Do you have cats and are considering a dog? Do you have a dog and are considering a cat? Cat Faeries offers advice for introducing these two very different species to ensure the transition is as peaceful and harmonious as possible!
How to Expand Your Cat or Dog Family
Prepare in advance!
- Have My New Home is a flower essence formula to help the new addition to your fur family adjust, acclimate, bond, make new friends, and enjoy each other.
- Have Multi Cat Household Harmony, a flower essence formula which can be given to both species for acceptance, friendship and bonding. No, the dog will not start to purr!
- Have Calm and Serene on hand to steady the nerves of either species! Here’s a what customer recently told us: “What a wonderful difference Calm and Serene has made for our 3 kitties and one in particular who is high anxiety. Thank you!!” Mary Ann
- Have Convivial House Cat which is calming to a cat and prevents peeing/pooping out of the box two problems which could start but are easy to prevent
- Have Anti Icky Poo for any urine clean up needs. Puppies are learning to hold it or learning how to signal you.
- Think carefully about how and when you’ll begin introductions. Decide which humans will be involved.
- Look into a good dog trainer or videos. Read about clicker training and crating dogs.
- Has the dog had experience with cats? Ask about how the dog previously interacted with cats. Ask the same questions about a cat if you already have a dog.
- Do you have a dog at home who hasn’t met a cat before? Invite a friend’s cat over to play to see how they interact. If you discover your pup is aggressive or rough with cats, work with a trainer before you bring a cat home. If you’re a cat family, do the same work to ensure they’re ready to welcome home a dog.
- What is the personality of the new cat or dog? Are they playful or mellow? Do they have a quick temper or are they easily frightened? Consider what kind of cat or dog would work best with your current family. A fearful cat probably won’t like a dog. A good dog trainer and a good shelter volunteer can help you match personalities.
- Think about the age and activity level of your animal family. If you’ve got kittens who like to play, they may respond fine to a younger dog who has lots of energy. However, if you’ve got a chilled out older cat, adding an active puppy to the mix may be difficult and a senior dog might be better.
When you’re ready for introductions, take your time moving through each phase of the process.
- Before the official introductions, find a separate space for the cat and dog to reside in your home. After a few days, have them switch places. Repeat this process several times. This will allow them to learn the scent of the other animal before physical contact. They may be curious, excited, or anxious about the new smells in the house. This is normal!
- Next allow them in the same room but make sure the dog is on a leash held by an adult who knows how to let the dog know who’s in charge. Start by having them in the same room for 15 minutes and increase in increments of 15 minutes until you are up to an hour. Let them sniff each other out. Then, separate them for a few hours. Repeat this cycle as often as you can. We encourage you to have that dog trainer help.
- Once the dog is calm and the cat is comfortable moving around freely, let your dog off leash but continue to oversee their interactions. It may take time, but you’ll know they’re comfortable with each other when your cat eats and uses the litter box freely and your dog is relaxed with the cat.
- Some dogs like eating what they find in cat’s litter boxes! Having a dog nosing around a litter box could cause your cat to not want to use it and therefore pee/poop out of the box. Make sure the dog does not have easy access to litter boxes.
- Cats and dogs should ideally eat away from each other – this helps to keep the peace. A dog should have a separate water bowl near the bed or in the crate.
Don’t worry if this takes longer than you hoped for. With love, patience and consistent practice, your new family will find their own rhythm living together!