How to Introduce a Cat to Your Dog at Home

Cat and Dog

In spite of old wives tales, cats and dogs do get along together. Some even become good friends. Be prepared though, for teaching them to live together peacefully can take time.

There are times however when it’s just not possible for them to co-exist. That’s the case with my dogs, so they must always be separated.

Before bringing the cat home, your dog should be trained to sit and stay even with any distractions.

When you bring the cat home, confine it to a comfortable room. Then you can allow the cat to explore the house with the dog securely confined.

Before introducing them to each other, give the dog an article that has the cat’s smell on it and give the cat the dog’s smelly article.

Place a gate across the door of the cat’s room. Open the door slightly and allow them to sniff at each other. If the dog behaves appropriately and listens to your commands, give your dog a reward like a treat.

Gradually lengthen the times of the door being open as long as they watch each other quietly. If the dog behaves, you can leave them for a few minutes, but leave the gate up.

Eventually you should be able to leave the door open with the baby gate up when you are home.

When there are no signs of aggression you can leave the door open without the gate for a short time at first, gradually increasing the time.

Until you are absolutely sure they get along, never leave them together unless you are home. Always feed them separately. Don’t allow the cat to approach the dog if the dog has a bone. And be cautious with the dog’s favorite toys.

Lastly, always reward good behaviour.

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