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Pet Patter - Catrina Skepper's Blog

Question Corner - Cats vs Dogs

Posted on: 3/8/2010 5:13:16 PM under Pet News
Dear Catrina and the team,

My husband and I have recently decided that we would like to get a dog. I have always been more of a cat person and as a result we have three cats, who are aged from two to 10. But my husband has finally won me over and convinced me to bite the bullet and introduce a puppy to our home. But, if I'm honest, I am very worried about how my cats will cope with the invasion of a dog!

Any ideas about what I can do to make it as stress free as possible for them?

Thanks very much,
Lulu, Bristol

Hi Lulu,

Thanks for getting in touch and raising such an important question, which is the concern of so many pet owners. Cats are very territorial, and as I am sure you must know, they really hate change.

But, in actual fact, there are very few instances in which cats don't take to their canine companions. However, there are some simple rules that you need to follow. Ensure that your cat never feels trapped, and the key is not to leave them together. Young animals can be seriously harmed by a cat, so make sure you keep an eye on them.

At first your cats will be in shock, they might become very withdrawn and, perhaps, a little grumpy, but this is entirely normal behaviour. After a while most cats will become inquisitive, make sure they have time on their own to sniff and explore where the puppy sleeps or its toys. This helps the cat to understand that the puppy is here to stay and gradually allows them to get used to their scent.

You seem to be a cat person, Lulu, so I am sure that this wouldn't happen, but, make sure that you shower your cats with lots of love and attention, to avoid making them feel left out.

If you are finding it really difficult to get your pets to see eye to eye, many people use stair gates, which gives the cats some respite if an excitable puppy can't resist chasing them upstairs.

I hope the integration of your new dog works for you, but remember it will take time for everybody to get used to each other, so be patient.

Pet Protect can help you with pet insurance for your new puppy, and don't forget about the importance of microchipping your pets.

All the best,
Catrina and the Pet Protect team

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