Adopting a puppy can be an exciting experience! However, introducing a puppy into your household when you already have a kitty can be challenging.
If your cat is used to being your only pet, they’ll probably have trouble adjusting to a new animal in the house. Since dogs and cats are completely different specifies, they need time to figure out how to peacefully live with one another.
Cats, in particular, can be extremely territorial. Bringing a new puppy into the house is a stressful experience for most cats. Your cat may act uncharacteristically out of fear and jealousy.
Introducing a new puppy
The way you introduce a new puppy in the house can reduce your cat’s jealousy. A slow introduction allows both the puppy and the cat to get used to one another. To do this, place the puppy in a room with the door closed. Give something that smells like the puppy to the cat, and something that smells like the cat to the puppy. This helps them get used to each other’s scents.
After a day or two, switch the cat and the puppy so they can sniff around each other’s areas. Once they seem to accept each other’s scents, replace the door with a baby gate. This way, they can see each other but not directly interact.
If either one of them acts aggressively towards the other, remove them from the sight of the other. If the puppy is calm, praise the puppy for good behavior.
Once they accept the sight of one another, start allowing them to be in the same room together. Supervise the initial interactions and intervene if necessary. You can also provide a high perch for your cat to help them feel safe.
Signs your cat is jealous
Even if you introduce a puppy slowly, a cat still might exhibit signs of jealousy. Keep a careful eye on your kitty in the weeks after introducing a puppy. The most obvious signs of jealousy is if your cat is acting aggressively towards the puppy, even if the puppy isn’t interacting with the cat. They might hiss, bite, or scratch.
Your cat might destroy furniture, knock items off of tables, or claw your curtains. If you pay attention to the puppy, your cat might try to get your attention by getting on your lap or standing in front of the puppy. An extremely jealous cat might even start urinating outside of the litter box. Even if the box is completely clean, your kitty might tinkle beside it or spray the wall.
There are several reasons why your cat might be acting out like this. They might not appreciate the change in routine or they might feel like they’re not getting enough attention. Some cats also dislike having their personal space invaded by a new animal and acting destructively allows them to show their displeasure.
Helping a jealous cat
The best way to help a jealous cat is to recognize their jealousy before the behavior becomes a habit. As soon as you realize your cat is jealous, figure out what the trigger is and find a solution.
You may unintentionally be spending more time with the puppy than with the cat. To resolve this, make sure you spend equal time with the puppy and the cat. You may even need to spend more time with your cat than the puppy, at least until the cat has adjusted. Make sure you’re providing proper care to both the cat and the puppy during this transition. Sites like woofbarkgrowl.co.uk can help you learn how to take care of your puppy.
Another trigger is they feel like they’ve lost personal space. If the puppy is taking over the house, you may need to find a way to create a space that only belongs to your cat. High perches that the puppy can’t get on are a good solution. You can also block off a doorway in a way that allows your cat to get through but not your puppy. You can also consider keeping them in separate rooms at night to give your cat a break from the puppy.
If your cat is jealous of your new puppy, don’t expect them to be best friends. However, if you spend time making sure that both the puppy and the cat get adequate attention and that your cat has a private area where it can retreat, they may slowly learn how to live with one another.