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Introducing a cat into a dog home

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have any suggestions on introducing a cat into a dogs house? I really want this to work and I am determined to make it work, but I am open to suggestions on how to make it easier.
post #2 of 7
Has your dog ever been around cats before?
post #3 of 7
post #4 of 7
Good article. That is what I did too. I knew I couldn't control the cat so I had to control the dogs, at first I used a leash, made it short, then long, etc. An obedience background is important if you dog wants to chase, play, or hurt kitty. Kitty went into a different room when I couldn't supervise since I had one dog that took months of training, the other dogs were great from day one. Good luck!
post #5 of 7
Depends on the kind of dog you have and how well trained he/she is. The important thing is the dog should not be allowed to chase the cat/kitten. And it is best to crate the dog or the cat for first introductions so they can't hurt each other.
post #6 of 7
Train the dog. You should be able to tell them to "leave it" and a command like "stay" to stop them from going after the cat. Breed doesn't matter. It may take slightly more time for some dogs but I have an akita with a prey drive through the roof and she lives fine with several cats and plays with the little kitten. Your ability to train the dog is what matters. I also do not agree with the never punish. If my dog jumps on the cat then she's getting punished. I will be up, yelling "NO", and have her in a stay on the other side of the room from the cat within seconds. Redirecting after punishment is important though. Don't just punish and walk away. Tell them what not to do and then show them what they should do. Put them back where they were before they chased the cat and if it's just a high energy puppy looking for something to do give them a toy to play with instead of the cat so they learn what they are allowed to attack and chase around. You can't completely stop some behaviors but you can redirect them to a more appropriate use.

To start out with I locked my cat in the bathroom with her litterbox, food, and water for 2 days. My cat was used to dogs so I didn't bother with showing each of them scents or letting them meet through a cage but if you have highly reactive animals or ones with bad histories toward the other species it would be a good idea. Then keeping the akita on a leash I let the cat have free roam of the house. If the dog went toward the cat when it appeared I told her "NO" and brought her back to me. When she stayed I praised her and paid attention to her. After a week she no longer reacted to the cat walking into the room and the cat no longer overreacted to seeing the dog since nothing happened when the dog was around. I let her drag the leash for a few more days before taking it off. Still I praised her if she left the cat alone and punished her for going after the cat. When she was bored and looking for something to play with, which led to trying to play with the annoyed cat, I stopped her, told her to "leave kitty" and used one of her toys to play with her. However I would not suggest teaching them to destroy soft squishy things like stuffed animals. Occasionally I've seen it reinforce the desire to also use the soft squishy cat as a chew toy.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone who responded. I'm am going to do everything possible to introduce my dogs to our new cats.
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