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Introducing a Dog to Your Resident Cat

June 15 2021

Are you welcoming a new dog into your home? Congratulations! Of course, if you have a kitty, your feline friend probably won’t be as enthusiastic about the new arrival as we are. First impressions are a very big deal to pets, so it’s very important for you to handle introductions properly. Here, a vet discusses getting Fido and Fluffy started out on the right paw.


Before bringing Fido in, put Fluffy in a quiet back room with kitty essentials, such as food, toys, and a litterbox. After your pup has sniffed everything, and is ready for a walk, take him out and let your cat out. It’s now her turn to get used to the new scent. Keep switching back and forth. Pay lots of attention to your kitty, so she doesn’t feel abandoned.

Meet N Greet

After a few days of swapping places, your pets should have accepted the idea that there’s another furball in the house. At this point, you can introduce them. Don’t give them full access to each other just yet, though. Use a carrier or a puppy gate to let them see and sniff each other. Offer both of your pets treats and praise if things go well. If all goes smoothly, proceed with caution. Monitor all interactions carefully, and don’t leave Fluffy and Fido alone unsupervised until you’re sure they’re getting along.

Keeping Fluffy Safe

Fluffy should have a safe place to go in every room, somewhere Fido can’t reach. That way, she always has an escape if she feels scared or threatened. Vertical spaces, such as cat towers, are great for this. (Your furball will also get a scratching post and napping spot out of the deal.) You can also offer your cat hiding spots behind or beneath chairs, sofas, and beds.

Best-Laid Plans

Dogs and cats can and do learn to cohabitate peacefully, and often end up getting along just fine. Fluffy and Fido may become bffs. Or, they may just ignore each other. However, there are times when cats and dogs fight like, well, cats and dogs. This can be a very dangerous situation. If your pets don’t warm up to each other, consult your vet or a professional trainer. 

Choosing a cat-friendly dog is absolutely crucial. Otherwise, one of your pets–most likely your kitty–could be seriously injured. Consider the background, temperaments, and breeds of both pets before proceeding.

As your veterinary hospital, we’re here to help. Call us anytime!

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