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Old 12-02-2012, 01:44 PM
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Dogs and Cats

I am buying a dog on the 29th of December and i have cat who is very friendly and already part of my family. I would like to introduce the puppy perfectly to the cat, Charlie, so they don't fight all the time. Below is a picture of Charlie when he was a bit younger (hopefully).

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Old 12-02-2012, 01:58 PM
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Keep the puppy in a crate when the cat is around and let them get used to each other that way for awhile. It's important to supervise the situation for a long time because they can easily hurt each each, even not on purpose. My cats LOVE the puppy.
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire's Friend View Post
Keep the puppy in a crate when the cat is around and let them get used to each other that way for awhile. It's important to supervise the situation for a long time because they can easily hurt each each, even not on purpose. My cats LOVE the puppy.
How long should that take because I don't want to keep the puppy in a crate for to long...
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:09 PM
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In my experience with introducing dogs to cats, the key thing is that the cat has to realize for itself that the dog is not a threat. And you need to give them time to do that. We got a kitten when my childhood Golden was about 15 months old. He no longer had a crate - so my mother held the kitten very securely, first just standing up, with the curious pup below, and then sloooowly, over a few days, she worked down to where the kitten was being held in her lap, and the dog would come sniff. He was definitely scared of the dog, and our dog was a big, boisterous goof - but as soon as he realized the dog would not hurt him, he relaxed - and they slowly developed their own relationship, and they became best buds.

Similarly, if I bring Tesia to my aunt's, we let her cat hide away for the first day. But eventually, Cleo comes out on her own, and stands very far away, or up on a shelf to assess the situation. And eventually, she realizes Tee is no threat.

Of course, this only works if you have a dog that DOESN'T chase cats with intent to harm! I have no clue what you do if you have a cat-hater.
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:09 PM
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I mean just when they are together. You don't want kitty to feel threatened by the puppy. You can also start teaching puppy "easy", which means to act calmly around the cat. NEVER let the puppy put it's open mouth on or bite the cat. Start early with this.
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:53 PM
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Assuming your cat does not have any issues your introduction should go relatively smooth and quick. Since you are getting a puppy it is unlikely that either will get hurt but you want the introduction to provide positive thoughts and feelings for both to reduce stress on the cat in particular. If you have managed to make it so that the addition of the puppy is the best thing since sliced bread for the cat than you've done a great job. Also, if the breeder is a good one he/she will try to introduce the litter to a friendly cat - inquire with him/her.

Key points to a successful introduction
-Have good control over each interaction. That means keeping puppy on a long leash and having plenty of distractors like food and toys ready to redirect
-Allow the cat to control interactions. Let's face it, cats are control freaks. If the cat feels that he has control he will be much less stressed and therefore won't be reactive to the puppy
-Put the cat in a good mood with some treats, new toys, new scratching post or whatever makes your cat happy. Continue to do extra special things for Charlie for the first few weeks
-always allow for the cat to seek refuge somewhere, particularly high up
-Cats NEED routine and should be allowed to go about their every day business during this time. Get x-pens or baby gates that cat can jump over. Whatever you do don't lock the cat into another room because of puppy - rather put the puppy away instead. This means if you are going to need to relocate things like food bowls or litterboxes do this now and do it slowly. I recommend putting food bolws on a high up surface like a desk and teaching puppy never to go into that room. For litterboxes many prefer to put the litterbox inside a closet and putting a small doggy door in the door, while also teaching puppy that this room too is for the cat and humans only. It takes consistency but you can make rooms no-go-zones fairly easily.

Actual Intro:
-Put the cat on a dining room table while the puppy plays with someone down the below. Give lots of positive reinforcement while he's watching puppy. If he wants to go down and check out puppy just keep puppy distracted. But most cats will stay high. If the cat is freaked out keep at this stage for possibly a few days, or until he seems comfortable.
-Once cat is more comfortable you can place him on a coffee table and repeat
-Then you can go back to the dining room and allow the puppy to check out the cat from below
-Then move to coffee table

Things to look for during intros:
-Always move on only once everyone is content NOT OVER AROUSED
-Watch for signs that suggest either is over aroused (rapid tail twitching, zoomies, etc.) and distract BEFORE swatting or snapping happens
-use plenty of positive reinforcement. Get something high value like hot dogs or wet food
-keep towels handy to throw between them if something does get out of hand

After initial introductions have gone well you can have puppy drag a leash around the house. Work on a solid recall right away. Again, make sure the cat has lots of escape routes and can go about his busines without needing to look over his shoulder.

