Wouldn’t you just love for your cat and dog become best buds? Think of all the photo ops you could have if they were to snuggle up to each other at night!
Despite the old saying “fighting like cats and dogs,” many cats and dogs get along just fine. With the right steps, cats and dogs can live peacefully within the same household and maybe even become the best of friends.
Dog breed and history – Dog breeds with a higher prey drive may need a little bit more time getting to know your cat. Talk to shelter staff to help you find the right match. Staff members may also be able to tell you which dogs have past experience living with cats or other small animals.
Slow and steady – At first, you may need to keep your cat in a different room equipped with a litter box, bedding and toys. For the first few weeks, keep your dog on a leash when it’s around your cat and reward your dog when it demonstrates good behaviour.
New sounds and smells – It may take a while for your pets to get used to each other’s sounds and smells in its living space. Tricks like switching their sleeping blankets or feeding their meals on either side of the door to your cat’s temporary room can help this process along.
Meet and greet – When making introductions between your cat and dog, you’ll need to gradually introduce the two pets, starting with you and your leashed dog on one side of the room and your cat safely in its carrier on the other side of the room, ideally with a friend to help you. You’ll also need plenty of tasty treats for your dog and cat to keep both parties calm and happy. We’ve provided you with a step-by-step guide to the introduction process on our fact sheet.
Remember to keep a close eye on your cat and dog until you’re confident that they’ll be happy and safe in the same room together. It’s hard to say how long it’ll take before both pets are comfortable with each other, but patience is definitely key.
It may take them just one session to be comfortable with each other or it may take several weeks, but by investing the time now, you’re helping to foster what will hopefully be a long and close friendship between your cat and dog.
To read more about how to introduce your cat and dog, visit our fact sheet.