Introducing Your New Puppy to Your Cat

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introducing a new puppy to your cat

I am a cat person! There, I said it!

Actually, and ironically, I am more of a cat person than I am a dog person 😉

But, I haven’t been able to figure out how to make a living training cats!

Honestly, the time I spent working with big cats was one of my favorite experiences.

Cats have special needs.

And, cats are not usually willing to openly embrace change, especially when that “change” comes in the form of a jumping, barking, and chasing ball of fur.

If you don’t do things correctly, you could end up with a traumatized cat with health concerns (like UTI), or not using their cat box.

And, I know that as proud cat owners, we want to make sure our cats are as comfortable with the new transition as possible.

So, How Do You Introduce Your New Puppy to Your Cat?

First Things First

Give your cat a NO PUPPY ZONE

Your cat’s litter box, food, water, and a nice place to climb or sleep without the interruption of an annoying puppy should be available to your cat at all times.

This is also important for your puppy’s health.

Cat food is bad for puppies!

Eating out of the cat box can be gross, but it’s also bad for their health.

Clumping cat litter is not safe to consume.

Angry cats can also injure puppies by lashing out and scratching their face and eyes.

It is in everyone’s best interests to give your cat his own space.

Manners!

Most puppies sincerely lack good manners.

introducing a new puppy to your catI think the average cat thinks that while humans lack good “cat” manners, puppies have abhorrent behavior!

I, personally, don’t want my puppy to realize that he is even capable of chasing my cat.

So, I put my puppy on a leash.

Not only does this help to teach my puppy basic manners and impulse control, it prevents him from adopting a lot of bad behaviors.

Let’s face it, I am not going to allow my puppy to chase my cat!

And, by keeping the puppy on leash and with me in the house, it keeps the cat from feeling like his life has totally been turned upside down.

The cat can then feel less pressure and discomfort in what he has always known to be his home.

This way, he can approach the puppy safely and on his terms.

And, although it seems overwhelming to keep your puppy on a leash in the house, it is the #1 way to keep a lot of bad puppy habits from ever forming.

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One Comment

  1. Miss Cellany says:

    I didn’t leash my puppy all the time but I taught her “leave it” first before she could be in the same room as the cats. Any time she chased she was told to leave it, was rewarded for complying (treat) and was punished for disobeying (timeout in another room).

    The cats were annoyed at having a puppy in the house but after the first few days weren’t really scared of her (they’d seen my previous dog a few times before when they were very young kittens but I had never let them interact as previous dog had never lived with cats and was terrified of the kittens).

    After a few weeks the pup stopped trying to chase, and the cats were so used to her they started trying to play with her (attacking her feet & tail). I was in two minds about letting them play together but eventually decided as long as they didn’t hurt each other it would be ok (was very careful to supervise those play sessions for the first few months).

    Now they play, sleep and eat together (dog needed some resource guarding training for this) – and they can be trusted alone together.

    Sometimes dog still gets overexcited and wants to chase the cats (join in the game) when they’re running around like maniacs – but she listens if I tell her to go lie down or to leave them alone.

    The tom cat does wind the dog up a lot (randomly attacks her tail and feet) and can be a bit rough with her sometimes but he’s the cat she loves the most and it’s usually him that she curls up and cuddles with.

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