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Is the integration of a dog into a house with a cat always easy? I know it has been for me in the past. My friend has a mean little independent cat, and wants to get a sheperd, which, from what i've experienced, is a dog that does not always take kindly to cats.
 

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Definitely not easy. And not just with the dog not liking cats. We have 2 cats who absolutely want nothing to do with our dog. And then Zoe, the dog, is overly interested in the cats. We've decided it's better safe than sorry, so the cats spend the day in one part of the house (we have a very large master bathroom with a window that's connected to a walk in closet), and at night Zoe is crated and the cats get free roam. I'm not 100% sure if Zoe would hurt the cats or if she's mostly just curious (no growling, aggressive behavior...just whining, tail wagging, and trying like mad to get to where the cats are). I've considered trying to integrate them but haven't figured out a safe way to test the waters so to speak.
 

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A lot depends on the individual dog, its age, past experiences, etc. I had a Siamese cat when I brought my dog home as a puppy. She was top cat and remained there until she passed away last year at 16 years old. As a result, this year when I brought home a 1 year old cat, my 12 year old dog has acted wonderfully with her, even though she is challenging to say the least! (She often charges him playfully, while he pretends she is not there; then when he walks past her, she bats his tail).

My German Shepherd knew that the litter of kittens we had belonged and never at any time tried to hurt them or the two other cats we had at the time. My Malamute, on the other hand, I never trusted to be around any of the cats without close supervision.
 
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