7 Tips On Bringing Dogs and Cats Together

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Do you have a dog and want a cat too? Or do you have a cat and you're considering getting a dog? Here's 7 tips for a peaceful household #ad #PurinaMysteries

It was last year at nearly this exact time of year, that we brought home our cat, Juniper.

It was the first week of summer vacation, and I had decided that I missed a cat presence in my house. I work a lot, and at home, and I loved the idea of a kitten and then cat winding her way through my legs while I type, or walking across the keyboard while I edit photos. I missed cute little meows, and soft kitten ears. I’ve always been a dog person, but I was starting to wonder if I might be both? Just like I love having both a daughter and a son, and shopping in two sections in a kid clothing store, I have always loved the idea of going into the “Cats” aisles, as well as the “Dogs” aisles of my PetSmart.

Lo and behold, my dreams have come true!


I go to PetSmart quite a bit – hitting all the aisles and saying hi to the cute dogs you’ll see in those aisles! Right now, from 6/1 – 6/30, if you spend $40 of Purina products, you will get a $10 PetSmart gift card! Here’s how this offer works. After you spend $40 on Purina products, you will then register your contact info and upload your receipt to the redemption site here. You will have until 7/9/17 to upload your receipt. After registration, you’ll receive an email confirming it, that will also feature Purina promotional deals. You’ll receive a $10 PetSmart gift card by physical mail within 4-8 weeks.

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I buy quite a lot of dog and cat supplies at PetSmart, but here are three of my favorites – Purina® Muse, Purina ONE and Purina® TIDY CATS® Litter for Juniper, and Purina® Beneful® for Athena. Purina has a wide variety of pet foods, treats, and litter at your local PetSmart. What I love is that this takes the mystery out of how to care for my dog and cat, and I can give them what they truly want. It’s no mystery how much I love both of my pets. It’s also no mystery what to buy them.

And also, where to go! PetSmart, of course.

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I find all my favorites within minutes. I love going to PetSmart because it’s pet-friendly, of course, but there’s excellent customer service when you’re looking for food, treats, and supplies for your pets. They clearly put care into the experience.

Do you have a dog and want a cat too? Or do you have a cat and you're considering getting a dog? Here's 7 tips for a peaceful household #ad #PurinaMysteries

PetSmart

So, back to that day we went to the animal shelter. There were plenty of kittens, but Scarlet picked out the tiniest, biggest-eyed kitten I had ever seen! She was pouncing around, and would then sleep on our laps. Scarlet fell in love on the spot!

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We put a deposit on Juniper so that we could have 24 hours to get ready. This involved the house, her food and supplies, a litter box, getting the kids ready for such a tiny kitten, and then getting Athena ready for such a tiny kitten! As a puppy, Athena had been with cats in her foster home in Alabama, and had been around cats up here, but never such a tiny one. We wanted a total pet cat experience – indoors only, regular vet appointments, snuggling on the couch, waking up to her walking across my forehead, etc. We wanted the whole package, and we were ready for it. For Juniper.

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Here are 7 tips for bringing dogs and cats together!

1 – Start with a slow and supervised transition/introduction. It took a few days for us, and we thought we were lucky! We never forced our pets to be together, but when they were, we were quiet and calm. We chose a neutral room (not with any of their food, water, litter, etc.) and let them see each other and be together for brief periods of supervised time. Then we gradually increased their exposure to each other. This was the crucial period and we all passed the test!

2 – Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match! Even though Juniper was Scarlet’s first choice, I preferred a quiet two-year-old sweetie named Maggie. The problem is that they weren’t sure if Maggie was dog-friendly, even though she was kid-friendly. We worked with the adoption counselors to make sure Juniper was the right match for all of our needs, and hers.

Do you have a dog and want a cat too? Or do you have a cat and you're considering getting a dog? Here's 7 tips for a peaceful household #ad #PurinaMysteries

3 – Give the newcomer a safe space. Whether the new arrival is a puppy in a cat household, or a kitten in a dog household, make sure the new arrival has a space of their own for a few days, or even a week. This area should be off limits to the current pet of the house. And don’t let the current pet linger too much outside of the safe space.

4 – Consider a dog leash or command. We kept Athena’s leash on during her early meetings, in case she got too aggressive. Another option is to put your dog in a down-stay position to allow your cat to move away if need be.

