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introducing a dog

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I've been planning on get a dog for some while now, any suggestions on what I could do to get them together?
post #2 of 28
If you have a crate, big enough for the dog, that's a good way to let them get to know each other.

Ike had been raised with cats, so he already knew to be friendly and Pearl was just three months old, when we got her. She wanted to play with everybody.

If the dog gets out of line, with the cat, the cat will set him straight. Since Opie doesn't care for dogs, we have a baby gate, between the Arizona room and the rest of the house. That way, Opie can avoid them, when they're in the house.

You'd, probably, be better off getting a puppy and raising it, with the cat. Kittens usually take well to dogs, too. How old is your cat?

Good luck.
post #3 of 28
I thinks its important to give your kitty the same amount of attention if not more when the puppy arives. You dont want her to suddenly feel in 2nd place. That can cause resentment on her half. Our cats and dogs have always gotten along. We had Golden Retrievers and Labradors who i think, in general, are good with kids and cats. There are other people here who know more than me though.
post #4 of 28
I like that crate idea. When i brought Binks home(new cat) i kept her in the spare room and Hoots(old cat) had the rest of the house. They would sit and check each other out through a baby gate. They each had there own space that was designated theirs. It wasent long before Hoots was dying to get into the spare room. When Hoots was asleep i let Binks out to explore. I eventualy brought binks out into the living room in a pet carrier and let Hoots check her out real good. I then let them both out together and only put Binky in her room when i was at work. The whole process took about a week. I guess the whole idea is to introduce them slowly and give each their own "safe" space.
post #5 of 28
I'm going to move this to our behavior forum where you can get some great advice on integrating a dog and cat.
post #6 of 28
Well, I've done the introductions both ways (the cat first-then dog, dogs first-then cat) and I think the important thing is to make sure the cat has places she can hide in, and places to climb the dog can't get to. This way the cat has control of how close to go, and observe the dog from a safe place. Of course it depends also on how the dog behaves. When I got my first dog I already had my cat who had never even seen a dog before, I just brought the dog in, he was still such a young, small puppy, he never paid any attention to the cat, who observed the dog from further away. Each day she would come closer and closer, and make friends eventually. When I got my second cat, I already had two dogs used to living with a cat, but the kitten had never seen a dog before and was scared (the only time this cat has hissed and growled!). I first kept the dogs on leash, and after a little while, they didn't even try to get closer to the cat and I always made sure they never approached the cat, but let her approach the dogs. It took several days of this, or putting the kitten in a room without the dogs, and I even tried putting the kitten in a carrier on a table, while the dogs were loose, just to get her used to the dogs walking around. After a while the cat didn't hiss at the dogs walking around, only when they moved more quickly, and very soon they were all best friends.

The point of my story (I think) is that in dog-cat introductions, I personally think it's important to go on the cat's terms. Dogs are easier, you can restrain and train them (or especially with a puppy in a new home, they may not even pay any attention to the cat), and let the cats get used to the new situation on their own, making sure they are never forced into a situation they don't want to be in. Of course the same goes for the dog, the dog will most likely be stressed by a new home too, and you also have to keep in mind that they have to be able to get to know their new home and people too. I've never had problems with my dogs and the cats after the initial introductions, and my dogs are terriers, not exactly mellow... Not all cats will stand up to dogs if they feel threatened, my older cat would swat the dogs and growl if she felt intimidated, still does, but my younger cat will never do anything like that (even if in play the dog is on top of the cat and mouthing her throat, wrestling- the cat just lies there, obviously loving it ), so you have to observe and figure out what works best for your furry friends.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
yea i do plan on buying a puppy, not a dog. sorry about that
my cat is a year and a half.
post #8 of 28
Your first step will be to train the puppy in basic obedience before ever letting the two of them into the same room. Sit, stay and heel, use treats, or better yet, a clicker to train the pup. Be consistent, gentle but firm with the new dog, and don't lose your patience, for any age pup can learn to obey.

Once you have that mastered, you can introduce the two of them slowly- first I would put the puppy into a bathroom and put up a baby gate- let the cat investigate the puppy on her terms, and stand by to intercede if the cat decides to leap the gate and meet up close and personal. Once they get past the excited, panting, growling hissing stage, start letting the puppy out on harness and lead only- no collar right away, you will have more control controlling the body of the dog, not just the head and neck. Let the puppy just walk around the room- the cat will probably be up high, so make sure you have places the cat can jump to if she feels threatened.

Just take it easy and slow- rub both of them with the same towel to mingle their scents together, and even switch off feed bowls every so often so they can get used to each other that way.

Good luck!
post #9 of 28
Depending on where you get your puppy, breeder or shelter, you may want to find out if the puppy has had any prior experience with cats. Some shelters test thier animals with other kinds of animals to give potential owners a better idea of how they may act. Breeders may or may not have cats in thier home, and some breeds of dog are actually bred to chase small animals, so the puppy may have some strong instincts to overcome.

