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Introducing a dog to 5 cats

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I need help I have 5 cats: one 16 yr old who stays in my bedroom. One 3 yr old male, one 7 yr old female and two 4 yr old sisters. All are spayed/neutered. My brother in law has come to live with us, bringing his 2 yr old (not neutered) dog. This dog is used to living with a cat but the cats have never really been exposed to a dog. The four cats who roam the house have taken to hiding until the dog goes into the bedroom at night. My main concern is one of the 4 yr old sisters. She won't come out until at least an hour later while the other 3 show up right away, especially to eat. I'm concerned about her, as she's usually not very agreeable when it comes to anything out of the ordinary, such as visitors. There are 2 factors that are upsetting her right now: one of my daughters, who was this particular cats' favorite family member, has moved out of the house in the last 2 months. The dog arrived about 4 days ago. Does anyone have any suggestions how to make this transistion a little easier on her? I give her affection when she shows her pretty face at night but I don't think this is enough. Thx for any help that comes my way.
post #2 of 5
First off is it possible to have the dog neutered? That will help. Sometimes, when new introductions between species take place, and you have an intact male dog, he may get excited and start humping the cats. Also be sure the dog is schooled in basic obedience, and knows the simple commands. Add one more, which is "NO CHASE!"

The following is my procedure that I have developed over time:

Start gradually and keep the dog on the leash. Better yet is to buy a very large cage, big enough for a large dog to lay down and turn around inside of. Put the cat in the cage, with litter box and food and water. Take a blanket and drape the cage the sides and top only leaving open the front. Bring the dog in (leashed) and let him sniff the cage and see the cat. The cat will back into the corner hissing and growling (probably) put the dog on a down command, and let him lie there, make sure he stays quiet, if he is good reward him with a treat. Do this for one hour every day for a week, always removing the dog from the room before releasing the cat.

The next week, do the same thing, but as you bring the dog in, open the cage door. Keep the dog quiet on command and let the cat see that the dog is no threat. Do this for one hour, then remove the dog and let the cat out.

Feed the cat on the dog's bed or blanket for about a week. Then give the blanket back to the dog for a week then switch.

By this time, the two of them will have gotten over the jitters and will be getting along to a certain extent. If you don't have a sturdy tall cat condo, buy one, then release the cat in the room with the dog on the lead. Take the lead off, make sure the dog is under voice control and supervise them. The cat will probably go all the way up the cat condo and stay there, that's fine. As long as the dog isn't anxious or whining or growling, leave them be.

Done over time, and slowly this introduction of two species does work. Kittens are a lot easier to introduce to well-behaved dogs, but if the dog is not schooled in obedience sometimes bad things can happen as a result of this.
post #3 of 5
My Shepherd and her pals
post #4 of 5
Hissy I realy want to see more pic's of your darlings!

~ Salem
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advise, Hissy. You have some very good ideas. As far as the neutering goes, that's a no-no according to my brother-in-law. He's so typical! But this dog has had a feline buddy before. It's my cats that have to adjust....the little rug rats!! I will try your ideas though.

I wish I had a scanner so I could show my beauties to all. Especially my "most favorite" of all, who unfortunately had to be put down 3 years ago when he was 16 yrs old. I still cry over him. Your cats are simply adorable !

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