Dog... meet Cat!
INTRODUCING YOUR NEW GREYHOUND TO YOUR CAT
Contrary to what people think, Greyhounds are big sloppy puddles of love.
We know you love your cat too... so why not take time to let them get acquainted & become friends.
Here are some steps to make the process slow and safe for all concerned.
- Always ensure the cat has a safe escape route in case it feels trapped or threatened (somewhere the dog can't access).
- Control all the interactions in the beginning - with the dog on a lead.
- Allow the dog to see the cat through a barrier (like screen door).
- Reward the dog for calm behaviour - if dog reacts ensure the next encounter is done further away.
- This may take time, beginning quite a distance away. You block the dog if it reacts poorly (don't yell)... and you reward the calm behaviour.
- All dogs are different - no one size fits all.
- If the dog is calm looking at the cat, then progressively allow closer and closer proximity.
- When the dog is OK in close proximity you may allow the dog and cat to sniff each other through the barrier.
- If the cat will allow it, pick the cat up and take it over to the dog at the barrier - ensure to face the back end of the cat to the dog so as not to cause frontal confrontation.
- Allow the dog to sniff for a few seconds then take the cat away, praise the dog and reward for good behaviour.
- Once the sight and smell of the cat are accepted by the dog you can move to removing the barrier and begin working on the dog's impulse control around the cat.
- "Place" training can be very useful for integrating a dog into a cat household. You teach the dog to stay put in one place and respect the cat's space by doing this.
- When inside, keep a lead on the dog in case it decides to chase the cat.
- Heavily reinforce the dog staying on bed/mat while cat is around to maintain safety for both cat and dog.
- Never leave the dog and cat unsupervised until the dog has clearly learned how to live with the cat.
- If you are ever unsure of whether to leave them together then it is best to separate them when you are not around.