Puppies and kittens may look cute in photographs together, but you'll want to make sure they get along at home. Today, our Mooresville vets share some tips on how to ensure that your puppy and kitten behave well together.
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
When it comes to introducing your puppy and kitten, it's best to start early and be mindful of the process. How you introduce them is just as important as the actual meeting itself.
It's recommended that you allow your pets to see each other while still maintaining their own separate spaces. A good way to do this is by placing them in connected rooms with a baby gate between them.
It's normal for there to be some excitement during their first meeting, and it's okay if your kitten hisses or spits at your dog - they're just establishing boundaries.
Ultimately, the goal is to have positive interactions or at least a sense of indifference between your pets. If they're happy to do their own thing while in each other's sight, it's a promising sign that they'll be able to live together safely and comfortably.
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
When it comes to raising a kitten and a puppy together, choosing the right breed of dog is crucial for their success. The breed and temperament of your puppy play a significant role in determining how well they will get along with your kitten.
Dogs have a natural hunting instinct, which is evident in their playfulness, such as chasing and tugging. However, this instinct is much stronger in certain breeds of dogs, which can lead to behavioral issues when living with a cat.
If your puppy belongs to a breed with a highly-tuned hunting instinct, they may see your cat as prey, especially as they grow larger.
Breeds such as Terriers, Beagles, Shiba Inus, Huskies, Dobermans, Malamutes, and Cattle Dogs are known for having high prey drives, and if your puppy is one of them or a mix of these breeds, you will need to be cautious when raising them with your kitten.
Managing Your Pet's Time Together
It's important to supervise and keep track of your kittens and puppies when they're together. You can evaluate their relationship as it progresses and take appropriate actions based on their individual personalities. Here are some options to consider:
- 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.