Raising Kittens with Dogs

Raising kittens with dogs is not as difficult as raising puppies with adult cats. Dogs are more tolerant and may easily adapt to the new kitten. However, there are a number of aspects you need to consider to avoid possible problems that may arise between the 2 pets.


Introduce the Kitten Gradually


Dogs are typically tolerant towards new animals and when a new kitten is introduced, there won’t be a fight for power, as the dog will be dominant and the kitten will not look to establish a dominant position.

However, you may want to introduce the kitten gradually. Make a brief introduction first (i.e. 10 to 15 minutes) allow the pets to smell each other and get familiar with their appearance. Don’t keep them together for more than 15 minutes; you will have to keep the kitten in a different room until you are certain that the pets are comfortable with each other.


Monitor Your Pets


In the beginning, you may allow your pets to play for 30 to 60 minutes per day, but you have to monitor their behavior. Learn how to read the behavior of the pets and their body language to identify if they are friendly or are more likely to fight.

Typically, dogs will be protective towards the new pet, as the kitten will look vulnerable and won’t be a threat to the dominant position of the dog. However, the reaction of the dog may depend on a few additional factors:


  • The age of the dog
  • The age of the kitten
  • The sex of the kitten (if the dog is male and the kitten is female, they are more likely to get along)
  • The personality of each pet


Interfere When Needed


If you notice body language that indicates that the 2 pets may get in a fight (i.e. the kitten is hissing and has an arched back or the dog is growling or barking), you need to interfere and make sure a fight won’t happen. Isolate the kitten and make sure the pets won’t meet for the rest of the day.

While most pets will learn to get along, there may be a few types of personalities that are not compatible.


Separate Feeding


When you feed your pets, make sure that they get separate food bowls and they won’t eat out of the other’s food bowl. Pets may get aggressive when someone steals their food.

It is advisable that you keep the food bowls separately all the time.


Be Affectionate Towards Both Pets


You will have to make sure that you give affection both to the dog and the new kitten. At first, you can do this when the other pet is absent, so that he won’t become jealous. But as the pets get used to each other, you may start to pat them even when the other pet is present. The dog will have to see that you will still love him even if you have a new kitten and nothing has changed.