This post is inspired by all the inquiries I received in the last 2 weeks about introducing dogs to cats.
Some dogs are fine when meeting a new cat, and there are those that cannot be trusted to live safely with a cat.
To determine whether the dog can peacefully live with a cat, put the dog on leash and make sure there is no tension on the leash. Watch the dog’s and the cat’s body language as they slowly meet. It’ll be best to have 2 people during the introduction.
If the dog is not behaving aggressively, ask him for a sit or down. You will need to have high value treats in your treat pouch. Your treats need to be so good that the dog will find them more interesting than chasing the cat.
Treat and praise the dog for looking back at you and remaining calm. This will allow the cat to come closer to investigate, but this will depend on the cat. If the cat is really shy then he/she may not want to approach the dog.
If the dog stiffens his body, barks at and focuses on the cat, then he has strong prey drive. In this situation, make sure that the dog doesn’t get any opportunity to chase or harm the cat. Put the cat in a room and use a sturdy and tall enough baby gate so that they can still see each other.
Now you can work with the dog and get him to do tricks, play and focus on things other than the cat, so that you can reward him for not paying attention to the cat. This process may take several days for the dog and the cat to learn to coexist in the same house.
When you leave the house, please make sure that the cat and the dog are separated to ensure their safety.
Give this a try and leave your comments below. I would love to hear your feedback.