How to introduce a puppy to a cat

Posted by Argos, 5 January 2016, last updated 13 October 2022.

Most cats are very protective of their personal space and enjoy a daily routine.

If you’re introducing a puppy into a household with a cat, be aware that he or she will feel their home has been invaded and might not like it much.

Even if your cat is used to living with a dog, an excitable puppy is a different proposition altogether.

Puppies and cats have very different ideas about the world, so here’s some advice on how to help them get along.

Introducing a puppy to a cat slowly so they get used to each other

Introducing a puppy to a cat

It can be an exciting time welcoming a new puppy to the household, but it can also be nerve racking when introducing them to your family cat. We have put together some key tips on the best way to introduce a puppy to a cat:

  • Start with separation
  • Prepare the home
  • Keep your puppy under control around your cat
  • Store cat food out of reach from the puppy

Start with separation

Before actually introducing your puppy to your cat, it is a good idea to start off by keeping them completely separate in the household. Keep your cat in its favourite room, with their food and toys, whilst your puppy has opportunity to explore the house and settle in. By also ensuring both pets are fed before being introduced can help them feel more relaxed.

Prepare the home

First impressions are vital and, for cats, a big part of this is smell.

You can lay the groundwork before you even bring your puppy home by bringing some of his or her scents into the house. If you visit your puppy at the breeders, let it play with a piece of material which you can then allow your cat to sniff. This will allow your cat to become familiar with the scent of the puppy so that the arrival is not a complete surprise.

When your puppy is home, you can continue this process by stroking the cat immediately before stroking the puppy, to build up the relationship.

Keep your puppy under control around your cat

It’s important that you keep control of your puppy, especially when the cat is around.

Don’t give your puppy chance to chase the cat. You can do this by keeping your puppy on a training lead until they are old enough to have settled down a bit.

Of course, you can’t be everywhere at once, so set up barriers in your home so the cat can get to places the puppy can’t. Baby gates that the cat can slip through can be an ideal solution.

Try to make sure your puppy and cat or kittens get along by forming a bond between them

Store cat food out of reach from your puppy

It’s a good idea to make sure your cat’s food is out of the puppy’s reach, so that he or she doesn’t try to steal it.

If your cat is used to eating from a bowl on the floor, get them used to the idea of eating from a higher surface by moving the food for a couple of feeds before making the switch permanent in time for the puppy’s arrival.

Similarly, make sure your cat’s litter tray is not accessible by the puppy. Your puppy will almost certainly be interested in the contents and, cats enjoy their privacy. Try to place the litter tray in an area only the cat can get to, but at his or her convenience.

Follow our tips on how to make this change as easy as possible for your cat. It’s important to protect yourself from unexpected vet bills with Argos Pet Insurance provided by Pinnacle Insurance plc. Explore our cat insurance policies today.

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