Bringing A Cat Home To A Dog House: How To Help Your Dog Adjust
Many people think that cats and dogs can’t get along.
But, this stereotype doesn’t occur in all scenarios.
You can bring a cat home to a dog house.
However, patience is required as you introduce your new furry feline family member to your dog(s).
Follow these steps to increase your chances of success as you make your cat and dog become best buds:
1. The Introduction
Some cats won’t be too keen on meeting dogs, and the feeling can be mutual for your pooches.
Your cat might hiss and meow violently while your dog may growl at the new pet.
But, you can make your pup become friends with the cat over time.
Create A Cat Sanctuary
Start by creating a cat-only sanctuary in your home.
The area shouldn’t be accessible to your dogs.
This private area would help your feline do cat stuff without being disturbed by an overly playful pooch.
The sanctuary can be of any size, but it needs to have a secure ceiling and door.
Also, this indoor reserve should have all the necessities for your cat, including its litter box, toys, scratching post, and food and water bowls.
Supervise The Interactions
Keep a close eye on your pets’ interactions with each other.
This process might require several weeks of close supervision as fights can still break out between animals.
Ideally, your home should have high places, like shelves and kitchen countertops.
These areas can help your cat escape if needed.
Check out CatPet for more information on how to build a cat sanctuary along with finding other pieces of pet advice.
2. Train Your Dog
You can train your dog beforehand before you introduce the new cat.
Set your pet pooch up for success when dealing with feline companions.
Teach your dog to control impulses.
Canines can act on impulse, which might not be ideal in the presence of a calm cat.
If your pup leaps from the living room to the kitchen at the slightest hint of food dropping or goes on high alert when they hear a squeaky toy, then it will likely jump at the first sign of a cat in your home.
You can practice holding your dog’s active behavior by introducing a stuffed kitten to it.
Tell your pet pooch to “stay” when it’s about to leap to the stuffed animal.
That way, you can save your cat from being scared of a big dog jumping to them from across the room, even if your canine companion only wants to play.
3. Ready The Meetings
Once you have already set up your cat sanctuary and trained your dog correctly, it’s time for the eventful face-to-face meeting.
You have different options to make the cat-and-dog meeting become a success.
These choices include:
The “Slow And Steady” Approach
When you bring the cat home, your dog might become too fixated on the new feline friend.
Albeit it might look exciting to watch your dog jump around with enthusiasm because of a new friend, your feline might think otherwise.
Make the introduction much more comfortable for both your feline and canine by increasing the exposure of both pets gradually.
Limit the cat’s or dog’s access to the rest of the house for a few days.
Then, choose a room in your home when the two animals can be together.
The face-to-face meeting is a more fast-paced approach to a slow-and-steady tactic.
But, you might need an extra pair of hands to hold one pet as you secure the other.
Introduce your cat to your dog immediately.
If the dog is calm with the introduction, ask them to sit or stay. Let the cat move freely around the room as they smell the area.
But, if your pooch starts lunging towards the feline at first glance, then it might be better for you to try a different strategy.
The “Look At That” Plan
If the other two options don’t work, you can try playing the “look at that” game.
This strategy calls for you to distract your dog with a treat or toy when needed.
Eventually, your dog should learn that it’s better not to pay too much attention to the cat.
You can also use clicker training in this regard. If your pet pooch starts barking, tell them to stop.
Then, when the dog finishes their seemingly incessant barking, click the button on the clicker and give the pet a treat immediately.
Over time, the dog will think that staying quiet is more rewarding than barking at the cat.
It’s possible to make your dog love being with your cat, and this feeling can be reciprocated by your new feline friend.
Follow the tips mentioned above to help prepare your dog to meet with the cat.
Make sure to repeat meeting sessions as frequently as possible to let the two pets become comfortable with each other’s presence.