I had the unfortunate experience of adopting a four month old mixed breed puppy from a local shelter. She had NOT been tested with cats. She was EXTREMELY cat aggressive, and would take any oppurtunity when she was out of the crate, to ATTACK my cats (she came close to killing one), and a good clawing in the face doesn't always get the message across to an aggressive dog.

The shelter assured me that she simply had dominance issues, and with proper training (which she was getting to no avail) she could learn to leave them alone, but after two weeks of watching my cats be terrorized each and every time the dog was out of the crate (she also began showing aggression toward myself and my children), I returned her to the shelter hopefully to be adopted by a family with no children or cats. Unfortunately they assumed that I was exaggerating, and told me "that's just what puppies do, and if you don't like it, you shouldn't have a dog." They also took a statement made my by husband about the situation, completely out of context, and adopted her to a family with kids, without telling them about her aggression issues.

My point is to have a plan in place in case the animals are not compatible, trust your instincts, and don't let them be alone with each other for a while.

Good Luck!
post #10 of 28
you may have planned on doing this already, but may i suggest adopting a puppy from a shelter/rescue group rather than buying one? maybe that's what you meant when you said "buying."
post #11 of 28
thanks for the discussion above. I like the one about slowly letting them to get to know each other and letting the cat stay safe and in control. I just got a new 8 week old puppy last night, and my siamese female - 1.5 yrs is freaking out. she is in the same room with us now while the puppy is sound asleep so I guess that is progress. but she is really stressed, hissing, growling, running for cover, climbing to the highest places - knocked over a plant, trying to get away etc. she is four times as big as the puppy and puppy is pretty much ignoring her. do you think if I just give them time it will work out? How long has it taken for others? I am afraid to let the cat out for fear she will run away or not come back.

P.S. the idea of getting the puppy totally trained before meeting the cat is rather unrealistic wouldn't you say? It will be many months before this 8 wk old baby is fully trained - what do I do with my cat for that long? lock her in a closet?
post #12 of 28
You mentioned that she is much bigger than the puppy, and that the puppy is ignoring her, that is definately great news.

She will continue to be freaked for a while, possibly several weeks, but sooner or later her curiosity is going to take over, and you will notice a lot of sniffing (and hissing) of the puppy, and of the puppys belongings. Let her take her time getting use to this. Imagine being a child, and your parents brought home a freaky looking alien to live with you, and had no way to explain to you what it was or why it was there, you would probably freak too.

It took our cats about a month to stop dashing for cover if they even saw the dog looking at them, and a few months before they stopped hissing at her every chance they got. They ignore each other now, except for the youngest cat, who plays and sleeps with the dog more than he does the other cats.

Good Luck!
post #13 of 28
Here is a picture of my lovebirds

post #14 of 28
You don't lock the cat in the closet, but you also don't let a puppy run uncontrolled with the cat. A puppy with big paws and lots of exuberance will easily hurt a kitten or a cat, or get clawed or bit in the process. You put them together in controlled situations, puppy on a leash with a harness on, not a choke collar. If the pup is calm around the cat and not straining or barking, feed the puppy a treat and praise him for behaving. If he is straining, pull him back and keep him by your side with your hands on him to comfort him and let him watch the cat. It doesn't happen overnight, but it does work.

post #15 of 28
well, we are three days into it now. sumalee (my kitty) is slowly acting a little less freaked out and actually following the puppy (8 wks) around to sniff him, but then if he comes towards her, she runs for the highest place and hisses big time. It is definitley getting better though.

Here's another question - toys. My kitty is very playful and loves her toys - she is only a year and a half old. Now the puppy is here and loves toys - he keeps trying to go for her toys. so far I have separate toys for him which the cat is interested in too. should I try to keep their toys separate from each other (especially the cat's from the puppy)? or just let them play with whatever they want. I'm a little afraid puppy will ruin kitty toys and she will be mad that I let him have them.

any experience with this? does it matter?
post #16 of 28
Just don't give your dog any toys that he or she can swallow or choke on, and no catnip toys either. My cats love those rawhide chews- more then the dogs do... Sounds like you are doing a great job!
post #17 of 28
thanks Hissy for that quick reply. so you don't think I have to worry about possessive territory with the cat and her toys? Actually a new development since that last post. sumalee (cat) just kind of attacked bogey (puppy) she jumped him twice and he cried and now he is hiding behind me. do you think I should worry that she might actually hurt him badly? Guess I better monitor closely for awhile. Maybe she has made her point now for him to back off. But she can be rather aggressive and bites me too. I guess it's a heavy case of first child syndrome. I 've heard lots of stories of young kids trying to get rid of their new siblings when they first come home.

Also, the cat is probably a little stir crazy. she usually goes outside for a few hours a day and I haven't let her out since I got the puppy cuz I'm afraid she'll be mad and not come back.

