For most people, having a kitten and a dog is not much an issue, since the two pets seem peaceful.
However, some people experience hectic nightmares having cats and dogs in the same house. It is essential to link the reasons for bad blood so that you can evaluate your options.
Introducing a new pet is technically introducing a threat to your dog’s existence. The dog perceives the kitten as competition for territory and your affection. So you really should not be surprised if your dog tries to harm or get rid of the kitten.
There is little you can do if your dog simply hates the kitten, and it may prove hectic introducing them.
All play and fun
In some cases, your dog may just be exuberant with the idea and expresses excitement around the visitor.
Unlike mature cats, kittens may not be able to differentiate between a nuisance and a threat. It is imperative you remain cautious as you introduce the two pets to prevent them from attacking each other.
Both are threats. Both are at risk.
Initially, you should not leave the two pets without supervision. Since you are yet to establish the intentions of your dog and the kitten’s reaction, they are both at risk from each other.
The dog may want to bite or eat the kittens, and the kitten can scratch the daylights out of the dog.
The dog can easily intimidate the newcomer, so it is important you create a hiding space for your kitten.
Ensure that the room has basic supplies such as a bed, a litter box, and food. If the kitten and the dog will be around each other, create an escape route the kitten.
They can use it to get away from the dog in case of a threat.
Read the body language
You can easily tell your dog’s intentions by looking at their facial expressions and body language. Menace is detectible from stiff bodies and hard stares at the kitten, growling or barking, and stiff tail flagging.
On the other hand, if your dog assumes playful positions with a wagging tail, they are happy to have a playmate around. Either way, be vigilant to prevent attacks or harmful play.
Your dog’s idea of play differs from the kittens for the first few days or weeks.
It is frightening
Naturally, a kitten will be afraid of your dog, either due to a hostile welcome, or the size of your dog may be intimidating.
However, there are rare occasions where your dog may be afraid of the kitten. It can be due to previous traumatic experiences with a cat, for instance, a hurting past. However, some owners cannot find the root of such fear.
Introducing the pets may prove to be rough, and possibly aggressive. Consider getting help from a friend, family member, or partner for the initial introduction.
Hold the kitten and have the other person hold the dog on a short, tight leash. Allow your dog to sniff the newcomer, but make sure they are still on the leash.
For this introduction, hold the kitten for the entire time, so you do not trigger your dog’s prey instincts.
The aim is to show your dog that the kitten is yours and should not be hurt. While still restraining the dog, let go of the kitten and keenly observe the dog as they watch the kitten play.
If you portray the kitten is under your protection, the dog will be afraid of hurting it because it will be afraid of the consequences.
Ignorance is key
In most households, the problem is that the dog will not stop chasing the kitten. The most effective way of dealing with such a situation is through obedience training. The primary objective of this training is to teach your dog self-control.
You should not condone dominating behavior, so you should teach your dog how to ignore the cat.
Technically, teach a simple command, such as “leave it.” such instruction should be used during the training period to ensure effectiveness.
The past is not a reference
Unlike human relationships, it is impossible to predict how your dog will react to introductions from other pets each time. Just because your dog is getting along and plays with the other cat does not mean it will be warm towards a new kitten.
Your dog will react, understand, tolerate, and communicate differently with every animal, regardless of the species.
There are instances where your playful dog will click instantly. New kittens are typically playful and will be willing to play with the other pets. However, the existing animal may not be willing to tolerate the kitten, and their first instinct will rip them in half.
The time frame
The acquaintance process may take anywhere from several days to a few weeks. In some spread-out cases, this never happens, and you are stuck with two arch-enemies that will hate each other to death.
At some times, it can be difficult to tell whether the two are getting along or not. It is challenging to differentiate predatory and playful behavior at times since chase and play can result in predatory consequences and injury.
Such cases are more common when the kitten is too afraid of the dog, and the latter is too physical or aggressive in play.
If one pet is focusing too much on the other, stalking, aggression, or chase attempts will require keener supervision. If you cannot keep an eye on both pets, place them is separates rooms.
Other than training, it may take some time for the cat to adapt to the dog, while the dog may take weeks to learn how to behave around the kitten.
Exercising your dog physically and mentally will release pent up energies, which will reduce aggressive and extra playful behavior.
Separate the food and the toys
If you make your toddlers share toys, then you understand things can spiral very fast. The same applies to your pets. You can’t afford to assume your pets are not protective or territorial.
Ensure to separate their feeding areas, with the kitten’s being on a high spot.