Whenever your dog and cat are together, make sure you're there to supervise. This way, you can intervene if things start to get tense.
Give your cat a safe space where they can retreat to when they feel uncomfortable. This could be a separate room with their litter box, food, water, and toys. Make sure the cat has the option to leave the situation.
Reward your dog for good behavior around the cat. This could be treats, praise, or affection. Encourage calm and gentle interactions.
Make sure your dog knows basic commands like "sit," "stay," and "leave it." These commands will help you redirect their attention when needed.
If your dog is particularly excitable around the cat, you can use a leash to maintain control. This can help prevent any sudden movements or lunging.
Gradually expose your dog to the presence of the cat in a controlled manner. Start with a distance where your dog is calm and reward them for calm behavior. Gradually decrease the distance over time.
Keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated with toys, walks, and playtime. A tired dog is less likely to engage in unwanted behaviors.
When they are near each other, offer both the dog and cat treats or affection. This helps them associate each other's presence with positive things.