Your biggest issue is likely going to be the puppy wanting to play with the cat. If the cat wants to play that's great but it's unlikely to be the case right away and certainly not if the introduction was rushed and the cat is stressed. Ensure the cat doesn't run/play around puppy as this might excite puppy's prey drive. I spend the first 2 weeks CONSTANTLY calling puppy away from chasing the cat - I use cooked meat. It seems like it will never stop, but it will or the cat will learn to look boring and stationary.

Some suggest just letting the cat swat the dog but that can backfire into making the puppy think he wants to play and can seriously injure puppy's eyes. Do make sure you trim your cat's claws before puppy comes home.

Good luck!

PS: Mods, can we have one of the trainer's write something about how to do an intro and make it a sticky on the Other Pets section of the forum?
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Last edited by jackie_hubert; 12-02-2012 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie_hubert View Post
Assuming your cat does not have any issues your introduction should go relatively smooth and quick. Since you are getting a puppy it is unlikely that either will get hurt but you want the introduction to provide positive thoughts and feelings for both to reduce stress on the cat in particular. If you have managed to make it so that the addition of the puppy is the best thing since sliced bread for the cat than you've done a great job. Also, if the breeder is a good one he/she will try to introduce the litter to a friendly cat - inquire with him/her.

Key points to a successful introduction
-Have good control over each interaction. That means keeping puppy on a long leash and having plenty of distractors like food and toys ready to redirect
-Allow the cat to control interactions. Let's face it, cats are control freaks. If the cat feels that he has control he will be much less stressed and therefore won't be reactive to the puppy
-Put the cat in a good mood with some treats, new toys, new scratching post or whatever makes your cat happy. Continue to do extra special things for Charlie for the first few weeks
-always allow for the cat to seek refuge somewhere, particularly high up
-Cats NEED routine and should be allowed to go about their every day business during this time. Get x-pens or baby gates that cat can jump over. Whatever you don't lock the cat into another room because of puppy - rather put the puppy away instead. This means if you are going to need to relocate things like food bowls or litterboxes do this now and do it slowly. I recommend putting food bolws on a high up surface like a desk and teaching puppy never to go into that room. For litterboxes many prefer to put the litterbox inside a closet and putting a small doggy door in the door, while also teaching puppy that this room too is for the cat and humans only. It takes consistency but you can make rooms no-go-zones fairly easily.

Actual Intro:
-Put the cat on a dining room table while the puppy plays with someone down the below. Give lots of positive reinforcement while he's watching puppy. If he wants to go down and check out puppy just keep puppy distracted. But most cats will stay high. If the cat is freaked out keep at this stage for possibly a few days, or until he seems comfortable.
-Once cat is more comfortable you can place him on a coffee table and repeat
-Then you can go back to the dining room and allow the puppy to check out the cat from below
-Then move to coffee table

Things to look for during intros:
-Always move on only once everyone is content NOT OVER AROUSED
-Watch for signs that suggest either is over aroused (rapid tail twitching, zoomies, etc.) and distract BEFORE swatching or snapping happens
-use plenty of positive reinforcement. Get something high value like hot dogs or wet food
-keep towels handy to throw between them if something does get out of hand

After initial introductions have gone well you can have puppy drag a leash around the house. Work on a solid recall right away. Again, make sure the cat has lots of escape routes and can go about his busines without needing to look over his shoulder.

Your biggest issue is likely going to be the puppy wanting to play with the cat. If the cat wants to play that's great but it's unlikely to be the case right away and certainly not if the introduction was rushed and the cat is stressed. Ensure the cat doesn't run/play around puppy as this might excite puppy's prey drive. I spend the first 2 weeks CONSTANTLY calling puppy away from chasing the cat - I use cooked meat. It seems like it will never stop, but it will or the cat will learn to look boring and stationary.

Some suggest just letting the cat swat the dog but that can backfire into making the puppy think he wants to play and can seriously injure puppy's eyes. Do make sure you trim your cat's claws before puppy comes home.

Good luck!

PS: Mods, can we have one of the trainer's write something about how to do an intro and make it a sticky on the Other Pets section of the forum?
Thanks for the detailed order of introduction, this really helped. Hopefully they will get on perfectly after a while. I am so excited!!!
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:28 PM
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I wish I had known about this forum when I brought Cassie home to my two cats. Growing up, we always had two cats and a dog. The cats were always very friendly with the dog, and sort of raised him.

