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Cats and Dogs..can they be friends?!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone!
I am still kind of new here so hopefully this is in the right section!
I have a huge heart for animals, and hate to think that maybe they won't all get along.
Here's the thing:
Bella (my kitten), has adjusted very well to me and my mom.
However, I have 2 little problems...I have a 5 month old puppy named Milo. Milo is curious, loving, and more than anything...playful (I mean he is a puppy). I also have a 7 year old dog named Sadie as well.
Bella is my first cat. So I am not sure about what all of their body language means. Whenever Milo is playing with her she will swat at him a lot then she will run and hide...only to reappear and pounce on him! Milo thinks this is all together hilarious and lunges at Bella (not biting or growling just tail wagging) to play with her. However, Bella takes this as a signal to flee and she hisses and runs away.
Sadie on the other hand...I don't know if she will ever be able to adjust to Bella. Sadie is very scared of her, and barks at her but never growls or bites at all. Just a scared bark. But Sadie also makes her stay inside the t.v. stand. Like holding her hostage LOL
There is no blood and really no growling on Milo or Sadie's part. Milo tries really hard to be calm around her, but being a puppy he just gets so excited. Sometimes Bella will just hide in my t.v. stand and not come out. I am concerned because I don't want her to feel afraid. I am not sure what I can do for them. To make them feel more comfortable.
Any thoughts?!
post #2 of 8
How long have you had all your pets? I think they can be friends in time they obviously won't be over night or in a month. Miagi grew up with my hound and they love each other and played all the time and STILL love each other.

Tiger has never warmed up to Buster because he chases him sometimes.

We got a terrier mix about a year ago he's a year old and he chases the cats and I wouldn't say they are friends because he sees them as toys like biting their tails or whatever and I have to scold him (not harshly) to leave them alone.

I think you should teach your pup to respect your cat as your cat may have not been there first it doesn't matter; if your pup gets too rough with your cat use a spray bottle or firmly say no and he/she should walk away. I really hope they will work things out and sometimes they never do.

It is important though that you let your pup know that the cat is a part of the family too not just him. It just takes some time but honestly I think if they are raised together, the better chance you have at bonding but you never know with a lot of work especially your pup to learn the cat is just as much as important as he is they could be snuggling with each other one day.

As for Sadie, I am sure she'll come around. Has she been around cats before? If not, slowly introduce them if she has never seen a cat before it's all new to her.
I hope that helps you out a little!
post #3 of 8
These things take time. Sadie and Milo need to learn that Bella is YOUR cat and she is a part of their pack and household. They should defer to you on instructions, Sadie should be looking to you to see if the cat is a part of the pack or not. When Sadie barks or growls I would tell her to stop or distract her with treats... actually you could give her treats every time the cat comes around so she learns when the cat is about she gets a good snack.

As far as Milo it sounds like they are playing Bella just can probably only take so much so she leaves. Cats and Dogs CAN be friends:




That is Napolean and my dog LiLo. Napolean pretty much thinks he's a dog... he's been playing like this since he was 12 weeks old with my dogs. Napolean puts up with a lot from the dogs, and dishes it out. He's a very confident and curious "in control" cat. [Which is why he's a terror at the vet clinic!] Dogs and Cats can be buddies but it's a matter of teaching them how to live together. Especially with your dogs the transition would be better if you worked with them on their behavior and reactions to the cat. In return the cat should respond positively.
post #4 of 8
I have had many dog and cat love affairs ..the joke here was I got my dog a cat for a pet .. only one who was adopted at a few yrs old who was NOT cat friendly after some time.... One did not leave kittys alone thou did not hurt them
post #5 of 8
Dogs realize soon the cat belongs to the house, and thus is part of the family-group. Precisely as someone mentioned.
So it is quite common the familys dogs and cats are good friends. Or at least tolerate each other.

Here, I frankly believe the youngsters are playing with each other by the sounds and description of it! although the play is rather warrior-like.
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plebayo View Post
When Sadie barks or growls I would tell her to stop or distract her with treats.
I actually disagree with this particular approach as I've seen it backfire more often than help. When you do this, you are reinforcing the dog's bad growling/barking behavior (you growled, good boy, here's a treat). Instead, reward your dogs with treats when they behave around the cat (you ignored cat, good boy, here's a treat).

I've always had dogs and cats together and like any animal pairings, some get along marvelously and others simply co-exist. Since my dogs are large, I focus on what others have stated - make sure that they understand that the cats are as much part of the pack as they are, and they will gain respect for them.

They will all work out the relationships over time, and in the mean time, give Bella room to escape from the dogs (particularly playful puppy). I have tall cat trees all over the house and the cats can run up them in a pinch (I got a puppy last year and until she calmed down a bit, they did use them). Give Bella a place in the house where the dogs cannot go (baby gates to a room work great). And work on your dogs to always show respect to Bella.

Here's my contribution on how cats and dogs can get along. Stumpy (cat) absolutely adores Sam.




And Muddy and Spanky snuggling in with Sam (Sam is a snuggly dog):
post #7 of 8
Quote:
I actually disagree with this particular approach as I've seen it backfire more often than help. When you do this, you are reinforcing the dog's bad growling/barking behavior (you growled, good boy, here's a treat). Instead, reward your dogs with treats when they behave around the cat (you ignored cat, good boy, here's a treat).
Using the treats as a distraction isn't rewarding the dog for bad behavior. The cat comes around the corner, the dog growls I say "Sadie sit." and reward with a treat. Thusly I have taken the dogs attention off of the cat onto the food, and the dog could also start to understand whenever the cat comes around, she makes me do stuff and I get food. It's only a reward for bad behavior if you reward the barking and say "Good Dog" to the bad behavior.
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plebayo View Post
Using the treats as a distraction isn't rewarding the dog for bad behavior. The cat comes around the corner, the dog growls I say "Sadie sit." and reward with a treat. Thusly I have taken the dogs attention off of the cat onto the food, and the dog could also start to understand whenever the cat comes around, she makes me do stuff and I get food. It's only a reward for bad behavior if you reward the barking and say "Good Dog" to the bad behavior.
I didn't understand your first post. If you had given the treat after the growl, then I disagree with the approach. But you rewarded with the treat after a sit, which is entirely different. The reward needs to be done immediately after the positive behavior (sit), rather than the negative behavior (growl).
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