Cats and dogs
I'll tell you about our experience here. Our cat is very friendly, but also territorial. Her name is Mietzi. She is a house cat. She is overall very balanced, self-confident, is used to travelling, doesn't cause any problems at the vet at all and also likes to be in a pet hotel when we are on holiday. However, she does not handle food (place) changes well. She lived with us for 6 years, everything was perfect for her, and then a small, cheeky, (in her eyes) smelly dog came along....
To make sure that living together works well for all of us, we prepared well and did a few things. Here are some of our tips:
A dog is moving in and you already have a cat?
If you can visit your puppy before it moves in, bring a cat toy so the dog can pick up the scent. Rub the toy on the dog so that the dog's scent is transferred to the toy.
When you come home, let your cat sniff the toy in peace. And play with your cat and the toy from time to time over the next few days. Your cat may not like the smell at first ...
If possible, give your cat a room where she can retreat without the dog following her. You can use baby gates to make this work. This would also be the perfect place for her (new) feeding station.
Check the cat's current feeding spot. Could the dog interfere with the cat's eating or even eat the cat's food? Then place a second and dog-safe feeding place for the cat. You can elevate the first feeding station by simply placing the bowl on a small table, for example. IMPORTANT: Cats have difficulty with change, even if they are super curious at the same time. Don't just take away the cat's usual feeding place, but provide a transitional phase. Then there will be two feeding places for a while.
It's best to start before the dog moves in.
The cat gets food first and the dog should also notice this.
By the way: If all family members eat more or less at the same time (for example in the morning) people should also start eating before the dog does.
Trim your cat's claws or have them trimmed at the vet if you are unsure. You should expect your cat to give the dog the odd nip or two. If not, then of course it's great! But you'd better be prepared.
Your dog is moving in with you. Make sure that your (calm) cat is "locked up" in a room, preferably where its food and litter tray are, and that your dog can sniff around the rest of the flat.
Then let your cat sniff around in peace while the dog is sleeping, outside or in another room.
Observe your animals, assess the situation and the characters and then decide when the first direct contact should be. In our case it was on the second day, when Chiyo had already been living with us for more than 24 hours. As Chiyo was only 8 weeks old when she moved in, she slept in the dog crate in our bedroom. Therefore, our cat Mietzi was able to roam through the flat at night and get used to the apparently very unpleasant smell of the dog.
Make sure your doggie doesn't chase the cat! No matter how cute it seems.
And anyway: What is your cat like? What does your cat like, what doesn't it like? What is your cat not good with? What could cause your cat difficulties? You should ask yourself these questions and, if necessary, develop individual solutions so that everyone involved can enjoy living together.