Many of you people are fond of pets, but having an aggressive cat puts you in doubt that either you should buy a new puppy or not. Your cat may react aggressively to seeing a new member at home and your imagination of a peaceful living with both of them might get disturbed for few weeks.
The cats and puppies are not enemies but, they are animals of different species due to which their behaviors don’t match with one another. When a puppy chases a cat or a cat shows aggression towards the puppies, this shows that they are not getting along well and some appropriate steps should be taken to create a peaceful atmosphere.
Although it is a challenging task to introduce your existing cat to a new puppy, if you take some corrective measures, the cat can get along easily with the puppies forming a reasonable and positive relationship. All you have to do is give both of them the best chances to interact and get along with each other. Here, in this article, we are going to discuss some of the easy steps you need to follow to bring harmony in your home living with a cat and a puppy.
SEPARATING THE ANIMALS:
If you will put the new puppy with the cat in the same room on the first day, then it might get worse for you. Both of the pets need some time to adjust to each other. The playful nature of the puppy may offend the cat and they can easily get into a fight. So, it is important to confine both pets for the initial days. But, provide the puppies and cat with all the necessary stuff including food, toys, and treats so that, confinement may not seem like punishment to them. Don’t worry about spending time and playing with the puppies because, once they will get friendly with the cat, you will get enough time to play with it.
Confine the cat and puppy:
Do not pressurize the puppy and cat to meet one another on the first day. Give them a separate yet spacious room in which they can adjust easily. Provide both of them with proper attention and care to make them feel comfortable. Do not let the new puppy roam freely in the house because there are chances of getting into a fight with the cat. So, confinement with sufficient water and food supplies is necessary.
Free one at a time:
Keeping the cat or puppy locked every time can create a sense of isolation or punishment in them. It is good to set them free turn by turn so that, they can explore the house and get used to the atmosphere. Give each of them a chance to get out of their confined room and get fresh air. But keep that in mind, that you have not done potty training of the pet yet so, restrict it from reaching all the areas and observe it closely. Usually, when the animals are not confined, they interact with each other through the doors. For example, the puppy may paw or sniff at the door. At first, this kind of behavior is normal but it can irritate the cat if done excessively. So, correct such behaviors for a better understanding of the pets.
Get them accustomed to their smells:
Before having face-to-face interaction, if you exchange the scents of the cat and puppy with one another the puppy will start to recognize the cat and vice versa. The scent can create a bond between both of them and when both pets will interact directly for the first time, they will be well-aware of the scent. For swapping the scent, you can use different methods including the exchange of any part of the bed such as sheets or pillows, giving the food of the cat in the puppy’s bowl or vice versa, or rubbing one’s towel to the other. As they will get used to each other’s scent, they will get friendly soon.
Do not leave them free when no one is at home:
Leaving the puppy and cat unsupervised on the initial terms is the biggest foolish mistake one can make. If there is any situation in which you have to leave the pets alone at the home, the best method is to confine both of them into separate rooms. Also, you can confine one of them and leave the other free as it can also reduce the chances of their fight. Lastly, make sure that the cat can easily reach the litter to avoid the mess.
PLAN AN INTRODUCTIVE MEETING:
After the new puppy is welcomed in your home by the family members and you have tried different techniques by which one pet can recognize the other now, it is time to introduce the new puppy to the cat and create a positive yet friendly bond between them. For this, you have to set up some short meetings for both the pets so they can recognize each other and get comfortable. Here are some simple techniques you should follow to set up the meeting of both the pets.
Select an ideal location:
When few days have been passed and your new puppy is starting to recognizing things along with adjusting to the home, then finally, it is time to introduce it to the aggressive cat. The best place to set this meeting is your home because it will let both the pets know, that they are a member of the house as well. Another reason is that the cat usually feels stressed when taken outside the house. Ensure that the room is quite spacious so that you can keep both pets on either side.
Let them interact wearing a Leash:
When your new puppy and cat are going to interact with each other do not forget to keep the puppy leashed. If the cat runs and the puppy plans to chase it, then a leash will give you the benefit to control the puppy and avoid a destructive interaction. If you observe any aggressive behavior of either of the pets, then separate them immediately or distract by giving them toys or treats. It shows that you are going too fast and it is too early for a face-to-face interaction also, your pets need some more time to adjust.
Arrange well-controlled short meetings:
Long-term meeting sessions can make the new puppy as well as the cat uncomfortable so, try to keep the meeting as short as possible. If you are handling the new puppy with a leash, then it is good to have another family member on the side of the cat to control any unusual situation. It will be best when the interaction comes to an end with a positive mood for both the pets. The goal of the meetings is to make the cat super confident around the puppy whereas the puppy should not be bothered at all by the presence of the cat.
Until the puppy gets friendly, don’t remove the leash:
It is not always true, that the cat accepts the presence of a new puppy after one or two direct interactions. Some cats have an aggressive temperament whereas some puppies do not socialize easily. So, until your new puppy gets comfortable and friendly with the cat and you are sure that now, neither of them can harm each other, do not let your puppy interact unleashed with the cat as it is important for the peace and safety of both of them.
