How to introduce cats to dogs

How to introduce cats to dogs

Before getting a new cat or dog to the
household, it’s important to consider a variety of factors including the animals’
personalities, their age, whether they have any particular medical problems and
their previous experiences and reaction to the other species. Many people may be
tempted to let their animals sort it out for themselves, but this is not conducive to building positive relationships with one other.
It’s much better to manage a controlled introduction process rather
than trying to repair a damaged relationship and this is why first
impressions really count. When introducing a new animal into the
household, it’s important to give them space to settle in. So for a new cat this may
be a sanctuary room like a spare bedroom, where you can give them all of their resources,
or for a new dog you may want to section off part of the house. We also
need to be thinking in advance with our dog that they have a good level of
training in place and particularly are very familiar with
“Down” and “Stay” commands as well as being calm. So the most important part throughout
the whole introduction process is scent swapping. To do this, we need to have one
clean cloth for the cat and a separate clean cloth for the dog and
we want to rub them on the scent glands. So for a cat, you want to be rubbing them
around the cheeks and on the forehead, for example, and on a dog we want to be
rubbing them on the armpits and along their flanks. Then take the cloths, swap
them so the cat now has the scent of the dog on a cloth and the dog has a
cloth with the scent of the cat on it. Place these cloths in the environment so that
both animals have the choice to approach the cloth or to avoid them if necessary. And by observing their behaviours very carefully, we can decide how well it’s going. Now, with any type of scent swapping it’s
very important to top the scent up, so this needs to be done once a day and
then we can progress through to a glass barrier. To do this,
you may have a glass patio door for example, or French doors within the house
that have glass. And again, it’s important that both animals have the choice as to
whether they approach or not, but particularly for the cat. It’s very useful to have
other members of the household, so ideally one person for the cat and another
person for the dog, just to make sure that both animals stay calm and we
can facilitate the process. Over successive repetitions where they’ve maybe
seen each other through a glass barrier for five minutes at a time, little and often,
ideally we can progress through to another barrier, so a baby
gate or a mesh barrier for example, just so that they can see each other and start
to smell one another but not get to each other. Again, lots of little repetitions
over time, facilitating with treats so that we can really slowly build up to
the point when we get to a face-to-face interaction. When we get to the
face-to-face, it’s really important that the cat has the most control over the
situation. They’ll feel much safer if they are in control and they can run
away if they want to or they can hide. Over a period of successive interactions
with each other, the dog can progress with having a short lead, then going
on to a long lead and allowing the dog a little bit more access to the cat, to maybe
sniff them, but then call your dog back. Give them a treat and praise them for coming back. Owners can progress when using a long lead on their dog to actually letting the dog off the lead if
the dog looks like they’re going to be calm and they’re going to stay relaxed and
not chase the cat, but equally that the cat also feels relaxed in the presence of
the dog and is unlikely to run in the event that the dog is let off its lead.
Monitor both the animals’ reactions to see how they’re getting along during
all of these parts of the process. So whether it’s the glass barrier or the
mesh barrier or even the face-to-face. For the cat, we want to be looking out
for signs that they’re relaxed, such as normal-sized pupils, their ears facing
forward and a relaxed body posture. For the dog, we want to make sure that they
are relaxed, that they’re not anxious and also they’re not too excited by the cat,
that they want to chase them or really pulling at the leash to try and get at them.
Equally if the dog stares at the cat too much, this could be a problem too. When
introducing cats and dogs together, some people may be tempted to put the cat in
a cat basket to reduce signs of fighting, for example. However, most cats
have got negative associations with cat baskets and this is only going to make
them feel more stressed. In addition it removes their control
and their ability to run away or to hide or to get up high, so it’s very
important to allow cats to express their natural behaviours and not place them in cat baskets. If owners have any problems introducing cats and dogs together, it’s best to
seek help sooner rather than later. We’d recommend that they approach their vet
first of all to make sure there’s no medical problems involved and then get a
referral to a qualified behaviourist such as a member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors.

Comments (100)

  1. Yeah I'm just gonna throw them in a room and close the door

  2. I got a dog yesterday my grandpa is holding on to it and taking care of it rn because my cat was hissing when she saw it

  3. my dog gets on with cats but my cat didn't get on with dogs, until my dog fell asleep on my couch once and my cat started licking its leg and now they get on fine. weird!!!!!!

