Top 10 tips for introducing a new puppy to your cat

Land of Meow Cat and Puppy 1

In honour of National Puppy Day, a day to celebrate puppies and encourage adoption around the globe, we’re sharing our top tips for introducing your brand-new puppy to a cat loving household.

Bringing home a new puppy takes a lot of patience and, if you already have a fur baby ruling your abode, there are even more steps to take to ensure a harmonious home.

  1. Prepare and plan
    It takes time to ensure your puppy is at ease within his new surrounds so allow the pets to prepare for their big meeting in separate areas. Ensure both have everything they need, a comfortable bed, their bowls for food and water, litter tray and toys.


  2. Smell
    The sense of smell is be a powerful emotional driver in humans, who have five million receptors to detect odours. Cats far exceed this with up to 80 million receptors while dogs have even more – as many as 300 million receptors. Us humans can only imagine the potent effect of the smells of a new animal entering our environment. The animals will be keen to sniff each other’s blankets and toys so encourage this by sharing these scented delights while stroking and calming your pet.


  3. Switch it up
    For an intense smell session, allow your puppy to explore your cat’s area while your cat ventures into the puppy’s abode. Take the puppy out for a walk and let the cat roam around the whole house, then allow the puppy to smell everywhere while the cat is safely secured away in a favourite spot.


  4. Make the introductions
    Once the pets have become used to the presence of each other, it is time for the introduction. Dr Lorie Huston from PetMD recommends placing your cat in a large open-sided carrier or using a baby gate. Keeping the puppy on a leash during this initial encounter allows you to supervise until the pets become more accustomed to each other.


  5. Take it slowly
    Repeat the introductions, keeping the meetings short and the cat secure in a carrier. Continue allowing the animals to explore different areas at different times. Just like people, different animals are different. Some may quickly adapt to the new living arrangements while others may take longer to get used to the situation. Allowing your animals to take it in their own time will reduce stress for everyone.


  6. Reward good behaviour
    Reward your puppy for calm and quiet behaviour when they are together and prevent the puppy from chasing or annoying the cat. Treats are also a good idea to occupy the puppy during the first introductions.


  7. Maintain the high ground
    Provide elevated spots for your cat to evade any unwanted attention yet still being part of the family environment.


  8. Allow for escape routes
    Ensure your cat can flee when necessary and has privacy for toileting and sleeping.


  9. No consequences
    The RSPCA Australia recommends keeping a close eye on both animals but not to punish either for aggressive behaviour as this will be associated with the presence of the other animal.


  10. Only love
    Give plenty of love and attention, ensuring each animal feels happy and content.

With a little bit of effort they will be fur mates for life and a source of wonderful joy and companionship to you.

Land of Meow Cat and Puppy 2