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Bringing a cat into a dog's world (1 Viewer)

Ike

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I just got a cat (Iggy), and I already have a somewhat (err...very) territorial dog (Buster). The dog is moderately small (about 17 lbs) and the cat is about average size, so I'm not worried about my dog tearing the cat to shreds.

I've been keeping Iggy the cat in my bedroom, where I can keep him quarantined off. I've been bringing Buster the dog in on a leash, and holding him. I thought that would allow him to get Iggy's scent, and get used to him. But he just shivers, and if I let him near Iggy, he lunges at him. I'm really more afraid for Buster than I am Iggy, as Iggy seems like he could scratch a tree into a toothpick.

So, does anyone have tips for mingling an animal that's been in the house for a while with a new one?
 

Rain

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I don't think keeping them separated is helping.

My 2 kitties have been living together for years, but if I take one away (like to the vet or something) and bring him back some time later, the two hiss at each other and scrap like nobody's business...for a while.

I think you will just have to let them free so they can interact. I suspect they will either become friends or learn to avoid each other.

Growing up, we mixed cats and dogs together a couple of times and it was basically the same thing...they don't get along for a little while, but eventually become friends.
 

DaveHo

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We have 4 cats each acquired one at a time. We would just keep them separated when not at home. After a week or two of hissing, growling and the occasional ass kicking(nothing serious) the newest one has always fit in. At that point we would let the newest one have the run of the house just like the others. The cat, unless it is a small kitten, should have no problem getting away from the dog. If the cat has its front claws that is probably more of a concern. Just keep close tabs on them when they are together for the first week or two and it'll probably work out just fine.

-Dave
 

MickeS

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Ike, you're on the right track. Don't know how long you've had the cat in the bedroom, but we did that for about 2 weeks.

What you might want to do instead of letting Buster get into the room while Iggy is there, take Iggy out and put him in another room and let Buster go into Iggys room for a while. That will let him get used to the scent, without having to actually deal with Iggy. You'll probably want to do this for at least a few days. Then, instead of bringing Buster into Iggy's room, let Iggy walk around the house while Buster is out, for short periods of time, so Buster gets used to that scent in other places too. Then gradually let them spend more time together and after a while they should be fine.

This is how we did it when we brought a third cat in, and it worked well. Fortunately, the dog we got later doesn't even pay any attention whatsoever to the cats, so that integration process took about 5 minutes. :)

/Mike
 

Ike

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Sounds good Micke. I'll try that.

Iggy does have his claws, and they are sharp. He's not mean, but he has taken a few swipes at the dog when he got close.
 

Justin Lane

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Iggy does have his claws, and they are sharp. He's not mean, but he has taken a few swipes at the dog when he got close.
Dogs are generally smart, and once they get hit in the face a few times with a paw full of claws, they will probably avoid the cat in the future.

I have found that there is not really and easy way to get cats and dogs to get along. It seems like either the cat likes the dog, or hates the dog. Case in point is my girlfriend's cat and my dog (a pug). They are like best friends, chasing each other around and always playing. They even fall to sleep together next to each other on the couch many times. Because we got the cat as a kitten, I think he was not yet set in his ways, and did not mind the dog (who is only about 6 months older).

My other cat is a totally different story, she is over 14 years old and wants nothing to do with the dog at this point in her life. The funny thing is that my other dog (an airedale which has since died recently from old age) which we got around the same time as the cat, got along perfectly. The cat would always go for walks with me and the dog, and I never saw her attempt an attack (whereas she will go after the pug is her space is intruded).

I guess the one thing I can conclude is that with cats and dogs, they seem to be more receptive to each other if they are around each other from a young age. Once the animals get set in their ways, it is more of a crapshoot.

J
 

Jeff Ulmer

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I would agree with giving the cat the run of the house while the dog is away. This should let the cat get comfortable with the surroundings, and have less stress from entering a new environment. It may take a while for the two to settle on who is in charge, but they will adjust. Just make sure you don't have anything valuable near the edge of unstable furniture...
 

ChuckDeLa

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Trim the cat's claws. But leave enough so it will still hurt a little. It'll take time, but after enough swiping Buster on the nose, the dog will get the message. Keeping them apart is only delaying the inevitable. They're going to have to establish their own dynamic. Let them. Just keep an eye on them in case it gets bloody.
 

Ike

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Just thought I'd post some pictures of the two together. Buster accidentally got in the room, and they didn't fight, so we just let them mingle. They've gotten along without fighting at all.
 

Cees Alons

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Trim the cat's claws
I don't want this conversation to slip into quite another direction, so I'll just give my opinion: never commit that cruelty!

We've had (one) cat and (one) dog for quite a while (no longer now) and I think MickeS's advice is the best. They'll learn in time to accept each other as belonging to the close environment they live in and will be able to maintain their positions - each with their typical strenghts, weaknesses and defenses.


Cees
 

Grant B

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We got our scotties because the people who had them also had 2 cats. They terrorized the cats night and day till they just divided the house in two. I think some breeds were trained to go after cats etc more then others.
A black cat got in to our house one day. One was distracting the cat head on and the other was circling around for 'the kill'. I got the cat out before anything happened but I was suprised how their hunting tactics came to them
 

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