  4. Great, but there's no time to play around like that for days. You bring a puppy home and have to introduce it to your dog. How would you do this in a best way?

  5. Exactly what I needed! Clear and concise ..Thank you!!

  6. My cat grew up with a dog but she hates any other animals that are bigger than her even by a tiny bit

  7. Great advice. how long can this process take, when cat and do will be comfortable with each other?

  8. This is how men should meet women

  9. one of my cats has ptsd from a dog and i’m just really nervous of getting one when i turn 18 because i don’t want to get rid of him but at the same time i could use a dog for my disability and mental health

  10. No entiendo nadaaa

  11. This is so help full for me as we are introducing a dog into our cats thank you!

  12. My dog wont get along i tried she wont listen i guess my dog is a thug :I


  14. What breed of dog is that beautiful animal?

  15. The music was overpowering the female voice and it was a British accent, so even more difficult to understand.

  16. Im thinking about getting an akita inu this summer and im wondering how to do this kind of introduction because we already have 3 cats. Do i introduce them to the puppy together or one by one. Do I do the towel thing with each cat or 1 towel for all of them.. I guess I will seek professional help just to be sure everything is okay…

  17. These videos about how to care for and introduce etc cats are excellent – very well made, informative, and extremely useful. However, this one is difficult to understand due to the loud background music, which is a pity. If it is possible to re-edit the video to lower the background music and then upload it again, then I'd suggest doing that, because the information is provides is very valuable, and it is a pity if people give up on watching it because they can't hear properly what Nicky is saying due to the loud music

  18. What breed of dog is in the video?

  19. I have a grown boy cat and i want to adopt an English mastiff puppy. Im afraid that it won't work

  20. Great video but for someone hard of hearing (me) the background music is annoying and means I can’t hear the narrative clearly.

  21. thanks iteresting but we are going to have to bring my dads cat into our house with a Terrier dog in it, I think its going to be difficult.

  22. The music is making it way too difficult to hear what she's saying 🙁

  23. very helpful considering I have a dog!

  24. How to introduce cats and dogs? Let them watch Catdog.

  25. I did this wrong I didn’t research I just recently got a new puppy and my cat that is six years of age doesn’t like him at all first introduced them to Each other and that went well they just sniffed each other, now I’m letting my puppy in the cats room and my cat doesn’t like it, what should I do

  26. My cat and dogs r sweet! They dont attack, but my cat hates other cats .-. , her only friends r dogs,
    Is it Normal she hates other cats then dogs??

  27. Thanks! I'm getting a dog in a couple months, and I have 2 territorial cats.

  28. This video would be wonderful… If I could here what the hell y'all are talking about.

  29. I have a huge Labrador and he's a big baby and seems scared of the kitten we showed him through our mesh patio door he won't even make eye contact, but the kitten loves our dog and lived with dogs before we adopted him and looks like he would love to play with him, which would be awesome, but labs are huge especially ours since he's a bit overweight, so if this all works out, I wouldn't let the kitten ever be alone with our lab until he's fully grown just in case, and I'm wondering if It would be best to introduce both of them even if the kitten is 8 weeks old or is that too soon, I do want them to get along well when the kitten grows up, because I know our big dog is lonely.

  30. MOST HELPFUL GUIDE IVE FOUND! Thank you!!!!!

  31. Just recently got a 3 month old kitten yesterday. Their first meeting was unintentional, i brought her inside in her crate and the dog rushed me and jumped up and she hissed and smacked the cage with her paw. We can't tell if the dog is being aggressive or just wants to play with her. He doesn't growl or anything but tries to put his mouth around her. He will like rip your arms off trying to get to her. We currently have them in separate rooms and alternate letting one have freedom so they can smell each other. She really doesn't show any negative signs. She ignores him and just walks around exploring but as soon as he tries to move fast while we are holding him she gets scared. I'm absolutely terrified he is going to hurt her. What can we do?

