Introducing Your Cat and Dog

Introducing Your Cat and Dog

Where did we hear that cats and dogs don’t get along? Many people have the misconception that cats and dogs are mortal enemies and cannot get along.

Pet parents all across the world have proven that this is not the case and have safely introduced their cats and dogs to the point that they’ve best friends. Here’s how you can introduce your new cat to your dog, or the other way around.


Whenever a new pet comes into the mix, a huge part of your preparation will be how your present pet(s) will react to the changes. You must take into consideration several factors such as breed, age, and more important past traumas and experiences. If you are seeking to adopt from a shelter, you will need to look into the history of the cat or dog and ideally choose one which has lived with either species before.

The best introductions usually happen with puppies and kittens since they are like a blank slate (considering temperament) ready to be exposed to new environments and experiences. On the other hand, introducing young and senior pets is not usually a good idea. One thing you should note is that certain dog breeds are less friendly towards cats, for example, herding, hunting, or protection dogs. This all ultimately depends on temperament.

How to introduce your cat and dog

Both are territorial animals, so you need to take certain steps to introduce them properly.

Step 1: Getting them accustomed to each other’s scents

Keep them separated at first so neither of them feels threatened or overwhelmed. Your original pet should be able to do all the things he/she is used to, and the newbie should be accommodated in a separate room with the essentials. Get them used to each other’s scent by putting a towel close to where they sleep then swapping it after a few nights. Observe how they react over the course of a few days, and continue to swap the towels until you observe a positive reaction.

Step 2: Face-to-face introductions

Once you observe a positive reaction, it’s time for them to face off. Start by having them on either side of a closed-door or about 6 feet from each other. Introduce treats or toys so that they associate the introductions with positivity.

Step 3: Supervised interaction

Once satisfied that they are ready to meet, allow them to be in the same space as you supervise. Both animals should be on a leash but do not try to control the situation. If they interact, that’s great, if they stick to their own corner, don’t force it. If it is negative, cut the session short and slowly increase it until you have positive meetings.

Step four: Free roam

If they seem to be besties, let them free roam and co-exist. Ensure they have their own beds, bowls, food, and space to prevent spats and everything should be fine.

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