Prefurred

How To Introduce A Cat To A Dog?

How to introduce a cat to a dog may be a tricky question. Both dogs and cats have been known to be rivals for years. The leading cause is the dogs’ prey drive, who see cats as their prey. Similarly, cats are born with hunting instincts and are capable of causing harm to small puppies. Yet, cats and dogs have managed to co-exist over the years in many households. Therefore, bringing up cats and dogs as pets in the same family is possible. However, planning about the introduction is essential if you want to introduce a cat to a dog or a dog to a cat. Before letting dog and cat together, a few rules must be kept in mind. Otherwise, you are allowing both animals to fail.

Introducing Cats and Dogs

If you are thinking about bringing up both cats and dogs together, it is possible when a few things are kept in mind and followed with patience.

  • Raise them together as puppies and kittens. Early socialization helps them to bond firmly together.
  • Not all cats and dogs will be compatible with each other. For example, a fearful, grown up cat may not get along with a hyperactive, playful dog. Hence, before choosing a new pet, consider the temperament of the current pet to avoid stress between the animals.
  • It is always wiser to choose small breed dogs to live with cats because of the size to prevent injuries during play or any fight.
  • Always feed your dog and cat separately as they are sensitive toward their food. Also, keep the bed and toys separately as they may get possessive.
  • Train your pets to co-exist and share their space without any stress. In the case of dogs, obedience training helps them to maintain self-control.
  • Avoid your cat’s interaction with other dogs as the cat may approach other dogs just like her partner at home. You can avoid this risk by keeping the cat indoors.
  • The exercise needs of the cat and the dog must be fulfilled as this will drain their energy. This prevents them from destructive behaviors and keeps them relaxed.

Let’s Get Started

While introducing cats and dogs, either the cat or the dog may be the resident animal; a few procedures had to be taken care of to avoid hassles and stress between the animals.

If your cat is new and your dog is the resident animal, follow the basic procedures:

  • The cat should have access to a dog-free space in your home. Allot them a separate room with a secure door.
  • Keep a litter box, bowl of water, food bowls, toys, and scratching posts.
  • The room should have cat-proofed windows and doors.
  • Cats love to hide and play. So it is better to provide cat trees, cat caves, cat tunnels, etc., to make them feel at home.
  • Make sure your living space has multiple high areas like shelves and furniture. Else, provide them with cat shelves that give them access to elevated areas if they have to escape from the dog.
Purina Tidy Cats Non Clumping Litter System
Buy at Amazon


Petmate Replendish Automatic Gravity Waterer for Cats and Dogs
Buy at Amazon


Kitty City Raised Cat Food Bowl Collection
Buy at Amazon


Interactive Cat Toys for Cat Exercise
Buy at Amazon


PetnPurr Cactus Cat Scratcher
Buy at Amazon


DocaScreen Pet Screen
Buy at Amazon


Perch Hammock for Kittens
Buy at Amazon


MEOWFIA Premium Cat Bed Cave
Buy at Amazon


Tempcore Pet Cat Tunnel
Buy at Amazon


Cat shelves
Buy at Amazon


If your dog is new and your cat is the resident animal, follow the basic procedures:

  • Provide your existing cat with a room or space that feels comfortable and safe. Then, install a Feliway Diffuser that emits pheromones that help the cat feel safe. 
  • It is necessary to crate train your dog, which will keep the cat safe.
  • Swap the scents of your pets by swapping their blankets or beds, which will help them get accustomed.
  • Better to keep the pets separate for the initial period. You can keep the dog outside on the porch and the cat indoors.
  • It would help if you took extra care with high-energy dogs that may suddenly get triggered. Patience and positive reinforcement are essential tools in teaching dog obedience.
  • Early socialization and proper dog training help them get along with cats cordially.
  • Teach your dog basic commands like “sit” and “stay.” Again, rewards and short sessions will bring the best results.
Enhanced Calming Pheromone Diffuser
Buy at Amazon


