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Advice please.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have had Luna for almost three weeks now.

For those that don't know, here's her story.

She was adopted out as a kitten by the Humane Society in 2003. Within the last year or so she was turned back in to the HS by her original adopters with some flimsy, "allergic" excuse. She gets adopted out again to a, somewhat, elderly couple who lets her run outside.

Since she is chipped she found her way back to the HS and they did not return her to the second home, they frown on letting cats run, as do I.

She went to a foster home that had large dogs, she hated them, so she went to another foster home with no dogs and one other cat, which she didn't much like either but tolerated.

I adopted her. I have no other cats and no intention of getting another.

I do, however, have three dogs. Two Bichon-Poodle mixes 20-25 pounds and a Shepherd-Corgi mix about 40 pounds. Definitely not big dogs.
My dogs have always been around cats.

Luna is a nervous cat and has been secluded in my bedroom but I really want to start getting her used to the dogs so she can be out and about in the rest of the house. Do you think it is to soon?

I have let her out a few times while the dogs were outside and she explored.

I am thinking about getting a baby gate and putting it in the doorway to my bedroom so they can see each other but they can't get to her, not that they would hurt her, they wouldn't but they will chase her if I'm not around.
Then, at least, she could get out and hop the gate and get back in my room whenever she wanted.

Is that a good idea? Am I rushing things? Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.
post #2 of 12
I'd leave it up to her - if she seems inclined to want to meet the dogs - then put up a baby gate. Leave it up to her to get over the gate & on the same side as the dogs, though. Watch her behavior around them - is she hissing, hair raised, etc? If so - slow down for awhile again.

I had one kitty I kept in my bedroom for 8 months before she had the guts to really come out....I left it up to her - she could come out if she wanted, but I went at her pace.
post #3 of 12
Gee, I don't know really. Peanut is another one that stayed holed up in her room for months, but she actually got to be buddies with Cabela the D.O.G. before the other cats. But, Cabela was a larger, laid back and relaxed kind of dog. If it were me, I'd probably go with the gate idea, I like that. But I'd keep the door to her room closed when I wasn't home.

Maybe somebody with more experience with mixed households will have some ideas.
post #4 of 12
I've never introduced cats and dogs, but I wanted to say how very sweet of you.

I do know that many cats don't actually need a lot of territory to be happy. Some are quite happy in smaller places. We have 7 living happily with us in an RV! Of course, we have a TON of vertical space, and, actually, they have far more room dedicated to them than there is to us. We took out the dining room and put in cat trees.

I love the baby gate idea - you can give it a try to see if it doesn't freak her out. If it does, lose it for now. And if she's comfortable exploring, maybe keep opening the door and follow her around - or keep an eye on her - while you've got the dogs outside if she is into exploring and isn't too nervous about it. It seems like that's been going OK, right?

But I wouldn't necessarily worry about the intros yet. I do know that when doing intros between cats and dogs, it would be best to do it one dog at a time, and keep control of the dog.

Quick thought - do you have much vertical space for her? That may help a lot - having the ability for her to get "up" somewhere may make it more comfortable for her.

If you decide to go for the baby gate, please let us know how it goes!

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
No, I don't have any vertical space for her, bummer. She came out tonight a few times when the dogs were outside, when they came in she ran in my mother's bedroom. I am of the mind to not rush anything either.
Thanks ladies and gents.
post #6 of 12
No, rushing won't help. But if you have a space where she feels safe and can retreat to immediately, she should adapt OK.
post #7 of 12
3 dogs here, and 1 of them is still young and lively enough to sometimes disturb the cats. I have cat condos in the rooms where the dogs hang out, and the cats will retreat to those places when Lola gets overly playful. When the dogs are just laying around, the cats remain calm.

I spend a lot of time teaching the dogs manners when it comes to the cats. When I have a cat on the sofa with me, I've taught mine to ask me first before they join me. If I'm not on the sofa and a cat is, they know not to jump up and disturb the cat. During meal time, the dogs have to lie down and be still until I tell them the cats are done.

Keep your dogs calm and teach them cat manners. Luna will adapt more quickly. In the mean time, a baby gate to her safe room should work for you.
post #8 of 12
I think a baby gate while you're home is a good idea, Cindy, as Luna can choose to come out, or not. When she eventually decides it's safe, she'll appreciate a cat tree where she can join the family, but be out of reach of the dogs.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
I think you are right Tricia. I am going to get a Cat Condo this weekend and will have to start looking at Cat trees soon.

I just can't let anyone get me to rush this.
post #10 of 12
And you shouldn't! Doesn't sound like Luna's in a rush either.

post #11 of 12
And my cats do like to be up high in the condos and look down upon their "minions" (the dogs). You can't go wrong with a cat condo (or two, or three, or four).
post #12 of 12
Good luck to you; I think the gate is a good idea, and I hope it works.

It is encouraging that your dogs have been around cats in the past - I'm sure that will help with the transition.
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