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Raising a Puppy & Kitten Together

Two puppies or kittens must be twice as cute if you find one puppy or kitten to be adorable. While kittens and puppies can play nicely together and make good companions, there are a few things every pet owner should keep in mind when raising a puppy and kitten in the same household. Our Fairfield, NJ vets describe them in this section.

If a puppy or kitten is adorable, then when you take the two of them together they must be just as cute and sweet, right? While this certainly can be the case, raising a puppy and kitten in the same home as one isn't always so simple. 

There will undoubtedly be growing pains even though these creatures, when raised together, can frequently become fast friends and keep one another company. A mature dog might mistake a cat for prey, which is a possibility as well, tragic as it may be. By preparing your puppy and kitten for success and a long, happy life together, our All Creatures Great and Small Animal Hospital team explains how to avoid this.

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

While there are a number of practices you can implement when introducing your two young pets to one another, one of the most surefire ways of setting your puppy and kitten up for success actually comes before your adorable puppy even comes into your life. 

More so than your kitten, your puppy's breed and temperament will determine how well you raise them together in the long run. All dogs have an innate desire to hunt; in fact, a large portion of their play involves simulating various aspects of hunting, from chasing after a ball (small animals) to pulling on a rope (dividing up a catch). Because they mimic the sounds of dying prey (eww! ), squeakers in some toys can even excite your puppy.

But some dog breeds have much greater "prey drives" than others in terms of their innate hunting instincts. And the prey drive is where you might experience problems right away with your dog's behavior. Even if they get along great, as your dog gets bigger than your cat, if your pup is of a breed with a highly-tuned hunting instinct, those instincts might take over and put your cat-like prey in serious danger.

Dogs like Shiba Inus, Huskies, Terriers, Beagles, Dobermans, Malamutes, and Cattle Dogs all have notoriously high prey drives and, if your puppy is one of or mixed with these breeds, you will likely have to be very mindful of their prey drive when rising them with your kitten.

How do I raise a puppy and kitten together?

There are several methods you can employ to introduce your two pets to one another in order to set them up for a successful life of friendship, aside from being cautious about the breed of dog you choose if you intend to raise a puppy and kitten together!

Introduce Them Slowly

You will need to know how to introduce a dog to a kitten or a kitten to a dog early in their lives for a great start to helping them get used to one another.

When first introducing your kitten and puppy to one another, make sure they can see one another, but each has its own personal space too. Setting them up in connected rooms with a baby gate between them can be an excellent start.

You should anticipate some excitement when introducing your two pets in this manner. If your kitten hisses and spits at your dog, don't be alarmed or concerned; they are merely establishing their boundaries with a strange and possibly frightening creature. Positive responses or even apathy are the desired outcomes from these initial introductions. Your puppy and kitten will be able to live together safely and comfortably if they are content to do their own thing while within sight of one another.

Dedicate Time To Training Your Pup

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!

It's crucial to always make sure your dog understands basic commands like sit, stay, stop, and leave. However, these commands can be crucial in getting your puppy out of it and teaching them what is and isn't allowed when it comes to your cat if they are acting too physically with your kitten, acting overly excited around them, or starting to stalk or chase them.

Managing Your Pet's Time Together

The final consideration when rearing a puppy and kitten together is how carefully you must control and observe their interactions. Depending on the temperaments of your puppy and kitten, you may want to do any of the following. You can evaluate this as you observe how their relationship develops.

  • 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 or close off part of your home with one of them in it to avoid confrontations.
  • Avoid having your puppy and kitten eat at the same times or in the same place. Some dogs are very protective of their food and may get confrontational with your kitten, even if the kitty was 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.

If you are looking to raise a puppy and kitten together in your home, contact All Creatures Great and Small Animal Hospital 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!

Welcoming New Patients

All Creatures Great and Small Animal Hospital is now seeing new patients! Our Fairfield, NJ vets are trained to provide care for a wide range of companion animals including cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, rodents, and more. Contact our veterinary clinic today to schedule your pet's first appointment.

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