  32. Great video, if only I could have heard it

  33. My dog keeps attacking my cat whenever my cat is on the floor. He won't stop. He is 3 years old.

  34. I did want to hear the voice, not the music!!! Show some mercy 😀

  35. My dog just met a cat for the first time last night. Got bitch slapped by the cat ??

  36. God thats a lot of work. I have no glass of screen barriers in my house… My little dog hate hates hates cats. If my new cat makes one false move twards her she is never going to want to see the cat again.

  37. I'm moving into a house with a yappy little chihuahua. He's so excitable so I'm a little worried.

  38. I have two mice and I’m aloud to get either a dog, cat, or bunny. I would choose bunny but I’ve had so much trauma with them lately because I lost two bunnies in a row. The first one was killed by a dog we were looking after and the second died for no reason at all! They are such delicate animals so I’m scared to get another. They are like more adorable yet fragile versions of cats and dogs.

  39. 2000 years later they may actually interact

  40. I want to adopt a special needs kitten, and I already own a small dog. I'm not very concerned about the dog harming the cat, since she's very docile and well mannered (and I know how to teach dogs to be nice), has never hurt another animal or a person. She might actually end up being afraid of the kitten. My biggest concern is that she has large eyes and I've heard stories of shih tzus becoming blind after cat attacks. The kitten is still very small but seems to be docile and affectionate, so I hope they'll become best friends, but I wanted to know, just in case, if there's any way to teach a cat to not paw a dog's face.
    I've never owned a cat, only dogs, but she's adorable and I have the means to take care of her, so I really want to adopt her, yet I need her to fit in with the family.

  41. Cut or replace the music track, it's very distracting

  42. The music's way too loud

  43. dog in the video isn't interested in the cat from the beginning lol

  44. How come you have the music so high with the girl's voice so low. Wtf seriously.

  45. Recommendation for a small 3rd story apartment? Alittle hard to keep them that far apart for any amount of time.

  46. When my puppy is in her cage sleeping, I sometimes bring my cat out and show her the puppy. I leave her in the living room for a little bit then I let her go back into the room she's most comfortable in. That's not what bad thing to do is it?

  47. Good info but the music makes it hard to listen to the words spoken. Hearing-challenged people like myself have to struggle to hear the words here. I will have to watch someone else's video to get the info fully.

  48. Why in the bloody hell they put such loud music … So difficult to follow

  49. This seems a bit extra

  50. I definitely agree with the music being too loud but FYI you can turn on captions guys ❤️?

  51. My cat ate my dog after a failed introduction. My cat is a lion.

  52. I agree with the message below mine. If you could just forget the music. It's very distracting.

  53. When I did the scent test with the cat and he dog on fresh new cloths , when the dog was calm I let him smell the cloth and all of a sudden he gets very jumpy and happy and starts looking around for the cat , his tail would curl up and be very weary of his surroundings .

    For the cat she didn't really react apart from sitting there and do nothing…

    Personally I wouldn't want the dog to get excited and start chasing the cat . How can I get the dog to not get excited ?

  54. Remove the music and it would be interesting to listen to, how inappropriate, it's not a jingle ?

  55. Dumb dogs, Meow!!

  56. What breed is that dog? It's so pretty

  57. I need help. I just got a doxle a month ago and I currently have 3 cats. 1 specifically is the problem. He pops and claws the dog and hisses if she comes near to sniff her. I need help!

  58. My sisters cat hates everyone lol ?

  59. For those having trouble hearing over the background music, if you click on the three vertical dots in the video screen (settings) you can turn on captions there

  60. I have two small dogs, I saved a baby kitten that was stuck in a car, I want to adopt her but im scared about my two dogs. Thanks for the tips, and if anyone else knows more tips then PLEASE!! Take the time to tell me

  61. Thankyou, this helped a lot thanks!

  62. What if the dog is overly excited and the cat already took a jab at the dog and now is afraid the dog will fight back?

