Introducing Your 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.
Most puppies sincerely lack good manners.
I 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.
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.