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New here-have a Q' about getting a kitten-

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone!
My name is Bethany. I'm 15. Right now living in our home we have 3 cavies, 1 rat,2 birds and 2 dogs.
My dad, sister and me absoulutly love cats and would realy like to get one. I want to get a kitten so I can introduce it to my small pets and it will hopefuly learn to like them(I've heard of it happening a lot)so I dont have to worry about it hurting them.
Out only problem is one of our dogs. She is an 80lb springer/lab mix. She loves to chase cats,rabbits, and pick fights with other dogs. Shes GREAT with people and with our 10lb rat terrier though. Winnie is the only one thing keeping us from adopting a cat. We could give it a great home with lots of love, great quality food, we nueter, and we dont let them outside(my mom doesnt want flees to get in our house and I dont believe its the safest thing for a cat).
Everyone living in my home is great with pet(my 12 yr old brother sister,18, brother,20, me,15 and my parents)
But I wont get a cat unless I know my dog will accept her. I DONT want any accidents.
A friend of mine has a female cat who gets preggers at least twice a year(It bugs me so much that they wont nueter, they want the babies, even though they dump the left overs on farms) But anyways, If they have a litter this year I would love to adopt one of their babies.
Do any of you have a suggestion for my situation??
post #2 of 14
Welcome to the site Bethany! Even if you don't have a cat right now, you are more than welcome to stick around and get to know everyone here.

I'm going to move your question to the Behavior Forum where our experts can help you out.
post #3 of 14
I've never had trouble integrating cats and dogs. Right now, I have two of each. Both dogs love to play with cats and one cat (Rowdy) loves dogs. Opie avoids them, like the plague.

Try introducing them, gradually. Put the kitten in a carrier, with a mesh door and let them get used to each other. Hold the kitty, securely and let the dog sniff and nuzzle it.

My dogs even try to get the cats next door to come over and play. So far, those cats are being standoffish. They come over next to the fence and tease Ike and Pearl.

Good luck, with the kitty.
post #4 of 14
Hi Bethany,
It's nice to see somebody my age posting! (I'm 16). Hope you stick around.

Socks was my first cat. We had two dogs at the time, Copper (mutt), and Skipper (a border collie). Coppy was a very territorial dog, but Socks' arrival didn't bother her too much. She was 11 at the time and had never seen a kitten. She didn't react well around adult cats, but we chanced it anyway. I got Socks from a family that sounds quite similar to your friends'. I know how frustrating that is ! Anyway, Copper was fine with Socks. We think it was because she was so small when we brought her home, that Copper just accepted her as she had accepted our other various pets over the years (hamsters, gineau pigs, etc). They were never really friends, but they weren't enemies. Copps has since passed on, but we still have Skipper, a very rambunctious dog, and they get along well. Just make sure that you give your dog just as much attention as you give your kitty. When we got Socks, just to be on the safe side, we arranged another home she could go to in case it didn't work out with the dogs. Maybe you could do something like that, just in case?

Good luck and best wishes,
post #5 of 14
I do have a concern about the smaller fuzzy animals + the bird.
Not a good idea to have these animals play as friends.

I have even had kittens whom I know and trust associate with some rats of mine from time to time. But as they get older they're prey instinct often increases, and that's a very bad situation.

You'll have to make sure that the small animals cages stay securely locked, and that there is no way for the cat to get in. Small animals like cavies, rats and birds stress very easily, sometimes at the site of a cat, and definetly if they were ever out and the cat pounced on them.

There are "friendships" with cats and rodents/birds but I wouldn't recommend it, and there is always the chance something will happen. Specially being as this is your first cat, I wouldn't chance it until you've owned a few cats, and have a great knowledge of them under your belt.

As for the dog introduction, do it very slowly and very safe.
Try to adopt a cat that is known to like dogs, and this can go much easier.
Since your dog has such a high prey drive, at all times, make sure your cat has several places in your house where it can run and escape to, so that the dog can not reach her incase she ever feels threatened, or just wants to have a nap.

Try to let them smell eachother through a door first, and then move to a carrier. Be VERY careful when you introduce face to face while you are holding the cat, and make sure someone has a leash on the dog, and there is a person (other then you) holding onto it. I have seen too many times when this introduction appears to go well, but then all of a sudden the dog is making a move and has the cat or other small animal right in his jaws, because he thinks your offering him a "toy". I recommend teaching the "off" command before getting a cat, and make sure your dog knows it and responds to it in all sorts of circumstances.
post #6 of 14
hey sockies im 16 too
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
tThanks for the advice everyone. My dad used to own cats when he was in collage(hes in his 50s now though,lol, that was a while back) But he REALY like them. We had a cat when I was about 7-8. She was the prettiest long hair calico names Carmel. My dad gets up really early in the morning and he heard something on the deck. So he opened the door and she ran in. She was declawed and fixed when we found her(rather, when she found us).
My mom brought her to the shelter about a year later because she was sick. She puked all the time. I was SO sad. At the time she told me carmel ran away. But anways, my mom cant do that to my pets anymore.
My pets live in my room in the basment. All of them have secure cat proof cages exept the cavie cage, its about 8ft by 4ft uncovered. But I think I can cat proof it pretty easily. I'll never let my cat near the small pets un supervised. My Budgie isnt tame, but my quail is.
It will be not until this summer till I get my kitten.

