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Raising a Puppy & Kitten Together

If you're thinking of getting a puppy and kitten, you're likely looking forward to spending quality time with your adorable new duo and snapping many cute photos. Before you do, it's important to set up a harmonious home life. Today, our Mechanicsburg vets share tips on how to ensure that your puppy and kitten behave and sleep well together.

Making Your Puppy & Kitten Best Friends

Plan on raising a puppy and kitten together? Puppies and kittens can make great companions as they can learn to play and socialize together. However, it is important to introduce them properly and supervise their interactions to ensure they get along well. Luckily, there are some strategies you can follow to introduce them and help them peacefully co-exist. 

Introduce Them Slowly

When and how you introduce your puppy and kitten matters. Introducing them early is a good way to help them get used to each other. When you first introduce your canine and feline companions, make sure they can see each other but that they have their own separate spaces to retreat to. You might want to start by placing them in adjacent rooms with a baby gate in between. 

Expect some excitement when you introduce your pets this way. You may see your kitten hiss and spit at your puppy as they establish their dynamic and boundaries; rest assured that this is normal. 

Your goal with these first introductions should be to take note of positive reactions or even indifference. If your puppy and kitten are content doing their own thing while in each other's presence, it's a positive indication that they will be safe and comfortable living together. 

Training Your Puppy 

While it's always important to build your puppy's aptitude for obedience and listening skills, this is vitally important when they are being raised with a kitten, so both can remain safe, happy, and healthy. 

To prevent your dog from acting rough with the kitten, first teach them basic commands like "sit," "stay," "no," and "leave it." If your puppy becomes overly excited and starts chasing or stalking the kitten, these commands can help redirect their attention and teach them more appropriate boundaries.

Best Dog Breeds to Raise With a Cat 

To establish a foundation for the successful relationship between your puppy and kitten, it's important to think about which breed of dog would be best for your family and existing pets before bringing home an adorable new puppy. 

The breed and temperament of your puppy is a greater influence than your kitten's when it comes to predicting how well they'll coexist. Dogs have a natural hunting instinct that's evident in their play behavior, such as chasing balls, tugging on ropes, or mimicking hunting actions. 

Some dog breeds exhibit a stronger hunting instinct, also known as "prey drive." This instinct may cause issues with your dog's behavior. Even if your puppy gets along with your cat at first, if your dog comes from a breed with a strong hunting instinct, they may see your cat as prey as they grow older.

Terriers, Beagles, Shiba Inus, Huskies, Dobermans, Malamutes, and Cattle Dogs are breeds known for their high prey drives. If your puppy belongs to any of these breeds or is a mix, it's essential to be extremely cautious regarding their prey drive when raising them alongside your kitten. 

Managing Your Pet's Time Together

Overseeing and tracking your kitten and puppy's time together is critical for ensuring a healthy interaction. The best approach can be determined by observing how their relationship evolves. Consider the following options based on your puppy and kitten's distinct personalities:

  • Avoid having your dog and cat in the house alone together. Separate them in different rooms or crate/cage them.
  • Avoid having your puppy and kitten eat at the same time or in the same place. Dogs can be protective of their food and may get confrontational with your kitten, even if the kitten 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.

Puppy & Kitten Veterinary Care in Mechanicsburg 

Whether you're a first-time or seasoned pet parent who's welcoming a new puppy and kitten into your home, your new pets will need veterinary care that meets their needs during their first years and beyond. Our vets at Silver Springs Clinic are here to help.

Along with performing first and annual physical exams and administering vaccinations, we can provide advice and guidance on how to keep your furry friends happy and healthy. When you bring your puppy or kitten in for their first exams and shots, your veterinarian can also address any questions you may have about nutrition, growth and development, behavioral issues, general health, and more.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you hoping to add a puppy and kitten to the family? Contact our Mechanicsburg vets to book an appointment for your new four-legged friends.

New Patients Welcome

Looking for a vet in Mechanicsburg PA? Silver Springs Animal Clinic is accepting new patients! Our skilled veterinarians are passionate about improving the health of Central Pennsylvania companion animals. Contact us today to book your pet's first appointment.

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