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New member. Advice needed

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone. I just joined the forum here. We'll be adopting a kitten soon and I need some advice. We have 4 dogs right now and I would love advice, tips, tricks, etc. on how to properly and successfully introduce the new kitten to the dogs. Thanks!
post #2 of 7
Welcome to TCS!

Depending on your size/breed of dog - some of these are relevant & some are not.

If you have large dogs, due to the size difference, it is best not to leave them alone together until the kitten is larger. Some breeds have a higher prey drive (ie Labs, pointers, terriers, etc) & are more likely to want to run down/chase the kitten as soon as it moves, so use caution there. Some dogs simply are not safe around cats, no matter the breed, so if you haven't seen your dogs around a cat/kitten before, use caution.

I would set the kitten up in his/her own room with food/water/litter/toys so s/he has time to adjust. As tiny babies, they often do best confined so you can get your house kitten proofed, and it makes litter training easier. Once the kitten has had a few days or more to adjust, bring your dogs into the room on leash one at a time so the kitten can see them & they can see the kitten. From there, eventually, they should get used to each other.
post #3 of 7
Welcome to the forum, Vet65!

Some additions to White Cat Lover´s advices.

Are your dogs cat friendly?
Do they chase cats?
I presume they are not openly cat hostile, otherwise you wouldnt even consider a kitten...

There are some difficulties and dangers possible.

A hound, ie a hunter dog, has extra easy to bite at a moments spur, if the cat is darting nearby. Pure hunter instinct.

A big dog is always dangerous to lesser animals by his sheer bigness. If they collide playing - the little one can easily be hurt.
Paradoxical enough the danger may be just because the dog is friendly and wants to play...

And last. Several dogs if together can easy become a hunting pack. And thus, even otherwise quite friendly dogs can in a moments heat, go in for a kill.

So you must watch out, especielly in the beginning till you know they are real good friends, and the dogs have respect for the cat.

On the other side, it is usually not difficult for dogs and cats to be pals, or at least - tolerate each other. Quite many get very good friends. Even if there is a big difference in size.

Dogs are very group- oriented. As soon as the dog realises the cat belongs to the house and is under protection of the humans = his pack leaders - the cat will belong and even be protected by the dog / dogs.

They can thus go on merry hunts and chase foreign cats, but leave be their home cat. (In fact, same is partly thrue about cats: there are examples the cat is friends with the family rabbit but hunts wild rabbits in the forest nearby).

In the beginning, be always there and be watchful. Dont never let them be alone together. Separate them if you are away.

When it is time for the meeting, order the dogs to lie down and lie still. (train this with them if they cant do it yet).
Let the cat smell them and search in his own pace.
This will also learn the dogs they need to have respect for the cat, the cat is under your protection, and does have a quite high status in the hierarchy ladder.
It is usually best to let the cat have higher status then the dogs.

IF you think you will have any big difficulties - dont take a kitten. Take a grown up cat accustomed to dogs. Preferably a female.
She will probably teach them some lessons to behave properly, pawing them soundly a couple of times each...

Good luck!
post #4 of 7
We have a large dog and presently have 2 cats. When we first introduced our cat(s) to the dog we had him on a leash to monitor his behavior. Fortunately our first cat, Neely, thought she was a dog and had no problem. Our second cat, Gizmo, was a 7 mo. old kitten at the time we got him and we supervised very closely. Fortunately it has worked out well as you can see from the pic of our dog and Neely.
post #5 of 7
Wow. 4 dogs. That’s going to be fun LOL. When we got Bruno we revolved our lives around the safely of ours cats for a full month (some people need even more time then that). Bruno was on leash for a full week attached my boyfriends, or my hip. When we weren’t around to watch, he was always crated, including at night times. We created safe rooms for the cats. They have their own bedroom with their food and water, and the litter room is only theirs. This way if something happens they can run and be safe.

Its really hard getting a cat and a dog. A lot of people have integrated their homes with both and it works out amazingly (like mine) but that’s not the hard work. The hard work is making sure, being positive that the cat is safe. All it takes is one paw to the back (for kittens) or a dog trying to play too rough and the kitten could be seriously hurt or killed. They have to be watched 100% of the time with no exceptions, even if you getting in the shower for 5 min. Even if after a week it seems ok, a week isn’t long enough to really know what can happen.

Just be safe and you should be fine. Create the rooms, keep your dogs controlled at all times and be patient.
post #6 of 7
when i was living at my moms i had to introduce my cats to her german shepard.. i was just as nervous as they were.. but they were in theyre crate and i let my moms dog "sammie" sniff around.. being that i didnt kn ow exactly what to do i had to use my own judgement.. so the dog and the house were new to the cats i knew they would have to venture and become relaxed on their own so after i let sammie know that they were here i put her out side and then opened the door to their cage, figurinng they will come out on their own time when they fell a little safer.. but ayways long story short.. the cats did get use to their new surroundings but jack didnt mind sammie and got fully use to the dog.. but wiskey never did.. which is fine because when she saw her she just walked the other way and stayed away from her.. wiskey may be a scardy cat but she knows what to do in situations.. sammie wouldnt hurt a fly, for a big dog shes also a big baby.. but if she got to close to wiskey, wiskey would swat at her and then sammie would keep her distance..

i wish you luck..!!
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the great advice everyone! We are setting up one of our upstairs bathrooms for her as her safe room. It will have her litter box, food, toys, bed, etc. and for the first week or so we are planning on keeping her in there most of the time. We will be slowly introducing the dogs and they will always be supervised when they are together. I know it's important to start things off right so they will be able to live happily together. I have personally seen 2 of my 4 dogs react to cats in a positive way. The other 2 haven't had exposure, but I'll keep a close eye and keep them under control. None of them are hounds or other breeds considered to have a high prey drive, so that is in our favor. I will be updating everyone on how everything works out. Once again, thanks for the advice!
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