Dogs and cats make adorable, loving pets around the home. However, they have a few differences that can pose a little challenge when they first meet.
Cats tend to have less energy than dogs, and a hyper dog may try to play aggressively with the new kitty.
However, despite their differences, cats and dogs can unite and have an excellent relationship.
You may have heard the phrase “fighting like cats and dogs,” but that doesn’t have to be the case. If you’re wondering how to introduce a hyper dog to a kitten, you can read on to find a few simple steps for a happy furry family.
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What to Expect Before Getting Started?
We all have different schedules, lifestyles, and living spaces. Therefore, we will give you a few methods to help with introducing a hyper dog to a kitten.
No matter which option you choose, there may not be a perfect introduction right off the bat. Your pets may take a few weeks to get used to one another and accept their new roommate.
Before you get a cat, you should know that the process will be much easier if you train your dog first. Additionally, once you bring the new kitten home, you may need to train the dog further and to provide some new commands.
You want to ensure your dog understands not to charge at the new kitten or attempt to play aggressively. Quick actions like this could frighten your cat, causing scratching or biting between the two, which could start an antagonistic relationship.
Getting Your Dog Ready Beforehand
Before getting a new kitten, ensure your dog knows all the standard commands like sit and stay. Working with a dog behavior help specialist, like a trainer, can also be helpful.
If you already have your kitten, keep them separated at the beginning. You can teach your dog new tricks to get ready to meet the new furry family member during this time.
This time apart will also allow your kitten to get used to the sounds and smells of her new home.
Get Both Animals Used to the Other’s Scent
Before the two see each other, it’s beneficial to allow them to smell each other. Rub a small piece of fabric or clothing on your cat for your dog to smell and vice versa.
Animals produce an odor that can indicate information about them, like their mood, sexual power, and status.
These unique odors are why animals smell each other to get to know one another.
Dogs and cats have scent glands in different areas, so you must rub the fabric on the right spot on each animal.
A cat’s scent glands are on their mouths, chins, perianal area, and at the base of their tail. Dogs have their scent glands on their anus, which is why dogs sniff each other’s rear ends.
How to Introduce a Hyper Dog to a Kitten?: 3 Methods
Look at each of these methods to determine which will work best for you and your pets.
Method One: Reducing Space Between Them Over Time
Keep the kitten in another room without the hyper pup for a few days. Place a litter box, food, water, a bed, and other things a cat needs.
Ideally, you should choose a room your kitten can later identify as “her” space. Cats are independent creatures who need time to be by themselves.
Once your cat gets used to the household, she’ll want an area for herself. You don’t need to dedicate an entire room to your kitten, but let her get used to the site that will be “hers.”
While she’s getting used to her new domain, she can begin getting comfortable with all the sounds and smells of the home.
Your curious pup will probably go to the door to check who’s there. Allow your dog to sniff under the door or see through the crack.
Avoid letting your dog scratch or bark. If your dog gets too hyper, remove him from the door. This way, he can learn to be calm while interacting with the kitten.
Put up a baby gate in the door to allow your dog and cat to see one another. Keep an eye on them both during these interactions.
Don’t allow your kitten to try to climb the gate or let your dog bark when he sees her. Reward your dog for good behavior when he’s around the cat.
If you’re worried about your hyper pup, put him on a leash to start. Step two may take a couple of weeks.
Be patient with your dog, and ensure the pair are showing signs that they are more comfortable with one another.
It’s time to let the new members meet each other. Again, supervise their initial interaction and how they respond to one another over the next few days.
If your pup seems calm around his new furry friend, you’re good to go. However, if your dog scares your cat or acts aggressively, go back to step two for a couple of days.
Method Two: Introduce Them Quickly and Controlled
This method works best if you have an escape route for your cat and a well-trained dog. Animals can be unpredictable, so take the proper precautions.
Cat trees work well to give your kitten a space to get away if she needs to. You can also create a barrier in a doorway so she can get to a room your dog cannot get in.
Keep a leash on your pup to ensure you have more control. Use the “sit” and “stay” commands to keep your dog still and calm during the introduction.
When your dog listens to your commands and acts calmly around the kitty, give him a treat and positive verbal reinforcement.
Your kitten may be more inclined to explore the rest of your home rather than see who your dog is. When she goes near your dog, offer your cat a treat.
Giving your cat treats will create a positive association with your dog, so it’s helpful to reward her as well.
Gradually increase the time you allow between your dog and cat. Once your dog acts calm on the leash, you can give them a chance to meet without it.
Method Three: Use a Crate or Gate
Place your kitten in a crate and close the door. Tie your dog in an area where he can’t bump into the container or move it in an attempt to get close to the kitten.
Allow the two animals to sniff each other through the barred door. Remove the crate to another room if your dog starts acting hyper or aggressive.
You can also do the same method but with a baby gate. Rather than placing your cat in a crate, use a baby gate to allow them to sniff one another through.
Repeat this process until the two get used to one another.
Let your kitten out of the crate, but keep your dog tied up. Observe how they act around each other.
Once your pup can remain calm while the kitten freely moves around your home, you can let them interact without restraint.
Observe them closely for the first few days or weeks until you’re confident they’re comfortable with each other.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most frequently asked questions regarding how to introduce a hyper dog to a kitten:
How do you get a hyper dog and cat to get along?
The best way to ensure your hyper dog and cat will get along is to have a proper introduction from the beginning.
Let them slowly get used to one another and praise/reward both pets for good behavior.
How can I get my dog to calm down around my cat?
Teaching your dog commands such as “back off” or simply “no” can help your dog learn and stop the overzealous behavior around your cat.
A tired dog is a good dog. So, ensure your dog gets the proper exercise and playtime for their breed. Otherwise, your pup may attempt to play aggressively with your cat.
How long does it take for a dog to get used to a cat?
It can take a few days or as much as a few weeks for the two to get acquainted. The cat and dog breed may affect how well they initially interact.
Dogs are amazing animals who aren’t called “man’s best friend” for nothing. However, they are typically more energetic than cats.
While they have their unique traits, dogs and cats can separate their differences and live peacefully together. The key is to have a successful first introduction.
Give your pets plenty of space initially. Ensure you closely supervise them for the first few weeks until they are comfortable with one another.
It may take some time, so be patient while they get used to each other.