Adoption ideas: Cat-to-Canine Introductions – Ontario SPCA and Humane Society


Including a cat or a canine to a house the place there may be an present canine or cat can pose a problem, however it isn’t unattainable. They might or could not turn out to be quick pals, however with the precise introductions, they will be taught to share the identical home. 

Necessary ideas: 

  • Keep in mind that sure canine breeds have a better prey drive than others and must be monitored intently when introducing a cat to a canine, or vice versa. 
  • Remember to have the canine on a leash at any time when the cat is close by and throughout the preliminary interval of adjustment. 
  • Be sure to by no means encroach on a cat’s space or protected spot, as this will create a sense of them being trapped, which might enhance their worry, anxiousness and stress. 
  • Don’t enable the canine to stroll immediately as much as the cat, as this may be extraordinarily terrifying for the cat and will pose a security danger. 
  • Make the introduction in a impartial space within the dwelling with two individuals; one to reward the canine and one to reward the cat. 
  • We need to create as constructive an interplay as doable between the 2. Treats in hand will assist distract the canine from getting too excited and can assist redirect their focus away from the cat. 
  • By no means depart the cat and canine unattended collectively, as this will pose a excessive security danger. 
  • To assist ease the transition for the cat within the dwelling, utilizing a pheromone-based plug in and/or spray, comparable to Feliway™ (CEVA), can assist to cut back stress-induced behaviours by sending calming alerts to the cats. You should utilize each on the identical time and they won’t have an effect on one another. 
  • For the canine within the dwelling you need to use Adaptil™ (CEVA), which makes use of pheromones as “comforting messages” to assist canines really feel calm, assured and reassure them in difficult conditions. 
  • Each pheromone-based merchandise could be useful throughout the preliminary levels of bringing a brand new pet dwelling and can assist them modify to their new atmosphere. Each merchandise can be utilized on the identical time with out affecting one another. 

All the time ask your veterinarian earlier than introducing any new product to your pet. 

Step 1: Scent and exploration. 
  • Take the canine for an extended stroll earlier than any introductions to launch some vitality and enhance focus earlier than introducing animals within the dwelling. Create a constructive affiliation with the atmosphere earlier than introducing the animals to one another. 
  • Have the cat and canine separated in their very own areas with a door or a child gate between them, if doable. 
  • Place a scented blanket or mattress belonging to the canine within the cat space and the cat’s blanket or bedding within the canine’s space to allow them to get used to one another’s scents. 
  • Don’t place the merchandise close to any sources that the cat must entry (e.g. meals, litter, mattress space) as we don’t need to spook the cat away from these locations. 
  • Cats could take longer to regulate to the scent of a canine, so be certain to supply them satisfactory time to get snug with the scent. 
  • Permit the canine and cat satisfactory time aside earlier than shifting onto Step 2 to make sure their stress ranges are low when introducing them to one another. 
Step 2: Observing one another in a impartial setting. 

Security for each the cat and canine is crucial. All the time have the canine leashed and permit the cat to have a excessive perch or protected place to get away, if wanted. A bigger room is recommended for this assembly to maintain the cat from feeling trapped. 

*Word: It’s best to proceed the next train over the primary few days, with temporary visits to permit each animals to get used to having the opposite current with out the scenario being overwhelming to both animal.