SUPPORT NICE BEHAVIOUR:
Positive reinforcement is something that encourages your pet to show more and more good behaviors. It is their right to get some reward for obedience and showing responsible behaviors. Unlike those owners who scold their pets for showing bad behaviors, you can show love and create a special bond with them also, they will get along with each other easily.
Recompense them frequently on good behavior:
Being a loving owner of pets, it is your responsibility to reward your pet for showing well-mannered behavior. For instance, if you will adopt abusive behaviors to punish the new puppy for chasing the cat, then aggression can built-up in its personality. Avoid such behaviors and give some sort of prize to your puppy for not chasing and irritating the cat. Then, with the urge of getting rewards, again and again, the puppy will adopt reasonable behavior.
Divert their attention when they are likely to get in a fight:
If you observe that the cat is getting furious around the new puppy, or the new puppy is taking too much interest in the cat, then it is best to distract them to avoid any fight. You can put some cat food or ball in front of the cat so that, it may start eating or playing and forget about the puppy. Also, you can do the same with the puppy by giving toys and food to it. When the puppy leaves the cat alone and stops bothering it, you should reward the puppy for being obedient so that, it may not do this thing again.
Be careful about aggressive behavior:
When the new puppy and the cat meets, they are having a physical interaction. A little sense of aggression can lead to a fight and they can hurt one another. So, the moment you catch any sign of aggression in either of the pet, separate them immediately. The sign of aggression in the case of a puppy is that it does not take off its eyes from the cat. Whereas, the cats make different annoying sounds such as swatting, hissing, or growling to show their anger. So, keep them away from one another on seeing these signs to avoid any fight.
Always Supervise their interactions:
As you are setting meetings for the new puppy and the cat so that they can get accustomed, you should keep an important thing in mind. Leaving the meeting unsupervised can lead to various problems as the cat and puppy are not comfortable around each other yet. Usually, it takes one month for a cat to get along with the new puppy but if the temperament of either of the pet is aggressive, then it may take more time as well. Until they both ignore each other totally, don’t leave them alone during an interaction.
STOP THE PUPPY FROM CHASING THE CAT:
It is in the nature and personality of some puppies to chase the cats. Some cats run away but here we are dealing with an aggressive cat. So, the cat with such temperament can defend itself and harm the puppy. Hence, it is important to teach your puppy such behaviors by which it should stop chasing the cat. Here, we are going to tell you some techniques that will help you in dealing with this problem.
The Cookie-Cat method:
Among all the techniques, the Cookie-cat method is the most effective one if done correctly. This technique teaches the new puppy to accept the presence of the cat and ignore it. All you have to do is bring the cat and the puppy to the same room for some time. Now if the puppy chases the cat, pull it with the leash. Secondly, you can extend the time of the cat and puppy being in the same room because this will make both the pets used, to perform various activities around each other. Lastly, you can offer treats frequently to the puppy for not chasing the cat so, it will distract the pup from the cat.
The Carrier Trick:
Well, if you think that the puppy and cat will hurt each other if set free in the same room, then the carrier technique is the most suitable one for them. All you have to do is confine the one in a carrier and set the other free. Keep repeating this activity by giving both of them a chance to roam. Whereas, keeping them in the carrier for a long time can be disturbing. So, in this case, you can use a leash to control the puppy.
TAKE PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES:
To avoid any problematic situation, you should take some safety measures as precautions. These easy steps will ensure good health and long-lasting good interaction between the new puppy and the cat. Some of them are discussed below.
Keep visiting the vet:
If any of the pets is not well, then before introducing it to the other, it is important to visit a vet for a proper check-up. While if you attempt to introduce them in the ill condition, then you will have to face complications. So, keep visiting the vet until your pet gets healthy.
Ensure hiding places for the cat:
Even if the cat is aggressive, it doesn’t mean that it cannot get frightened by the puppy. If the puppy somehow manages to threaten the cat, then there should be some safe hiding spots for the cat where she can manage to hide. The benefit to the cat in such a place will that the puppy will never be able to reach and harm the cat at that place. It can be a bookshelf, a window, or any other place.
Seek some help from an expert:
If you follow every technique correctly but still fail to connect both pets, then hiring a professional animal trainer will help you a lot. Do not blame yourself because in such cases, the problem is with the nature of the puppies and the cats. So, the professional trainer will deal with the pets and change the negative behavior of the pet.
Cutting the nails:
With sharp nails, the cats are more likely to scratch the puppies showing aggressive behavior. So, use a toenail clipper designed for pets for clipping the nails. If your cat does not let you do so easily, then distract it using treats and cut the nails quickly. Still, if you think you are not able to cut them, then visit a vet or groomer and he will do it for you.
In most cases, it is the puppy who is at fault because of its nature to trap the small pets. So, you should train the puppy not to chase the cat because if it will do so, the cat will defend itself and show aggressive behaviors.
After reading this article, we hope that you will not face any difficulty having a puppy and a cat together in your home. Just follow all the techniques correctly, have patience, avoid harsh treatment, and it will not take long for both of them to get friendly. On the other hand, if you still fail to make them comfortable around each other, then hiring a trainer is not shameful at all. Be confident, and do what’s best for you and your adorable pets.