My cats are 12yo, and very stuck in their ways. They are also used to getting 100% of the attention. So when Cassie came home as a puppy, and they were no longer the center of attention, they got very upset. And it didn't help that they were just recovering from the stress of moving to a new house.

Suffice to say, I did not know about the above advice, and the introduction did not go over well. Over a year later, the cats stay away from Cassie. The more curious one has made a few attempts, and on Thanksgiving, we had five whole minutes of peaceful sniffing.

I always thought it was because Cassie was hyper and scared the cats. But, my vet was fostering a cat the last time I was there, and apparently it and Cassie got along quite well.

So who knows. The only thing I know is that I should have seeked out advice before I made the initial introductions.
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:07 PM
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While my cat definitely thinks he's too good for the dog most of the time they will often choose to lie near each other which is clearly a sign of trust. Interestingly they often mimick each other's positions and activities.
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackie_hubert View Post
Assuming your cat does not have any issues your introduction should go relatively smooth and quick. Since you are getting a puppy it is unlikely that either will get hurt but you want the introduction to provide positive thoughts and feelings for both to reduce stress on the cat in particular. If you have managed to make it so that the addition of the puppy is the best thing since sliced bread for the cat than you've done a great job. Also, if the breeder is a good one he/she will try to introduce the litter to a friendly cat - inquire with him/her.

Key points to a successful introduction
-Have good control over each interaction. That means keeping puppy on a long leash and having plenty of distractors like food and toys ready to redirect
-Allow the cat to control interactions. Let's face it, cats are control freaks. If the cat feels that he has control he will be much less stressed and therefore won't be reactive to the puppy
-Put the cat in a good mood with some treats, new toys, new scratching post or whatever makes your cat happy. Continue to do extra special things for Charlie for the first few weeks
-always allow for the cat to seek refuge somewhere, particularly high up
-Cats NEED routine and should be allowed to go about their every day business during this time. Get x-pens or baby gates that cat can jump over. Whatever you do don't lock the cat into another room because of puppy - rather put the puppy away instead. This means if you are going to need to relocate things like food bowls or litterboxes do this now and do it slowly. I recommend putting food bolws on a high up surface like a desk and teaching puppy never to go into that room. For litterboxes many prefer to put the litterbox inside a closet and putting a small doggy door in the door, while also teaching puppy that this room too is for the cat and humans only. It takes consistency but you can make rooms no-go-zones fairly easily.

Actual Intro:
-Put the cat on a dining room table while the puppy plays with someone down the below. Give lots of positive reinforcement while he's watching puppy. If he wants to go down and check out puppy just keep puppy distracted. But most cats will stay high. If the cat is freaked out keep at this stage for possibly a few days, or until he seems comfortable.
-Once cat is more comfortable you can place him on a coffee table and repeat
-Then you can go back to the dining room and allow the puppy to check out the cat from below
-Then move to coffee table

Things to look for during intros:
-Always move on only once everyone is content NOT OVER AROUSED
-Watch for signs that suggest either is over aroused (rapid tail twitching, zoomies, etc.) and distract BEFORE swatting or snapping happens
-use plenty of positive reinforcement. Get something high value like hot dogs or wet food
-keep towels handy to throw between them if something does get out of hand

After initial introductions have gone well you can have puppy drag a leash around the house. Work on a solid recall right away. Again, make sure the cat has lots of escape routes and can go about his busines without needing to look over his shoulder.

Your biggest issue is likely going to be the puppy wanting to play with the cat. If the cat wants to play that's great but it's unlikely to be the case right away and certainly not if the introduction was rushed and the cat is stressed. Ensure the cat doesn't run/play around puppy as this might excite puppy's prey drive. I spend the first 2 weeks CONSTANTLY calling puppy away from chasing the cat - I use cooked meat. It seems like it will never stop, but it will or the cat will learn to look boring and stationary.

Some suggest just letting the cat swat the dog but that can backfire into making the puppy think he wants to play and can seriously injure puppy's eyes. Do make sure you trim your cat's claws before puppy comes home.

Good luck!

PS: Mods, can we have one of the trainer's write something about how to do an intro and make it a sticky on the Other Pets section of the forum?
I love this, I just saved it and printed it out !!!
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Love never gives up or loses faith.
Love is always hopeful and endures through every trial.



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