Posted by Josie
Did you know I get along with my little brother Farley Waddlesworth? Yes, I admit it. I get along with a CAT! He is very annoying, has behavioral issues and is a devil. But yet that little bugger follows me all over the house and insists on napping with me.
Farley and I get along probably because of the careful introduction my mom made us go through before we ever met. She often tells people who want to merge species together that you need to do it carefully. I sniffed Farley though a door before I ever got to meet him. Granted, I had lived with three (now deceased) cats before, but it was still a new cat so my humans wanted to make sure Farley and I got along. To do that, the introduction went very slowly.
It went like this:
- Mom brings eight week old Farley home in a carrier and takes him directly to her bedroom and shuts the door. I never get to see the little bugger.
- For two days I sniff Farley through the door. Then occasionally a tiny little paw sticks out underneath the door. I am alarmed. Who is this intruder?
- Finally on the third day, Mom put up a baby (pet) gate and I see him! He’s tiny! The little bugger wants to come at me. We meet at the gate and sort of play on our respective sides.
- Then at day five, Mom removed the gate and I chased Farley all over the house. But Farley loves being chased so then we reverse and he is chasing me!
- A week later, Farley is overly stimulated and aggressive so he starts biting me hard during our play sessions. I growl at him so bad he is scared, and he never bites me again.
I am the only member of the family who Farley does not bite. He is also more affectionate with me than any other member of my family. I don’t think this is normal, but that’s the way our personalities work. I am a senior dog with arthritis so the last thing I want to do to chase a cat. According to experts, the best scenario for canine-feline introductions is to make sure you do the following:
- Dogs chase cats… so always have a high place like a cat tree where your feline can escape the dog.
- Use leashes and other restraints on your pup when the two see each other for the first time.
- Get a baby (pet) gate to separate the two. Perhaps only allow limited visits in the beginning where your cat and dog see each other.
The age of the pets involved is also a factor and is a key consideration when you choose to mix the two species. Farley was a kitten and I was a senior so that’s why it was a pretty easy introduction and why we get along pretty well. In fact, I think Farley thinks I am his mommy, which to me is a little weird since he doesn’t look anything like me.
I hope my tips will help you if you’re about to introduce a new pet of another species to your family. The inconvenience of making sure the introduction is done correctly will help the peace and stability of your household in the long run. And if you are a pet person like my mom is, there’s nothing cuter than seeing your dog and cat snuggle up or play together. That’s Whisker Fabulous!