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Old 07-09-2009, 05:54 PM
barbscooter barbscooter is offline
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Default Introducing new kitty to old dog...

Hi all,
I am at my whits end.
I have a very spoilt 13yr old yorkie and am having trouble getting him to accept our new 12 week old ragdoll kitty! My yorkie has mostly been the only animal in the house, we did have another small dog who passed away some years ago, and he always got on with her.
However, I have to keep kitty lock in his own room otherwise my yorkie tries to get him and I'm sure he would do harm to him...The fact that the cat next door teases him on the other side of the fence doesn't help matters.....
When I let kitty out I have to keep my dog on the lead, in which case he almost chokes himself, or lock him in another room so kitty can aquaint himself with our house!
I just don't know what else to do....I have tried feeding them both at the door to kitty's room...have given my dog treats whilst on the lead and kitty in the same room...
I have run out of ideas....we have had kitty for a week now and the situation hasn't changed....kitty, I'm sure would accept my dog as he is quite a loving and quiet thing and his breeder told me he was with their little dog before I got him....I think the fact that he runs away when my dog lunges at him (on the lead) makes it worse as Teja (doggie) wants to chase him....
I hope someone can please help me, I am desperate for them to get on...I don't want to get rid of Harley (kitty)
Thanks
Barb
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:03 PM
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Maxy24 Maxy24 is offline
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It's difficult to say what to do. Some dogs will never be good with cats and because of your dog's breed it is possible he is one of them. Yorkies were bred to kill small animals and that instinct is still present in many of them. If you honestly think your dog would kill the cat I think it would be best that you find a new home for the kitty where he would not be in so much danger.

If you think he might just want to chase but will not actually kill the cat than you can work on teaching him to look but not chase. since he's choking himself on the collar get a harness for better control of his whole body. Get a baby gate and put it up in the doorway to her room. Have your dog on leash outside the gate and let him watch the cat. If he sits, lies down or looks at you without prompting give him a treat. You want him to learn to relax around the cat and stop focusing in on kitty. Whatever you do don't let the cat jump the gate. I would practice like this for a while letting him observe the cat's movements and stop wanting to chase.

When he is not longer excited by the cat through the gate You might let them interact more closely. I would personally use a basket muzzle (so he can take treats), if the dog gets a hold of such a small cat it would not take long for him to kill him. bring the dog into the room with lots of treats, have him lie down and continuously give him treats so the cat can come sniff his back end and feel calm about the dog. Do this over and over and then eventually, with muzzle and leash on let the dog go up to the cat and meet him.


But, personally, if I had a dog who was choking himself trying to get at my cat and I thought he was going to attack my cat I would rehome the newest family member or find a way to keep them permanently apart. I know that it's a very hard thing to hear. I can't make an honest assessment of what you should do unless I see the behavior myself but I must say it doesn't sound good. We got my first cat when my dog was eight and he was certainly excited and pulled to go to the cat but it was clearly a curiosity thing and not a prey drive thing. He didn't freeze up, stare with cold eyes walk stiffly forward and lunge. he didn't bark and frantically try to drag me to the cat. He pulled against the leash and sniffed frantically, he didn't want to chase he wanted to figure out what the strange creature was. I was able to distract him.

If you can get them to get along I would NEVER leave them alone together. You don't leave dogs breeds prone to DA out together unsupervised and you don't leave dogs prone to high prey drive alone with cats.