Enhanced Calming Pheromone Diffuser
Buy at Amazon


Tools required in the Introduction of Cats and Dogs

  1. Litter Box
Litter-Robot 3 Core Bundle by Whisker
Buy at Amazon


ScoopFree by PetSafe Ultra Self
Buy at Petco


  1. Scratch Post
PetnPurr Cat Scratching Post
Buy at Amazon


MECOOL Cat
Buy at Petco


3. Cat Blankets

Soft and Warm Pet Throw for Dogs & Cats
Buy at Amazon


PetFusion Microplush Quilted Dog & Cat Blanket
Buy at Chewy


4. Dog Blankets

Arkwright Soft Polar Fleece Blankets for Dogs
Buy at Amazon


Ethical Pet Snuggler Patterned Dog Blanket
Buy at Chewy


5. Dog Crates

ECOFLEX Dog Crate
Buy at Amazon


6. Dog Gates

Auto Close Safety Baby Gate
Buy at Amazon


Frisco Steel Extra Wide Auto-Close Dog Gate
Buy at Chewy


7. Dog treats

Wag Treats Chicken and Waffle Bites
Buy at Amazon


Oven Baked Crunchy Biscuit Dog Treats
Buy at Chewy


8. Dog Harness 

CBBPET Tactical Dog Harness
Buy at Amazon


Dog Harness
Buy at Chewy


8. Cat Treats

Party Mix Crunch Gravylicious Chicken & Gravy
Buy at Amazon


Temptations Tasty Chicken Flavor Cat Treats
Buy at Chewy


9. Cat Trees

Multi-Level Large Cat Tree
Buy at Amazon


XXL Heavy Duty Cat Tree
Buy at Chewy


10. Cat Shelves

Cat Wall Shelves
Buy at Amazon


TRIXIE Lounger Wall Mounted Cat Shelves
Buy at Chewy


11. Diffuser

FELIWAY Optimum Cat
Buy at Amazon


Calming Diffuser for cat
Buy at Chewy


12. Dog Bed

Calming Dog Bed
Buy at Amazon


Dog Bed King USA Sofa
Buy at Chewy


13. Dog Puzzles

Puzzle Dog Toy
Buy at Amazon


Puzzle Game Dog Toy
Buy at Chewy


Steps for Introducing a Cat to a Dog and a Dog to a Cat

There are a few steps and guidelines to be followed while introducing cats and dogs or introducing a cat to a dog and vice versa.

Introduction through smell and scents: Dogs and cats have a high sense of smell which helps them get introduced. Keep both animals physically separated from each other. Provide your cat a separate den or room with a comfortable bed, blanket, food, water, and a litter box. Additionally, tasty treats will lessen the stress level of your cat. Take the dog out for a walk and let the cat access the house, thus getting used to the dog’s scent. Alternatively, the dog can be confined to a crate that allows the cat to roam freely around the house. Get a professional trainer if the dog barks or digs at the separation barrier or the door consistently for more than two days. Once both pets become calm and eat and use the litter box, you can usually move to the next step.

Obedience Training: Obedience training is a must to your dog. Teach him commands like “ sit,” “down,” and “stay.” Treats and praises keep them motivated and make them learn quickly—positive reinforcement and training help distract your dog’s prey drive before the cat.

Separation of Pets: Once your pets become familiar, let them face each other without coming too close. Separate your pets safely and control them, like setting up a baby gate in your cat’s den or room. Make your dog sit with you far away from the entrance. Reward your dog with treats to make them sit quietly when the cat comes inside. If your dog barks or rushes towards the cat, encourage them to come back to you and relax. Alternatively, sit with your cat in the den and let another family member play with your dog. Reward your cat with treats to make them watch the dog without fear. Positive reinforcement helps them to develop positive associations with each other. Repeat sessions and always keep the training session for 5-10 minutes. 

Face to Face introduction: Once both animals are comfortable, allow face-to-face introductions. Remove the baby gates but keep the dog leashed or in a harness. Always be near them and reward them with treats to make them behave. Engage them with puzzle toys, treats, and chewies when the cat is out of the den and while it explores. Also, please ensure there are plenty of spaces for the cat to run, which will make them feel confident. Provide your cat with high shelves and cat trees. You can use catnips to induce your cat to come out of the den. Always keep an eye on the dog when it lunges toward the cat and encourage the dog to come back to you and sit in a relaxed position.

Allow interaction with supervision: Remove all barriers when your pets can share the space without stress. Allow them to be together only under custody. Continue obedience training and positive reinforcement for both the pets for calm behavior. Eventually, your dog and cat will settle down and start sharing the same space, which may take several weeks to months. 

Mistakes to Avoid While Introducing Cats and Dogs

  • Never let your dog chase the cat. The dog may be playful, but the act creates fear and a negative response from the cat. This may create stress in both animals. Train the dog to obey your commands and use positive reinforcement.
  • Always keep the food bowls and water in different places. Don’t feed the cat and the dog nearby or in the same home. Both dog and the cat are protective towards their food, and providing them together or keeping their food bowls close may lead to brawls. 
  • The cat should always access its litter box without going past the dog.
  • The introduction and meetings should be short sessions of 5-10 minutes and should not be prolonged. Rewards and treats encourage them to look forward to the training sessions.
  • Allow unsupervised interactions when you are confident about the pets sharing the space without any stress.

Final Thoughts

Introducing cats and dogs may seem to be a daunting task and almost impossible. But it isn’t so when the necessary rules are followed. Anyone can be a proud pet parent living with cats and dogs under one roof. Remember to follow the instructions and get professional help wherever needed. It won’t be long before you have a cute cat story and dog video to share with.

How to Introduce a Cat to a Dog Videos

How to Introduce a Dog to a Cat – In 5 Easy Steps!

How to Introduce Dogs & Cats SAFELY 🐱🐶 What to AVOID

How to introduce cats to dogs

Cat meeting the puppies for the first time.

Introducing a New Cat or Kitten to Your Dog – The Safe Way

Can Cats & Dogs Be Friends? | Jackson Galaxy

Introducing New Kitten to the Pack

PRC Video Series: How to Introduce A Dog and A Cat

Introducing our Cocker Spaniel Puppy to our Cat

How to Introduce a Kitten and a Dog for the First Time

Introducing dogs and cats

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.