Q: Will my new cat get along with my dog?

June 28, 2010 | By Mary T. | 1 answer | Expired: 2040 days ago

Mary T.

How should I perform introductions — new cat to resident dog?

Chosen Answer

Introductions between a new cat and a resident dog should be performed with consideration for each pet’s feelings — with care and without impatience.

Put yourself in the new cat’s place: “I agreed to go home with this nice human. No one mentioned a dog.” Then think about what your dog is thinking: “I’ve tried to be the perfect pet. What more do they need?”

On move-in day, get the dog out of the house. Install the cat in a safe space of its own— with food, water, litter pan and the carrier the cat came in — in a separate room if possible.

Let the dog back in his house. And let the closed-door sniffing and inquisitive communication (“Are you a dog out there?” “Yeah, are you the feline friend I’ve always dreamed of?”) continue for a week.

Be patient. Be considerate. Have the dog on a leash — and an escape route ready for the cat — when you finally make face-to-face introductions.

Repeat as necessary. It can take a month for both parties to get comfortable with each other.

Thanks to the vets at BluePearl Veterinary Partners (bluepearlvet.com) for this answer.

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