A common question that gets asked is how to integrate a new puppy into a cat household.
It’s a tough question because a lot depends on the dedication of the owners and their willingness to learn and be flexible to the needs of both animals. Cats can be the problem and so can the dog or puppy in a lot of instances.
Managing your Cat & Dog
I’t probably no surprise that you will be in for some cold shoulder treatment from your cat. It’s common to see them change their habits completely and to emotionally disconnect. Many cat owners report them not sleeping in their bed anymore, not resting on the couch where they used to and basically camping outside, away from the reach of the intruder.
This response is to you and the dog. Here’s some key points to consider.
- Always supervise their initial interactions, don’t leave them alone. Dogs can get aggressive and attack and vice versa. Controlled and supervised ‘socialising’ is strongly recommended in the early stages (this could take a couple weeks)
- The dog is the guest and it’s important it knows it’s place. They are pack animals and it’s important they know their place in the hierarchy. Don’t elevate them above the cat or favour them in front of the cat
- Start obedience training immediately so the puppy can respect boundaries around the house and with the cat
- Stay focused on the task, if you are committed to the process it will be smooth sailing in 1- 2 weeks, if you let it slip it could never happen
The truth of the matter is that integrating any animal will be a challenge. Not just dogs, new cats is also a struggle. But the nice thing about introducing a pup is that they can be trained, they join the bottom of the ‘food chain’ in the household hierarchy and when well managed it can be happy pet household sooner than later. For options on housing your cat and dog separately while you’re on holiday consider these local options.