Introducing housemates

By Susan Aielo • Published: February 18th, 2011
Category: Animal Airwaves

Kitty meet puppy. Sounds like a match made in cute heaven, right? Well, it doesn’t always work that way. At least not at first.

Introducing a friendly new puppy into a household shared by an affectionate feline may result in the puppy receiving hisses and scratches and a terrorized kitty going into hiding.

Resident pets need to be introduced to a new arrival gradually in a supervised environment. Dogs should initially be leashed, and cats need a place to retreat if frightened. Good behavior, such as tail wags and purrs, should be rewarded with praise and treats.

In most cases, pets work things out for themselves in a couple of weeks. But it’s always smart to stay vigilant and guide behavior until familiarity and boundaries have been established. If fear or aggression continues, consult your veterinarian.

Eventually, even cat and dog can live in peace.