If your cat is showing interest in your dog when he approaches the baby gate, you can start to introduce them in an open, neutral space. During these supervised meetings, keep your dog on-leash for the first couple of weeks while giving your kitten plenty of room to “retreat, run and hide, or slip beneath a piece of furniture where the dog can’t follow,” Miller says.
Keep these first important meetings positive for both dog and cat by avoiding scolding, shouting or jerking on the dog’s leash. “You don’t want them to learn that everyone gets tense and angry and bad things happen when the cat or dog is around,” Miller says. “Dogs are more likely to engage in chase or prey behavior when they’re tense or aroused.”
For some dogs, these introductions may take a long time, and that’s totally OK. Sometimes two animals will need extra help getting along, and owners can enlist professional behavior experts, such as a certified applied animal behaviorist or a certified professional dog trainer, to help them through the process. The most important thing is that both pets feel happy and safe in their shared home.