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Puppy & Kitten: Are They a Good Match?

Before bringing a puppy and kitten into your home at the same time, it's important to take a few preparatory steps. Although having two adorable furry pets may seem exciting, ensuring a smooth and peaceful coexistence between them is essential. Our vets in Clarksville have valuable tips to help you set up your puppy and kitten for a happy life together.

Raising a Puppy & Kitten Together

Taking on the responsibility of raising a puppy and kitten together can be a wonderful experience filled with love and adorable photo opportunities. However, it is also a big responsibility requiring much effort. Our veterinarians at Clarksville have some helpful strategies to share with you on introducing and teaching them to coexist harmoniously.

Introduce Them Slowly 

Introducing your puppy and kitten to each other can greatly impact how well they will get along in the future. It is advisable to introduce them to each other early on to help them get used to each other. 

When you introduce your puppy and kitten for the first time, make sure that they can see each other and have separate spaces to retreat to. You might want to start by placing them in two adjacent rooms, with a baby gate in between. 

It is normal for your kitten to hiss and spit at your dog as they establish boundaries with their new companion, so don't worry if this happens. Expect some excitement when you introduce your pets this way. 

Your goal should be to observe positive reactions during these first introductions, and even indifference is a positive sign that your puppy and kitten will be able to live together safely and comfortably.

Training Your Puppy 

While it's always important to work on your puppy's obedience skills, this will be even more imperative when they are being raised with a kitten. 

Your dog will need to learn basic commands such as "no," "sit," and "leave it" relatively quickly to prevent them from behaving roughly towards the kitten. If your puppy becomes overly excited and starts to stalk or chase the kitten, you can use these commands to redirect your puppy's attention and teach them appropriate boundaries. 

Best Dog Breeds to Raise with a Cat

If you're planning to bring home a puppy and a kitten, it's crucial to consider the breed of dog you choose to ensure a successful relationship between them. The breed and temperament of your puppy are crucial factors that can play a significant role in how well they can coexist with your kitten.

Dogs have a natural hunting instinct, which is evident in their play behavior, such as chasing balls or tugging on ropes, that mimics hunting actions. Certain dog breeds have a stronger hunting instinct, also known as "prey drive." This instinct can potentially cause issues with your dog's behavior towards your kitten. Even if your puppy initially gets along with your cat, as your dog grows larger, if they belong to a breed with a highly developed hunting instinct, they may perceive your cat as prey.

To be cautious, it's essential to consider your puppy's breed when raising them alongside your kitten. Terriers, Beagles, Shiba Inus, Huskies, Dobermans, Malamutes, and Cattle Dogs are the breeds known for their high prey drives. If your puppy belongs to any of these breeds or is a mix, it's crucial to be extremely cautious regarding their prey drive when raising them alongside your kitten.

Managing Your Pet's Time Together

To ensure a healthy interaction between your kitten and puppies, overseeing and tracking the time they spend together is important. By observing how their bond evolves, you can determine the best approach. Consider these options based on your puppy and kitten's unique personalities:

  • Avoid having your dog and cat in the house alone together. Separate them in different rooms or crate/cage them.
  • Avoid having your puppy and kitten eat at the same time or in the same place. Dogs can be protective of their food and may get confrontational with your kitten, even if the kitten only sniffs the interesting food their sibling is eating.
  • Set up safe areas of your home for each pet to be alone if they would like. This can include teaching each of your pets to stay out of the other's space, getting your puppy a crate, or setting aside the upstairs or basement for one pet or the other.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

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Sango Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Clarksville companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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