As a lot of you already know, Rocky has been art of our family for about two years now. We were not expecting to own a dog but when she came into our life we welcomed her into the family with open arms. Recently two kittens have also come into the family, very much like she did. Truth be told I was really terrified about introducing her to them because as a first time dog owner, I had no idea how she was going to react.
Not that Rocky is a mean or aggressive dog, she's a very small dog and isn't much of a threat. But next to the small kittens she's much bigger and definitely not used to how playful they are and how they think her tail is a toy. So we've been working on blending our little family of pets for 2 months now and we've come to the point where they are all in the same room most of the day and we've gotten past most of the fighting. I'm no longer horrified to leave them alone together and have learned most of the do's and don'ts. I'm sure there will be much more to learn ahead, but for now I would like to share some of what we have learned in this journey of introducing new kittens to your current pet dog.
In the beginning keep them separated: The kittens came to us as babies and there was no way we were going to put them near Rocky. As nice as your dog is you really have to be careful because dogs are so much stronger and accidents can happen. For the first weeks we kept the kitten confined to their own space with a door closed between them at all times. During this time the kittens are getting used to their new surroundings and home and need that time to adjust anyways.
Start introducing slowly: After the kittens had been with us a few weeks and were used to their new space, we began to leave the door open between the two spaces for short moments. This allowed the dog to see there was someone else next door and start getting used to their scent. If she ever tried walking into the cats room, for their food, we wouldn't let her. At first it was just about letting her know they were there so she wouldn't bark when we finally brought them out.
Letting them meet: I'd love to say that one day we brought the kittens out and everyone was thrilled to pieces, but it was not the case. It took Rocky time to adjust to these new black creatures roaming all over her living room and getting to get on the furniture, something she's not allowed to do. Plus it really hurt her to see the kittens getting picked up and played with so much. There was definitely jealousy very much like you see with siblings when a new baby comes home. That's why I suggest extra playtime with your dog at the beginning of introducing new pets to them.
Separation at mealtime: I read a lot of articles stating that it's good to keep animals in the same room to eat just in different sides. That did not work for us because Rocky loves to eat and she is very territorial when it comes to food, even when it's NOT her food. When the kittens are getting their meals, especially when it's wet food, we have to separate them. Really, it depends on your dog and how it behaves around food, but we definitely separate our pets at mealtime.
Mealtime is one of the kittens favorite times of the day especially because they are now big enough to enjoy SHEBA® Meaty Tender Sticks with Chicken. SHEBA® cat treats are made with real meat and no artificial flavors and they really like them. We have to hide these treats from Rocky for sure because she's been known to steal them away.
Something else that's also made mealtime easier are SHEBA® PERFECT PORTIONS™ meals. With flavors like: SHEBA® PERFECT PORTIONS™ Paté In Natural Juices Savory Chicken Entrée, SHEBA® PERFECT PORTIONSand SHEBA® PERFECT PORTIONS
SHEBA® PERFECT PORTIONS™ have taken the guess work out feeding time because you get the exact portion in each little tray. This ensures we don't overfeed them so they can stay as healthy as can be while still getting the proper nutrition. And they know when it's feeding time. When they see one of us at the counter opening up the little trays and filling up their bowls, it's the most exciting time of the day.
Find SHEBA® PERFECT PORTIONS™ Multipack Chicken Entrée and Turkey Entrée Wet Cat Food 2.6 oz. (12 Twin Packs) and the rest of the SHEBA® PERFECT PORTIONS™ line at Walmart.
Right now I think we're pretty well adjusted. The kittens are totally enamored with Rocky and would love for her to play with them while she prefers for them to leave her alone. I hope one day she'll soften up and learn to love them back, and until then she's at least okay with them. If you're going to be introducing kittens to your pet doggy then I hope my tips have been helpful. As a first time pet owner I know that I turned to the internet when it was time to unite them and I am so glad we are past that first stage. Click the link to find a lot more inspiration for your cats and learn more about SHEBA® WHAT CATS WANT™.