Cat and Dog Introductions
What is the best way to introduce a cat and dog? Our cat just passed away and the dog seems to be missing her. My cat was four years old when I brought home an eight week old puppy to him. He was so excited to meet her and loved her. My dog thinks she's a cat because she has always been around one. She's two now. I don't know how she would react to another cat. Maybe she only liked her cat because she came home to him as a baby and thought of him as a sibling. Not sure how to do introductions at this point. We haven't decided if we want to get another cat but if we do, want to know ahead of time how to proceed.
Slowly and carefully. Strange cats can trigger prey drive even in dogs that are good with a familiar cat. My dog lives with three cats and is perfectly safe with them, but she reacts to other outside cats the same way she reacts to squirrels.
Start out with the dog on a leash and the cat loose (if you try to hold her she may shred your arms if she gets really scared, and being confined may make her feel like she can't get away if she needs to). Make sure there are plenty of high places the cat can go to feel safe if she needs to. Don't let the dog corner her.
Use treats to reward the dog for staying calm. If both animals are calm, let them sniff each other. Don't leave them alone together right away. Supervise all interactions until you are sure your dog knows that the cat is part of his/her pack and NOT dinner. The age of the cat will also play a big part in whether the two eventually get along. An older cat who is familiar with dogs may learn to get along, an older cat who is unfamiliar with dogs may never be completely comfortable.
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