How to introduce a puppy into a household with cats

Written by ashley hay
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How to introduce a puppy into a household with cats
Puppies have a lot of energy, which may frighten your cat. (Golden retriever puppy image by Prole from

Introducing a puppy into a household with cats can be a stressful situation for the cats. If your cat has never been around a dog before, it may become protective of its surroundings, hiss, and swat at the puppy. If your cat is used to dogs, it may just act uninterested. Most puppies are filled with energy, which may scare your cat. Introducing a puppy to cats takes time but if you do it properly, they may soon be best friends.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Dog crate
  • Leash
  • Collar

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  1. 1

    Place the cats in a closed room.

  2. 2

    Bring the puppy into the house on a leash. Let the puppy sniff around for a few minutes.

  3. 3

    Place the puppy into a crate and close the door.

  4. 4

    Let the cats out of the room and let them sniff around the crate. They may hiss or may not even be interested in the new family member.

  5. 5

    Monitor the puppy's behaviour. If the puppy is barking, place a sheet over the crate, or use a water bottle with water to spray the puppy so it knows that the behaviour is not acceptable.

  6. 6

    Introduce the puppy to the cats when the puppy has calmed down and the cats seem uninterested. Release the puppy from the crate, but place it on a leash.

  7. 7

    Keep the puppy on the leash while the cats come to investigate the new family member. Be patient with the puppy, as it may not know the difference between playing with its siblings and a cat.

  8. 8

    Allow the cats to approach when they are ready; do not force them. Once the cats have had time to adjust to the puppy, release it from it leash. Depending on the cats, if they have never been around a dog before, they may need a few days -- or weeks -- to adjust to the new family member. Until they have adjusted, close them in a room while the puppy roams the house or keep the puppy on a leash.

Tips and warnings

  • It may take a day -- or a few months -- for the animals to be completely comfortable with each other, but be patient and allow them to get used to each other.

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