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we got our puppy bandit a week ago today (yay! already seeing progress thanks to help from this forum plus patience and time). The one issue we've just been kind of "winging" is getting him and our cat to coexist. Our cat is also a rescue, and is a somewhat laid back, attention-loving calico named Reese (3yrs old). She seems to be fine with bandit when she is away from him, but he is not fine with her if he can see her. he barks endlessly at her and sometimes will try to play with her and gets in her face.

Obviously bandit just wants to play, but how do we teach him to respect the cat's space? she has no front claws so when he has gotten in her personal space she will hiss and swat at him until he rolls over for her in submission (so funny to watch!).

However, it is hard to tell if they don't like each other or if reese just doesnt like bandit getting in her face/space so energetically. i have caught her leaning over the couch to bop him on the head when he walks by or walking by his playpen to "egg him on" to bark...and when he is sleeping she comes up to him to sniff him. so we are getting mixed signals on how she really feels about him.

we give both animals attention, and make sure reese isn't left out of things now that the "baby" is here, so jealousy doesn't seem to be the issue.

here is a picture i snagged this morning...bandit fell asleep and reese came over to sleep "next to" him.

so basically...how can we help these two goofballs get along?? :grouphug:

 

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teach the pup the cat is not their business... taking away the opportunity to develop that the cat is some sort of fun game time just because the cat is there... the picture of the gate is great.. and leash the pup... when done consistently while progressing in your basic ob skills you will win for the long haul...
 

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Our poor pup Sam just wants to play SO badly with the cats...who want nothing to do with him. He'll even go far as to toss his favorite toys to them. He just doesn't get it that they aren't going to want to play with a goofy, drooly pup.

What we've done, which is different from most of the advice I've seen, but seems to be working for us, is supervise, but mostly let them work it out. Sam did his best with barking, jumping, and nipping. Our cat with front claws nailed him in the nose a couple of times and the one without swatted him. This went on for a couple of weeks until, finally, the dog learned that the cats are boring and now he pretty much ignores them for the most part. What helped with this is that he was smaller and we have big cats that didn't budge. They didn't run from him or really do much to reinforce his attempts. They just stood their ground and were pretty dull with humans around that would actually play with him.

I wouldn't recommend this if you aren't sure your cats can hold their own against the dog and even with us, we were there to supervise and intervene as necessary.

Now his only real interest in the cats is their food...and their litterbox. :p
 

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I would say it sounds like Reese is accepting of Bandit. If you're at the point where the cat will willingly approach the sleeping dog for a sniff, bops him on the head and gets near him when he's crated or sleeping you're doing ALOT better than many. It's always been my experience that you really need to work with the pup/dog and let the cat come around on its own. The relationship should really be on the cat's terms, so if the cat eventually wants to snuggle and play with the dog that's wonderful but can't be forced. Many people are just delighted with a cat and dog being able to peacefully coexist in the same house.

With my dogs and pups I have always tethered them to me when around the cat, works wonders for potty training as well. This way I can control they're interactions and reactions. They're not allowed to lunge, bark at, approach or even stare at the cat. They are rewarded for "gentle" behavior, for observing with soft eyes, for laying down, for a slow wag of the tail, for sitting, really for anything calm and appropriate. If the cat gets near and they behave they get a jackpot and tons of praise. All my dogs have had a fair bit, to an excessive bit, of prey-drive so I do use a fair bit of verbal corrections/interrupters and have even given leash corrections for over-the-top prey-drive behavior.

I have a rescue pit mix who is a confirmed cat killer, after 3 weeks of tethering, rewards and some corrections he now lives peacefully with my cat, though I will NEVER trust him unsupervised.
 

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Teach your puppy a "leave it" command. When he is getting too feisty with Reese, tell him "leave it". You can also use a "look" command, so that any time your puppy is getting too out of control with the cat, give the "look" command, and if the puppy does indeed look at you, praise the puppy and give a treat.
[Of course, you have to actually teach these commands, before you can expect them to respond! :) The look command is the easiest! Just say "look!" in a super happy voice, and when the puppy looks at you, praise and treat. Repeat over and over.]

Once you've given the command, look or leave it, then give the puppy something else to do, this is called redirecting. If you just say the command, and the puppy responds, that's great, but, the puppy will most likely go right back to bugging the cat. So, after you give the command, and the puppy stops bugging the cat to respond, give praise and a treat, and then, redirect by offering a toy, or starting a game of tug, or even turn it into a mini training session and work on some more commands. Anything to get his focus on something else.

And, give the cat a puppy free zone. We have a "cat" room, which is a spare bedroom with a cat tree, litter boxes, cat toys, etc. The door is blocked with a baby gate so the cats can get in but the dogs can't.
 
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