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How to Introduce the New Puppy to Your Cat

| November 3, 2010
How to Introduce the New Puppy to Your Cat

Most pet owners believe that the best way to introduce two pets is simply to throw them together. But it is not understood that cats and dogs have very different ways to approach a new animal. Care must be taken when introducing animals if an owner has any hope of the two getting along.

Most pet owners believe that the best way to introduce two pets is simply to throw them together. But it is not understood that cats and dogs have very different ways to approach a new animal. Care must be taken when introducing animals if an owner has any hope of the two getting along.

Both cats and dogs are very territorial and it will be useful to understand how some of this territorial instinct works. Wild cats, from which the common house cat was slowly bred, are generally quite solitary. They do not usually live in large family units unless they are raising a litter of kits. Their territory is important to them and they will defend it as well as mark the boundaries with urine. Because a cat’s territory is its home, a cat will need to examine new comers very carefully. Changes in a cat’s life including new additions to its territory can be very stressful, especially for a cat who leads a very static life.

The ancestors of the dog on the other hand tend to live in large family units and these packs have a territory in which they hunt and live. While a dog might perceive all the members of its owner’s family as its pack, it will still be as curious as a cat and possibly defensive around new additions such as a cat. With a bit of time however, a dog will come to understand a cat as just another member of the pack, albeit one that might ignore him completely.

Because a cat and a dog will approach a new addition to the family in a different way, a pet owner must consider this when allowing them to meet each other. A dog will want to hop right in and test the cat, sniff it, see if it wants to play or if it will try to be dominant over him. A cat on the other hand needs time to observe from a distance. Cats are naturally more cautious and are unlikely to dash towards unknown objects.

You should keep the dog outside the house first before you locate your cat. Once you have discovered the cat’s location, bring the dog in on a short leash. Enter the room with the cat and have your dog sit and stay or lie down. Your objective is to give the cat enough time to understand the dog a little bit and to get used to his presence. You will want to keep your dog as calm as possible, so before the introduction, consider taking the dog on a long walk. Once the dog is sitting, reward the dog and the cat.

You can keep the first introduction short so as not to stress out the cat. Make sure you keep the dog on leash until the cat is comfortable with a calm dog. Do not unleash your dog before you feel that your cat is comfortable with the dog presence.

Copyright & Credit:
Jared Wright – Source: http://www.submityourarticle.com

Do you know that Americans spend more money on cat food than on baby food annually? Find out more about cats on PetCustomer.com, including topics such as cat health and training & cat supplies: http://www.petcustomer.com/category/cat/ http://www.petcustomer.com/category/cat/supplies/

Photo copyright and courtesy: Martin K– stock.xchng

Category: Feline Articles, Feline Health and Care, Feline Resources

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