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We recently adopted a 2 year old male cat from the local humane society. He has a very outgoing personality and has already claimed the house as his own within a few days after spending the night 'sequestered' in the bedroom. That part is going great.

Here's the rub, my sister and brother-in-law are regular weekend visitors to the house, and due to their particular situation the only way to make it worth coming out is if they bring the dog. He's an senior brown lab/pit bull mix. He already lives in an apartment with an older cat so I'm not particularly worried about him chasing the cat around the house or harming him.

However, I really want them to get along as we are my sister's main dog sitter so it is pretty important that the new cat and the regularly visiting dog have a good relationship. How would you introduce them?

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The best way for a cat and dog to get along with each other is by bringing them up together. But in this case, we are talking about a full-grown cat and a senior dog.

By nature, cats are always cautious of their surroundings. If you think that the dog will be okay with the strange cat hanging around its vicinity, then you shouldn't force them to bond and let time do its magic.

  • Avoid petting the cat in the dog's presence as dogs tend to get possessive of their masters, given that the cat takes advantage of this and probably piss the dog off.
  • Keep the cat in a slightly higher level, probably on a high-chair or the refrigerator and bring in the dog. The cat will naturally start observing and studying the dog's actions, very intensely and down to each small detail. After the cat realizes that the dog isn't a threat, it will slowly approach it to learn more about it, mostly when the dog is fast asleep.
  • Also, you could feed them together, by keeping a safe distance between the dog bowl and the cat's plate, and slowly, but certainly, they shouldn't mind each others presence.

There is no shortcut for this as the are not very fond of each other, by nature.

How do I know this? *

I have 5 cats and a dog under my roof and initially, the cats were very weary about the annoying and strange creature - the dog, walking amidst their kingdom, the house. But now, one of them constantly play with the dog, 3 of them don't mind its presence and 1 of them is still suspicious of the dog's intentions and in doesn't trust the dog completely.

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    For what it's worth, a visiting dog was how I learned that cats can growl; my car took up what she considered a good observing position (in the same room but protected by a first of chair legs) and grumbled continuously for the duration of the one-hour visit. The dog at one point wandered over for a sniff, got a facefull of claw (which just ruffled her fur) , snorted "OK, be like that" and went back to her people on the couch. – keshlam May 19 '16 at 16:03
  • For anyone interested, first introduction was positive with only one incident of the dog getting thwaped on the nose. We're pretty sure it was resource protection based as the dog was getting close to his food and the cat was really very chill in every other situation. Looks like we're going to have to play musical chairs with the food bowls when the dog comes over. All in all, way more positive than I was expecting. – Zessa May 25 '16 at 20:43

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