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Discussion Starter #1
I will be taking care of my friend's 10 month old golden, Meg, for 10 days while they are on vacation. I am very close to her, and I interact with her almost every day, but she has never been away from her family. She is very attached to her caretakers, so I am worried that she will have some separation anxiety. How can I help her cope with their absence while she is staying with me for such a long duration?
I also have another concern regarding my cat. She isn't very fond of dogs, and Meg hasn't had a lot of interaction with cats. How should I go about introducing them? I feel like my cat will eventually warm up to the idea of her being around, as she did the same with a dog I had in the past, but I just wanted to prepare. She's a real cutie, and I am excited to have a temporary golden.
Thanks for any help!
 

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Have your friends leave some comfort items; toy, stuffed animal, blanket, dog bed, clothes they've worn (for their scent), etc.

As for the cat thing, not sure, I know next to nothing about cats. If you want to introduce them, I would personally aim for having the cat be the most comfortable of the two and keeping Meg on leash. For the safety of both animals, make sure you know where either are at all times and kept separate at night, just as a precaution.

I'm sure the sudden change will definitely show, but hopefully Meg warms up to your home within a day. Keep her feeding schedule on routine as well as her potty breaks and you should be good. She may be attached to you as you'll be her comfort zone within your home for my guess is a day or two.

Good luck and have fun! I'm sure she'll be the most pleasant guest you'll ever allow in your home......at least on four legs :p
 

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We have had cats and a Golden several times over the years. In the interest of the safety of both animals, I would keep them separated for the ten days, if possible. Our Goldens have seen the cats as a potential playmate, while the cats have seen the dog as their mortal enemy. There is the possible scenario that the pup will see your cat as prey. Better safe than sorry.
 

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Thank you very much for the advice. I was initially planning on keeping them in different parts of the house, but when I realized that the litter box would be near Meg, I needed a different plan. I don't have any where else to put it, so I may just have to distract Meg when my cat needs to go. I think this will be a good experience for my cat in preparation for my own puppy.
 

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I am sure after a couple of days she will fall into the routine of your home. Agree with the above, about having the owners leave some of her favorite items. I don't think I would go with any "cat introductions" per say. I would just let them both discover each other. Definitely give your cat a safe place to get to. Maybe you could put a small barricade around her litter box with a small opening for the cat to enter through. If the litter box is on the floor, this would be a good idea since dogs love to help themselves to the "kitty treats" in the litter box. When the cat comes out and the dog looks like it is getting a bit too interested, I would calmly divert the dogs attention to maybe a toy, or walk her into the kitchen for a treat. It kind of lightens the mood and gets the attention off the cat. I am sure the cat will make it's own choice to stay clear of the dog. Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The litter box is definitely on the ground, so barricading it sounds like a good idea. I don't necessarily want to relocate it, because my cat has a tendency to be picky about it's cleanliness and placement. Thanks for your input. I hope it all works out, I would hate for something to go wrong between them.
 

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Keep lots of treats in your pockets all the time. They are great for distracting the dog when the cat might be nearby. Goldens are about the least loyal breed out there, they will go home with anyone. Which is probably why they do so well as rescues. So the pup will fit in just fine in your household. First night you'll want to kennel if that's how the owner does it. I would be prepared for some barking during the night if they hear a strange sound. This is a great experience for you to find out if you are ready for a puppy!
 
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