How old should they be before you neuter them? Its cheaper to nuter a male, right? Or no. Is Iams a good quaility cat food? And can she be fed only dry food?
Is it bad to let them roam outside? I dont think I will let her, just because of dogs. And like at night I can hear cat fight under my windows.

My neighbors have this beautiful tiger strip cat who they dont feed and let roam. I always feed her scraps, like chicken and once in a while I buy bags of cat food for her and feed her outside my house. Shes a sweet heart but shes terrified of people. I was thinking about "stealing" her and moving her in the house, but I dont think she would apritiat the dogs. And she survived of prey her whole life, I dont think my animals would be safe with her. I'm doing what I can for her.
post #8 of 14
Bethany: Reguarding IAM's/Eukanuba. Myself and several other people on here will not feed their food or buy their products. I will direct you to a thread we already discussed this matter on so you can learn more.

I personally feel in most cases dry food as their main diet is best, you can give the cat wet food 2 or 3 times a week, or even a small amount every day if you wish.


Do you have a Petsmart or Petco, or any good petstores near you? Or can you only buy food from places like Walmart or your local grocery store? If the cat you get is under 1 year old, make sure you feed it kitten food, or food that is high grade and appropriate for both adults and kittens. You can also order online, a good place is www.petfooddirect.com
I don't know what your price range is however.

From Petsmart, the only foods I personally would consider feeding:
Natures Recipie
Nutro Maxx(and Nutro Natural if they have it.)
Pro Plan (You can try this food, but I've heard bad reviews about it, it gave one of my cats a urine problem too.)

From Petco:
Avo-Cat Breeders Choice
Natural Balance
Pet Gold
Royal Canin
Sensible Choice

Good foods... and foods I would personally bother to feed.
Solid Gold
Maximum Nutrition (Walmart Brand)

There are soooo many more, if you find a food that interest you or that you can afford, just tell us the name of it here and we will give you a full run down of the food and tell you if it's any good or worth buying.

Couple Guidelines:
1.) The first 5 ingredients are often the most important
2.) Buy a food that starts with a MEAT
3.) Foods labeled with Chicken or Lamb, are better then foods like Chicken By-Products, Meat By-Products.
4.) Foods with out corn in them are better, corn is only a filler.
5.) I do not buy foods with BHT & BHA in them, as they are cancer causing agents. Natural preservatives are much more healthy for an animal in most cases.

Now about getting your cat fixed, Males should be fixed no later then 5 months or as soon as they start to spray or show signs of mating activity. Females no latter then 6 months, and the same rule applies.
This site is anti-declaw, so we would hope you would not declaw your cat. I also believe that most of us here, including me, feel that it's better to keep your cat indoors at all times (unless he enjoys going out on a walk with you while on a harness/leash.) It's safer for them indoors, you get to have a stronger bond with them if they live indoors. And on average, most cats live longer, happier, healthier lives as indoor cats.

I am glad that you take care of your neighbors cat when you can.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
We feed ourd Dogs Nutro max Dog food. So I'm sure I'll start feeding my cat that brand.
I most likly wont get her until after I turn 16(september) so that I'll have a job to pay for her food, and getting her spayed. Also, my school is moving and we will travel right past a realy nice petsmart on the way to and from each day. My brothers not looking forward to that 'cause he KNOWS I'll be stopping there a LOT.lol
post #10 of 14
Originally posted by BethanyF
We feed ourd Dogs Nutro max Dog food. So I'm sure I'll start feeding my cat that brand.
I most likly wont get her until after I turn 16(september) so that I'll have a job to pay for her food, and getting her spayed. Also, my school is moving and we will travel right past a realy nice petsmart on the way to and from each day. My brothers not looking forward to that 'cause he KNOWS I'll be stopping there a LOT.lol
LOL. I can never pass a Petsmart without going in...

Kudos to you for making an informed decision and researching and asking questions before you get your new pet.

Here's my furry (and feathered) family:

(Don't worry about the bird, he's used to them...lol. And he doesn't live on the floor, he's just visiting.)