Kitty also just intercepted puppy's little ball when I tossed it and she took it away - a good soccer interception! (It is a tiny plush soccer ball!)
post #18 of 28
She is just asserting her authority. After all in nature they are actually prey and predator and she has to have the upper hand (being prey) When you say she jumped him how so? Did she stay on him and you had to separate them or did she leave on her own accord?
post #19 of 28
"She is just asserting her authority. After all in nature they are actually prey and predator and she has to have the upper hand (being prey) When you say she jumped him how so? Did she stay on him and you had to separate them or did she leave on her own accord?"

Oh no, she didn't stay on him - just jumped on him in a little of an attacking way, but really a big pounce - don't know if claws were involved and then kept running. He cried out and she did it again a few seconds later. then she settled down and he was hiding behind me. guess she was just doing some heavy asserting. But he weighs about a half a pound and she is 10 pounds. I'm taking him to the vet tomorrow for shots and check-up and will ask what they think too.

she has made friends with another kitty in the neighborhood who is about her age. they play pretty rough and tumble but don't seem to hurt each other.
post #20 of 28
About the toys... In my house, I've given up on having cat toys lying around. My dogs will destroy them in a heartbeat (they love the furry mice, the cats don't really care about them) and I haven't been able to teach the dogs how to tell cat toys from dog toys. So what I do is I play with the cats with their toys (like "fishing rods") and then put the toys away. The cats also have toys hanging from string (not thin string, they couldn't hurt themselves on this) in their cat tree and a few other places. My cats have never really reacted to their toys being "used" by the dogs, but they haven't been too big on toys in the first place.

Are you sure that was an attack, and not just hard play? My cats' idea of play sometimes is pretty rough, and they even try to play with the dogs by sitting on the living room table, and swatting the dogs pretty hard when they walk by. Sounds like the cat and puppy are slowly getting used to each other, in my house it's always taken several weeks before everyone's truly comfortable with the new situation, and even longer before the dogs and cats figure out what means 'play' for the other.
post #21 of 28
Thanks Eeva, that is encouraging (although weeks seem like a long time right now...)

Does anyone have thoughts about letting the cat outside when she is still a bit stressed about this? she's been going outside for almost a year and always comes and checks in with me. I olny let her out for a few hours a day and she always comes back, but I am a little nervous that she won't want to come back inthis house now.
post #22 of 28
I would be a little nervous about letting her out. I had a cat a few years ago, who did not like the fact that I got a new kitten. When I let her out, she would stay gone for much longer than before, and never seemed to want to come back in the house. When she did, she would hiss and growl at the kitten for a few minutes, then go back to the door and demand to go back outside. She enden up gettting hit by a car three months later. She was found a few blocks away from my home, farther than I thought she would go. I would have never known what happened to her, if someone had not contacted me. A lady saw the body, and noticed she was wearing an I.D. tag, so she called me.

I think it may be wise to keep her indoors for a while, the stress at home may cause her to wander farther than usual. When she seems a bit happier, let her out, and reward her tremendously with treats EVERY time she returns.
post #23 of 28
Thanks Mishon - my vet gave me similar advice today. so although it is very hard (she is dying to get out and very sneaky) I will keep her in. I would absolutely hate for anything to happen to her.

I LOVE that photo of your dog and kitty so sweet - I hope mine get to that stage one of these days.
post #24 of 28
well it's been five days now and we are making progress. The cat is much calmer and even tries to play with Bogey - they chase each other around and she watches with interest when he plays with his toys. I'll probly keep her in a couple more days to be safe, but it is going well. I'm attaching a couple of pictures to show you how its going. thanks! for the support and ideas.
post #25 of 28
Here is another pic of the kitty's preferred distance from the puppy - but you can see she's dying to play.
post #26 of 28
so, it has been a week now since I brought puppy home. sumalee (my kitty) now thinks I brought him home to entertain her (I think). She is actually playing with him a little - they chase each other around with kitty always going quick for the high places. she is way more interested in the puppy than in me!

I was afraid to let her outside but this moring she got the door open herself and escaped. Well, I think my worries are over because she came back frequently to visit and play with puppy in the yard and when I got home later, she had come into her bed on her own.

Happy, happy
post #27 of 28
Marty- is your Siamese Princess spayed? If you said she was and I missed it, I am sorry- but if she isn't, letting her outside is dangerous right now because the breeding season is starting. Again, if she is spayed that's great, I just can't keep up reading all the threads anymore...
post #28 of 28
Hi Hissy,
I wouldn't let her out if she wasn't spayed. I've been a pretty responsible pet owner for going on 50 years now. do you run into people here that do that?
I suppose there are lots of them out there. anyway, I hope you can tell from the great lengths I went to introduce my two babies that I am a good pet owner.

P.S. did you like the pictures?
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