I wish you luck and really hope your dog will learn to get along with your cat so you can keep him.
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Old 07-10-2009, 03:51 AM
barbscooter barbscooter is offline
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Thank you so much for your advice Erin...
I forgot to add to my original post that my dog has no teeth, he had them all taken out a few months ago...for health reasons.
I think because he is so spoilt and fancies himself as the highest in the pecking order of the pack here, he is more fixed on poor kitty...
I love your idea of the baby gate! And the muzzle! I will look around for them straight away!
I will also get a harness for him..
When he sees kitty, he shakes and is really excited hence the pulling on the lead. There have been times when he just sits and looks, when he is on the lead and kitty is out, but as soon as kitty runs my dog wants to get him!
I really want to keep Harley (kitty) as he is my husband's birthday present from our daughter...so I will try anything to help get them together...he is such a loving and cuddly kitty...as most ragdolls are.
I will try what you say and hopefully things will get better...it's only been a week, so maybe in time......
I will NEVER leave them alone together tho.
I will post and let you know how things go....
Thanks so much..
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Old 07-10-2009, 06:50 AM
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Maxy24 Maxy24 is offline
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I hope things work out, and you are right it's been a very short time. We took over two weeks of intros to get my first cat out with our dog and he wasn't even showing problems, we just waned to be careful. So keep working at it and tell us how it goes!
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:05 PM
barbscooter barbscooter is offline
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Well.... I have now got a harness for my dog, which is a lot better because he isn't choking himself now...but he is still very excitable when kitty is in the room.....shaking and panting....the situation doesn't seem any better at times, then at other times, Teja will just sit there and watch....at my feet with his harness on of course.....
Just when I think things are going to work out, bang.....we revert back to the beginning...
I haven't yet been able to obtain a baby gate, but I do have the frame of a single bed, the ones with the square wire frame....and this would be good to put at the doorway, but I have to find a way of fixing it so that Teja can't move it....
I am working desperately at trying to make matters better, lol...
When he is in these excited moods and Harley is in the room, I have tried his schmachos as treats to get his attention away from Harley, but he just ignores them! Maybe I need to find another treat seeing that he has schmackos of a morning and night....so he is used to them even tho he absolutely loves them!
Harley is well acquainted with the house, and is not even scared of Teja....the only time he hisses and spits is when Teja lunges at him if he is close....he runs away therefore prompting Teja to chase.....*sigh*.........
When Harley is locked in his room, Teja sometimes scruffs at the door and barkes...is there something I can do to stop him doing this? He will come if I stamp my foot on the floor, (he is deaf so he can't hear vocal instructions), but I want to stop the barking altogether...
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Old 07-19-2009, 10:19 AM
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He will probably get better over time but till then never leave them alone. You can keep the dog on a lead so you can control his behavior. As the cat gets bigger he will be able to look after himself better.
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Old 08-22-2009, 06:32 PM
barbscooter barbscooter is offline
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Hi all,
Well, it's been a few weeks now....I'm afraid I caved in and now keep kitty in his own room....letting him out when the dog is locked out the back, putting him back in his room when the dog is let inside...I was originally locking my dog in kitty's room when he was out, but found he was peeing on things in there, so I now lock him in another room in the night or when it's raining..
Even when dog is outside he can see thru the glass slider and goes off jumping and barking at the door....
What makes it worse is that the dog is deaf and can't hear what I am saying to him so verbal commands are useless....
I finally got a baby gate but the dog can get thru it! He is so focused that he forces himself thru...so I am now looking for something to put on the gate that he can see thru but not get thru....
I got the flu really badly the week after I got kitty and just couldn't cope with the situation so it was easier to just lock up kitty.....I know this probably wasn't the right thing to do, but it was all I could handle at the time, now it's become a daily routine.....
Once I get something to put at the gate I will have another go at leaving it up and opening kitty's door and see what happens.....
The cat, Harley, has grown so much and is a gorgeous ragdoll...we recently had him neutered and he is very happy when he is out and just accepts it when he is locked in his room...but it's not what I want...I want them to be able to co-exist in our home....
Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know how things are going, your advice has been very helpful to me and I hope in time things will work out!
I really appreciate everyone's comments.
Thanks.
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Old 08-22-2009, 11:52 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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I don't know.....

Your dog is getting older and is used to being the only pet and getting all the attention. He's a breed whose purpose is to chase and kill other animals. He's deaf, so he not only can't hear you, but he can't hear the cat, meaning that the cat can very easily sneak up on him and scare him. It's likely he's starting to loose his eyesight as well.

