Can Cats And Dogs Get Along? - Today I'll share my experience.
I'm one of those pet people who wants a house full of fur babies. Big, small, I want them all! Realistically though, I know my sanity has its limits. A few days ago Phoebe was the only furry family in the house (the other pups are next door) and I felt awful because he seemed so lonely. I know he doesn't get along with other cats, but he and Butter were the best of friends until she passed. So, I've had the idea of adopting another dog (and checking out DogWatch) for a while, and it wasn't until the 4th of July where the perfect opportunity presented itself.
Small Breed Dog And Cats
I had an idea of what I wanted a small breed dog, preferably a puppy so it would be able to bond with Phoebe. Well, I had a love at first sight encounter with Chloe, a 3-year-old Shih Tzu in need of a home. While she wasn't a puppy, she was the ideal size. I couldn't have a large dog come in and try to dominate my Phoebe!
Introducing My Dog And Cat
I brought Chloe home on July 5th, mid-afternoon. Phoebe had managed to escape while I was gone so he wasn't inside when Chloe first came in.
I was so excited to introduce him to his new sister that it didn't really occur to me that they may not get along. I went ahead and gave Chloe a bath because, well, she needed it.
A few hours later Phoebe came in. And it was a few seconds after that he went right back out through his cat window (I didn't lock it in time!).
My Experience Of The Cat And Dog Meeting
I managed to get Phoebe back inside, by picking him up and carrying him. All seemed fine until Chloe came running to check things out. As soon as Phoebe saw her the claws came out and went right for my neck.
There was a chase that ended with Phoebe in my bedroom, barricaded between a clothes basket and a large box. That's where he stayed until the next morning.
I brought his litter box, food, and water back there, realizing he wasn't coming out until the dog was gone.
Well, I wasn't willing to give up hope, or Chloe, so we stuck it out.
The next morning, or what I like to call Integration Day 1, Phoebe came out of hiding and walked ever so leerily by Chloe several times.
He found a safe spot behind the chair where Chloe couldn't get to him. There was hissing, a few swipes, and some growling. All the while Chloe was whimpering, just wanting to meet Phoebe (she was never aggressive, just a bit hyper).
We spent most of Day 1 outside, learning the perimeter and giving Phoebe his space. The last thing I wanted him to feel was replaced or unimportant.
Day 2 was a LOT better. Phoebe was still quite leery of the intruder, but he came out of hiding completely, and back to my lap. As I sat in the chair, Phoebe on my left and Chloe on my right, I was admittedly paranoid.
My neck was still sore from the previous days' attack so I did my best to keep space between them. There was a total of 2 hisses from Phoebe and 1 swipe. Thankfully there was no connection so no one was injured.
There were a few nose to nose moments that had me on the edge of my seat, but they were uneventful, thankfully. There was also a LOT of butt sniffing, mostly on Chloe's part.
We're on Day 3 now, and so far things are looking way up! Phoebe is finally trying to play with Chloe, but now Chloe is a little hesitant. I can't blame her though, after all, Phoebe was kind of an asshole at first, swatting and hissing and going as far as to eat Chloe's food, after scarfing down his own. I have a good feeling about this week though, while the two of them may not be BFFs just yet, I feel like it's going to happen any day now.
Have you introduced a new rescue to an existing fur baby? I'd love to know your secrets to help them bond and get along!