DISCLAIMER: I just realized that posting that picture may have an ill effect and due to recent events on the board I will explain myself. No one should expect their animals to all be friends or endanger their safety in any way. We can share experiences but we can't predict the outcome. Socks and Skipper are always supervised when they get to see Squawk, and Squawk isn't scared of them. I love all my animals and would never harm them in any way.
post #11 of 14
I wondered how our dog would do too. She was 3 when we brought Enya home. Kiara (dog) would act like she wanted to kill any cat that came into our yard, or any animal for that matter and she's on the hyper side due to the breeding. Since Enya ended up with distemper, it was over 2 weeks before we could have them around each other. They'd see each other when we'd leave for the vet and when we'd come home, with Enya in the crate. They got used to one another that way. Once Enya was healthy again we started to slowly introduce them with Kiara on a leash when Enya was exploring the room. Kiara accepted her just fine, although she gets a little too rough when she plays with her. Then we brought a second one home recently and she accepted him right away.
Friends of ours have 2 parakeets that they had before they got their cats. The cats will jump up on the cage, but the birds weren't scared once they got used to it. Now they just scold the cats when they do it.
Just keep the little ones in their cages when the cat is around.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Our little dog, Cookie, is 11 and Winnie, the big one, is 10. But they bot have b-days in july. I'm not a bit woried about cookie with the cat. I'm just hoping Winnie will calm down a bit about cats by then so it will be easyer.
my Parakeet lives on a card table in the dining room, but my dad is going to make a hook on the ceiling so we can hang the cage, my mom is sick of the table always being there. So I dont think the cat will be able to reach her.She doesnt come out of her cage, shes not tame.
I'll just have to come up with a cover for my cavy cage and everything will be set.

Some people I babysit for have the sweetest cat. When the kids are taking a nap or whatever he always comes and sits by me, hes such a baby. So thats why I realy want a cat.I was never realy a cat person before then.(Although I love ALL animals)

I've done the whole impulse pet buying thing and regreted it. I bought my 1st cavy and thought I could keep it in one of those storage tubs. But anyways, I've corrected all that now so it worked out for the best. But I would never do that again

Sockies mom- Your babies are so cute! I love em
post #13 of 14
One issue is you need to get your dog better trained! It is common for some dogs to have a prey chase instinct. But you need to evaluate it - is it prey chase fun, or chase prey kill? Starting issues with other dogs? Unacceptable! Dogs are wonderful creatures but you must teach them what is and is not okay. If you can't control her with other dogs, I doubt if there were a serious problem in the home with your cat, you could stop it in time. A dog can really hurt a cat.

Also evaluate your home and how it is set up. Could a cat always have an escape route and places the dog can't reach? My dog would never harm my kitties, but if they did not have safe routes and places they would go insane feeling trapped and in danger.

About the introduction...it was mentioned above to hold the cat firmly and let your dog sniff the cat. You might want to wear body armor if you choose that method! There are many different theories but I personally would never do this. My cats have known my dog for 5 months and like him, but I never hold them when he is right there as they feel trapped and begin to struggle to get away. Cats need to feel in control of a situation. My advice would be to set up a baby gate your dog can't get over but can see through and put him in a room then let the cat out. They can see each other and the cat can investigate but get away. Also you could first rub a towel on your dog, then on your cat so the cat has a familiar scent. Then allow the dog out after the cat has explored and seen the house, but keep the dog on the leash. A leash is a great way for you to maintain control as well as communicate to your dog. If your dog tries to catch the kitty or be too rough, use a sharp snap back of the leash (not to the point of hurting or jerking the dog around, this is to get attention) and say NO, be GENTLE. No and gentle are important words for a dog.

As far as choosing a kitty, I would aim for a younger one that is very active. If you go to a shelter you will often see kitties that look sleepy and cuddly, then there are ones bouncing off the cage walls LOL. The bouncers will most likely be better with a dog.
Also some places have cats that are in foster homes, and some may already be around dogs. This could be a good avenue to go as the foster people could tell you how the cats interacted with the dog.

Cats are pretty safe around most dogs so long as they always have an escape route. But if you believe your dog might truly kill the cat if given the chance then I would not get a cat.
post #14 of 14
Ali: Yup, I totally agree with the training, plus I said most of that before anyways.

Beth: There are so many advantages to training, safety value, a good bonding process, your dog gets exersized mentally which can help with dogs who are often bored, distructive, hyper active (aka your dog sounds very hyper).
You should also try to socialize you dog before the cat comes. To get him to accept other animals, people, things like dogs on the street. It can help his overall personality and attitude towards a lot of different situations.

There are many approaches you can do for this. But it sounds like your dog should stay on the leash at all times when outdoors.

If you would like some info on this I can gladly give you a whole bunch!
PS: Do you have any pictures of your animals? We LOVE pictures here.
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