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It’s a good idea to keep your new dog in an indoor pen when you first bring them home. Or you could use a stairgate to limit your dog to one room. If the new dog doesn’t immediately have the run of the house, this will help your cat feel less threatened.
Place the pen – with food, water, bed and toys – in the busiest part of the house. This will allow your cat to investigate the dog at its own pace, without getting too close, and both animals can get used to each other’s scent.
When both pets seem comfortable with each other’s presence, try feeding your cat outside the pen whilst the dog is eating their food inside. This will help them to get used to closer contact.
The next stage is to try introducing them outside the pen. Hold your dog, and allow both animals to observe and interact with each other. Over the next few days bring the dog out of the pen more frequently, allowing them to explore their new surroundings. As your cat becomes more tolerant of its new housemate, you can increase the contact between them.
Cat food is normally very high in protein – so much so that it’s too rich for dogs. So try to keep your dog away from your cat’s food in case it upsets your dog’s tummy.