A Harmonious Multi-Species Household

Cats and dogs can live peacefully together, but getting off on the right, er, paw, is much easier than trying to smooth out already ruffled fur. Here are a few tips…

Go slow. For the first week or so, let your cat and dog coexist without meeting, getting used to each others’ presence and smell. Make the first several introductions with your dog on leash, allowing your cat to approach and leave at will. Keep meetings brief, graduating to a dragged leash if all goes well.

Give kitty a safe space. Maintain a cat-only zone that your cat can access at all times. Put her food, water, and litter box in this room so she can relax dog-free as desired.

Keep an eye on it. As their relationship grows, continue to monitor interactions. Offer praise and treats for calm, polite behavior toward the other, and redirect to alternate activities if you notice tension.