How to Bring a Cat Home when You Have Dogs

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Choose a cat with a similar temperament to your dog.,
Confine the cat in a separate room.,
Feed your animals on opposite sides of the door.,
Trade the dog and cat’s toys.

When adopting a cat, it is best to look for one that will fit the temperament, energy, and age of your dog. For example, if you have a calm, low-energy dog, a calm, mature cat may be a better fit than a young, rambunctious kitten. Choosing a cat that will match your dog’s personality will decrease the chance of conflict in the home.

Older dogs will do better with older cats, but older cats may not be used to socializing with older dogs. At the shelter, ask if there are any cats that are known to live well with dogs.Younger dogs and cats may be able to play together. By raising them together, you allow them to grow accustomed to another animal. Puppies are capable of injuring kittens, however, and may require extra supervision.;
, Before you bring the cat home, choose a room to isolate the cat in for the first few weeks. Place a food and water dish, litter box, toys, a scratching post, and a cat bed in this room.The goal is to let your pets slowly grow used to the other’s smell so that they do not think that the other pet is an intruder in their territory.

Bedrooms work well for this purpose. If you have a home office or a rec room with a door, you might also decide to put the cat in there.
Remember that the dog should not come into this room, nor should you let the cat leave it until you are ready to introduce the pets. Keep the door shut to separate the animals.
Different animals may adjust to their new housemates at different rates. For some situations, you may only need to confine the cat for a few days, while in other situations, you may need to keep the cat confined for up to a month.

, Once you have brought the cat home, you will want to slowly bring their scent to the dog. Place the cat’s food dish near the door of their confined room. Put your dog’s food dish on the opposite side of this door. Keep the door closed as you feed them. The dog and cat will pick up on each other’s scents, but they will associate them with pleasant experiences, such as eating.You may want to set the dishes about a foot or two away from the door and slowly inch them closer. This will slow the process, but it will reduce the chance that either the cat or dog will panic because of the other’s scent.
Your dog and cat may sniff at the crack of the door. You might even notice that both of them are near the door at the same time smelling each other through the space. Watch these interactions closely. If the dog barks or if the cat tries to swat under the door, they may not be ready to be introduced yet. If they move on and ignore the other, you might be able to let them meet.

, Another way that you can introduce your pets’ scents to one another is to give them each other’s toys. Take a toy or blanket that your cat has used, and let your dog sniff it. Do the same with the dog’s toys in the cat’s room. This will help normalize the presence of the other pet in the house.

You can also rub a towel on each pet to pick up their scent. This towel can be placed under their food dish.

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