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How to Introduce Cats and Dogs

Who says dogs and cats can’t be friends? To have your dogs and cats living together in harmony, read our tips for how to introduce a cat to a dog or vice versa.


A dog and a cat sitting next to each other

You love cats. You love dogs. But what happens when the cats and dogs in your life don’t love each other? Here are some tips for creating furry harmony so no one has to fight like…well, you get the picture. 

Give everyone space 

When introducing a new cat or dog into the household, it’s important to make sure that each animal has space to be alone. Section off certain areas of your house to be used by just one animal so they each can have a place to retreat to if the interactions get too overwhelming. 

Restrain your dog 

Dogs can be naturally super excitable, so you can imagine how, through their eyes, a cat running seems like a fun game of chase instead of a warning to stay away. When introducing a dog and a cat, always keep Fido on a leash so you can control him at all times. 

Don’t force it 

It’s the dream to have every animal in your house live together as best friends, and the best way to come close is to not force things. Don’t try to hold your cat close to your dog or vice versa. Instead, let them approach each other according to their own comfort zones. 

Match ages and stages 

Older animals can sometimes have less patience when dealing with younger animals and vice versa. Try to match the age and stage of life of your cat and dog before introducing them, so they can have a better chance of relating to each other. 

Never leave them unsupervised 

Because there is a size and weight disparity between most dogs and cats, it’s a good idea to supervise their interactions at all times. Make sure the animals are used to each other and have a track record of respecting the other’s boundaries and playing nicely before leaving them alone together. 

Dog and cat friendship is possible, but if the best you can get from your pets is “amicable toleration,” don’t fret. After all, we all have trouble dealing with the people we live with sometimes, and we’re the same species!