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Discussion Starter #1
Okay guys, I'm gonna start out by saying I am super frustrated with this situation.

One of my housemates decided that she wanted a cat. After clearing it with our landlady, she started searching for one to adopt. I was okay with that. I wasn't sure how Mumble would react, but I figured we could deal with it.
My roomate found a cat, who the owner says is really sweet. I was fine with that.
What I didn't know is that she was bringing the cat home today. I found this out last night. The problem is, I was scheduled to leave town this morning, and I won't be going back until Wednesday. Mumble is staying there, with my partner and our housemates. This meant that I would not be there when they introduced the cat to the household. And it sucks.

A couple hours ago my partner called me because they found a tick on Mumble and weren't sure how to remove it (it's been taken care of). While on the phone he mentioned that Mumble was barking at the cat, so he's keeping Mumble in his room with him, and the cat is elsewhere. This is fine for now, but it is not a solution! Does anyone have any advice for me to pass on to them? They are not ultra dog-savvy people.

Grrrr. I wish I was there. I don't think my roomate asked how the cat does with dogs, and I'm not sure that she loooked up any methods for introducing cats and dogs.

Errrrrg. >:b
 

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It's really hard to say with out being able to see what's going on between cat and dog.. but it's likely that Mumble just doesn't know what to think because he's never had a cat in his house before. If your room mates could just help him understand what he SHOULD do around the cat, that would likely be a big help, but like I said, it's hard to say with out being able to see what's going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I know. That's one of the reasons it's frustrating. Since they're not familiar with dog language, all the information I get is "he was barking". :/

I would also figure he's just not sure what to think of this creature in his house.

Thanks. :)
 

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Is Mumble crate trained? When my boyfriend got a cat we put Dreizehn's crate into a guest room and kept the cat in the room (while the dog was crated) at night so that they could get used to each other in a more safe environment. The dog couldn't chase the cat and the cat was free to approach knowing that it was safe to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Mumble is crate trained. That might be something we'll try.

I called them earlier, trying to find out how everything's going. I couldn't really get a clear answer on Mumble's behavior but apparently the cat is hidden somewhere (maybe her carrier?) and will not budge.
 

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With Sydney we put her in her crate in the living room for a little while until she wasn't so overly excited. Then we leashed her but let them approach each other. Since she was calm enough we dropped the leash and let them do their thing. We had her drag the leash for a few days just in case but it was a pretty smooth transition. The cat set boundaries for her quick with a few swats to the nose and she never challenged the cat much after that. I can't remember if Sydney barked much or not-- I think she whined to get to the cat for the first few minutes but otherwise just wanted to have a look at this strange new creature. ;p

I hope everything works out fine until you can get there and assess the situation better.
 

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Preferably, the cat (and possibly the dog, depending on who is being the more aggressive one) has a secure place to go as an escape. I probably shouldn't have basically tossed Jax into the house without having already put Turbo (my cat) away, but I was excited about having the dog. In any case, since day 1 (and this is now week 6 or so), Jax knows he isn't to go upstairs, while Turbo can freely roam the house to get away if need be. Early on I did have to separate them completely but locking Turbo upstairs or confining Jax to his crate if getting too "agressive" with the cat. Really though, it's just taken some time. The first 2 days, Turbo walked around fearful and irritated, hairs raised higher than ever, back arched. With Jax in his crate, Turbo teased him at times. By day 3, Turbo was strutting around the house again and at this point chasing Jax. He had the dog penned in the kitchen even. By the end of the first week, Jax had realized he's the bigger of the two and wants to play. He gets a little too rough at times and I have to break them up, but usually Turbo will just pop him, Jax will squeal and move on. And just last week, after a little more than a month, I found the two of them sitting quietly in the crate together.

It'll hopefully just be one of those things that takes some time. There's no telling what experiences the cat may have with dogs, if any. I know Turbo took some effort to warm up to other cats even, so I had no clue how he'd do with a dog, but Jax doesn't hardly care other than wanting to play. Make sure they've both got their places they can go to get away from the other, if need be, and give them some time. They may never be friends, but chances are they'll at least figure out how to live in harmony.
 

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I have no suggestion for now, but the way I've always introduced cats and dogs has worked really well. Have the dog on leash, sitting and waiting. I like to have the leash handle around a sturdy piece of furniture as well as have someone holding the leash just in case. If you have a cat harness I also suggest that, because if the cat freaks out and bolts it will instantly be transformed into a game of "chase the kitty" which is not a good introduction. Do everything you can to keep the cat from running away- though it's not worth getting bloodied up, don't let the cat shred you up. If the cat is really stressing, take it slow. It's not just about the dog, the cat must be relatively calm too. Hold the cat and kneel down with it to the dog's level. Present the cat butt first to the dog. Bring the cat to the dog, don't let the dog lunge in. I always do butt first because that's the part the dog REALLY wants to smell anyway. It protects the cat's face, head, and chest should the dog decide to not be friendly. Once the cat's butt has been brought to the dog I do allow the dog to stand. Of course if the dog is getting out of control or is far too excited you'll need to try a different method. Silence from the dog with a closed mouth can also be a danger sign as the dog is waiting for the ca to get close enough before striking. Watch for that. If the mouth is close, lips quivering, eyes fixed on the kitty, that's very intense and a sign that the dog is probably going to bite. Safety first! It also helps to exhaust the dog first, and you can also help keep the dog from getting too obsessive by having treats and luring the dog's nose away. Be working with the dog at the time the cat is brought out, giving treats for focusing on you. After the dog gets a good sniff of the butt I'll switch. Hold the dog (especially keep the head forward) and let the kitty smell the dog. Some cats might not be interested. If all is going well I then set the kitty down to walk around. The movement often triggers prey drive in dogs so be very careful. Take it slow every step of the way. Anyway, I've never had any issue introducing cats and dogs this way and have successfully introduced my cats to many, many dogs.

Edit: Make sure the kitty has several places where it can go to get away. Behind furniture, up a cat tree, etc.
 

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Is Mumble crate trained? When my boyfriend got a cat we put Dreizehn's crate into a guest room and kept the cat in the room (while the dog was crated) at night so that they could get used to each other in a more safe environment. The dog couldn't chase the cat and the cat was free to approach knowing that it was safe to do so.
Agreed.

We've been through the cat-dog introductions twice, and it's all about respecting all of their needs and making them as comfortable as possible. In my experience, it was massively helpful to crate Cosmo so the cats could get used to this new "creature" in a totally safe way.

I'm sure Mumble is just confused and uncertain, and the cat is probably quite unsure as well. Everything needs to be slow, careful and safe (for both pets). Could you ask your housemates to crate Mumble for a few hours while the new cat gets the lay of the land? I'd be close to the crate at first, to interrupt any barking or similar behaviours - and to keep an eye on the cat.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone for the advice. Just thought I'd give an update now that I'm home.

By the time I got here Mumble had realized she wasn't a threat and was no longer barking at the cat. Now he really REALLY wants her to play. The cat, of course, is still unsure about things. He is just so confused when she doesn't respond to his play bow. We have a barrier up in the hallway that leads to my roomate's bedroom, so the cat has somewhere quiet to go. I think everything will be fine once she settles in.
 
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