Cats & Dogs Living Together

Introducing a new dog to your cats -- or a new cat to your dogs -- doesn't have to be hard. Here is some advice to help keep peace during the transition:

Start Young
Because puppies and kittens have had no bad experiences with each other, they will get along more quickly than older pets. So it makes sense, if you are thinking of having one of each, to get them as youngsters. Growing up together, they will form a bond. Always supervise their interactions, even if they are friendly, a puppy’s play may still be a bit rough for a kitten.

Know Their Personality
Knowing the personality of the cat or dog can be very useful; ajust your actions accordingly. If adopting ask about the animal's history and personality so you'll know how the animal will react to meeting a new dog or cat. Some cats or dogs may not have the right personality to live together whether one is to aggressive or timd knowing the animal's personality in advance can help prevent incompatible match.

Take things slow
Don’t force them to be together. Keep the pets separate at first, waiting 3 or 4 days before actually introducing the animals face to face. Cats and dogs are much more likely to fight or be unhappy if you try to force them together suddenly. Keep them in separate rooms and out of sight of one another until they are both calm.

Let the cat and dog smell each other
Animals get to know one another through scent, not face-to-face meetings. Begin mixing the animals smells by stroking the cat then stroking the dog and vice versa. Alternate the rooms you keep the animals in; so they can sniff where each other has been without the other animal being present. Try gently rub a towel or washcloth over the dog, and place it near the cat’s food dish or bed. After a few days, rub the item with the dog’s scent over the cat, mingling their scents. Reverse the procedure for your dog. Try feeding the cat and dog on separate sides of the same door, this will force them to adjust to the smell of the other animal.

Introducing a Dog and Cat for the First Time
The first meeting between your cat and dog should be properly supervised and brief, here are
someways you could go about this;
You can have the animals meet from opposite sides of a pet gate at first, but don’t allow them to touch noses or otherwise get too close until each is more accustomed to the sight of the other. You could also place the cat or small dog in a carrier or crate, and let the other pet sniff and circle the confined animal. This depends largely on the disposition of the confined pet. He or she may be just fine with a stranger hovering outside, or feel trapped as the other pet investigates his or her arrival. Keep your dog’s leash on and walk him/her into the same room as the cat for a brief time or hold your cat in your arms until it is calm and relaxed then ask a family member or friend to slowly bring your dog on a leash into the room. Do not let the animals make physical contact with each other, just get them used to the presence of the other.

Separate your pets once again
Don't force them to interact for too long, this will just exhaust them, which can lead to conflict. Make sure the first meeting is a good one by keeping it brief and pleasant Gradually increase the lengths of these sessions. Continue to have your dog and cat interact until they are relaxed in each other's presence.

Have realistic expectations.
You may have a long period of acclimation between the two will help you to persevere with the process of making them get along. They may eventually accept one another, with minimal interaction but no animosity, or they may develop a genuine fondness for each other but don't try and force them to be friends animals won’t fake affection.