially has separate locations to allow for the new pet to adjust to the environment. While one is confined you can allow the other more freedom to get used to the scents, then rotate. This will be a good transition before an actual introduction.

Confined Introductions

After following these steps with your pet, you can have your dog see the new feline companion and monitor their reaction. This can be accomplished either by having your dog on a leash or in a crate while the new occupant is free to roam. If the response is overall favorable, then they are ready to move on to the next step.

Supervised Interactions

This will hopefully be the final step in the transition. You observe both your dog and the new cat for a period of time that can be gradually extended as you seem fit. The goal is that a powerful bond is forged between cat and dog.

Final Thoughts

Introducing a cat to befriend your canine pal can be stressful for all those involved. With these tips we provided, it doesn’t have to be. Also, giving your pets new and old Purity Preferred Calming drops can contribute to the easing of the transition.

Dr. Dwight Alleyne is a veterinarian who has over a decade of experience treating cats and dogs. He is also the creator of his own personal blog “The Animal Doctor Blog” where he provides general health advice and pet product review.

References:

  1. http://americanhumane.org/fact-sheet/introducing-dogs-to-cats/
  2. https://www.paws.org/resources/introducing-cat-to-dog/

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