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> Introducing New Rescue Dog To 8 Yr Old Cat, Advice Pls, Dog to cat introductions
FiggyPudding
post 20th Feb 2012, 5:59 pm
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I'm collecting our new dog this weekend biggrin.gif . She's a cav & apparently very gentle but has never lived with cats before.

Our cat is more or less a house cat, who goes out for toilet breaks & a bit of fresh air. She spends most of her time asleep, or lying in the sun 'resting'.

I've read about introductions but I'm worried unsure.gif very worried about how they are going to live together.

I've got feliway & some zylkene. I was thinking new dog could go in a crate, but not sure she is crate trained (sure she isn't). Now wondering if dog would be better in our bedroom, or whether cat would be better in bedroom.

Dog is currently with other dogs, so worried that she will be lonely if I leave her in the kitchen.....

All advice gratefully received..




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Susieh
post 20th Feb 2012, 7:01 pm
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Apologies for the long reply!!

In Dec I brought home Diz the Dalmatian to 3 cats (all aged between 6-7) who had never lived with a dog before. My cats sound a bit like yours does - do pop outside but spend 95% of their time indoors by choice. Diz was in foster with a cat so I knew she at least had experience of being calm around a cat in the past.

I basically split the house in two at first. Cats had the kitchen and small extension (and therefore access to catflap/garden, food, water and a warm radiator + beds) during the day. They all legged it outside as soon as they saw the dog (through stairgate) and wouldn't come in as long as Diz kept appearing in the garden, so I ended up taking her out of the front of the house to toilet at first, just so the cats would come back indoors. The door between lounge and kitchen was closed at first - but cats would still leg it outdoors when they heard the dog moving around. At night I took Diz upstairs with me so she wouldn't be on her own and the cats had the whole of the downstairs with closed doors between the species smile.gif

After a couple of days, the 2 braver cats stopped running for cover when they heard the dog so I started leaving the door between ajar (but not wide open) and slowly increased this as the cats got more used to seeing the dog. To her credit, Diz had very good self control from the start and although she was obviously interested in them - she didn't run towards them or anything to investigate. If she had been more 'interested' then I would have had a house line on her whenever I was there to make sure she didn't get into a chasing habit.

It took a good couple of weeks before all 3 cats were happy to be indoors and in sight of the dog (1 cat was much slower to come round than the other 2) when she was walking around (they were much happier when she was sleeping lol.gif ) but after that they quickly became less stressed around her and now can happily all be in the same room together with no one running for cover if someone moves. Diz now uses the back garden fine and doesn't chase the cats if she sees them outside - but if they ran I suspect she would. I doubt if they will ever cuddle up together like all the lovely pictures I see - but they are all relaxed around one another which was my main aim. In fact one of the cats has got so brave that he tried to mildly bully Diz like he does the other 2 cats - blocking her way by lying in doorways etc. She just whines and looks at me for help smile.gif

My advice is to be prepared for it to take a while. I know my cats and had a strong idea that they would come around fairly quickly - but I know people who are several months or even years down the line and their dogs(s) and cat(s) still aren't calm and happy being in a room together - totally depends on the mix of characters. I would let them both take it at their own pace - so if one freaks out - go back a step or two and reduce access to each other again until both are calm again.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!
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doggroomer
post 20th Feb 2012, 9:20 pm
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I had 3 middle aged cats when I brought my first rescue dog home (Bertie, 6 yr old Lab). They would run so he would chase, though not in an aggressive way. I used my 'stooge' cat, Dixie, to get Bertie to accept them (she was so good with any new animal I brought in). I would take Dixie into the living room with Bertie and leave the door open just enough for her to get out if necessary and have the Dixie on my lap. Bertie would come and take a look and gently nudge her so I knew he didn't mean them any harm.

He would still try to chase them but, one by one, they turned around and stood their ground so he stopped trying to chase. After a few months they would all be cuddled up with Bertie on his bed wub.gif

If you just keep the dog on a house line when you first take her into the house and see how they react to each other from a bit of a distance. You may find the dog is just as happy in the company of the cat as she has been with other dogs.

Good luck. Hope it all works out well and you wonder why you were worried.

Chris
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kimthecat
post 21st Feb 2012, 12:01 am
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Where does your cat normally sleep ? If she doesn't normally sleep in your room maybe you could have the dog in there . perhaps you could have a room where the dog isnt allowed and put a dog gate up for the cat to feel safe in and make sure she has easy access to the outside without having to pass the dog. maybe have a litter tray inside too if you dont already.
Pop a light lead on the dog as you need to make sure she doesnt approach the cat.

You wont really know the best thing to do until you bring the dog home and it might not be as bad as fear.
Ali
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FiggyPudding
post 21st Feb 2012, 1:28 pm
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Thanks for replying.

My cat has several sleeping places, either on the bed (if she's lucky) in the crook of my arm, in the sun lounge or the top of the stairs outside our bedroom. She tends to sleep all night, shes quite fat so not that active !

I have ordered an 8ft puppy training lead for the house & am umming & ahing about the crate.

Do you think an 18mth dog is likely to chew ? Hopefully not, so we can make a bed down or upstairs with access to the 'cat' rooms closed off.

REALLY hope I'm over thinking it...
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FiggyPudding
post 3rd Mar 2012, 4:56 pm
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Just thought I'd give an update.

Maisie arrived last Sunday & our cat gave her low growly miaow. Maisie literally hid behind me & so far she has a very healthy respect for her. Fortunately Maisie is very gentle whilst Rosie very confident & food orientated, which helps when doling out the treats of fish for them both.

I am so relieved smile.gif
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Susieh
post 3rd Mar 2012, 6:11 pm
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Great news smile.gif

Glad to hear they have had a good start together!
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