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-   -   Any tips for introducing puppies to cats? (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=88565)

hazelrunpack January 9th, 2019 08:11 PM

Any tips for introducing puppies to cats?
 
We're about to suddenly complicate things and get a puppy (decided yesterday and pup will arrive on Friday if all goes according to plan :eek:). We've had plenty of puppies, but never a cat before. The cat is extremely dog-friendly (to a fault, in fact :laughing:) and we expect he's going to want to play with the new girl as soon as he sees her.

Is there a best way to introduce them, not only to keep JD (the cat) from getting hurt, but to keep him from intimidating Lily (the pup)? Do I hold the cat and let her sniff him all over, but not let them play during the introduction? Or is it safe to just let them play at their first meeting under close supervision? What signs do I look for in cats that tell me they've had enough? (Dog signals, I'm familiar with, but I find cats a bit inscrutable, still. :o)

Any tips welcome!

Longblades January 10th, 2019 07:37 AM

I've read to keep them separated behind closed doors for a day, or so. They will each know the other is there. Then let them see each other and sniff but not make contact. Then be sure there are safe places the cat can escape to and let them meet. That could take 3 to 4 days and I confess I never did the day stages but I did do the rest, but my cats were always used to dogs when a puppy came.

Oh, and trim the cat hooks as short as you can. I never had a cat deliberately, seriously hurt a puppy, they know the little devil is a baby. But I have had a few yelps and I do worry about puppy eyes.

It's gone both ways for me, depends on puppy confidence. One very old cat laid down the law and puppy said, Ok, cat, you're the boss, you rule. Oban was too bouncy and it took him a year to learn cats rule and in that year the cat most bonded to the previous dog hid. They became friends, but just to let you know, it can take that long, longer I bet.

I supervised all encounters for about a year.

A puppy training trick at 5 months old for the puppy really helped, I think. Our trainer told one lady to use her other dog to teach the puppy. I used one of the cats. SIT, too slow puppy, cat gets a free treat. This had a two fold effect. That little black puppy bum hit the floor so fast the next time it smacked. :) And the puppy looked at the cat with new respect, obviously the cat had some mysterious control over treats. :)

Nearly forgot, I made it a point to speak to, feed, pet, interact with the one who was here first, that was the cats. I'm not sure this made any impression on the cats but I think it did on the puppy, and it made me feel better about introducing the new hooligan. :)

hazelrunpack January 10th, 2019 11:55 AM

Yeah, hooligan! Ain't that the truth? It's been 16 years since we've had a puppy, but I well remember how it was like letting the devil in to play! :laughing:

Good point about the cat hooks. :thumbs up He already gets trims every 9 to 14 days--I can step that up to maybe once a week. With luck, that'll be enough!

I don't think JD is going to be laying down any law. I do think he's going to see puppy as a play toy from the get go. He has absolutely no fear of dogs...and from the way he tried to play with ours when he arrived, I suspect he's had puppy experience. (We think he might have been dumped by a puppy mill/cattery-type outfit when he didn't sell by 6 mos.) He seemed extremely surprised that none of the dogs wanted to wrassle with him. They mostly just walked away in disgust... And when he finally got Cass or Grace to play, or at least let him snuggle, he just purred and purred....

So I suspect we won't need the 'behind closed door' step. Meetings will be in the family room, where JD comes for afternoon and evening 'people time'. Unfortunately, we've never been able to give JD the run of the house because Brier is a loose cannon and can be reactive--especially since Brier is showing some signs of sundowner syndrome (doggy dementia). So we have a cat/puppy-proof room that the two youngsters (JD and Lily) can play. Lots of high places for JD to run to, so that's good, plus he'll have his maze to hide in... And when pup is house trained and has learned a few manners, she might be able to visit JD down in his Kitty Palace in the exposed basement.

Course, this all may be a pipe dream. What if they hate each other?! :eek: Oy...

Longblades January 10th, 2019 02:29 PM

I hope they don't hate each other but we have had that, once out of many, many different cat and dog pairings. Our rescue ESS could not be trusted around the cat, who came first. Fortunately for us Whisper, the ESS, was very well trained and stayed in the rooms and part of the yard we allocated to her. And the cat was smart enough to stay out of them. We did put barriers up in the house when we were at work. That went on for 10.5 years and it wasn't too bad but it is awfully nice to have both cats and dog on my lap for TV watching now.

We often wondered why anyone would give up a purebred, registered, well trained gun dog like Whisper? Maybe they had a baby and she was jealous? She was only jealous and reactive around cats, once a fawn, that we paid attention to. I was horrified to find my Vet had let Whisper have free run of his downstairs kennel area, with his own cats, when she was in for a teeth cleaning. She was fine with his cats, even sharing a kennel with them to snooze in. Till I arrived and pet one of the cats and Whisper turned on it in a flash. :( She was fine with visiting children, but we did not let her near visiting babies.

hazelrunpack January 10th, 2019 05:17 PM

ESS can be sort of squirrelly, sometimes. Our springer, Priscilla, was so jealous of hubby that, for a while, if he went to bed before me, she'd wait at the bedroom door and growl at me so she wouldn't have to share him. :rolleyes: I started bringing treats with me to distract her, and eventually she decided I was worthy of sharing the bed with [I]her[/I] human. :laughing: Otherwise, where hubby wasn't concerned, she had a heart of gold. So I can well imagine that your Whisper was jealous of your attention! :D Priscilla was smart as a whip, too--another thing she and Whisper had in common. Sometimes I think they're too smart for their own good! :laughing:

I hope JD and the puppy hit it off, though. I think JD will love [I]her[/I]. I just hope he behaves himself enough not to put put her off. :fingerscr Maybe what I [I]should[/I] do, is make sure puppy has a hiding place in the common area for when the cat gets overwhelming. :o

Rinka March 16th, 2019 02:09 PM

Heheh, yeah I remember how I made my little pets to love each other. If my puppy was willing to make friends, than kitty was not so friendly. He was hissing and if Rim was going near Arm he tried to hit him with his paws. Well I tried to make my "evil" plan come to it's whole comlection, so I started to google a lot. I found some info in this web, so it was my first steps in my strategy. First of all I started to separate them for some time, then I started to walk puppy a lot, so all his expensive energy was gone and he was a little bit more calm. To be honest it helped. My chausie cat is lazy and he don't like to play when he is not in the mood. So that's are my tips.


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