The Best Way to Introduce Your Dog to a Cat

Day 1:

Secure the cats in a separate room the dog cannot go into. Make sure the cats have everything they need because they will be there the entire first day. The dog and cat/s will not be introduced until the second day so that the dog has time to get used to the new house first and also get used to the scent of the cat.

Day 2 and 3:

Put the new dog on leash and bring the cat into the same room, holding the cat at this point. If you have any other dogs they should be out of the room. Reward your new dog for staying calm as the cat is brought closer. Do not get the cat within reach of the dog yet.You want to be able to get your dog’s attention in the presence of the cat, if you cannot gain focus from the dog do not bring the cat any closer. Constant praise for both animals if they are remaining calm. If the dog lunges or gets over excited, remove the cat. Do this several times during the second and third day.

Day 4:

Assuming your new dog is remaining calm around the cat they will get to meet today. Your dog is still on leash. The cat is let down to investigate the dog and you are watching to make sure the dog doesn’t try to lunge after the cat. If the cat swats the dog you are watching to make sure the dog backs away and shows respect for the cat at this point. If the dog gets over excited, remove the cat. Your dog is encouraged to sniff and investigate the cat.

***If your dog is still very intense around the cat you should consult with a professional to evaluate the situation.

Day 5:

If the dog is doing well and is responsive to you around the cat you can try him off leash with the cat. They are supervised the entire time and you are watching for any inappropriate behavior.


  • Even dogs that respect cats indoors may go after cats outdoors so be very careful having your dog and cats in the backyard together.
  • This is a general time frame and you may need to add more time to the process if you are having a hard time reading the new dog.
  • In our opinion new dogs and cats should not be left alone together for the first 6 months you have the dog. You are still getting to know your new dog and what he/she will do in every circumstance. Crating is ideal when you aren’t around.
  • The cat can become more accustomed to the dog while the dog is crated as well which will help in the long run.