How do I get my cat and new dog used to each other?
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Thread: How do I get my cat and new dog used to each other?

  1. #1
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    How do I get my cat and new dog used to each other?

    I brought home a shelter pup two months ago, and he's been great! Well behaved, house broken, sweet with people. The only problem is that my kitty doesn't share my enthusiasm for him. She's been living upstairs since he came home. Lately she's been showing a little more nerve....creeping down a few stairs, meowing and observing him (which is a step up from a few weeks ago when she used to hiss and spit at the sight of him). But see, then the dog gets excited, jumps around a bit and she takes off. (I currently have the upstairs gated off so she has a haven in the house where she doesn't have to worry about being bothered)

    I know the dog doesn't want to hurt her. He sees her as a potential playmate. But at the same time, I can see why the cat would find his exuberance a bit unsettling (He's also a lot bigger than her too).

    So my question is this: should I let her slowly build up her nerve and let things continue to unfold at this creeping pace? Or should I force the two of them in a room together and let them just hash it out all at once?

    I'm eager to get her back downstairs again. Because I think she's bored up there and I selfishly miss having her snuggle with me during the day. What should I do?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member hanksimon's Avatar
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    Re: How do I get my cat and new dog used to each other?

    Don't force them. I'm not a cat person, so my suggestion will have a strong dog accent.
    1. Teach your dog a solid Sit and a solid Down.
    2. Put him on leash, cue him Down, and give him a Kong to chew.
    3. Entice your kitty to come down and watch the pup. Let her run away if desired, but try to keep the pup from scaring her.
    4. Repeat the next day, but give her a little tidbit for coming down (I know cats are as food driven, but hope you understand)
    5. Take the pup's Kong, stuff it as normal, then smear a little cat food on the outside. Let the kitty lick it for a few moments, and incrementally move it closer to the pup. At 10 feet away or so, gently take it from her and toss it to the pup... Hide your eyes as she gives you dirty looks.... Keep doing this closer and closer to the pup.

    This activity assumes strongly that neither the pup or the kitty will get aggressive if the other also ties to lick the Kong...

    BTW, don't feed the dog cat food regularly... It is too rich, has too much protein, dog's love it, but too much may cause diarrhea.

  4. #3
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    Re: How do I get my cat and new dog used to each other?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bowie Boo View Post
    I brought home a shelter pup two months ago, and he's been great! Well behaved, house broken, sweet with people. The only problem is that my kitty doesn't share my enthusiasm for him. She's been living upstairs since he came home. Lately she's been showing a little more nerve....creeping down a few stairs, meowing and observing him (which is a step up from a few weeks ago when she used to hiss and spit at the sight of him). But see, then the dog gets excited, jumps around a bit and she takes off. (I currently have the upstairs gated off so she has a haven in the house where she doesn't have to worry about being bothered)

    I know the dog doesn't want to hurt her. He sees her as a potential playmate. But at the same time, I can see why the cat would find his exuberance a bit unsettling (He's also a lot bigger than her too).

    So my question is this: should I let her slowly build up her nerve and let things continue to unfold at this creeping pace? Or should I force the two of them in a room together and let them just hash it out all at once?

    I'm eager to get her back downstairs again. Because I think she's bored up there and I selfishly miss having her snuggle with me during the day. What should I do?
    Your situation sounds a lot like mine! I've also just recently rescued a dog from the pound about two months ago, and he is also entering a cat dominated household! The only difference is that you have one cat and I have two. My advice to you is to simply let your kitty continue to build up the nerve. Why? Because it worked for me! My two cats were horrified with the new dog living with us and kept themselves well hidden in our bedroom. Just when I was beginning to think that this was how things were going to be from now on one of the cats sneaked out of the bedroom one morning (most likely due to boredom and curiosity) and hissed loudly at the dog and smacked him right on the nose! Of course I don't condone violence but that was all my dog needed to know and now he gives the cats plenty of space and they have learned to share most of the house.

    I read everything you can find on the internet and talked with other dog owners before getting my own dog because I was terrified my cats and dog would not get along. In the end, nothing but time and patience worked. Oh and I guess having a friendly, obedient and patient dog helped as well.

  5. #4
    Senior Member a7dk's Avatar
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    Re: How do I get my cat and new dog used to each other?

    I have to reply because you're exactly where I was about 4-5 months ago. I had a household with 2 cats who had never even seen a dog, and I brought in a full-grown 60-lb rescue dog. My cats were NOT pleased, and both lived in the bedroom for the first 2 months. One of my cats had cancer and passed away during this time, but my other cat, Jack, eventually started coming out to investigate every once in awhile. He has 2 cat trees near the windows and we had a baby gate up in the hallway so he could either be up in a cat tree or in the bedroom to avoid the dog. After about 3-4 months we got to the point where they could be in the same room, and Hobbes no longer chased Jack. He was a terrible chaser in the beginning and this took a LOT of training to work on. If your puppy doesn't want to chase the cat you should have an easier time of it.

    Anyway, the main things were giving Jack some space where he could be alone, crating the dog during the day sometimes so Jack could have the run of the house, and constantly treating both animals when they were calm and in the same room. It has been about 7 months now since we brought Hobbes home and we have only recently started to see them lying on the couch together, playing together, etc. It's actually very cute, but it was such a frustrating and difficult process that we definitely thought at times that bringing a dog home was a mistake. It wasn't at all, as we now know, but it took a lot of time, training, and patience. Good luck!

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    Senior Member Abbylynn's Avatar
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    Re: How do I get my cat and new dog used to each other?

    I am only replying because I wanted to say that I would never put them in a room together to just hash it out. I would be afraid one o them would get severely injured, like the dog getting it's eyes scratched out if it cornered the cat.
    I have a stray that has invaded my yard and was running from all three of my dogs. I just let the cat make up to them on it's own. It now waits at the back door to play with them. It only took a few weeks. In fact, they like each other so much. I am tempted to keep the cat.


    ~While you were busy judging others your closet door came open and a lot of skeletons fell out.~

  7. #6
    Senior Member a7dk's Avatar
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    Re: How do I get my cat and new dog used to each other?

    Quote Originally Posted by Abbylynn View Post
    I am only replying because I wanted to say that I would never put them in a room together to just hash it out. I would be afraid one o them would get severely injured, like the dog getting it's eyes scratched out if it cornered the cat.
    I have a stray that has invaded my yard and was running from all three of my dogs. I just let the cat make up to them on it's own. It now waits at the back door to play with them. It only took a few weeks. In fact, they like each other so much. I am tempted to keep the cat.
    Agreed. Also don't leave them unsupervised. You never know what might happen.

  8. #7
    Junior Member doghelp's Avatar
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    Re: How do I get my cat and new dog used to each other?

    It is common for the cat to hiss and spit at your dog. It is easiest to block off a section of your house for the cat to retreat to and slowly introduce them to each other. Sometimes I let my dog into the cat room when the cat is out for him to sniff around and get used to the cat scant, and when the cat returns, he can get used to the dog's smell too. I can't prove this works, but I'd like to think it speed-up the process.
    "How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."

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