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Puppy & Kitten: Are they a good match?

While caring for a puppy and a kitten at the same time can be a lot of work, it can also be very rewarding. Here, our Southern Wisconsin vets discuss successfully raising a puppy and a kitten together, if they would make a good match and what to consider for their care.

How to Raise a Puppy & Kitten Together

Do you plan on raising a puppy and kitten together? Here are some things you should consider to ensure a successful life together.

Introduce your new pets slowly.

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 introducing your canine and feline companions, ensure they can see each other but have separate spaces to retreat to. You might want to start by placing them in adjacent rooms with a baby gate in between.

They will likely exhibit excitement once they are within sight of each other. Sometimes, a kitten may hiss at your puppy as they establish their dynamic and boundaries; this is normal.

With these first introductions, your goal should be to note positive reactions or even indifference. It's okay if your puppy and kitten are content doing their own thing while in each other's presence. This indicates that they will be safe and comfortable living together.

Train your new puppy well.

While it's always important to build your puppy's aptitude for obedience and listening skills, this is vitally important when raising a puppy 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. 

Does the breed matter when choosing a puppy?

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, 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 Help Your Puppy & Kitten Form a Good Bond

To ensure a healthy interaction between your kitten and puppy, 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 if you have to leave them alone.
  • 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.

With hard work and positive reinforcement, your puppy and kitten will sleep together quickly!

Puppy & Kitten Veterinary Care at Badger 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. Bring your puppy or kitten to the veterinarians at our hospital in Southern Wisconsin. We offer routine care and preventive services like initial vaccines and booster shots for kittens and puppies.

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 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.

Do you have a new kitten or puppy? Contact our vets to book an examination and vaccinations at our animal hospital in Southern Wisconsin.

New Patients Welcome

Badger Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients. Our team is passionate about the health of animals from across Southern Wisconsin. Contact our closest location to book your first appointment today!

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