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Introducing kittens to dogs

March 3rd, 2005, 12:12 PM
I was just wondering, how can one raise kittens to get along with dogs? I was thinking that after washing my hands and before handling the kittens I could pet my dog a bit? Would this be a good way to get them used to my dogs smell?

Also, when would a kittens immune system be good enough for me to do this? They are only three days old now. Could they catch any disease from dog fur? I wouldn't let the dog lick me or anything, and she is vaccinated and healthy, could I still pass on something?

Also, is it even wise to get them used to dogs? Should I let them keep a healthy fear of dogs in case they come across a vicious one?

March 3rd, 2005, 12:19 PM
There are effective ways to introduce kittens and cats to dogs and vice versa.

Here is just one site that outlines how to do it:

However, I'd wait until the kittens are older - I am assuming your dog gord out only with you and is up to date on his/her vaccines. But, es, the dog shpould get used to their scent so he knows they belong there.

March 4th, 2005, 12:36 PM
i did a very risky thing with my dog and kittens, but only because my older dog was always very calm and relaxed.
when my cat had kittens, my older dog was still living in the house. he would go downstairs, he was a little afraid of the little meowing things at first, but he got used to them, and the mother cat trusted him, didn't swat or hiss at him when he sniffed them.
when that cat's kitten had kittens, the new kittens thought that mugs was their mother, and when they were old enough to walk, they would try to suckle him when he was sleeping.

the cats that we have right now, one of them is one of the kittens that tried suckling the dog, and the other is a new kitten we found. we also have a new dog, fairly young still, and the cats love her because they like to play with her, but she doesn't have a tail, so that was probably a disappointment.

Lucky Rescue
March 4th, 2005, 01:04 PM
Also, is it even wise to get them used to dogs?

Like puppies, it's best if kittens are socialized and get used to everything. Makes them easier to adopt out. And of course they wont' be going to homes where there are dogs likely to harm them.

Even cats who are very used to dogs are often only fine with their "own" dog and will run from any dog acting aggressively.

My cat all love my dog, but I know they would flee in terror from a strange dog.

I would keep your dog and his scent away from the cat and her kittens for now. The smell of a dog might stress the mother cat.

You can start introducing them to your dog when they are weaned, but never in the presence of the mother cat. She may react very violently in defense of her kittens.

March 4th, 2005, 01:06 PM
haha that's so cute andone! my dog is only 8 months so i doubt she'd be calm enough to do that! i'm a little worried about introducing them at all, kayla (my puppy) is very hyper and might end up making them terrified of dogs. she'd never hurt the cats intentionally, but would want to play! mind you a good swat to the nose and she's usually hands off for a bit :D