Dogs and Cats Together   Leave a comment

Dogs and Cat Can Be Friends

Clients often ask me how they can help their new puppies get on with their cat.  I feel a little inadequate to answer this as it seems like we’ve had both forever and whichever is the newest beast just slots into the family.  But of course it’s not really quite so easy. A few ideas:  If the puppy is new, I’d introduce it with lots of treats and clicker handy.  Puppy needs to be restrained, but perhaps begin by allowing it to sniff back of cat and visa versa.  Some people recommend putting the cat in a cage/crate and allowing dog to sniff and both to get used to being in the same room without the excitement level going up too much.  Any time the pup looks like he’s about to get too focused or start chasing, I’d interrupt and distract him back to me, click and treat.  Calm is everything!

The photo above is Uschi mothering and playing – really playing, bouncing around and paws patting – with a little kitten we fostered a while back.  The kitten was awesome, quite unafraid, walked all over the dogs, loved being washed and actually initiated play with the enormous Shepherds.  I am MAD about my GSDs with kittens.  Being a vet’s house we often foster tiny kittens and the GSDs have never given us a second’s worry with them.  I get quite choked up watching the inter species interaction and how each use’s it’s species calming signals and greeting rituals and somehow they understand each other.  This kitten should’ve stayed in this house, it was divine!  Lucky new owners.

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