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Introducing a cat to a dog

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My friend wrote me and asked for any tips I could give her on introducing her boyfriend's cat to her dog (a cavalier king charles spaniel).I looked in the articles on this site but didn't find anything. Can someone recommend some articles I can send to her?

Just as background, they are moving in together so these two animals have to at least tolerate each other without bloodshed. Her boyfriend has been basically living with her already (and neglecting his poor kitty if you asked me!) The cat is already p*ssed because he has been leaving the kitty alone so much. To show her displeasure she peed on the bed. I can't imagine what the kitty will do when they move in with a DOG!

Any help will be appreciated!

post #2 of 10
My three cats and two dogs have worked it out, between themselves. Ike, my Dalmatian, was raised with cats and likes to play with them. He learned, very quickly, that "hiss, spit and five across the nose" means "BACK OFF, DOG!" Ike now totally ignores Opie.

It took Pearl a little longer to catch on. She now leaves the boys alone, too.

Rowdy, unlike the boy kitties, LIKES dogs. She thinks of them as large, interactive cat toys and will happily play with them.

In my experience, the cats set the rules.
post #3 of 10
I have always kept the dog on a leash and let them get used to the smells of eachother first. (not too close) A cat carrier would also be a good idea so the cat feels that she has her own space as well. Is the dog cat friendly? I would find out as one quick move could be the demise of the cat. Can they be kept in separate rooms for a bit? This kitty not only has to get used to a dog, but a new home as well. She will need a spot to feel safe. When I moved in to my boyfriend's place my cats had to get used to the dog. We spent time getting them comfortable by spending shorter periods of time at eachother's house with our animals. It went pretty smooth for us this way, (actually my Bud kitty scared the dog bad enough that he was the king of the roost! The dog would not even go by him without us being there to assist.) hope this helps a little! A lot will have to do with thier personalities too. Thye will have to give them time, and they will both need alot of reassurance.Good vibes for these babys!
post #4 of 10
As with all things cat, once she becomes familiar with the dog, hopefully things will work out. I, too, recommend monitored introductions, and the kitty will need a safe place to get adjusted to the new home.

Although I don't personally own any dogs, there are 5 between both of my neighbors, and they are outside a good deal of the time. Our yards are quite close. When my cats are out on the porch, they are not bothered in the least by the presence of the dogs, or the barking, now that they are used to them. They used to be scared stiff. Now, if a stray wanders into the yard, that's a different story.

At my old apartment, my next door neighbor had a dog. Squirt used to go outside at that time, and he and Billy were actually friends.
post #5 of 10
Well the breed you mention is good with pets and small children. They are also smart and easily trained. So the dog should go through obedience class if he hasn't already. Petsmart has them starting up now, or just contact the 4H in your area or dog clubs. Once the dog knows the basics and obeys them, you can start introducing them in varying degrees. Take the dog for a long walk prior to the first meeting, and if you have a large enclosed area he can run in, take a toy with you and let him run. Get him good and tired and relaxed, then bring him home. Keep him on a choke collar/lead not a retractable lead(those things are worthless).

Put him on a down and stay command. Have someone hold on to the lead, then go and fetch the cat. Put the cat down far away from the dog and step back. Let the animals figure this out, you cannot control the cat, you are to control the dog only.
post #6 of 10
Going thru this now with my surrogate puppy shepX and a 6 yr old tough guy cat put up a baby gate like barrier so cat can get thru but not the dog they each have acess to a safe place it hAS BEEN 2 MONTHS AND dUS THE CAT WILL SIT AT THE GATE WITH THE PUPPY RIGHT THERE (Sorry Linx wanted to help) and dus sleeps on top of headboard dog next to the bed so I say slowly and patiently the will be friends and the gate will come down. Good luck and big hugs!
post #7 of 10
What worked for me and Jake (Australian Shepherd X Border Collie mix) was to just ignore the cats. Jake loves to chase them when they move, obviously because of his breeding, but I've learned that he seems to pick up on a cues from me. If I pay attention to the cats, he will too, but if I act like I've got better things to do, he'll ignore them. He hurt his paw a couple of weeks ago, and I've taken advantage of his "handicap" to work some more on teaching him to leave the cats alone. On the first few days, Jake was too busy licking his paw to pay attention the cats, and the cats both figured out that that meant he wasn't going to chase them. So they got braver and crept in closer, and if Jake noticed, he usually just stared at them. Willow's got a way of intimidating Jake, so if it's Willow watching him, Jake will drop his eyes and lay his head down on the ground. Right now, both Jake and Willow are getting along beautifully, but Willow is still prone to panic attacks if Jake makes a sudden movement/sound (she may be sleeping, but if Jake picks up his ball and bounces it, Willow will wake up and stare at him with huge, buggy eyes).

On the other hand, we still have some convincing to do with Buffy. She's not convinced that Jake has been turned around, so if he comes into view, she won't let him out of his sight. But, luckily, before Jake hurt his paw, I was teaching him that whenever Buffy growls or yowls at him, he has to back off by either backing up, lying down, or doing something else. It seems to be working, but I still need to reinforce the commands (the teachings are still pretty new, so he hasn't quite got it in his head that the funny sounds from Buffy mean that he has to back up). But at least he isn't charging forward and chasing her, which is a start. And all 3 will sleep in a room together quite peacefully, with even Buffy feeling safe and calm. It's just when Buffy is concious and uncomfortable when "accidents" can happen. But as long as I'm around, I can divert each of them, preventing anyone from going backwards in training (if Jake is doing the Border Collie stare on Buffy, for example, I just have to say "Here!" or "Jakey go 'round!" which means for him to drop his eyes and go around to the next room or something). But when Buffy's not growling or putting up a fuss, Jake doesn't see her as very interesting, and he'll do his own thing (playing with a ball or sleeping, the latter being Buffy's preference, lol)
post #8 of 10
It's been many years since I've introduced a full grown dog to a cat. The key is controlling the dog, and if there are any doubts in your mind about the dog going after the cat, either keep the dog on a short leash with choke collar, or get a soft muzzle for the dog. If the dog is highly obedient and is of the type that wants to please his master, it usually goes very easy. Don't leave them alone for a second until you know that there is full acceptance between the 2.
post #9 of 10
We have a baby gate, mainly to keep the dogs from eating the cats' food. Both dogs are quite capable of jumping that gate but, nobody has told them that. The gate also provides a "safe place", when Pearl gets too rambunctious. The cats know that THEY can jump the gate.
post #10 of 10
Originally Posted by katl8e
Both dogs are quite capable of jumping that gate but, nobody has told them that... The cats know that THEY can jump the gate.

Ha. ha. ha..
That is so like a dog.
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