Dog Socializing with Cats
Socializing a Puppy to a Kitten
Introducing puppies to kittens when they are at similar developmental stages, or at least young, can be very beneficial and can lead to life-long friends. They will be equally curious, inexperienced, and, in most cases, friendly at that time. Be sure to act with great amounts of friendliness and attention to both of them in close proximity, and do not make either feel as though it needs to compete for your attention. Once friends, even in the unlikely event of future disagreements, they will often both act as though they are both the same size as when they met on more equal footing, and will work it out without problems themselves.
Socializing a Puppy with an Adult Cat
Introducing a puppy to an adult cat can be a little more challenging. The puppy’s natural exuberance, and lack of boundaries, can be overwhelming to adult felines (and human owners!). Hard as you may try, it's practically inevitable that the puppy will try to chase the cat, and also that the puppy will experience the shock and awe of the cat's claws on its sensitive nose.
Introducing a puppy to a cat indoors tends to be safer, as the cat is going to feel more comfortable and in control. Experienced cat and dog owners suggest a few tips to help with puppy / cat socialization:
- Switch a piece of the bedding back and forth between the two pets so that both animals are exposed to the scent of one another before the formal introduction.
- Once introduced, make sure to feed them at a safe distance apart. The cat's bowl should be up on a counter, and unreachable by the puppy.
- Keep enough toys for everyone.
- Spay or neuter them so they will become less territorial