Having animals that are from completely different species may be a challenge. Not all of them get along well at first. However, many people think that animals like cats and dogs are mortal foes, which is not actually true. They have their differences, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t share the same space. It will require some training and patience, but it can be done. 

Nevertheless, many people don’t know how to bring a new pet and meet it with another one in the house. If you want to know more about the subject, this article is perfect for you. Here, you can learn about why you should keep dog’s and cat’s food separate, why at first you should put them in different rooms, and when to bring a new pet into the house. Enjoy!

How to Introduce a New Dog and Cat?

Dogs and cats are different species; they have different needs and personalities. That’s why you can’t just choose a dog, name it (you can check puppies’ names here, for example), and bring it home to a cat. The same thing is true vice versa. Cats and dogs need some time to adjust to the situation, and your goal should be to make them feel comfortable, but at the same time to respect their species’ nature.

Here are some rules and suggestions for you to start:

  1. Put a cat and a dog in separate rooms at first and see how they act. If they seem relaxed and don’t show signs of aggression, you can proceed to the next step.
  2. Let them meet each other in a neutral zone (e.g., backyard). Observe their reaction and stop if they seem stressed or aggressive. You can try again later, but not so soon. If you see that they start to react aggressively toward each other, it’s better to leave them alone for two days or so.
  3. Feed your new pet separately from your older one for at least a few days (even if they get along well). This way, they will remain calm and comfortable. 
  4. When you notice that your cat and dog don’t show any signs of aggression anymore, you can start introducing them to each other. For this step, it’s best to put them in the same room together and use treats as a reward for good behavior. Let them sniff each other and enjoy the moment, but always stay alert, so you can control the situation in case of an emergency.
  5. If everything goes well, you can let them hang out for longer periods of time (e.g., play together, sleep together, etc.) However, you will have to supervise them for some time to ensure that nothing goes wrong. Keep an eye on their body language and try to notice signs of stress before things get out of hand.

Should I Feed My Cat and Dog Separately?

If your dog is well-behaved and doesn’t act aggressively towards your cat, there’s no reason why you should keep their food separate. However, if you have a dog who is constantly trying to steal your cat’s food or even attack him, then it’s best if you keep their meals apart. Otherwise, your cat may become stressed out or sick due to poor nutrition. The same goes the other way round. 

Why Do Cats Hiss When Dogs Approach?

Cats are very territorial animals; therefore, they don’t like dogs too much. When a cat sees a dog coming up to him, he will hiss because he wants to be alone. A cat knows that he could get hurt if he tries to fight a dog; therefore, he chooses to defend himself by hissing right away.

If you want your cat and dog to get along well, then you have to teach both of them that it’s okay for them to be near each other without any tension or intimidation involved.

When Is The Right Time To Bring Another Pet Into The House?

Every situation is unique, but in general, the best time to introduce a pet to your household is when your cat or dog is younger. A puppy or a kitten that is under 6 months old will usually accept other animals easier than an adult animal would. You can also try to do a slow introduction, which means that you bring your pet to your house and let it get used to your cat or dog little by little.

When to Separate Your Dog and Cat?

There are many times when you will have to separate your cat and dog for different reasons. For example, if you plan to go on vacation and leave your pets alone, you should separate them a few days before you depart. This way, they will grow accustomed to being alone and won’t feel as stressed out as they would if you just separated them right away.

Also, if one of your pets becomes ill or injured, then you should keep them apart for a while. This way, they won’t feel each other’s fear and stress, and if one of them gets aggressive over the illness or injury, they won’t cause much harm.

Conclusion

When you already have a pet, it can be challenging to bring someone new home. However, being a cat- or a dog-owner shouldn’t stop you from fulfilling your wishes of having many pets. You just need to follow several rules.

If you want your animals to get along well with each other, then you have to respect their species’ nature and always keep an eye on their behavior. You need to know how to introduce a new pet properly, feed your pets separately if needed, and separate them before leaving for some time.

Also, remember to provide proper food, water, and shelter for them; take them to the vet at least once a year; and give them plenty of affection whenever they need it. This way, they won’t get jealous or fall ill and will be able to have fun together.


About the Author: Lewis Perkins has his master’s degree in Management and Social Communication, but human-animal attachments fascinate him the most. In his field of interest, you can also find comparative psychology, behavioural science, parenting, and writing. If he’s not petting his dachshund right now, he’s probably writing about how to do it properly.