  • Take the canine exterior for one more lengthy stroll or playtime previous to assembly the cat to cut back vitality ranges. 
  • Carry the cat into the introduction room and permit it to settle earlier than bringing the canine inside. 
  • Remember to have excessive worth treats (e.g. cheese, scorching canines and many others.) on you to reward constructive behaviours throughout the assembly – this will even enable you to to show the canine’s focus again on you if they’re getting too excited. 
  • Carry the canine inside on a leash and permit time to smell across the far facet of the room, reverse the cat. 
  • There needs to be two individuals current, one dealing with the canine and one monitoring the cat’s behaviour. 
  • If at any time the cat or canine is exhibiting excessive quantities of stress, cease this exercise and return to Step 1. 
  • The canine may even see the cat immediately and pull on the leash to get to it. If this occurs, attempt to redirect the canine’s focus to you by distracting them with treats. Or, if wanted, stroll the canine again out of the room and reward them. Wait till the canine has settled down earlier than attempting once more. 
  • It’s okay for the canine to have an interest within the cat, but when the canine is fixated and can’t be redirected with treats or reward, the canine could have a excessive prey drive and excessive warning needs to be used. 
  • The canine needs to be dealt with by a relaxed, relaxed grownup and, if doable, attempt to have the leash slack as you let your canine discover. 
  • Proceed to have the canine sniff across the far facet of the room and permit the cat to watch the canine from afar. 
  • If the cat is staying calm and exhibiting little to no indicators of stress, slowly stroll the canine into the center of the room, nearer to the cat however nonetheless conserving house between the 2. 
  • At the moment, enable the canine to settle by getting them to deal with you, or gently pet the canine to assist them loosen up. Whilst you do that, enable the cat to freely roam the room to discover. 
  • If the cat and canine are each staying calm, positively reward them with affection and/or treats and take the canine again exterior the room. 
Step 3: Monitored meet and greet. 

This step ought to solely happen when each the cat and canine have had calm intervals of time observing one another from afar. Relying on a number of elements, like expertise with one other canine or cat, the breed of the canine and the character of the cat, it could take days or even weeks to reach at this step. 

  • As in Step 2, be certain the canine is exercised, leashed and calm and the cat has a hiding place and a perch accessible. 
  • Carry the cat into the room and have the leashed canine stroll in, as you had been doing earlier than. 
  • Monitor each the cat and canine for stress. 
  • If each animals are calm and relaxed, it’s time to allow them to meet. 
  • Slowly have the canine stroll by the cat and permit them to smell one another, anticipating any indicators of worry or aggression. 
  • Strive to not let the cat and canine sniff nostril to nostril as this may be very intimidating for the cat. 
  • As quickly as they sniff one another, reward each and proceed to stroll the canine away from the cat. 
  • Permit each the canine and cat to settle aside from one another and repeat a couple of instances. 
  • Even when they’re getting alongside nicely, hold the interactions brief, as it’s best to finish these meet-and-greet classes on a constructive observe. 

Monitoring for emotional misery 

It’s crucial that cats are monitored for emotional misery, particularly throughout the first days or even weeks. If these indicators happen throughout this time, enable for extra space and separation from the canine. Physique language indicators of misery embrace: 

  • Being extremely reluctant to maneuver across the room. 
  • Flattening ears and/or physique (if this happens enable the cat to have the ability to stand up excessive or to a hiding place). 
  • An arched again, fur could also be standing up and twisting their physique to the facet. 
  • Urination or defecation out of the litter field. 
  • Yowling, extreme vocalizations or hissing. 
  • Swatting on the canine. 
  • Pacing. 

Monitoring your canine’s physique language

As a consequence of the truth that some canines can have a excessive prey drive, this can be very necessary for the protection of the cat that you simply intently monitor your canine’s physique language throughout the totally different steps of introduction. Issues to search for in your canine embrace: 

  • Stiff physique with a really direct stare on the cat. 
  • Lunging in the direction of the cat. 
  • Over pleasure, barking, leaping, whining. 
  • Growling or attempting to chew. 

If these behaviours happen and redirecting the canine with treats and reward just isn’t doable, it’s recommended to maintain the cat and canine separated and to contact knowledgeable constructive reinforcement-based animal coach to help in subsequent steps. 

Some cats and canines can get alongside and thrive in a house collectively. Nevertheless, others merely can not accomplish that safely. Every cat and canine have had totally different experiences and have personalities that may decide the success of cohabitation.  

Being ready and taking the required steps can significantly enhance the chance of a profitable relationship. With gradual publicity to the opposite, endurance and quite a lot of constructive reinforcement, a peaceable co-existence is feasible.  

Go to our weblog for extra coaching ideas.  


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