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Dog, meet Cat

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have a 13 month old male Golden Retriever named Riley. He is a big exhuberant 75 pound ball of flying fur. But very loveable.

I am looking into getting my first cat, and have found what seems like a really good fit. The cat is named Sterling (called Bud by his current foster mom) and is already living with caged birds (I have two) and seems to enjoy time spent with dogs, even large ones.

The foster ladies are bringing the cat over on Friday to visit. Riley has been around cats before, including my friend Sarah's big fat Himalayan. He doesn't chase them, but he does follow them around. He seems to like licking cats heads for some reason. He sometimes barks at them if they go behind a chair or couch. I have never seen even a hint of aggression from him... just... exuberance.

I have already made arrangements for Riley to stay at my grandparents all day Friday. They will throw the tennis ball until he is completely pooped. I also plan on taking him for a LONG walk Friday afternoon, before the cat ladies get here. What else can I do to make sure this introduction goes well?
post #2 of 8
It's best to leash the dog and let the cat control the meeting.
If Riley has obedience training, just try to keep him in a down-stay and use the leash as a back-up form of control. Just extra insurance to make sure no one gets hurt.

It will probably all go ok, intial intros when I got my dog and brought him home to three cats were over in minutes.
Some sniffs, a hiss from my old girl to let him know who the ruler was and he was readily accepted, and these were cats that had never seen a dog before.
post #3 of 8
How obedient is he? I'd put him in a down-stay and leash him at the first introductions.

Remember to trim the cat's nails first. Expect hissing and maybe a few swipes. Just do not leave them alone until you can trust them together.
post #4 of 8
What about a child gate?
We started out with the dogs on one side and the cats on the other. It let them view each other, but still offer some safety. Just don't push it too fast an they should get along.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Apparently he is very shy at first, with people. So I am going to be keeping him in a small bedroom for at least a couple of weeks. They will be able to smell each other but nothing more. The lady who rescued him suggested bringing him out of the room in his carrier every now and then to meet Riley through the grate.

Riley has had basic obedience and is great at sit and stay, but less great at down stay. He will do it if I sit next to him though. Still a crazy puppy at certain times.
post #6 of 8
I have 2 large dogs that grew up from puppy hood with my cats. A few months back, we adoped a 9 month old lab/border collie mix from a shelter. So we just went thru introductions between cats and rowdy puppy. The cats are used to dogs, but Lola (the puppy) was untested with cats.

First things first: reinforce any obedience training with Riley. Never negotiate a command with him. When you tell him stay, mean it and enforce it if he faulters. You will need it if he decides he wants to play with the cat and the cat doesn't want anything to do with him for a while.

Never leave them alone together unless you are 100% comfortable that Riley won't be over zealous with the cat. After 2 months, Lola got her first test alone with my cats for an hour yesterday when I had to run an errand.

Teach Riley respect for the cat. That includes giving them their space, not pushing the cat out of the way if he wants attention, etc. We have actually trained Lola to lay on the floor and watch my cats eat their wet food dinner. Once they are done, she is allowed to lick the bowls clean.

Give the cat plenty of spaces to get away from Riley, under the obvious under the bed. I've put up baby gates to a couple of rooms so that the cats can get into those rooms but Lola knows she is not allowed there. I also have tall cat condos in just about every room of the house so that they can climb up to get away from her.

2 months into it, Lola is finally settled down enough that she isn't trying to herd the cats at every turn. The border collie in her is pretty strong.

For my 2 big dogs, Sam is a golden/setter mix and Spike is a lab/setter mix. They are littermates and we adopted Sam first. After 30 days of non-stop cat chasing, we adopted his brother Spike and Sam immediately found it more fun to play with another puppy than a cat.

Good luck - cats and dogs make a great mix (IMO)!
post #7 of 8
It helps a lot that the cat has experience with dog and Riley likes cats.
What helped me out a lot was getting them used to each others' smell. Wipe the dog with a rag and put it near kitty's food dish, and wipe the cat with rag and let Riley sniff it.
Are you planning on keeping your new kitty in a room by himself at the beginning or is he going to have the run of the house?
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
The cat will be staying in the small bedroom until he is comfortable with me. They will be able to smell each other but not get to each other.
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