All Things Dog

When a Cat Enters the Mix

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Sure, you've heard the expressions, "like mother, like daughter," and "like father, like son." But what about, "like cats, like dogs?" Despite what history tries to tell you, it's definitely possible to foster a healthy, loving dog-cat relationship—and curiosity doesn't have to kill either of them.

With some extra effort and a lot of patience on your part, you can witness a picture-perfect canine-feline relationship in your home. Here's how to work your way up to a long-lasting bond between your dog and cat:

Step 1: Making Scents

Before formally introducing your four-legged friends, take advantage of their sense of smell. Keep your new cat safe and sound in his own room for a few days. Swap blankets and food bowls several times. That way, they can sniff out one another's presence in a subtle way.

Step 2: Face-to-Face Encounter

This step is often the hardest, so once you conquer it, give yourself a gold medal! For this part, keep your dog on his leash and command him to sit. Then, bring the cat into the room in a carrier. For everyone's safety, do not carry or hold your cat. If the cat and the dog are calm—and while someone is holding the dog's leash—open the door to the cat's carrier and let him walk out when he's comfortable. Make sure the cat is allowed to move freely and leave the room if he chooses. Gradually bring your dog and cat closer together. It may take several attempts for them to get completely comfortable, so we recommend giving them treats and praise when they keep their cool. Eventually, your pets will overcome their apprehension. Always be sure your cat has ready access to an area the dog does not.

Step 3: While You're Out

Maybe your pets are trying to make a good impression on you while you're around. But what happens when you leave the house? The first few times you head out for the day, consider keeping your dog and cat in separate rooms.

We know you're eager to see your dog and cat make nice, but don't get discouraged if you don't get perfect harmony right away. Patience is a virtue—and so are dog and cat treats to help you along the way!

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