If you're thinking of getting a puppy and kitten, you're likely looking forward to spending quality time with your adorable new duo and snapping many cute photos. Before you do, it's important to set up a harmonious home life. Today, our Los Angeles vets share tips on how to ensure that your puppy and kitten behave well together.

Raising a Puppy & Kitten Together

Plan on raising a puppy and kitten together? There are some strategies you can follow to introduce them and help them peacefully coexist. 

Introduce Them Slowly

When and how you introduce your puppy and kitten matters. 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. 

Expect some excitement when you introduce your pets this way. You may see your kitten 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 take note of 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. 

Training Your Puppy 

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

First, teach your dog basic commands such as "sit," "stay," "no," and "leave it" 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. 

Best Dog Breeds to Raise With a Cat 

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

The breed and temperament of your puppy is 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. 

Some dog breeds have a stronger hunting instinct, which is also referred to as "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 they grow larger they 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. 

Managing Your Pet's Time Together

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 having your dog and cat in the house alone together. Separate them in different rooms or crate/cage them.
  • Avoid having your puppy and kitten eat at the same time or in the same place. Dogs can be protective of their food and may get confrontational with your kitten, even if the kitten was only sniffing 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 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.

Puppy & Kitten Veterinary Care in Los Angeles 

Whether you're a first-time or seasoned pet parent who's 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 vets at Washington Dog and Cat Hospital are here to help.

Along with performing first and annual physical exams and administering vaccinations, we can provide advice and guidance on how to keep 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.

Are you hoping to add a puppy and kitten to the family? Contact our Los Angeles vets to book an appointment for your new four-legged friends.