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5 – Put your litter box somewhere private. This is mostly for your cat’s sake, since invasion of privacy can be stressful. It’s also for your dog’s sake, because dogs have been known to EAT litter. And toddler boys think they’re sandboxes..

Yes, that really happened once.

6 – Offer separation for meal time. Cats tend to not eat all their food at once, while many dogs do. Make sure you keep their food and food areas separate. Athena LOVES cat food, if given the chance. And that does stress Juniper out.

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7 – Don’t push the friendship. They may become best friends, and they may not. Settling for courteous companions, or casual acquaintances is enough in this situation! And that relationship may grow over time.

Why do we follow these tips so closely? Pure love. It’s no mystery that I love both of my pets and I love one-on-one time with them. I’m also happy they can bond with each other. I love that we can all add to each other’s lives so much.

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How do you get ready for having dogs and cats? What’s your favorite part of shopping at PetSmart?

Happy Pet Ownership!

About Tamara

Tamara is a professional photographer at http://tamaracamera.com/, a mama of two, a writer/blogger at http://tamaracamerablog.com and a nearly professional cookie taster. She has been known to be all four of those things at all hours of the day and night. She is a very proud contributor to the book, The Mother Of All Meltdowns. http://themotherofallmeltdowns.com, as well as Stigma Fighters Anthology (volume 1), and The HerStories Project: So Glad They Told Me. She is also a proud Community Lead/QA Reader with Sway, and a regular contributor to the SoFab Food blog, and the Target Made Me Do It blog. After two cross country moves, due to her intense Bi-Coastal Disorder, she lives with her husband, daughter, son, dog, cat, and 11 chickens in glorious western Massachusetts.

Comments

7 Tips On Bringing Dogs and Cats Together — 10 Comments

  1. Once again, you always seems to nail it and if I do ever add a cat to our household with Elsa a part of it, I will definitely refer to this, as well as pick your brain further.Thanks my friend!! 🙂

  2. I’ve never been a cat person, that is until I met Jamaica she is the sassiest black cat I’ve ever met and I love her like the dickens. I’m loving all of these tips Tamara, I don’t have any pets but in my wildest dreams I would have 10 gold fish, 5 birds, 1 dog and maybe just maybe a cat 🙂

  3. OMG Juniper’s kitten face in the shelter photo is too much. It’s amazing how pets transform through that first year! #Client

  4. I do not have pets, but I have definitely been to petsmart a lot with my mom who has a BILLION DOGS.

    But honestly, when you discuss bringing dogs and cats together – have a mini story for ya! When I was living at home a long long time ago… My grand parents cat died and my mom and dad wanted to be nice and get them a new one straight away… At the time we had 2 large German Shepherds (the only types of dogs my parents own)… And so, we brought this beautiful cat home from the pet store (seriously, I could never get over how pretty it was)… And we put it in the kitchen (the kitty crate) and the GSs were sitting there like they were about to get dinner… And my dad was like “OH ITS A MYTH THAT DOGS AND CATS HATE EACH OTHER”… So I took the cat out of the box and BAMMMMMM!!!! That bugger flipped out, ripped open my hand with it’s claw and dashed under the oven and didn’t come out. We had to turn the oven on and get a broom in order to get it out! LMFAO!!!!! Ya dad… Dogs and Cats just LOVEEEEEEEE each other.

  5. Sadly I am allergic to cats, but we did have to get our bunny and dog to become friends since we let both roam freely at times. So your tips actually cross pollinate across the animal kingdom. I am happy to report that our 2 house animals are now friends. It took a while, but they actually play and get along quite well 🙂

    P.S. We love Beneful!

  6. Tamara, I did not know that dogs eat cat litter! LOL That was a genuine surprise. I only have a cat, but were I living somewhere else I’d love to have both a cat and a dog. Until then, it’s just me and the diva (aka Casbah).

  7. Our cats and dogs get along really well together, you’d think they were related. I have never fed my dogs any Purina brand products but we once had a cat who LOVED Purina Muse. BTW those are great tips and perfect for those wanting to have a pet for the first time.

  8. Such good tips. Since my husband is allergic and we can’t have a cat, I’ve never thought about how you would introduce them. Such beautiful pictures of your furry children!

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