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Behavior Help Sheets

Guide to Introducing your Dog to a New Cat

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!

Refresh your dog’s obedience skills

  1. Make sure you can get your dogs attention.

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

    2. 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?

  2. Practice calm behaviors. These will help your dog relax in the presence of the new cat.

    1. Have your dog sit or lay down.

    2. 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.

Create a room for your new cat

  1. Use a bedroom, bathroom, study, etc. Set it up with a litter box, food, and water. Your new cat will stay in this room for the first week or two. Make sure there is a closed door between the cat and dog.

  2. Feed your new cat a couple of feet from the closed door. If she is eating comfortably, move the food closer to the door. Once she is eating near the door with the dog just on the other side, you can move to the next step.

  3. Once your cat is comfortable, set up a baby gate in the door way. You can also tie the door open if you do not have a baby gate. This will allow the cat and dog to see each other without being able to chase or run.

The actual nose-to-nose introduction

  1. This should not happen until your new cat has been in the home for several weeks.

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

  3. 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

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 970-226-3647 ext. 513

pdfDownload Guide to Introducing your Dog to a New Cat104.94 KB

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3501 E 71st Street
Loveland, CO 80538

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