June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, and you may have decided to add another little furball to your home. Dogs and cats are said to be natural enemies, but that doesn’t have to be the case! Best friends come in all shapes and sizes, and with the right training and a proper introduction, your dog and your new cat can become the best of pals.
At Off-Leash K9 Huntsville, we offer a variety of dog obedience training to help your loveable furball become a well-behaved member of the family. Our expert trainers will provide you and your pup with the dog training tools you need to master the basics. There’s nothing we love more than watching an owner and their dog bond during one of our training sessions, and whether you need to teach your old dog some new tricks or you’re looking for training that is specifically geared toward your energetic puppy, we’ve got it all! Browse our website to learn more about the classes that we have to offer, and contact Off-Leash K9 Huntsville to sign up today!
If you’ve recently brought a kitten into your home, you may be worried about how your tiny little feline will react to your dog. In today’s blog, we will give you a few tips on how to properly introduce your dog and your cat in order to avoid as much chaos as possible. However, the first step to a proper introduction is training, and if your dog needs to brush up on their manners before the big meeting, then come to Off-Leash K9 Huntsville!
When you bring any new animal home, it’s a good idea to keep them confined to their own space until they become used to the sounds and smells of your home, and the same goes for your new kitty. This first step is mostly used to help your new cat calm down and feel more comfortable in your their new home. Because your cat will be able to most likely smell the dog in your home, it’s especially important that you take this step slowly. Allowing your cat to feel comfortable in their new environment is crucial when it comes time to make the introduction between canine and feline.
Once you have given your cat time to become more comfortable, the next step is to help both of your animals become familiar with the other’s scent. The best way to do this is to use a cloth or towel and place it in each pet’s bed. After a few nights of sleeping on the towel, take them away and give your cat’s towel to the dog and give the dog’s towel to the cat. Even though both animals will be able to smell each other in the house, giving them the towel is the best way to allow them to get to know each other without meeting face-to-face.
Use a Baby Gate
The next step in the process is to have your pets meet face-to-face. At this point, you still want to take the process slow, which is why we recommend investing in a baby gate. You can place the baby gate at the entrance of the cat’s room and leave the door open. The gate allows your animals to sniff at each other, but there is still a protective barrier that will prevent your pup from chasing after your cat.
If you feel that your kitty is calm enough, you can open the baby gate and let them explore. That being said, it’s best if you let your curious cat explore the house while the dog is outside or at the dog park.
Introduce on a Leash
Another option for introducing your two furballs is to attach a leash to your pup and calmly introduce the two. Should you choose to use this method, you may want to ask another person for assistance, especially if the dog becomes aggressive or trying to lunge towards the cat. You will also want to keep in mind that you shouldn’t try to retrain your kitty. Give your cat a chance to explore the house while your dog sits calmly on the leash. You don’t want to force the cat and dog together, as that will cause fear and aggression. Instead, allow your cat the chance to feel comfortable and bold enough to meet the dog on their own.
Beware of Fear and Aggression
When your kitty and pup meet for the very first time, don’t be surprised if your dog growls or your cat hisses, as these are natural responses. With that in mind, it’s important that you watch both animals closely during the initial introduction and watch for any signs of aggression. If you start to see signs that the cat is getting uncomfortable or that the dog looks ready to attack the cat, it’s better to remove both animals from the situation and try again later.
Refresh Your Pup’s Training at Off-Leash K9!
Even if your pup has received obedience training in the past, it’s best that you take a refresher course if you plan on bringing a new pet into the mix. Luckily, if you’re in the Huntsville area, Off-Leash K9 Huntsville can help! Check out our extensive list of classes, and contact us to get started today.