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Cats and Dog acclimation update.....Please Help!

post #1 of 3
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Since we got Max, Sam and Lola have been confined to our bedroom (don't worry, it's big and they're happy in there ) while Max is out in the living room/kitchen area. We've tried letting them get to know each other by setting up the divider from Max's crate between the two rooms, but the cats feel that if the door is open, they should be allowed out. Anyway, after a few escape attempts, we decided to try letting them out....we set up the gate so that the cats could pass between rooms freely, but the dog can't get into their space. They (mostly Lola) have come out but Max wants to run over and see them....he's restrained (lead or one of us holding the collar), but will lunge toward them, which sends them running. We have no way to set up a gate that the cats can't get past, and unfortunately can't afford to buy one (post-christmas financial tightness, plus Lola and Max both have vet checks coming up, so the money is needed elsewhere). When we open the door between rooms, Max will usually obey the stay command and stay out of the room (he's off lead at this time, so one of us is standing beside giving the command). He just likes to watch them from the door....Sam and Lola watch him back and don't appear stressed, just alert (no puffy tails, hissing, or anything like that). Once, he actually got past us and went into the room, which made the cats flee to higher ground, but they weren't upset (which surprised me) and still show the same interest in Max as before.

It's not that Max is trying to catch and eat them or anything, he just wants to go mingle with the kitties (he's lived with cats before), but the cats just see 60 lbs of intruder coming their way. We're sort of at our wits end here....we would really like to set up a daily routine that allows some progress to be made. Is there a point where we just let them get together? Supervised, obviously, but allow him access to their space? Or, bring them out of their space and into his? I'm not sure which of these would be less alienating to the cats. We figured maybe we could just clipped their claws beforehand to minimize the damage, should the cats feel cornered at some point.

We just want to get them to the point where they can be in the same room, but it seems no progress is being made....they got to the point where they accepted that there's a dog in the living room and are very interested in him, but too nervous to venture close.....which makes Max try to get to them.

Basically, we're not sure what our next step should be.....Please help us....how did you get your cats and dogs together?
post #2 of 3
well since the kitties know the pup is there now and vice versa, as long as there are high places for the kitties to get to, let them go. Let them all have run of the house ( not home alone yet though) and see what they do. Most cats will give a dog a good slap that lets them know they are too close. And you say the pup is used to cats so he should'nt be aggresive just curious. as long as the cats have places they can get away from him when the've had enough, window, cat tree, table etc... they should be fine
post #3 of 3
I agree, let the cats go have free roam of the house when you are there to supervise. There is going to equal amounts of investigating by both parties. It will not hurt Max to get a good pop on the nose if he gets too close to the cats. My two big dogs still popped every now and then when my cats thing the need it.

Honestly, I wouldn't trim the claws just yet unless they are extremely sharp.
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