Q:

How do you introduce a dog to a cat?

A:

Quick Answer

Introduce a dog to a cat by creating a safe place so that neither animal can injure the other. Work off the dog's energy first and trim the cat's claws. Make sure the cat is in a place where it feels safe, and you have control of the dog.

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Full Answer

It is important to allow the cat unrestricted movement so that it can run or hide if the dog is intimidating. Keep the dog on a leash so it does not have the opportunity to chase the cat. Do not allow the dog to bark at or attempt to chase the cat. Reward the dog if it maintains good behavior while being introduced to the cat. More than likely, a few introduction events are necessary as the two animals get used to each other.

Much of the reaction between dogs and cats depends on whether either animal is familiar with the other. Cats lack the same ingrained social system that dogs have and are, therefore, more likely to react defensively to the dog as an intruder. Dogs often see cats either as prey or something new to play with.

Make sure to keep the cat's food and litter box away from the dog, as the dog's presence in these activities causes stress to the cat.

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