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Tips On Introductions

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

I just adopted a cute little 14 week old female kitten that I love already! She is UTD on all shots and is spayed. She is also tested negative for Feline Leukemia.

My question is that I have an 8 year old Cocker Spaniel that has no experience with kittens. The dog is really a sweetheart, but I'm a little nervous to introduce them. I know that slowly is best. Right now the kitten is in her own room as I read that it would make it easier that way... I just don't know how or when to introduce Charlie!

Please help me make this as smooth a process as possible with any tips or advice! Thanks!

Jen
post #2 of 8
When introducing dogs and cats, it's important to try and control the dog's level of excitement, and NEVER EVER allow the dog to follow, or chase the cat at any time, until you are certain they have a good relationship (you'll know when that happens).

Having a room in which only the cat can get into, is also helpful in the process; because then she has somewhere to retreat to, when she has had enough doggie interaction; she will also feel more comfortable eating, using the potty box, and drinking if the dog can't watch her every move, too.
post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by faith's_mom View Post
When introducing dogs and cats, it's important to try and control the dog's level of excitement, and NEVER EVER allow the dog to follow, or chase the cat at any time, until you are certain they have a good relationship (you'll know when that happens).

Having a room in which only the cat can get into, is also helpful in the process; because then she has somewhere to retreat to, when she has had enough doggie interaction; she will also feel more comfortable eating, using the potty box, and drinking if the dog can't watch her every move, too.
I think Faith's Mom said it best. THe only other thing I can add is, can you have your dog on a leash held by someone else when you do the introductions? At least at first? That way if the dog lunges (probably from excitement than from aggression) he won't be able to get to the kitten. They will have to sniff each other and get familiar but a leash will give you more control.

Cocker Spaniels, as a breed, usually get along with just about anything, but a lot has to do with the dog's individual personality. I'm guessing at 8 years old he's probably calm enough that the kitten won't bother him too much, but he might be so set in his ways that he will resent him. That is highly doubtful though....but again, you know his personality better than anyone.

I have 4 dogs and 7 cats so they CAN live in harmony...at times. But the cats were here first so the dogs came in knowing they were family. But it sounds like you're doing everything right! Can't wait to see pics of Charlie and your doggie!! (hint, hint )
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses! The advice you've given is highly helpful. I have yet to introduce them, as I haven't had much time or extra hands to help, but Toby has her own room (the kitty) and my dog Charlie has pretty much free roam of the house.

I'm going to do my best to introduce them by Wednesday at the latest. I hope that's not too late... but my week is becoming more hectic than I expected. It should settle down after the New Year a bit.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well we had our first OFFICIAL intro today! It went fine. Toby ventured into the kitchen, where Dad had Charlie on a leash. At first she DARTED out of there so fast, but then I picked her up gently and brought her about 8 feet from Charlie's view when she came near the kitchen again. She was fine. Then I let her down and she even came back into the kitchen on her own to "investigate." Charlie just sat there watching her, then went completely back to normal once she left! I'm really pleased at the way things are going. Thanks so much for bearing with me so far!
post #6 of 8
It sounds like it went PERFECTLY! Very well done.

Short, painless interactions will slowly build a foundation for eventual friendship between the two of them. Keep us posted!
post #7 of 8
Blossom came into our lives at 3 w/o, b4 I discovered forums. We made sure the dogs wouldn't touch the kitten. They were curious about this squirmy little thing. The 1st week we had Blossom she was pretty much immobile & lived in a box. The dogs were quite used to her by then but we had to make sure they weren't too rough & held them back with our hands or voice.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Things are continuing to go well. I am keeping the interactions somewhat short but as frequent as possible, at least 3 times a day. They are SO cute together! The dog doesn't really even notice her anymore, but she WANTS his attention! She swats at him (playfully of course), and he just looks at her like "What the heck IS this thing???" But I still keep him on a leash for now just in case, and they are always supervised together.
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