Did you decide to double down and bring home a young cat and dog to raise together? Congrats! But what should you know? Today, our San Angelo vets share advice on raising a puppy and a kitten together and discuss whether they make a good match.

How to Raise a Puppy & Kitten Together

Do you plan on raising a puppy and kitten together? There are a few things that you can do to get them off to a good start and ensure that their life together is a success.

Don't Rush Introductions

How you introduce your new pets to each other makes a difference. Introducing them early is a good way to help them get used to each other. When you first introduce your canine and feline companions, make sure they can see each other but that they have their own separate spaces to retreat to. You might want to start by placing them in adjacent rooms with a baby gate in between. 

You will likely see them both exhibit some excitement when you do this. Your kitten may hiss and spit at your puppy as they establish their dynamic and boundaries; rest assured that this is normal. 

Your goal with these first introductions should be to note positive reactions or even indifference. If your puppy and kitten are content doing their own thing while in each other's presence, it's a positive indication that they will be safe and comfortable living together. 

Properly Train Your Puppy

While it's always important to build your puppy's aptitude for obedience and listening skills, this is vitally important when being raised with a kitten, so both can remain safe, happy, and healthy. 

First, teach your dog basic commands such as sit or stay to prevent them from acting roughly with the kitten. If your puppy gets overly excited and begins chasing or stalking the kitten, these commands can be vital in redirecting their attention and teaching them more appropriate boundaries. 

Are certain dog breeds better with cats than others?

To establish a foundation for the successful relationship between your puppy and kitten, it's important to consider which dog breed would be best for your family and existing pets before bringing home an adorable new puppy. 

The breed and temperament of your puppy are a greater influence than your kitten's when it comes to predicting how well they'll coexist. Dogs have a natural hunting instinct that's evident in their play behavior, such as chasing balls, tugging on ropes, or mimicking hunting actions. 

Many dogs are bred for hunting, resulting in a 'prey drive.' This instinct can potentially cause issues with your dog's behavior. Even if your puppy initially gets along with your cat, if your dog belongs to a breed with a highly developed hunting instinct, as it grows larger, it may see your cat as prey. 

Terriers, beagles, shiba inus, huskies, Dobermans, malamutes, and cattle dogs are breeds known for their high prey drives. If your puppy belongs to any of these breeds or is a mix, it's essential to be extremely cautious regarding their prey drive when raising them alongside your kitten. 

How to Ensure Successful Interactions

To ensure a healthy interaction between your kitten and puppies, overseeing and tracking their time spent together is important. By observing how their bond evolves, you can determine the best approach. Consider these options based on your puppy and kitten's unique personalities:

  • Avoid leaving your dog and cat alone in the house. Separate them in different rooms or crate/cage them.
  • Don't let your puppy and kitten eat at the same time or place. Dogs can be protective of their food and may get confrontational with your kitten, even if the kitten only sniffs the interesting food their sibling is eating.
  • Set up safe areas of your home for each pet to be alone if they would like. This can include teaching 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.

Puppy & Kitten Veterinary Care Services at Western Veterinary Hospital

Whether you're a first-time or seasoned pet parent welcoming a new puppy and kitten into your home, your new pets will need veterinary care that meets their needs during their first years and beyond. Our puppy and kitten vets at our animal hospital in San Angelo are here to help.

Along with performing first and annual physical exams and administering vaccinations, we can provide advice and guidance on keeping your furry friends happy and healthy. When you bring your puppy or kitten in for their first exams and shots, your veterinarian can also address any questions you may have about nutrition, growth and development, behavioral issues, general health, and more.

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.

Did you bring home a new furry friend? Contact our puppy and kitten vets to book an examination and vaccinations in San Angelo.