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Puppy & Kitten: Are They a Good Match?

Puppies and kittens may look cute in photographs together, but you'll want to make sure they get along at home. Today, our Ketchum vets share tips on ensuring your puppy and kitten behave well together.

Raising a Puppy & Kitten Together

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 to get them to coexist.

Introduce Them Slowly

Introduce your puppy and kitten early in their lives for a smooth transition into companionship. How you introduce them matters too.

Ensure a visual connection during their initial meeting, providing each with their designated space. Setting up connected rooms with a baby gate between them can be an excellent starting point.

Anticipate some excitement as your pets meet in this manner. It's normal if your kitten hisses and spits at your dog; they establish boundaries with a new companion.

The objective during these initial encounters is to elicit positive reactions or, at the very least, indifference. If your puppy and kitten happily go about their own activities while in each other's sight, it's a promising sign that they can coexist safely and comfortably.

Training Your Puppy

Focusing on your puppy's obedience is paramount, particularly when raising them alongside a kitten!

Ensure your dog masters essential commands such as "sit," "stay," "no," and "leave it," especially if your puppy is becoming overly physical with your kitten. When your puppy exhibits excessive excitement or starts to stalk or chase the kitten, these commands become crucial in swiftly redirecting your puppy's behavior and instilling clear boundaries regarding interactions with your cat.

Best Dog Breeds to Raise with a Cat

Ensure the success of your puppy and kitten partnership by proactively choosing the right dog breed before welcoming your adorable puppy into your life. The key factor influencing the success of raising them together is the breed and temperament of your puppy, particularly in comparison to your kitten.

Dogs, being hunters, incorporate aspects of hunting into their play, such as chasing down a ball (resembling small animals) or tugging on a rope (mimicking a catch). The strength of this hunting instinct, also known as "prey drive," varies among dog breeds. Issues with your dog's behavior may arise from the intensity of their prey drive.

As your dog surpasses your cat in size, even if they initially seem to get along, breeds with a heightened hunting instinct may have their instincts take over, causing them to view your cat as prey. Terriers, Beagles, Shiba Inus, Huskies, Dobermans, Malamutes, and Cattle Dogs are examples of breeds with notably high prey drives. If your puppy belongs to or is a mix of these breeds, exercising caution regarding their prey drive is crucial when raising them alongside your kitten.

Can Puppy and Kitten sleep together?

Managing Your Pet's Time Together

You need to manage and monitor your kitten and puppies' time together. You will be able to assess this as you watch their relationship develop. Still, depending on your puppy and kitten's individual temperaments, you may want to do any of the following:

  • 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.

Are you looking to add a puppy and kitten to the family? Contact our Ketchum vets to have your companions cared for.

New Patients Welcome

Sun Valley Animal Center is accepting new patients at our two convenient locations! Our vets are passionate about the health of our Valley's pets. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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