There are many different ways to introduce a dog to a cat. If the first method of introduction you try doesn’t work or you don’t feel comfortable with it, try a different option. Even if the dog has had experience with cats and the cat has lived with a dog before, proceed cautiously during the introduction. Always have two people present — one to intervene with each animal, if necessary. If you have more than one dog, introduce each dog separately to the cat.
Every introduction method should be slow and thoughtful. ALWAYS use two people. Animals with a good past experience often adjust well to a new pet in the house. But if introductions don’t go well, seek help from a professional dog trainer or behavior consultant. Don’t ever use punishment: it will often make matters much worse.
Use scent transfer as step one, for slow desensitization. See our Introducing a New Cat information for more detail’s information on scent transfer. Once you have desensitized through scent, can then move on to the actual introduction. The dog should always be on a leash as you begin the introduction process. You may decide to use baby gates, doors, strong secure crates, or other methods in order to keep things structured for the animals. Keep in mind the temperament of each animal as you decide what approach may be best.