They say opposites attract, and what could be more opposite than a puppy and a kitten?
Before you disagree, hear me out. Yes, the cat and dog rivalry is as old as time, but it is possible to have both peacefully coexist in your home.
No doubt, it will take some commitment on your part and a little bit of planning but having a kitten and puppy in your home without chaos is possible. In fact, it can be one of the most enjoyable pet experiences.
What could be more adorable than seeing your kitten cuddle with your puppy? The tons of puppy kitten videos online are a testament that a loving friendship between canines and felines is possible.
Let us find out how you can co-habitat a kitten and a puppy and build a loving relationship between them.
How Can I Introduce a Puppy to A Kitten?
When you already have a puppy or kitten in your home, and you bring in a new pet, you might meet resistance, which is understandable since most animals are territorial.
But if both puppy and kitten are introduced together into the home simultaneously, they may accept each other. If you introduce them to your home together, a bond will form as they would not have known anything else. So, it will become natural for them to be one another.
Puppies are not as confident in their ways compared to adult dogs, so raising a puppy and kitten together is much easier than pairing a young kitten with an adult dog (although that is not impossible either, it just requires more persistence)
Some tips when introducing them to each other:
- Separate Kitten Territory – Your kitten should have its territory so that it can observe the puppy from a distance. Kittens are natural climbers so having a vertical climbing tree is a great way to keep a safe and easy distance between the two, especially if you are short on space.
- Let Them Smell Each Other’s Items – Allow your kitten and puppy to smell each other’s bedding and food equipment before introducing them to each other. They will get used to each other’s scent, an important feature when introducing animals to each other.
- Introduce Each Other at Mealtimes – This is a tried and tested method. You can do this behind a barrier where they can see and smell each other. Having a barrier between them will allow them to see, hear, and smell the other animal but not be in proximity.
- Face-to-Face Introduction – When doing a face-to-face introduction, be careful not to place them in crates initially. This will make them feel trapped. It is better to do it in an open space to safely retreat if they feel scared and have your puppy on a leash if it shows aggressive behavior.
- Show Affection – Show affection to each animal, so both can see. This will teach your puppy and kitten that there is nothing to fear, and everyone loves each other.
Is it Natural for Dogs to Want to Kill Cats?
The logic that fear is a learned trait is not far from the truth. It is something to think about when we try to introduce cats and dogs to each other.
The fact is that a puppy and kitten can play with each other and form a loving relationship. You just need to train them to avoid behaviors that might come naturally to them. Positive reinforcement training can do wonders here.
Dogs have the instinct to hunt prey, which is why they get carried away in some cases. Any dog that does chase down an animal will need to be trained and provided with positive reinforcement to not do it again. The last thing you want is to be looking for no-cost pet euthanasia because you raised a puppy that kills cats.
Here are some tips to prevent your puppy from attacking your kitten:
- Provide treats and attention to your puppy, so they feel loved
- Practice obedience commands in the presence of your kitten
- Place your puppy on a leash when introducing your puppy and the kitten in the same room.
- When both in the same room, reinforce your puppy’s good behavior with treats
- Firmly say NO when your puppy starts to lunge at your kitten
- Teach your puppy to ignore the kitten by using the Desensitizing Method, Alternative Behavior Method, or the Exercise and Obedience Method
Dog And Cat Breeds That Get Along
Are some breeds of cats better than others when co-habituating with dogs? Indeed, certain breeds are more tolerant towards fellow pets. If you are still in the process of deciding what kitten you want to adopt, it may be helpful to choose a breed that can adjust to your puppy. Consider the ones we list below:
Cat breeds that get along with dogs
- American Shorthair
- Japanese Bobtail
- Maine Coon
- Norwegian Forest
Dog breeds that get along with cats
- Golden Retriever
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Labrador Retriever
- Bichon Frise
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Kitten claws – keep them short
A kitten can do major damage if it strikes your puppy with long claws. Therefore, it is essential that you keep your kitten’s nails short and trimmed. If your kitten does swipe your puppy, it can cause serious damage to their relationship.
A claw injury inflicted on your puppy can be severe enough that it will cause your puppy to become defensive and cornered. Your puppy may lash out by trying to nip your kitten.
If your kitten’s nails are trimmed, even if it does swipe, it will not cause great damage and will still give your puppy the message to keep a distance when needed.
It is never recommended to declaw your kitten. This will make them feel vulnerable and less secure in your home, besides the fact that it is a very painful experience for your kitten.
A Happy Co-Existence Between Kittens & Puppies Is Possible
So, there you have it. All you need to know is to have a peaceful and loving home for your kitten and puppy. You do not need to be afraid anymore to raise both of them together.
With time, they will get to know and love each other. Every animal relationship has its up and downs, but all develop a loving and lasting bond with their pet owners.
If you follow the above-mentioned tips, your puppy-kitten duo will soon be inseparable!