In our blog post, Why can’t cats and dogs just get along?, we consider the differences between cats and dogs, and some reasons why they very don’t see eye to eye. We are not saying that two of these in the same household won’t ‘get on like a house on fire’. What we are saying is that‘fighting like cats and dogs’ is more of a default situation. So, here are some tips about how to introduce a new puppy or kitten into a house, where there is already a pet of the other species – without it becoming a warzone!
Rather than force two pets to be with each other from the onset, it is better to gently introduce them to each other. You should go slowly and if possible, get the two animals used to the smell of the other. This can be done by:
Keep in separate rooms.
For the first week or so, aim to keep the animals in separate rooms, so they are out of each other’s sight, but aware of each other’s presence. Next you want to try:
A good way of getting a cat and a dog to get used to each other’s smell is to alternate the rooms they occupy, when separated. Make sure that during this time you stroke both cat and dog. This is so that the smell of one animal will be transferred from you to the other.
Show equal love
Pets can get jealous. When you introduce the animals to each other for the first time, make sure you give love and attention to each in equal measure.
Gradually increase time they spend together
After you have introduced the two pets to each other for the first time, don’t leave it too long before separating them again. Instead, gradually increase the time they spend together, before separating them on successive occasions.
Separate when you are not around
Under normal non-Covid circumstances many owners are out of the house for parts of the day. If this is the case for your household, separate your pets. Do this until they are fully comfortable in each other’s company. Who knows, you may find this cat and dog become friends, or at least agree to tolerate each other!