Thanks Laura for these great tips about our favorite furry children!!!
Do you have the love of your life in pup form, but want to complete your little family with a kitten? Are you planning on moving in with a partner and you’re worried your two furry friends won’t see eye to eye? Don’t worry; it’s possible to turn the most aggressive, hostile relationship into a loving one, it just requires a little bit of patience, some eagle-eyed supervision, and separate rooms, but only for a while. Whether you’re about to start the introduction process, or you’ve already given it a go, and it just didn’t go well, here are some handy hints that’ll have them snoozing on the same couch in no time.
Introduce them slowly
It can be tempting to throw them in together and hope for the best, but the best case scenario here is that they bolt to opposite corners of the room and cower. The more likely possibility is that they become incredibly hostile towards each other, and fights resulting in injuries and stress could ensure. Be sure to keep them separate for a few days until they’re both calm, and then just introduce them for only a couple of minutes to start with.
Let them get used to each other’s scents
Both cats and dogs rely heavily on smells, and a new animal scent can be very frightening for them. If you move items from each other’s rooms between them, they’ll start to associate their scent with comfort and safety as they get used to it. Stroking one and then the other while they’re still in separate rooms can also help them to create a positive association with the scent of their buddy-to-be.
Alternate the room they meet each other in
When they’re both in the house together for the first time, keep them in two separate rooms for the majority of their time. When the time comes to introduce them, be sure to alternate rooms. Using a hormonal spray such as Feliway in both rooms will stop the cat from marking their territory, and should help the cat to stay calm and relaxed in the circumstances. Alternating their meeting room will help them each to feel in control of the situation, rather than like an imposter.
Keep a hold on them both
When you introduce them, it’s a whole lot easier with two people. One person should hold the dog by the collar, while the other holds the cat and introduces them face to face to allow them to smell each other. This is partly to avoid them throwing themselves at each other, but it will also reassure them both too.
Show them both love and affection
Believe it or not, your pets can actually feel jealousy, or feelings which would approximate that. When a new pet joins your household, be sure to show them the same amount of love and affection as always.
Keep them separate when you’re not around
Until you’re completely sure they are comfortable in each other’s presence, it’s essential they they’re kept separate between their meetings. When you’re there, you’re able to intervene in any disputes, but you also reassure both animals. When you’re away, anything could happen.
Finally, don’t give up. It may take a while, but eventually, they will give in and accept each other, even if they’re never best buddies.
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