Perhaps one of the easiest ways to avoid the problematic situation of introducing puppy to cat is to consider before buying any pet which way you want to go. This is because it is generally accepted that it is easier to introduce a kitten to a dog than a puppy to a cat, as grown cats tend to be more territorial than grown dogs.
1. Consider which pet to buy first, and socialize it well
If you know that you want to own both a cat and a dog at some stage, it may make more sense to start with a dog first. If it’s too late for that and you already have a cat, then it maybe help to ensure that your cat interacts with puppies and dogs as it grows up. A cat that has been socialized to know and understand that dogs are friendly and not a threat will be more welcoming to a new puppy in its home later on.
2. Be more concerned for the new puppy when introducing puppy to cat
If the puppy is younger than 2-3 months (depending on the breed), you need to realize that it’s the dog that you should be concerned about
as the cat can hurt a puppy with its sharp claws quite badly in an instant. Ensure that you trim your cat’s claws before introducing puppy to cat so to ensure that if it goes badly, your puppy won't be hurt.
It may also be beneficial to wear your puppy out and burn off some excess energy before the meeting. Take the puppy out to play before hand so that the puppy will be a little more subdued and less rambunctious before meeting the cat.
3. Always be in control
The main principle that should be followed when introducing puppy to cat in the home is that you should always be in control
. This is best achieved by putting your puppy in a crate or behind a baby gate first, and letting your cat get to know the newcomer from the outside. A few meetings should pass before you let the puppy out of the crate when the cat is present. The right time to do this is when both seem perfectly comfortable in the presence of each other. By this point, they should both realize that the other is not threatening.
4. Keep your cat as comfortable as possible
Cats will always react better to things if they are comfortable and stress-free, so try pampering your cat a little immediate before introducing puppy to cat. If your cat becomes skittish and runs away, the puppy is likely to give chance or, worse, may think that your cat is prey. Make sure your cat feels safe, and ensure that the meeting happens on your cat's terms. If your cat feels like it has control of the situation, it is less likely either to hurt the puppy or to run away.
5. Be careful about playtime
A puppy’s first instinct is often to play, and therefore he or she may try to play with a cat when they first meet. While you may take this as an encouraging sign, it may not come across that way to a cat. Even young puppies can be quite boisterous during play, and may scratch or bite your cat. A cats doesn't like this of course and a puppies may not understand when a cat does not want to play. Ensure that any play between your cat and puppy is measure at first, so your animals can learn more about each other and come to an understanding about each other’s boundaries. After a while dogs and cats will eventually come to understand each other signals. Remember, dogs and cats can be good friends, provided that you pay attention to introducing them in a proper way.
If your cat and puppy meet in a stress-free environment and are gradually introduced to each other, then they could become fast friends—or at least tolerate each other.