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Cat & dog questions (long post)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I know there are many threads about introducing new animals into the household and i've read through many of them - but this situation is slightly different and has now had a hiccup too.

We're trying to introduce my husbands parents dog (they live next door) to our new kitten. She's about 13 weeks old now and has been with us for almost 4 weeks. Sugar's a pretty hyperactive miniature poodle.

I'm just not sure how to go about it when they don't come over often and it's for small amounts of time. I know in that case it would seem silly to try and get them used to each other, but if one of us needs to look after the others pet, or we need to be in the same house (for example yesterday with the tornado warning), then we want them to be comfortable with each other.

On Wednesday we brought Sugar over here (into Libbys territory so that she was more comfortable), my husband held Sugar and I held Libby and we let them just watch each other. Libby moved forward at one point and hissed quietly at Sugar... then after about 10 minutes we took them apart again.

Is this a good way to approach the situation, or are there other things to make this easier?

The other thing is, we ran into a hiccup yesterday. We were all downstairs because of the tornado warning here and I had Libby with me. My father-in-law then brought Sugar over, not knowing I was there with Libby still. Sugar caught one look at Libby and went chasing after her. Poor little Libby ran for her life and hid behind a couch. She stayed there for about 30 minutes until I managed to get her, as I picked her up she gave the saddest little meow

If Sugar was a calmer dog i'd just leave them both on the floor, supervised, to figure each other out. But Sugar's quite inquisitive and runs around a lot and I don't want her to hurt Libby, or Libby to get scared and scratch at Sugar with her sharp little claws.

I'm sorry that this is such a long post :| Just hoping someone's been in a similar situation of trying to introduce pets who don't live in the same house. Also hoping someone has some advice on how to move forward after the fright that LIbby got yesterday.
post #2 of 7
Best to leash the pup around the cat until they've at least learned to accept each other.
With chasing behavior, it will only perpetuate itself otherwise.

Leave the cat free to leave if she so chooses, she will feel more secure that way.
post #3 of 7
Always supervise them, and if the dog hasn't got any sit/down/stay manners then work on it. Leashing is a good way to let them get acquainted, and because the dog is much more amenable to training it is the one who should be corrected when investigating too energetically.

Keep the cats nails trimmed- a scratch in the eye can cause problems. But I think that as your cat gets older it will stick up for itself enough that the dog will respect it.

Watch them closely and make sure there are plenty of spaces where the kitten can go that the dog can't. Cat trees are particularly handy in this situation. I also favor a baby gate installed six inches up off the floor- the kitten can run underneath to escape and the dog is left behind, but they can still sniff through the gate.
post #4 of 7
I went through a similar situation, however Oliver's 4 years old and my dog (who lives with my parents and Oliver lives with me at school... but I've been at my parents' for an extended visit, so Oliver came with), Cuddles is a black lab who's 12 years old... labs aren't as hyper and neither is Oliver, being 4... they had kinda known of the other because I bring Oliver home for Christmas break, but for some reason, Cuddles is the big chicken! For quite awhile, Oliver would hiss and growl and spit and poof up whenever Cuddles came around and she'd just bark at him (I think the big black loud thing invading what he thought was his territory set him off).... when Oliver first started coming home with me, he spent the majority of the time blocked in my room - I'd keep the door shut with a baby gate in front (my door doesnt latch right so the dog can push it open)... sometimes I'd open the door and they could see each other through the gate, I'd also harness up Oliver and take him downstairs for spells (it's Cuddles' house first, so I didn't want her restricted)...

gradually they got used to each other, we started letting Oliver out in the house during the day and I'd put him to bed at night around 8pm.... Cuddles used to be very paranoid when he was out and about and wouldn't even be in the same room as him - I'd pick up Oliver occasionally and take him near her to sniff.... Oliver's nails are capped, so we kinda just left them to figure it out themselves (SUPERVISED AT FIRST OF COURSE!)... we'd never leave Ollie out when no one was home, just in case....

over time though, they've gotten used to each other... Cuddles became more relaxed and wouldnt run away any time he entered the room... now, I'm not by any means saying we catch them curled up sleeping together, but they will allow the other to sniff them and Oliver's takin to running up and bopping her on the snoot or bum, wanting to play, but she just looks at him like "I'm too old and uninterested to play with you!"... now Oliver's out all day until I climb into bed (my mom's allergic to an extent, so we close him in my room to prevent him jumping on my parents' bed) and is allowed out when no one's home... they share water dishes (which is really messy when a black lab's drinking from a kitty bowl, ugh), their humans, and the various windows in the house...

basically, it's going to take time, so be patient... I've been at my parents' since March (stupid illness! I'm better now though) and it took a couple months before they started being comfortable with each other.... the baby gate is a great idea... also give each something that smells like the other to explore and keep them supervised - good luck!
post #5 of 7
Ok, I dont wanna start a new thread just for this, but it's cute and related

My mom and I were just downstairs watching tv and the dog was laying in the dining room... Oliver came down from upstairs and we always watch when we know he'll be walking past the dog cuz sometimes he'll just walk by and other times he'll be funny and sniff her or bop her... so we watch and he went and laid right in front of her and put his paw on hers! It was so adorable! He only stayed there for a minute or two before heading into the kitchen but it was so cute!
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Awww, that's adorable!

Thank you for the replies. I think we'll just try the leash route, make sure there will be no more chases. That was Libby can wander around and disappear if she wants to without fear of the dog chasing her.

I just hope she'll be ok seeing Sugar again. I hope she won't freak out after the scare she had! I'm guessing it'll just take a lot of time and patience, especially as it will be taking place over many short visits.

And i'm glad you're recovered from your illness now Buzby
post #7 of 7

Yeah, it'll work out, just give it time!
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