If you have a personal pet who’s a dog, you’ll need to make the introduction to the foster cat carefully and safely. Start by keeping them separated at first. As mentioned above, before you bring your foster cat home, create a separate “territory” for her and equip it with food, water, a scratching post, a litter box, and comfortable resting places.

Over a one- to two-week period, let the dog and cat smell each other through the door, but don’t allow them contact with one another. Exchanging blankets or towels between the dog’s area and the cat’s area will help them get used to each other’s smells.

After a week or two, do the face-to-face introduction. Keeping your dog on leash, allow your foster cat out in the same area. (If you have more than one dog, introduce one at a time. Do not allow the dog to charge or run directly up to the cat. Try to distract the dog as best you can so that the cat has the chance to approach without fear. Watch the body language of each animal closely and don’t continue the interaction if either pet becomes over-stimulated or aggressive. The idea is to keep the interactions positive, safe and controlled. Finally, never leave your dog unsupervised around the foster cat.