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Cats & Dogs in the same House

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I have a question to those that have cats and dogs in the same house. I have two large dogs that I have had their entire life (one is 8 and the other one is 13). They are very good dogs but only one has been around ferrets and no other animals. I did let Gizmo and the dogs see each other and even play together but only in a room not in the entire house. I would like to ask for you guys to help me correctly introduce kittens to the dogs. I want to do it the right way and I don’t want to make any mistakes that in the long run will not be good. I know there are plenty of dogs and cats living together and even become friends I would like to make sure that I get to that point with my guys. If anyone has experience with this and can help me I would really appreciate it.

Thank you in advance,
post #2 of 7
post #3 of 7
Gizzie what kind of dogs do you have? Some do better than others with cats...
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by 2dogmom View Post
Gizzie what kind of dogs do you have? Some do better than others with cats...
They are both Lab and whatever mix. One is defiantly Lab and Coon Hound mix and the other one possibly Lab and Rut but I am not sure. I have adapted both of these guys from the shelter when they were puppies.
post #5 of 7
Basically I would introduce them to the cat one at a time. So put one dog on a leash and bring him into the room where the cat is. Allow him to sniff the cat and do whatever, but as soon as he starts to get aggressive (which can be just some nudging of the cat), take him away from the cat and take a loop around the room, or just go to the far wall, and then come back to the cat. If things are progressing well, end it and bring in the other dog and do the same thing (without the first dog being in the room). Keep doing this until both dogs and the cat are acting comfortable around each other, and then allow both dogs to greet the cat at the same time.

That's what I'd do, anyway. Jake's the type who acts more tense on a leash, more alert, so I wouldn't be able to start off like that (because he'd be more likely to lunge at the cat, trying to get it to move so he can herd it), but NOW that he's better with them and realizes he can have fun with them without scaring them, the leash works better. The leash would basically just be used to pull him back if a fight broke out, which happens every once in a while (Jake basically tries to get the cat to move, and the cat overreacts and snaps at him, which triggers Jake's flight response, so then you get a cat and dog fighting each other, trying to get the other to BEHAVE [the cat wants the dog to scat, the dog wants the cat to run])

But your dogs aren't herding dogs, so it should work better. First thing I'd do is simply introduce by holding the cat and letting the dogs sniff her, but the above method would be introduced after. But don't take my word as gospel, I had to go through several other methods before I found something that worked with my dog.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your advice. I already let the dogs sniff the cats and the cats sniff the dogs. When I was taking both my boys to the vet I had them in a crate so I put it down and let the dogs sniff. Both were interested in one another and I saw no aggression on dog's or the kitten’s part. I also let the younger dog that I trust more in the room with the kittens all she wanted to do is play with them. One of the kittens jus set there and stared at the dog the other one wanted to play so the kitten bet at the dog and that caused the dog to run around the room but not to chase the cat just in a playful way. I am a little concerned about my older dog. Last time I tried to do that with him he wanted to taste the kitten but he was not trying to bite him he was just trying to see what it was with his mouth. The kitten got up on his two back feet and bet at the dog and the dog got mad so I took away the kitten (that was when the kitten had his claws). Both my dogs listen to me very well if I say sit they will and they won't move so I think I have a start there. My dogs won't do anything if I say no but I would not trust them to be alone with the kittens at this time. So before I did anything wrong I figured I would do some research and get advice from people that know what to do. I am also kind of waiting for the kittens to grow up a little. Is that wrong? Am I better off starting early?
post #7 of 7
I'd say start off early. Cats experience so many new things every day, so they won't freak as much when they encounter a dog (but if a grown cat sees a dog and hasn't had much experience with one, it'd be harder to introduce the two).

The only problem is that you have to make sure the dogs don't scare the cat. When Buffy was still a young'un (I think about 5 weeks), she had an encounter with Jake, my dog, when he lunged at her and she backed herself into a corner (hissing and spitting) before bolting. Jake didn't hurt her, I don't think he even got close to her, but it scared the living daylights out of Buffy and she still hates him now (3 years later). But who knows, she was on the streets before we found her, so maybe her mom and siblings didn't die of a sickness, maybe they were attacked by a dog or something. Hmmm. But anyways, the younger you start, the easier transitions and introductions go.
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