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Raising A Puppy and Kitten Together

If you think one puppy or kitten is cute, then two must be twice as cute, right? While puppies and kittens look adorable in photos together and can keep each other company, there are some things every pet owner should keep in mind when raising a puppy and kitten in the same home. Our Carrollton vets explain what they are in this section.

Puppies & Kittens

If a puppy or kitten is adorable, then the two of them must be equally adorable, right? While this is often the case, raising a puppy and a kitten in the same house isn't always so simple.

While these creatures frequently become fast friends and keep each other company when raised together, this does not preclude some growing pains. One tragic possibility is that an adult dog will mistake a cat for prey. Our team explains how to avoid this by preparing your puppy and kitten for a successful and long-lasting relationship.

What are the best dog breeds to raise with a cat?

While there are several ways to introduce your two young pets to one another, one of the most effective begins before your adorable puppy arrives.

More than your kitten's temperament, your puppy's breed and temperament will determine how successful you will be raising the two together in the long term. All dogs have an innate desire to hunt; in fact, much of their play involves simulating some aspect of hunting, such as chasing a ball (small animals) or tugging on a rope (dividing up a catch). Squeakers in some toys appeal to your puppy because they sound like dying prey (yikes!).

However, certain dog breeds have a much stronger hunting instinct, or "prey drive," than others. And the prey drive is where you may immediately notice problems with your dog's behavior. Even if your dog and cat get along well, if your pup comes from a breed with a strong hunting instinct, those instincts may take over and endanger your cat-like prey as your dog grows to be larger than your cat.

Shiba Inus, Huskies, Terriers, Beagles, Dobermans, Malamutes, and Cattle Dogs are all known for their high prey drives, and if your puppy is one of or mixed with one of these breeds, you must exercise extreme caution when raising them with your kitten.

How do I raise a puppy and kitten together?

Aside from being cautious about the breed of dog you choose if you intend to raise a puppy and kitten together, there are several strategies you can use to introduce your two pets to one another and set them up for success and a life of friendship!

Introduce Them Slowly

While introducing your puppy and kitten to one another early in their lives is a good start, how you introduce them is also important!

When first introducing your kitten and puppy, make sure they can see each other but also have their own space. Setting them up in adjacent rooms with a baby gate between them can be a great place to start.

Expect some excitement when you introduce your two pets this way. Don't be surprised or alarmed if your kitten hisses and spits at your dog; they're simply establishing their boundaries with a new, potentially frightening, creature. The goal of these initial introductions is to elicit positive, or even apathetic, responses. If your puppy and kitten are content to do their own thing while still in sight of each other, it's a good sign that they'll be able to coexist safely and comfortably.

Dedicate Time To Training Your Pup

Working on your puppy's obedience is always important, but it's especially important when they're raised with a kitten!

It is always important to make sure your dog understands commands like sit, stay, stop, and leave it. However, if your puppy becomes too physical with your kitten, becomes overly excited around them, or begins to stalk or chase them, these commands can be critical in calming your puppy down and teaching them what is and isn't acceptable around your cat.

Managing Your Pet's Time Together

The final consideration when raising a puppy and kitten together is how closely you must manage and monitor their time together. You'll be able to tell as you watch their relationship develop, but depending on your puppy and kitten's personalities, you might want to try any of the following:

  • Avoid leaving your dog and cat alone in the house. You can crate your dog if you need to leave the house for an extended period, or you can close off a section of your home with one of them in it to avoid confrontations.
  • Avoid feeding your puppy and kitten at the same time or in the same location. Some dogs are very protective of their food and may become aggressive with your kitten, even if the kitty was only sniffing the interesting food their sibling is eating.
  • Set aside safe areas in your home for each pet to spend time alone if they so desire. This can include teaching each of your pets to respect each other's space, getting a crate for your puppy, or reserving 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.

If you are looking to raise a puppy and kitten together in your home, contact today. Our vets will be able to give you guidance on how to introduce your pets to one another, how to manage their behaviors, and how to get them comfortable with one another. Your puppy and kitten will be sleeping together in no time!

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

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