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Introducing Dogs and Cats

Dogs and cats have both been our friends and companions for thousands of years. While Fluffy and Fido have known each other for a long time, they have had a rather rocky relationship. There are certainly many households with both dogs and cats. Our canine and feline friends can live together peacefully, and can even become best buds! This isn’t always the case, however. If you have a dog and are getting a cat, or vice versa, read this article from an Indianapolis, IN vet on introducing dogs and cats.

Making The Right Match

Your pets’ personalities and histories will play a large role in how well they end up getting along. If you’re getting an adult dog, look for one that has had cats as roommates before. If you’re choosing a cat, look for a calm, friendly feline that has had canine pals in the past. Breed also plays a role: some breeds are just better suited to living with other pets than others are. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Preparations

When you bring your new furball home, set him or her up in a quiet room with bedding, food, toys, treats, and, in Fluffy’s case, a litterbox. This will give your pet a quiet spot to settle in. It will also allow your furry friends to get used to each other’s scents. After a few days, put your resident pet in the quiet room, and let your new buddy out to explore. Keep rotating your furballs around for a few days.

Introductions

Put your new pet in a crate or carrier in the living room, and let your resident furkid out, so they can start interacting. When they start ignoring each other and acting naturally, you can make an official introduction. Keep Fido on a leash at first. Don’t leave your pets alone unsupervised until you are sure they are getting along.

Red Flags

Keep a close eye on your pets. If Fido growls, lunges, or tries to chase Fluffy, it may not be a good match. Of course, sometimes cats are the aggressors: if your kitty hisses, scratches, or bites, you have an angry or frightened feline, who may be happier without a canine roommate. If you see any warning signs, don’t take chances: consult a behaviorist.

Please contact us, your Indianapolis, IN animal clinic, anytime. We are always happy to help!

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