While puppies and kittens can seem adorable in photos, ensuring they live harmoniously at home is important. In this article, our vets from Marina del Rey offer tips on making sure your puppy and kitten get along.
Raising a Puppy & Kitten Together
If you intend to raise a puppy and kitten together, there are several strategies you can use to introduce your two pets to one another to get them to coexist.
Introduce Them Slowly
Introducing your puppy and kitten to each other early on is a good way to help them become familiar with one another. How you introduce them matters too.
During your kitten and puppy's first introduction to one another, you should make sure they can see one another, but each has their own space, too. Setting them up in connected rooms with a baby gate between them can be an excellent start.
During this introduction, expect some excitement. Don't worry if your kitten hisses or spits at your dog' it's just a way for them to establish boundaries with a new friend.
The aim during these initial meetings is to see positive reactions or even just indifference. If your puppy and kitten happily coexist while within sight of each other, it's a good sign that they can eventually live together comfortably and safely.
Training Your Puppy
Working on your puppy's obedience is always important, but it is even more important when they are being raised with a kitten!
Making sure that your dog knows commands like "sit", "stay", "no", and "leave it" are important if your puppy is getting too physical with your kitten. If your puppy is getting too excited around them or beginning to stalk or chase them, these commands can be critical in snapping your puppy out of it and teaching them what is and isn't allowed when it comes to your cat.
Best Dog Breeds to Raise with a Cat
To ensure a harmonious relationship between your puppy and kitten, it's crucial to consider the type of dog breed you choose. Some dog breeds have a strong instinct to hunt, often seen during play when they chase toys or tug on ropes, mimicking hunting behaviors.
The breed and temperament of your puppy, more than your kitten, will be what determines how successful raising the two together will be. Dogs are hunters a lot of their play involves simulating some aspect of hunting, from chasing down a ball (small animals) to tugging on a rope (fighting their catch).
This hunting instinct, or "prey drive," is much stronger in some breeds of dogs. The prey drive is where you may run into issues with your dog's behavior. As your dog grows to be larger than your cat, even if they seem to initially get along, if your puppy is of a breed with a highly-tuned hunting instinct, those instincts take over, and they will view your cat as prey.
Breeds like Terriers, Beagles, Shiba Inus, Huskies, Dobermans, Malamutes, and Cattle Dogs are known for their high prey drives. If your puppy belongs to or is a mix of these breeds, it's essential to be cautious when introducing them to your kitten.
Managing Your Pet's Time Together
Keep an eye on your kittens and puppies when they're together. Pay attention to how they get along, and consider these options based on their personalities.
- Avoid having your dog and cat in the house alone together. Separate them in different rooms or crate/cage them.
- Avoid having your puppy and kitten eat at the same time or in the same place. Dogs can be protective of their food and may get confrontational with your kitten, even if the kitten was only sniffing the interesting food their sibling is eating.
- Set up safe areas of your home for each pet to be alone if they would like. This can include teaching each of your pets to stay out of the other's space, getting your puppy a crate, or setting aside the upstairs or basement for one pet or the other.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.