I’ve been asked to tell how to introduce a dog to a cat. My situation was a little different from most, but it’s what worked for us.
Oliver, our new family member was a four-month-old kitten. Mom and dad came home from the rescue where he was adopted. Oliver was secured in a carrier when they stepped through the door and sat it on the floor.
I was not happy. I ran across the room and lunged at the carrier. I hit with such force that the carrier slid to the other side of the room. I barked and growled. I did not want him to be there and I let it be known. We were off to a rocky start, but mom and dad were sure we’d eventually get along.
When I came to first live here I had been a cat chaser. There were four resident cats in the home. But after a little over a month of living on a leash mom and dad felt that I could behave. And I did!
Oliver was a different story. Usually it is recommended that the new pet stay in an area separate from the resident pets such as a bedroom or laundry room. Unfortunately. our household was not able to do that.
The bottom line and most important thing is that I was kept from getting to the cats. It might have been done a little differently than what you might read about on the Internet, but keeping everyone safe was achieved. Oliver and I were placed in the largest room of the house. Oliver was in his carrier on one side of the room. Dad had me on the other side of the room on a leash.
I was allowed to move ahead towards the carrier a few steps at a time each night. That inching along gave me enough time to get comfortable. After a couple of weeks I was able to lay in front of the carrier. I was able to see, smell, and watch Oliver without any issues. Mom took Oliver upstairs and let him out of the carrier. Dad came up with me on a leash.
Dad took me into his office where I remained on a leash for a couple of hours. From the office I was able to see everything going on upstairs. I watched Oliver going from place to place. Mom and dad decided to bring me close to Oliver while on leash. I had no negative reaction towards Oliver. They felt it was okay to remove the leash and finally let us be together.
We have been close since. Oliver is my brother. Thanks to mom and dad’s patience we were safely able to be introduced without an unwanted incident.
So often pets are either left at a shelter or given to rescue because of the new family not being patient enough with the introduction. They expect too much too fast. With a little patience and understanding it can work out.
Reprinted with permission from Traci Cameron, volunteer with Coalition for Pet Protection, a nonprofit that seeks to change public attitudes, behaviors, and to gain a recognition that any level of overpopulation and animal abuse is unacceptable. Traci hosts her own blog Unleashed.
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