If you are thinking about getting a new pet for your home, you may be finding it difficult to choose. But what if you choose to own both a puppy and a kitten at the same time? Our vets at Snellville talk about raising a puppy and a kitten together successfully and offer some tips to help make introductions go smoothly.
Raising a Puppy & Kitten Together
While bringing home a new puppy and kitten at the same time can be a roller coaster of emotions, it can be incredibly rewarding. When dogs and cats are introduced properly at a young age, the hate and fear instinct doesn't have the chance to grow and increase in them so they can overcome it a lot faster. This is not always the cause, it can depend on the breed but in most cases, puppies and kittens can be the perfect match for each other.
Our Snellville Animal Hospital vets will explain why raising them both at the same time can be good for your pets.
Will a puppy and a kitten make a good match?
Puppies and Kittens are generally a good match for each other for several different reasons including:
- Personal Hygiene: You will notice that your puppy and kitten will start to clean each other, this is just them telling each other that it is time for a cleaning.
- Keep Each Other Company: When you have to leave the house your pet misses you. Having a puppy and a kitten at home together gives them someone to spend time with on those days when they are all alone.
- Outside 'Buddies': Kittens are not always outdoor pets but they can be a play friend for your puppy as they are learning to go outside. You can put both your kitten and puppy on a leash and take them outside for playtime.
- Sleep: Nighttime can be frightening for your new pets, but you may notice that over time your puppy and kitten begin sleeping together for comfort.
- Potty Training: If you are raising a puppy and kitten together, they can be potty trained together and will be able to learn from each other.
- House Rules: As you are teaching your dog not to jump on the furniture or stay in a certain area of the house, you can teach all your pets the same rules. This also makes it easier on your puppy because they are not being disciplined when the kitten is not.
Tips For Raising a Puppy & Kitten Together
Beyond being careful about the breed of dog that you get if you intend to raise a puppy and kitten together, there are many strategies you can use to introduce your two pets to one another to set them up for success and a life of friendship!
Take Your Time Introducing Them
Introducing your new kitten and puppy to each other when they are as young as possible is ideal, but it's not the only consideration. You should also keep in mind the process of introducing them and how you go about it.
For their initial introductions, you should ensure that they can see each other quite well but have their own safe space. Setting them up in connected rooms with a baby gate between them can be an excellent start.
When introducing your two pets this way, you should expect some excitement. Don't be surprised or worried if your kitten hisses and spits at your dog, they are just asserting their boundaries to a new, and maybe scary, creature. The goal from these first few introductions is positive reactions or even just apathy. If your puppy and kitten are happy to do their own thing while in eyesight of one another, that's a great sign that they will be able to safely and comfortably live together.
Go the Extra Mile When Training Your Puppy
Working on your puppy's obedience is always important, but it is even more important than usual when they are being raised with a kitten!
Making sure that your dog knows commands like Sit, Stay, Stop, and Leave It is always important. But, if your puppy is getting too physical with your kitten, getting too excited around them, or beginning to stalk or chase them, these commands can be critical in snapping your puppy out of it and teaching them what is and isn't allowed when it comes to your cat.
Monitor Your Puppy & Kitten When They Are Together
When you begin raising a puppy and kitten together you will want to ensure that they are always supervised. This will allow you to watch their relationship develop, depending on your puppy and kitten's temperaments. Here are some of the main points when it comes to monitoring your new companions:
- Avoid having your dog and cat in the house alone together. You can crate your dog when you need to leave the house for a long time or close off part of your home with one of them in it to avoid confrontations.
- Don't allow your new puppy and kitten to eat together at the same time or in the same place. Some dogs are very protective of their food and may get confrontational with your kitten, even if the kitty is only sniffing 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.
Will your new puppy and kitten become great lifelong companions?
One benefit of raising a puppy and a kitten together is that they will most likely be the best of friends for life. with them, growing up together, you may quickly find that they are there to comfort and entertain each other. Having each other also helps especially if your cat or puppy has anxiety or attachment insecurities.
Make sure to do some research on the best types of dogs that bond with cats. Certain types of dogs – those with a strong prey drive – aren't usually good with felines. Think twice about keeping any kind of terrier, sighthound, or husky with cats. Spaniels and retrievers, bulldogs, Keeshonds, poodles, and Lhasa apsos are usually good with kittens.
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.