Barking at and chasing after the cat means that he is stressed when he sees the cat. Jumping and barking at the sliding glass door also mean that he's stressed. He hackles and barks at the cat through the door, even when he can't see the cat; this is also stressful.

I think it's safe to say that your dog will never enjoy living with the cat. Best case scenario, I think the animals will actively avoid each other. But I don't think your dog will avoid the cat until the cat learns to stand up to himself, which will probably involve a fight with injuries.... and MORE stress on the dog.

Personally.... when my dog is 13 and already showing health problems (hearing loss), I would do whatever I could to make sure that her final years are her best years. I understand how difficult it is to return a gift someone gave you, but I really think that when you consider the diminished quality of life of your dog, it's really the best option. JMO.
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:46 AM
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lisabobisa lisabobisa is offline
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I actually just did a post a couple weeks ago about my experience with getting my dog and cat to live with each other, which ended successfully.

I did a lot of what Maxy24 said to do, no muzzle though (Domino seemed more into the chase than the catch). Since you said your dog doesn't seem interested in the treats you tried I would try to find some he will eat. My dogs (and cat actually) really like Natural Balance which you can cut up into nice little tidbits. If you can't find anything he likes and he can't hear then it will be harder to distract him...

You said he goes nuts at the cat through the glass door and also on leash. I would still keep him on leash just to be safe but maybe have someone else hold him and you actually physically put your body between him and the cat (this also goes for the door). Do not allow him to go nuts at the cat, just keep body blocking him so he can't get a good view. Eventually he should hopefully calm down some and pay some attention to you since you keep getting in his way. When he does calm down a bit give him a treat if he's interested. The leash pulling him back will just make him more excited so try your best to keep him from just pulling away, even if he can't reach the cat.

Trust me I know all the frustration you're going through. I had to have a separate cat room for awhile too with the door closed, then with the baby gate up. It took me about a year to get those critters to co-exist peacefully but it happened (keep in mind, it would have been faster had I been good and worked on it more, instead of going periods of time of just keeping them where they couldn't see each other). Things also went slower for me because my cat would hiss and run, making Domino want to chase her all the more. Because your kitten is less scared I think that should make things a bit easier.

Because of your dog's age and health issues, it might be too much for him to do... I think only you can judge what would be best for everybody involved.
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Old 02-23-2010, 04:47 PM
barbscooter barbscooter is offline
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Thank you to everyone who gave me much appreciated advice.....I have to update our progress with this problem.
It's taken 8 months but my dog and new cat have FINALLY learned to co-exist!!!!! Woohooo!!!
As expected, the cat is very cheeky and likes to torment my doggie, he even goes to the extent of waking him up to play, and I actually caught them playing together the other day! I was so excited....I can even leave them in the house alone and they are fine!
After a few months of keeping them apart, with Harley locked in his room and Teja still having the run of the house I decided to just open the door, and let them work it out! I have still kept the baby gate in position as this gives Harley a 'safe' place when he wants to just curl up and sleep without Teja wanting to get him....they still have their little scruffs with Teja chasing Harley and roughing him up, but no damage can be done as he has no teeth....my husand tells me they don't do this when I am not in the house, so I gather it's a jealousy thing?
Anyway, I am really happy with their progression and hopefully even the chasing and roughing up will cease, but for now they are ok! The events are getting less and less.
I am glad that I persevered with the situation even tho it was soo stressful in the beginning. Like Lisabobisa I could have put more time into getting them together sooner, but it's all worked out in the end!
I appreciate what Lizzybeth is saying about Teja being stressed, yes he is deaf and has lost some sight too, and I must admit I never thought of it causing him so much stress in his 'twighlight' years....but he doesn't seem to be too concerned now, they can even sit within sight of each other and not even worry.....so hopefully it will get better with more time....Teja will be 14 yrs old on 2nd March but is as spritely as a puppy!!!
Thanks everyone for your advice and concern, very much appreciated. I have photos of them together but don't quite know how to upload them for viewing, never mind.
Will keep you informed as time goes by, thanks.
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