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Introducing a Dog to Resident Cats

Category Advice
Bringing a dog into a home with a resident cat(s) can go several ways. You can improve the chances of a positive outcome by following a few tips. This is a guide about introducing a dog to resident cats.
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By 0 found this helpful
March 9, 2010

We are fostering a Pit Bull Boston Terrier mix from the Humane Society. How can we introduce her to our 2 cats? She knows what room they are in and just stares down the hallway. We tried to introduce them, but she goes nuts. We think she goes nuts, maybe she just wants to play?
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We put a cloth muzzle on her tonight and while the cat was on top of the bed brought her into the bedroom. She wanted to get at the cat. Her prey drive seems strong. We've only had her a week. She seems to be fine around our other 2 small dogs.

Any advice is much appreciated.

By Maria from fort Worth, TX

Answers

March 9, 20100 found this helpful

Maybe she wants them for dinner. Not all dogs do well with cats. Keep them separated for at least a week. Let them smell each other under the door, but that's it. Try rubbing the cats with a towel and the dog with a towel; leave these around for the other animals (that is, give the dog the cats' towel) so they get used to each other's scent. Keep the dog on a leash at all times near the cats and/or in a crate while the cats roam free. Make sure the cats always have an escape, such as a high piece of furniture if they need it. If any animal feels trapped at any time, you may have trouble. Also, phone your vet's office and ask for tips. They should be happy to help. Good luck!

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Anonymous
March 12, 20100 found this helpful

Since you are fostering I would suggest calling the Humane Society you are fostering for and ask them to take her back with the reason why and have them find a foster home that does not have cats. It's just not worth risking your cats health and lives! I have personally witnessed firsthand an aggressive breed tear up a cat and it's not a pretty sight to see or to hear :-(

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March 12, 20100 found this helpful

I had the same issue, but with a shepard/lab mix and 3 cats. What I did was this; I used a 4' x 6' or so section of lattice wood (normally used in gardens or to seal off the underneath of porches or decks). I placed it in a prime position (in my case in a hallway wedged between a door and the kitchen wall). It allowed the cats to have the bedroom areas and the dog to be in the living room, kitchen and dining area - allowed easier access for outside. When I first put it up, the dog and cats were on their respective sides and hissed and barked at each other.

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After about a week, they were so used to seeing each other, smelling each other, that I took the opportunity and took it down. No problem! They then were used to each other and got along fine. Hope this helps! Time and the opportunity of seeing and smelling each other seemed to take the edge away. After that they all lived together for a very long time...with no issues.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 29, 2010

How do I get my new one year old rescue dog to get along with my 3 rescue cats?

By Rosemary from Buffalo, NY

Answers

Anonymous
January 3, 20110 found this helpful

Could you please give more detail of what the problem might be of what is happening that concerns you? Without knowing the specific info you are seeking answers for it's really not possible to give correct information.

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December 29, 20100 found this helpful

Three weeks ago I got a 7 month old puppy. I have 2 older cats and I can't get them to come downstairs. I've had to move their food and litter box up there.

What can I do to make the 3 of them to become friends, the puppy is willing. I've tried to introduce him to them slowly and I don't let him bark at them. I miss seeing the cats move around the whole house. Any suggestions appreciated.

By Cherrie from Rock Island, IL

Answers:

Introducing Our Cats to a New Dog

You didn't say how old the cats are.The older the cats the harder it is for them to adjust to the dog.They may never become friends but eventually the cats will tolerate the dog to a point. You have to give them lots of time and this can't be forced. One day you'll notice one of the cats starting to come down and then slowly the other one for short periods of time. This may take months. But be patient and things always find a way to work out. (10/15/2010)

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By xintexas

Introducing Our Cats to a New Dog

Xintexas is right on the mark, don't push it, but what you can do is give the cats a little extra attention. Some extra tasty treat. Soon they will come down for that tasty morsel. (10/16/2010)

By leekelly

Introducing Our Cats to a New Dog

3 weeks isn't that long, we have introduced many dogs to cats, and cats to cats and it takes as long as it takes. Each pet has their own comfort level. You may find the cats come out at night when they know the puppy is sleeping at first and then get more comfortable. You may want to keep the food downstairs and that will encourage them to come down. Appetite is a great motivator. Good luck. (10/18/2010)

By merlene

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October 14, 20100 found this helpful

I have two cats, 2 and 3 yrs old. They have both been holed up in the room since we brought Logan home yesterday. He seems to be okay with them, no barking or growling when he did see them. He slept through the night in a crate with little fuss. I would like to help them get along, but if it can't happen I'm afraid I will have to give Logan back. We are on a test run with him now. Any help would be appreciated.

By tyger_eyes from Erie, PA

Answers:

Introducing Our Cats to a New Dog

As usual I always refer people to leerburg. Here is an article about introducing dogs and cats. leerburg.com

There are a lot of other articles you might find interesting here also. Have fun! (05/07/2009)

By Robyn Fed

Introducing Our Cats to a New Dog

We have gotten 2 new dogs recently (the first one got killed) and each time our cats would hide, hiss, spit, you name it, but each time they eventually came around. The only thing I really did was not to allow the dog to mess with the cats too much in the beginning. They would both want to play with the cats, but, of course, the cats were not too happy about that. Now they get along fine with just an occasional fuss. Good luck. (05/14/2009)

By minnabird

Introducing Our Cats to a New Dog

Time will take care of it. I am talking several weeks in some cases. It depends on the individual cat. As long as the cats have someplace to go (ours liked under the bed) and they can gradually come out more and more as they became acclimated to each other. In the beginning some cats only came out at night when the dog was sleeping. Eventually some of our cats would curl up and sleep with the dogs and groom them. Others merely tolerated them being in the house. Don't give up on Logan too soon. We've adopted many cats and dogs over the years and they always learned to co-exit. Think positive! Good luck. (05/14/2009)

By merlene

Introducing Our Cats to a New Dog

You can't make any decision for at least two weeks. And even if it's not perfect, so long as you see progress at that point, give it more time. All animals will react differently to new animals entering their territory and adjust at their own rate. Please give it time and good luck! I'll bet in a couple of months you'll be posting a picture of the happy family! (05/14/2009)

By Beth

Introducing Our Cats to a New Dog

I have a system that I use any time I bring a new pet into the family. I have a large dog cage and I set the new one up in there in the middle of the living room. Food, water, small litter box if it's a cat/kitten. Keeping it in the middle of the living room allows me to keep an eye on what's happening, and also forces the new one to be around the family. I keep the new one in there for about 2 hours at a time. When it's out of the cage my dogs go outside for a while, or if weather doesn't permit then they go into a bedroom to give the new one a chance to roam some. I do 2 hour stretches this way throughout the day and evening.

Doing it this way the dogs are able to sniff the new one and the new one quickly learns that they can't get at it. Also the 2 hour stretch outside the cage also gives the new one a chance to sniff the house and get used to the dogs' smells along with the smells of the rest of the house.
I have never had this system fail to bring about a smooth transition. The time it takes depends entirely on the animals themselves. I've had it take anywhere from 30 minutes with one new cat, to almost a week for one that was being stubborn. But it never failed and the animals all quickly became best friends.

The important thing tho, is that the "new" pet goes in the cage. If you put the pets you already have in there then they feel like they are being punished and may develop some resentment toward the new one. (05/14/2009)

By Cricketnc

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