Your older cat may be the king or queen of the castle and might have grown accustomed to getting all the love and attention of the people in your home. A new puppy would also make a great addition, but you might not be quite sure how your senior cat is going to respond to having another pet in the house. Here are a few tips to help you introduce a new, exuberant puppy to your older cat.
Create a Safe Space for Your Cat
Before you bring the new puppy into your home, create a separate, safe space where your cat can run, hide, and feel protected. For example, place a gate in the doorway of a guest room and put the cat's litter box, food and water bowls, and some cat toys in that room. Make sure whichever room you choose; the cat can easily access the space to prevent accidents in your home.
A cat tree or tower in a shared space, such as the living room or den, is a great way for your cat to feel included while they have a safe place to run from the new puppy.
Bringing Your New Puppy Home
The day has arrived, and your new puppy is finally coming home. Avoid simply putting the new puppy and your older cat in the same room and hoping they make friends. Chances are that your cat will react poorly and might even attack the curious puppy. Instead, there are safe options to help you slowly introduce the new puppy and older cat to one another.
For example, allow your puppy to play with a toy or blanket and then place the puppy in a closed room, such as a bathroom. Let your cat smell the toy or blanket and become accustomed to the new puppy's odor. Next, place the puppy and cat in adjacent rooms and allow the pets to smell each other under the door.
If your cat is hissing or seems threatened, let your cat run and try again later. Once your cat and dog are comfortable with one another through the door, carefully open the door and allow the cat and dog to sniff one another. Do not force your cat and dog to interact. Instead, if your cat is hissing or scratching at the puppy, allow your cat to run away.
Keep trying to introduce the cat and dog in a safe space and eventually, your new pets will become friends.
Introducing a new puppy to your older cat can be stressful. If you have any more questions about how to safely make this introduction, talk to your veterinarian.
For more information, contact a clinic like Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic.