Are you thinking of adding a French bulldog to your family? If so, you might be wondering how it will get along with your other children, four-legged ones included.
While it’s commonly understood that Frenchies are excellent with kids, there’s less conversation around their interactions with other animals, specifically felines.
Are French bulldogs and cats a good mix? The answer is “yes” as long as you take the proper steps to acquaint them. Today, we’re sharing how to introduce them to one another to ensure they form a friendly, lasting bond right from the beginning.
French Bulldogs and Cats: Starting Off on the Right Paw
The common expression “fighting like cats and dogs” has given many pet parents pause. Is it a smart idea to have both animals under your roof, or will your pup spend his days constantly chasing after the weaker, smaller species?
The key is to slowly and strategically help them get to know one another. Of course, if your Frenchie has never been around a cat before, his natural instinct might be to express dominance and race her around the house! However, with a little pre-planning you can help the two get along famously.
Let’s take a look at the steps to take.
Step 1: Prepare Your Home
When your Frenchie is preparing to meet your cat for the very first time, it’s best to perform this introduction in a calm and controlled environment. Ideally, it should happen in a neutral location rather than your pup’s favorite spot in the house. Here are a few ways to get your home ready.
It’s important to help your home feel as calm and mellow as possible. If there are too many noises or distractions, it could excite your pets and cause them to become more agitated.
If you have other animals in your home, try to put them in their crates or hold the meeting in a separate space. At the same time, there shouldn’t be an abundance of people in the house, either. Keep music and television low to avoid over-stimulation.
Acclimating to One Another
To help your cat and your Frenchie get acclimated to one another, try placing an item that smells like your Frenchie in your cat’s space, and vice versa.
This might be a beloved toy or an article of clothing. Try introducing this item at mealtime, so they begin to associate that scent with a positive reward.
Creating Separate Spaces
Soon enough, these two will be hanging together like old pals. However, it’s best to designate separate spaces for them at first. Set up a dog bed and a cat bed in different rooms, where they can go to de-stress and be alone if needed.
If time allows, you can allow them to stay in these separate spaces for a few days. Once it appears that everyone is comfortable in their own private spot, it’s time for an official introduction.
Step 2: The Big Intro
Finally, it’s time for your furry babies to meet!
While you might be tempted to turn this into an all-day event, try to keep it brief. Make sure both animals are fed and full before the introduction, so neither is too hyper or ill-tempered.
Then, leash your Frenchie to keep him controlled, and slowly allow the cat to approach him at her own pace. If he manages to stay calm, reward him with treats! After all, this is likely a little stressful for him and he needs to know he’s doing a good job.
Repeat these steps until your Frenchie and cat can be around one another in peace. Eventually, your pup should begin to ignore your cat when she walks into the room, rather than immediately becoming excitable.
You’ll know the process has worked when your cat feels comfortable moving about the house on its own and uses its litter box with ease.
What If They’re Anxious?
Relax! It’s natural for these two breeds to be a little stressed out around each other at first. If you transfer any of your own anxiety into the room, it can exacerbate the situation.
Instead, keep a slow and steady tone, even if your cat flees at the first sight of the dog. This is normal. She might quickly pounce to the highest viewpoint possible, where she can safely assess the situation from above.
At the same time, your Frenchie might start frantically pulling at his leash at the first few meetings. Sit calmly in front of him, blocking his view of your cat. Pet him and praise him if he’s able to calm down and keep his cool.
Keep performing these brief meetings until natural tension gives way to curiosity, gradually increasing the amount of time they spend together. It might take a few days, but it’s worth it!
Keeping the Peace at Home
Once everyone is getting along, there are a few things you can do to keep your home as peaceful as possible. The biggest step is establishing separate spaces for each pet to eat and play.
When they feel as though the other might snatch their meal or take their toys, they’re more likely to express irritation. If they’re confident that no one will claim their things, they should be much calmer.
As time goes on, you’ll grow more confident leaving them alone with one another. Until then, try to crate your Frenchie when you can’t be present, or move the cat to another room. It’s also smart to leave a leash nearby at all times!
Did We Just Become Best Friends?
It might sound impossible, but French bulldogs and cats can co-exist peacefully in your home. It’s important to create the right environment and plan those first few meetings to make sure everyone feels at ease.
It may take some time, but you’ll soon find that your pup’s friendly demeanor can win over even the toughest kitty on the block. Give them time and space, and allow them to form a bond naturally, rather than forcing it.
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