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Rescue Cat - Not Settling In Well

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have adopted a previous stray (adult neutered male)thro' a resuce org. Had him nearly two weeks now. he is settled in the upstairs of our house and is fairly affectionate when it suits him! Problem is he dislikes our labrador dog (used to previous cat and steady with them) I don't want this cat to be a shadowy lonely thing living apart from the rest of us - how can I help the new cat to accept he is part of things and to intergrate properly into our family group?
Any tips welcomed
post #2 of 6
Could you give some more information about the interaction between the dog and cat? Does the Lab chase the cat, growl, stalk? Or is the cat the one on the defensive and the Lab could care less? Be happy to help you with some more information.
post #3 of 6
Give this a shot and good luck

Cat to Dog Introductions

The key to successful cat-dog introductions is to expose them to one another gradually under controlled conditions. You want to avoid creating situations where the cat runs away and the dog's prey-chase instinct is activated. If your dog has previously lived with a cat, and your new cat has previously had positive experiences with dogs, they may progress quickly to tolerating one another. However, if you have an adult dog who has never been socialized to cats, the introduction should be a very gradual process lasting up to 30 days. In either case, train your dog to sit and stay reliably before bringing your new cat home. This may give you somewhat greater control once the introductions have been made. Remember that these steps are progressive, so go on to the next step only when you feel your dog and cat have "mastered" the previous one.

1. On day 1, confine your new cat to his or her own room at first. After a few hours, confine the dog in a fenced-in yard or basement or separate room, and allow the cat to explore the rest of the house. Then put the cat back in his or her own room, so the dog has an opportunity to become familiar with the cat's scent. Put a baby gate up but leave the door closed.

2. On day 2, crack open the door to the cat's room a couple inches and allow the dog to sniff and see through the opening for 30 seconds. Reward the dog for appropriate behavior. Repeat this step a couple more times during the day. Continue to give the cat the opportunity to explore the house when the dog is securely confined out of sight.

3. On day 3 and subsequently, increase the "viewing intervals" by short increments until the dog can watch the cat quietly for a few minutes. Reward good behavior.

4. Allow the dog to view the cat with the door completely open, with the baby gate still in place, for a few minutes at a time. If the dog is tolerating the cat, go into another room. Call the dog to you and play a game with him or her. Then ignore both animals (but keep attuned to them!) and engage in some other activity. The dog
will start to lose interest in the cat.

5. Eventually work up to leaving the door to the cat's room open, with the baby gate still up, whenever you are at home. Always close the door when you are not present! Some pet owners will always need to keep the dog and cat separated when they aren't around to supervise, but others will find that after a couple months' probation, the dog and cat are OK together by themselves. It's far better to err on the side of caution, however, to prevent tragedy. Even after your dog and cat are peacefully co-existing, make sure that the cat's food bowl and litter box are out of the dog's reach. Keep the cat from approaching the dog when the dog is eating or chewing on a bone.
post #4 of 6
I work all day and go to night school and my roommate goes to college full-time. I have a 1.5 year old cat, Dani, she has a 2 month old puppy, Kashi. As much as I tried to explain the logic Hell603 just pointed out, my roommate wouldn't do it. So Dani and Kashi met under the kitchen table when the puppy was 8 weeks old. Dani promptly sat up and swiped him across the nose. She still watches his every movement and seems sympathetic when he gets in trouble. It took nearly a month before the two of them could play together. Now they chase each other around the house and take turns swiping at each other.

mom to Dani Night Stalker
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your note. Dog is almost 4yrs well tained in cat manners and respect by previous cat! Has not barked, chased or stepped out of line. Cat has stopped growling and hissing at him but is not comfortable in the vicinity of dog and avoids being in same room. Cat can get upstairs dog cannot follow and they stare at each other from their respective landings.
post #6 of 6
The cat will adjust soon. It sounds to me like the problem is not out of control, meaning the dog is not looking at the cat like prey, and the cat is miffed because he wants to be solitary kitty and there is someone else in the home he has to get used to.

You can try taking an old blanket and playing with the dog in it, rub the dog all over with it, and then toss it somewhere that the cat can get to it and lay on it. You can also put the blanket underneath the cat's food bowl, so the cat has no choice but to smell the dog everytime he partakes in the pleasure of eating. Good luck!
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