You are here:

Cats/Introducing an existing cat to a dog


Hello. I have a bit of an issue that I bet you will have the knowledge to solve it. My fiance has a 2 year old short hair that has been in our 1200 sq. ft apartment for about 3 months. She is a friendly cat, and is quiet. Now, as we get settled in to our place, I want to introduce my 16lb, 7 year old male terrier mix into the house. My main reservations lie with the fact that Max (my terrier) is indeed a terrier. He has since been staying with my mother at her house with a large backyard. He loves running around and is an extremely affectionate dog.

However, the one time I have introduced them to each other, the female cat approached Max and pawed lightly at his face, to which max did not seem to like very much. I am sure the cat was just curious about him, however Max lunged at her, however I stopped him from getting to her as he was on a leash. The cat ran away and max started getting very excited. I moved him to the bedroom where I closed the door and let him calm down. I took him back around the cat later, only to have her come after him, and bite his ear. He is ok, but I do not want to have either of them get hurt.

My fiance and I have thought of many ways to intro them slowly but being that my mother is moving, I have to go get Max soon to be a permanent resident at our place. Our thoughts were to place a gate tall enough to stop either of them from moving between the bedroom and the living room and letting them get used to each others smell and then possibly introducing them face to face again in small increments until no aggression is being showed between either. I just do not want to segregate either of them without just cause, but I also would like to avoid any unpleasant encounters. Any help with this matter or advice is greatly appreciated ahead of time. Thank you very much.

There is a way to introduce animals to each other over a period of a week. it is designed to allow both animals to gain confidence in each other without fear of injury or attack.

it is a slow process and does require you to keep the animals separate for the whole time you are introducing them. This method is good for both cats and dogs and i have written about the process here on my site


There are never any guarantees that they will ever get along, sometimes the best we can hope for is that they learn to live together in some sort of harmony for most of the time. the introduction process does help those and i have recommend it to many people.

best wishes Kate


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Kate Tilmouth


I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.


I run my own cat website at and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

©2017 All rights reserved.