Cats and dogs typically live together harmoniously, provided the introduction goes smoothly. The introduction is important because it establishes the dynamic that will prevail between the two animals. Dogs are territorial and may respond negatively if they think the cat is making a claim on their territory. This is why the introduction must be handled sensitively by you and your helper. Huskies by nature are predatory and the American Kennel Club recommends they be supervised when introduced to small animals, but even predatory breeds can be trained to live alongside cats
- Put a leash on your Husky. Huskies respond quickly to movement. The reaction of your dog to a new animal in the house is hard to predict. In most cases, the dog will be inquisitive and possibly agitated. Prevent any sudden lunges by keeping it leashed. This way, if the dog lunges you can do two important things; prevent the dog from getting to the cat and correct the unwanted behavior or lunging.
- Stand next to your dog at the end of the room and act as normally as possible. Brace your legs. If the dog makes a break for the cat, you need to be well-balanced to restrain it. Huskies are extremely pack-orientated and retain a strong pack instinct. Your Husky may look to you as pack leader. If you are agitated or acting differently, your dog will pick up on this. By standing at the far end of the room, you give the two animals a longer period where they are aware of each other without being in close proximity. If the cat is brought into the room and immediately has to contend with an inquisitive dog, agitation is likely.
- Close all doors except the door to the room you are in. Leaving the door open is important because it gives the cat a chance to escape if it feels threatened. Forcing a cat to endure the presence of a dog when it doesn’t want to is counter-productive for both animals. Closing the other doors prevents the cat from escaping the house.
- Issue praise to the dog for as long as it remains calm. If the dog becomes aggressive or tries to get at the cat, issue a firm “No” and gently tighten your grip on the leash to make sure the dog can’t move beyond your reach. If the two animals approach each other, allow them to socialize. A typical cat is agile and smart enough to get away from a dog if it wants to, provided it has a clear exit route. After five minutes, remove the cat and praise the dog. Feed both separately. Repeat the process daily, extending the contact period by a minute each day.