How to adopt a new dog for domestic cats

Kodami scientific committee member said

Counselor for human-cat relationship

Coexistence between cats and dogs Although it is not always easy Let the house cat accept the arrival of a new dog It is possible. There is no one-size-fits-all protocol for introducing a dog to a resident cat because Lots of variables. However, there are some strategies that, when applied together, make mutual contact much easier.

While it would be very convenient to have a “protocol”, there are a few steps to follow to introduce a newly adopted dog to a resident cat, the truth is that each situation is a story in itself. This is not so surprising if we think about it.

Mutable causes

Factors that come into play About how to proceed with the presentation and how to behave in the days following the first meeting There are many: Relative age (with young things, things tend to get easier but they are more frequent and potentially emotional responses and harder to contain), where you live (house downstairs or mezzanine? One floor or mezzanine) Do other animals have access restrictions? ), Some variable to consider their previous experience (did the cat see the dog in their life or did they see it for the first time? Insecure people may have more difficulty).

Also, create a bond between the dog and the cat It is a process, not an event. It takes time and goes far beyond what you do: How much more important.

So I will not provide any “standard” path to follow, there can be no equivalence with any standard when it comes to subjectivity. However, there are indications of common sense which, if followed, can make the path to mutual knowledge easier.

Give the dog time to adjust

Remember that The first few weeks the dog will be lost, Probably worried by the mass of new situations that he does not know and must learn to deal with. So welcome and be patient with her, try to make it easy for her acclimatization process: Set up an ad hoc rest area, set up a place to eat and drink and make sure you get the practical and emotional comfort you need.

Reward routine

Set up a satisfying routine right away: daily travel, moments of freedom – even within a fence, if it’s too early to undress in the open – if you want to interact with like, moments of mutual relaxation, brushing and coat care. Setting up a routine, that is, predictable and enjoyable daily practice, not only helps the adaptation process, but also helps a lot in building and then consolidating the bond with you.

The cat is at home

Immediately inform the dog of the idea that the cat is an active and welcoming member of the family. When you see a cat interacting, take care of it, even on the other side of a room or gate, indicating to the dog that he is a member of the group and that he can relate in a social way. This, combined with a growing bond with you, which you have to treat in parallel, will ensure that the dog welcomes the cat in the sense of a social group.

Freedom to escape

From the cat’s point of view, even before a new member arrives, you need to prepare the house so that he can escape the dog’s presence at any time. Multiply the chances of a cat staying high by placing shelves and freeing up scratching posts, shelves and furniture. If the cat has difficulty jumping or is not used to it, study the routes very slowly, encouraging the dog to explore them before they arrive.

Habits remain unchanged

Cats need to have that perception His needs can continue to be met So despite the dog’s presence, bowls, litter boxes and some canals must be kept out of the dog’s reach – at least initially – and any cat’s flap must be accessible regardless of the dog’s presence in the home. Prepare everything before its arrival and give the cat a few weeks to get used to the new position.

Zero-stress area

Adapting to a dog can be very stressful, especially if it persists over time (which, depending on many of the factors listed above). For this reason, it would be appropriate to prepare A “zero-pressure” area Where cats can take shelter When he needs to “unplug”. The most practical and effective way to achieve this is to install a baby gate that creates an area where the dog cannot reach (it can be removed if the two are known). The cat will decide when and when to communicate.

… And off presentation

Regarding the first appointment, there is only one hint that always applies regardless: Never force interaction, Don’t force them to go if they don’t like it and never hold the cat in your arms. Her first reaction would be to run away (along the many paths you create), which is healthy and correct: from there they will begin to know each other.

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