Introducing your new puppy to your cat

You don’t have to be a cat lover or a dog lover…you can be both! We want to help you make it easy to bring your new puppy home and have the smoothest transition as possible. Even though these animals are wired differently and have different energy levels, the two can co-exist in a household…and even become friends! Puppies are actually easier to introduce to cats than adult dogs because they’re still learning and can adapt their behavior more easily, submitting more to the cat. And, at Homestead Designer Doodles, we have multiple cats that our puppies have been introduced to!

Here are some tips to make this introduction happen:

Start with separation

It’s vital to consider, when first getting a puppy, how they might act around the other pets, especially cats in your home. Puppies are very social animals, while cats are very territorial and may become suspicious of a new guest. So, it’s critical to take very small steps when beginning introductions. The first step is to keep them completely separated, with their feeding and playtime essentials in their own rooms.

Introduce their scents first

When introducing a puppy to a cat, you should first introduce them to each other’s scents in separate locations of your home. One of the easiest ways to do this is by leaving blankets or toys in the room of the other. After the scent introduction; bring them to a face-to-face encounter and let them check each other out. Talk them through it and be upbeat and encouraging. Consider using a leash on your puppy to keep him contained and prevent him from chasing the cat; resulting in a traumatic first impression. Another option is to introduce your cat to your new puppy while he is crated and she is able to smell and sniff at her leisure.

Private space for your cat

If possible, you should designate a private room or space where only your cat can enter. Whether getting your cat a cat tree or a creating a private space tucked away. Like behind a chair or under a bed. Most cats have their spaces already, so try your best to protect it. Most likely, your cat and puppy will grow into best friends as time passes, but at first your goal is to make it as peaceful as possible. Before you leave the two unsupervised in the home, consider closing doors or breaking up zones of your home. The trick is to build an environment where they will grow fond of each other and feel safe enough to warm up to one another.

Train your puppy

Introducing your new puppy to your cat is a process and will take time. When your puppy acts calm and collected near the cat, reward and praise their behavior. Do not let your puppy harass, chase or torment the cat. Keeping a leash on your puppy and even tied up in the middle of your home can be a total lifesaver! Don’t feel bad about doing this, especially if your puppy tends to chase your cat. This is something that will help your puppy get comfortable with the kitty and the kitty with the puppy. Continue to supervise them for a while, especially their first few encounters. Typically, cats will hold their own and become the “alpha” in the relationship. Spend time with both pets during this time to bond with them and put them at ease.

Cats and puppies living together may seem like a stressful idea, but with the right discipline, technique, and patience, it is possible! Give it time and continue to create wholesome, loving and enjoyable living environment…and before you know it they’ll be best friends.