Tips For Introducing Your Cat To A New DogBy vetsadmin | July 10, 2019
Are you thinking of adding a new member to your family? If you’re bringing a cat into your home when you already have a dog, or vice versa, you may be wondering how it’s all going to go. While some cats and dogs will integrate with no issue, others will find the change extremely stressful. But don’t worry, as here are some helpful steps you can take to help ensure that the process is a smooth one.
Step 1: Research Before Making the Decision
Different breeds of cats and dogs have different temperaments. It’s extremely important that you do your research to ensure that the two breeds are a good match. If you are unsure, book a consult with a mobile vet in Melbourne from Vets on Call and we will come to your home to assess your pet’s personality and advise you on how may they cope living with another pet.
Step 2: Let the New Pet Explore the New Setting
Cats are territorial and need to be introduced to other animals very slowly in order to give them time to get used to each other before there is a face-to-face confrontation. Slow introductions help prevent fear and aggressive behaviours from developing. So, the thing you’re going to need to do is to bring your new pet into the home without the other pet being there. If you can’t remove your pet from the house, secure them in another space such as separate rooms. Initially, you want the new pet to get used to their new surroundings. Let them explore and become familiar with the scent of the pet who already lives there. Over the next few days, you can repeat the exercise and allow your existing pet to smell the scent of the new pet. Remember to keep your pets separated during this stage.
Step 3: The Introduction
As this will be a drastic change for both pets, the introduction should be done slowly and in a controlled manner. Keep your dog on a leash and your cat in a carrier on a high table. Be patient and let them get used to each other. When you let the cat out, make sure the dog is on its leash. Make sure both pets receive lots of attention and reassurance during this time. Most importantly, give both pets their own space so they have areas they can retreat to and be separate from one another should they need some space. Lastly, some dogs may just be aggressive and can pose a risk to your cat and in a split second could cause a fatal injury. If any sign of aggression is noticed at any period ensure that the pets are never together alone and consult one of our vets for advice.