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Introducing cats and dogs

sdmorge
October 1st, 2006, 10:23 PM
I just brought home a new puppy (German Shepherd/Australian Shepherd mix) on Friday night. he grew up with cats so he is very respectful of felines, however my two 2-year old kitties are NOT happy.

When I brought him home, I closed the doors to the rooms so they wouldn't run away from the puppy and had him on the leash. Well the cats completely freaked out (blew up like a blow fish) and were growling. The puppy was completely oblivious to the cats. The puppy really doesn't even care that the cats are there.

So, this weekend I let the cats move into the bedroom and keep the puppy out of the with a baby gate, but I can hardly get the cats out from under the bed.

This weekend they have come out once or twice but as soon as the puppy makes any noise (usually they come out while he's sleeping), they run back into the room.

Does anyone have any advice? When I have introduced other cats to my cats, they are perfectly fine and like them but NOT this puppy!

I really appreciate it.

jessi76
October 2nd, 2006, 09:28 AM
When I brought him home, I closed the doors to the rooms so they wouldn't run away from the puppy and had him on the leash. Well the cats completely freaked out (blew up like a blow fish) and were growling.

not a good idea. although well intentioned to introduce them, you should let the cats explore the dog on their own. Don't worry, they will, but in time. In the meantime, you can put something of the pup's (like a towel he's slept on) in an area for the cats to smell. This way they can get used to his scent first.

So, this weekend I let the cats move into the bedroom and keep the puppy out of the with a baby gate, but I can hardly get the cats out from under the bed.

good to keep a cat-only zone w/ baby gates.. Just be sure your cats have access to their food/water and litter boxes in the cat only zone. You want them to KNOW they can eat/drink and go to the bathroom in peace.

your cats are probably just stressed about the newcomer, and are unsure of him.. puppies have lots of energy - and that's scary to the cats. provide "safe" zones, give the cats some extra attention, and even though your new dog is good w/ cats, make sure to keep it that way (i.e. never allow chasing).

to your cats, there is a new energetic stranger in their house... they will need lots of time to accept him, and feel comfortable around him.

Hunter's_owner
October 2nd, 2006, 10:28 AM
Yeah my advice is the same as Jessi's. It just takes some time for the cats to get used to the puppy. One thing you have going for you is the fact that the puppy is oblivious to the cats. When I introduced my dog to cats, he was soooo excited and chased the cats a lot. It took a long time and a lot of patience, as well as a couple of swipes on Hunter's nose :( . So good luck with it, and just give the cats some time and space :fingerscr .

~michelle~
October 2nd, 2006, 11:23 AM
moe was pretty mad when i brought the dogs home..... but now he goes and cuddles up to them. just dont force it let the cats come around on their own time. :fingerscr good luck

sdmorge
October 2nd, 2006, 01:52 PM
Thank you!

Yes, the cats have basically all the house except for the living room/kitchen where we are keeping the dog. I have noticed that both of the cats are now sitting in the back of the hall and observing the dog.

I put their food, water, & litter box in the bedroom where I sleep so they still have "bed time" as their own special time without the "mongrel"

I guess we'll just continue to wait to hope that the cats can overcome their fear of the dog.

cpietra16
October 2nd, 2006, 01:54 PM
A rule that I always follow....never force an introduction. Let it take its own pace...When fosters come into the house, I put them in a room for a few days until they realise its their safe place..then open the door and put up the baby gate 6 inches off the flooe so they can venture out and in but the dog can't. It took 7 months for Chelsea to feel comfortable around Winnie, my lab. Chelsea's sister took 7 days. All cats have their own time. Good luck
By the way Winnie is oblivious to any cats so it was easy with her. I don't know if you have a mature dog or baby one; it makes a difference.

sdmorge
October 2nd, 2006, 02:12 PM
By the way Winnie is oblivious to any cats so it was easy with her. I don't know if you have a mature dog or baby one; it makes a difference.

He's 3 months old but grew up around a cat who 'taught' him all he needs to know about cats - so now he doesn't bother them.

The cats' behavior is actually very suprising to me since they are not aggressive towards other cats (outside neighborhood cats come to the front door to "visit" - No physical contact, just playing and we had my mother in law's cats over and our cats didn't even notice they were there).

Guess it'll just take time.

sdmorge
October 2nd, 2006, 02:15 PM
not a good idea. although well intentioned to introduce them, you should let the cats explore the dog on their own. Don't worry, they will, but in time. In the meantime, you can put something of the pup's (like a towel he's slept on) in an area for the cats to smell. This way they can get used to his scent first.

If I am touching the dog and then petting the cats is that going to help them adjust? I will put his blanket in the room tonight when we go to bed (he sleeps in his crate)

I had also read somewhere that the "introduction" method I did was a good way to introduce the cats and dog - apparently I was REALLY wrong. I wish I could go back and just let the cats approach him on their terms.

Have I done a lot of damage to the success of them accepting each other? I hope they will get over it and move out of the bedroom!

Hunter's_owner
October 3rd, 2006, 07:24 AM
No, I don't think you did anything long lasting, it won't work until the cats are ready, you know how cats are :rolleyes: .

But yeah, touching the dog and then petting the cats, letting them smell the dog smell on you is a help. Anything to let them get used to the new scent without having to get too close at first.

Hopefully it won't take too long. The fact that the puppy don't care about the cats is a big help, and may help the cats tolerate him faster.:fingerscr

sdmorge
October 3rd, 2006, 02:18 PM
I bought a baby gate yesterday (before I was using the kennel as a barrier to the hallway) and the cats like to sit at the end of the hallway to "observe" puppy.

Last night my husband came home and the cats are warming up a bit more (one of them REALLY LOVES my husband).

I didn't think about it, but they were probably extra mad/confused because Robert was gone AND I brought a slimy beast into their house. Now that their "humans" are both home I think we'll be more successful.