Are you thinking of adding a new fur baby to your family? Perhaps you're unsure if you want a puppy or kitten. Our vets in Riverbank offer insight into why raising puppies and kittens together is a good idea.
Raising Puppies & Kittens Together
You're likely excited to bring your new pet home. But, if you're considering getting two new furry friends at the same time, you may be feeling all kinds of emotions, including anticipation and fear.
When dogs and cats are properly introduced at a young age, their fear and hate instincts don't have the chance to grow and increase in them so they're able to adapt to each other a lot faster. This is not always the case and it can depend on the breed. However, in most circumstances, puppies and kittens may be the perfect match for each other.
Our vets at River Oak Veterinary Hospital describe how raising a puppy and kitten together can be good for both animals.
Helpful Tips to Ensure a Smooth Transition
If you'd like to raise a puppy and kitten together, there are a few strategies you can use to introduce your pets to one another and foster a positive bond.
Introduce Them slowly
Introducing your puppy and kitten early on will give them a great start to help them adapt to each other. The way you introduce them is also important.
During your puppy and kitten's first meeting, we recommend ensuring they can see each other but allowing them their own space as well. Setting them up in connected rooms with a baby gate as a barrier is one way to accomplish this.
When introducing your two furry companions this way, expect some excitement. It's okay if your dog barks and your kitten hisses - they're just asserting their boundaries with this new creature.
The goal from these first few interactions is to foster a positive bond, or even apathy. If your puppy and kitten are content to keep to themselves while within eyesight of one another, this is a great indication that they'll be able to live together safely and comfortably.
Training Your Puppy
While working on your puppy's obedience is important, this is even more critical when they are being raised with a kitten.
Checking that your dog understands commands like "sit", "stay", "no", and "leave it" are important if your puppy is getting too physical with your kitten.
If you notice your puppy getting too excited around your kitty or starting to chase or stalk them, these commands can help snap your puppy out of it and teaching them what is and isn't allowed around your cat.
Are They a Good Match?
Generally, puppies and kittens are a good match for each other for several reasons, including:
- They're able to keep each other company - Your pet misses you when you have to leave the house. Having a puppy and kitten at home together gives them someone to spend time with on those days when they are by themselves.
- They can groom each other - You may catch your puppy and kitten grooming and cleaning each other. This is just their way of telling each other that it's time for a bath.
- They can be outside buddies - While kittens are not always permitted outdoors, they can be a playmate for your puppy as they are learning to venture outside. You can put both on a leash and take them outside for some play time.
- They can sleep together- Sleeping in a new place can be very scary but then you have your new kitten and puppy they can cuddle together when they want to sleep. Once your puppy and kitten get used to sleeping together, they'll be able to comfort each other through any scary nighttime moments.
- 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.
Can They Become Best Friends?
One benefit of raising a puppy and a kitten together is that they will most likely be the best of friends for life. Since they are growing up together, they are there for 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.