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Puppy & Kitten: Are They a Good Match?

Raising a puppy and a kitten together would be a dream come true. Although puppies and kittens may look sweet and cuddly, there are some considerations any pet owner should keep in mind when raising a puppy and kitten in the same home. In this post, our Pleasant Hill vets explain what they are.

Two is Better Than One

If a puppy or kitten is adorable, then when you take the two of them together they must be just as cute and sweet, right? While this certainly can be the case, raising a puppy and kitten in the same home isn't always so simple. 

Although these animals can quickly bond and provide companionship when raised together, they may still experience some initial challenges. Additionally, there's a sad chance that an adult dog might see a cat as prey. Our Diablo View Veterinary Medical Hospital team explains how to avoid this by preparing your puppy and kitten for success and a long and happy life together.

What are the best dog breeds to raise with a cat?

While there are several practices you can implement when introducing your two young pets to one another, one of the most surefire ways of setting your puppy and kitten up for success comes before your adorable puppy even comes into your life. 

The success of raising a kitten and a puppy together depends more on the breed and temperament of the puppy than on the kitten's temperament. All dogs have a natural hunting instinct, often reflected in their play, such as chasing a ball or tugging on a rope. Some dog toys with squeakers can be attractive to puppies because the squeaking sounds resemble those of injured or dying prey.

This hunting instinct varies among dog breeds. If your puppy belongs to a breed with a strong prey drive, you might notice behavioral issues from the start. Even if your dog and cat get along well initially, as the dog grows, its strong hunting instincts could take over, leading it to chase the cat as if it were prey.

Dogs like Shiba Inus, Huskies, Terriers, Beagles, Dobermans, Malamutes, and Cattle Dogs all have notoriously high prey drives and, if your puppy is one of or mixed with these breeds, you will likely have to be very mindful of their prey drive when rising them with your kitten.

How do I raise a puppy and a kitten together?

Aside from being cautious about the breed of dog, if you intend to raise a puppy and kitten together, there are many strategies you can use to introduce your two pets to one another to set them up for success and a life of friendship!

Introduce Them Slowly

While introducing your puppy and kitten early in their lives is a great start to helping them get used to one another, how you introduce them is important too!

When introducing your kitten and puppy to one another, make sure they can see one another, but each has their personal space too. Setting them up in connected rooms with a baby gate between them can be an excellent start.

Expect lively interactions when introducing your pets. If your kitten hisses and spits at the dog, it's just setting boundaries with the unfamiliar, potentially intimidating, animal. These first meetings aim to encourage positive responses or even indifference. If your puppy and kitten are relaxed and engage in their activities near each other, they will likely get along safely and comfortably. Once your pets are comfortable with each other, your puppy and kitten will be sleeping together peacefully and playing in no time.

Dedicate Time To Training Your Pup

Working on your puppy's obedience is always important, but it is even more important than usual when being raised with a kitten!

It is important to ensure your dog understands commands such as Sit, Stay, Stop, and Leave. However, if your puppy becomes too physical with your kitten, becomes overly excited in their presence, or begins to stalk or chase them, these commands can be critical in snapping your puppy out of it and teaching them what is and isn't acceptable when it comes to your cat.

Managing Your Pet's Time Together

Another thing to consider when raising a puppy and kitten is how closely you must manage and monitor their time together. You'll be able to tell as you watch their relationship develop, but depending on your puppy and kitten's personalities, you might want to try any of the following:

  • 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.
  • Avoid having your dog and cat in the house alone together. You can crate your dog when you need to leave the house for a long or close off part of your home with one of them in it to avoid confrontations. 
  • Avoid having your puppy and kitten eat at the same time or in the same place. Some dogs are very protective of their food and may get confrontational with your kitten, even if the kitty was only sniffing the interesting food their sibling is eating.

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.

If you're considering raising a puppy and kitten together, reach out to, contact Diablo View Veterinary Hospital today. Our veterinarians can provide expert advice on introducing your pets, managing their behavior, and helping them feel at ease with each other. Soon enough, your puppy and kitten will be snoozing side by side!

New Patients Welcome

Diablo View Veterinary Medical Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced veterinarians are passionate about the health of Pleasant Hill companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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