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Old 12-08-2014, 03:45 PM
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Linds Linds is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Illinois
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Default Introducing a Cat to Dogs?

So, we've never really added a cat with dogs, mostly just added dogs with a cat which has been far easier.

So far I've had Didgie and Traveler crated in the livingroom tossing them treats while Twitch is out and about and tossing Twitch treats for being around them. Feeding Twitch near the crates and again rewarding the dogs and jackpotting any sniffing without being too focused.

It's going well! But I'm trying to figure out how the best way to go about the next step, having them out of the crate. They both are prone to fixating on small animals that move fast and act like prey which is why I've been making Twitch extra comfortable around them in the crates, and so far he's completely chill about it. But I know it will be different when they aren't in the crate anymore.

So, how would you go about it? My plan so far is to have them leashed and just treating them while he's out and jackpotting relaxation or positive sniffing. Would you put them in stays?

Just trying to do this right since I really want everyone to be totally relaxed around each other and for Twitch not to have a bad experience.

Our old cat basically raised all our dogs before this and was about as confident as a cat could get so it was never ever an issue. There was no way he would run from a stupid dog and all the dogs adored him. But he was here before they were which helped too.

This is kinda jumbled, I'm just trying to figure out how best to go about things.

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Old 12-08-2014, 03:53 PM
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AllieMackie AllieMackie is offline
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I'll be eager for any new tips I hear from this thread. Finn was raised with a cat, but we integrated two (new) cats and him back in May, and well... he's still leashed around them all the time. Still making steady progress, but slooooow. So yeah, tips!

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Old 12-08-2014, 04:42 PM
krissy krissy is offline
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
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These are more safety tips in the event of "training fails" or "supervision fails".

Pull your furniture a couple inches out from the walls. Enough to let a cat get in, but not a dog. Set up a baby gate to a "cat safe-room". Set the gate a couple inches off the ground so the cat has the option to jump the gate or to slip under it.

Of course, ideally the cat never runs from the dogs and so they never have the opportunity to kick into chase mode. But humans being imperfect, and animals being unpredictable... safety measures are always good. Your training sounds pretty good to me, but my dogs don't really chase things in the house. Outside all bets are off, but even the foster kitten running away was only exciting because "come back and be my friend!".

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Old 12-08-2014, 05:41 PM
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pinkspore pinkspore is online now
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Location: Central California
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When I resocialized Brisbane with cats I started with him on a head halter just so I'd have control of his mouth. If I were more in control of the situation I wouldn't have needed it. I also treated him anytime the cat did anything potentially exciting, like jumping, hissing, scratching, knocking things off the counter. Anything that could become a trigger became a cue for cookies instead. The cat quickly got over her concern and set about seeing how badly she could invade his space. Brisbane is mellow enough around them to tolerate them self-petting all over him, alert enough to be the self-appointed Cat Police, and anxious enough to wake me in the middle of the night to evict a sleeping cat from his crate so he can go to bed.

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Old 12-09-2014, 03:57 PM
Linds's Avatar
Linds Linds is offline
Twin 2
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 6,953

Thanks for the tips!

I've had Didgie and Fergus out leashed with him and it's going really well. I'm letting them sniff and then calling them back and rewarding heavily for (good plan?)

And treating for any calm behavior. Traveler who is the worst at fixating is getting a lot better. He's perfectly fine when he's up by Twitch. The worst is when Twitch is at a distance, but he's staying calm longer AND he's taking treats a lot more softly.

Anymore ideas appreciate!
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:26 AM
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PennyD PennyD is offline
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What a cute cat! I think maybe giving them some time to just be around each other supervised- and then trying it again a few times before really putting them together for good
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Old 12-11-2014, 02:33 AM
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noludoru noludoru is offline
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I'm just subscribing to this thread for now, because I DO have lots of advice, I just have no freaking time to type it all up.

Best advice I can give you without going into all the details is: DON'T rush things. Assume the worst can happen, and that with the slightest provocation the dog will chase the cat and the cat will be traumatized. Have the dogs dragging leashes around the cat as much as possible for as long as possible, so you have a handhold to "manage" the situation if they ignore their commands because the cat is too interesting. Oh, and give the cat treats, too, for good behavior around the dog. We took a cat who tried to kill Middie a few times to friendly (snuggling with him on couch) in 2 years only rewarding both pets with treats.

Also, don't rush things. It's SO tempting, but when you're ready to move forward a step, they probably aren't.
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