I'm bringing a new dog home. How do I introduce the dog to my cat?

Guide to Introducing your Cat to a New Dog

Dogs don’t have to chase cats! If introduced correctly, cats and dogs can learn to live quite peacefully in the same home. Follow these steps to ensure a positive introduce and to set your pets up for success!

Create a room for your new dog

Use a bedroom, bathroom, study, etc. Set it up with food, water, and toys. Place a baby gate in the door way.

Your cat will continue to have access to the rest of the house.

Let your cat set the pace

Don’t force your cat to interact with the dog. A cat’s natural curiosity will eventually bring her to check out the new dog.

Feel free to give the cat treats when she does choose to come closer to the dog. You can also treat your new dog for remained calm when the cat is nearby.

Refresh your dog’s obedience skills

Make sure you can get your dogs attention.

Say your dog’s name. As soon as he looks at you, give him some treats and praise him.

Continue to do this with increased distractions. Will your dog still turn and look at you when a ball is rolling by? When a squirrel is outside the window?

Practice calm behaviors. These will help your dog remain calm in the presence of the cat.

Have your dog sit or lay down.

Slowly extend the time your dog stays in either position. Begin with just a couple seconds before he gets his treat. Then increase the time to ten seconds, thirty seconds, and up to a minute.

The actual nose-to-nose introduction

When your animals are ready to meet, leash your dog so you can prevent him from chasing.

Ensure your cat has plenty of options to escape and/or hide.

If you have tried what is provided here and still have questions, contact behaviorhelp@larimerhumane.org or call 970-226-3647 ext. 513