    Heads up: my dog is soo curious and didn't see it as an attack my cat is just really paranoid

  63. So my pets have known each other for two years and still fight any ideas

  64. i have a 5 year old cat she’s an outdoor cat but we made a little house attached to the house so she can enter the big house or the smaller one or go outside and i’m going to get 2 puppies in a few months what should i do? i’m scared that my cat is going to run away by the dogs the dogs are going to be an outdoor dog and i love my cat sm i don’t want to lose her (she’s fat so idk if she’s running away)

  65. We just did old school style let the dogs in the house and they ran right up to the cat worked out fine for us

  66. I couldn't hear it. The background music is way too loud.

  67. I'll just put the cat on the floor and let them get to know each other……….

  68. What's all the loud music all.about

  69. What if my cat want to fight ?

  70. i didn't do any of this and my two dogs and cat have been inseparable since day 1. They now don't even play with me indoors they just snuggle up to each other constantly. Obviously i did the wrong thing but thankfully it worked. Helps that all three have great temperaments. Cant say that I am too pleased as now am just seen as the person who feeds them and talks them for walks, at other times they couldn't care less if I was around at all. Rarely they will all three try to snuggle on top of me, but by god their heavy!!

  71. Our cAt iS sO MaD!

  72. I might need to watch this hundred times XD

  73. 2 months aqo I got a dog and the cat hates him and the dog is scared of the cat and I'm a bit worried if I let the dog out the cat will hurt him so I'm going to try your edvice and see if it will work

  74. So they need to understand peace like World War One ☝️ but just scenting works

  75. My cat just keeps on scaring my dog. Shouldn’t it be the opposite lol

  76. Turn the music DOWN PLEASE

  77. It is all but impossible to hear what is being said. The music is much, much too loud. Please could this be sorted out because I'm going to need to watch this video repeatedly to merge the new dog with the cats and having watched it three times already the music is driving me mad.

  78. My cat will literally be outside and I’ll bring the dog out to him, and regardless of whether he has the possibility of running away, the cat always tries to swat at the dog

  79. Thanks good advice but why do you have an intrusive music ruining your instructions? I never understand why people have music when they are talking , it's pointless and not helpful.

  80. The music makes it very difficult to hear u and understand u

  81. This is so helpful! We have one cat and one dog and hopefully soon we will be having a retired guide dog. He has been to our house a few times now but my cat is really scared of him, which I think is due to the dog's size compared to our own dog.
    I shall be using all of these steps in hopes that my cat will come around. Wish me luck!

  82. Awesome video thanks for the help

  83. the music is so loud, tone it down. i can barely understand what shes saying.

  84. I have a 5 month female GS dog and a 2.5 yr old male cat, they still cant get along, the cat is just scared of its own shadow, the dog barks and wants to play but the cat just can't handle it.

  85. okay and if we have no glass barriers…?

  86. My sister has a cat that loves being pet on the stomach

  87. Why do I ship it so much?

  88. I just got a new kitten and as soon as we got her home our dogs started going crazy and trying to play with her and our cat was already stressed from the trip and started hissing at the dogs. The female dog just won't stop going after the kitten. What can i do to calm my dogs down?

  89. Its recommended to not put the, in my case, kitten in a crate, can I use a crate for my dog so that the kitten cam explore and get comfortable?

  90. It's ALWAYS a variation of a collie or Shepherd they use in these training videos.. how about an actual, real challenge, like a working coonhound or sighthound???

  91. Easiest way adopt both as a baby and they will get along.

  92. Lmao I just plopped my cat down next to my dog and there was no isse

  93. My family has been thinking/considering getting a dog for a while, a Boston Terrier to be exact, but our only concern is getting our two cats to get along with it. We’ll see if this works. It was very nicely explained!

  94. Good info but your background music is too loud and distracting.

  95. You have great knowledge. A suggestion, lower the music just a tad so it doesn't overpower what you are saying. I subscribed. Good learning knowledge

  96. What if the cat is bigger than the dog?

  97. OMG thank you for the background music I was hoping I would have a hard time hearing what she was saying

  98. I have a question is it better to have a Kitten and Puppy ? so they can grow up together

  99. My boyfriend has a dog and I have a cat and we’re going to move in together. I have found many video giving tips on how to introduce them, but none says if there is a preferred order in which which animal moves into a new place first (or if at the same time is best).

    My worry is that introducing one animal into the home a few days before the other will make that animal very territorial and maybe less accepting of the other. However, introducing them at the same time means especially for my cat that he will feel scared of the dog AND the new home, so double the stress. Any tips?

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