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Introducing our dogs to our cats litter.

(11 Posts)
Pinkelephantparade Fri 05-Jul-19 17:16:50

Looking for a bit of advice as I’m rather nervy around the whole introduction.
We have 2 dogs, 1 spaniel and 1 chihuahua and a cat who has just had her first litter. (It will also be her only litter as she’ll be getting neutered along with the 2 we’re keeping in a few months.)
Myself and my partner don’t live together, I have the cat with me and my partner has the dogs.
Anyway, the kittens are now 4 1/2 weeks old and are doing fantastically, our Cat has taken to being a mum so naturally but has relocated from her nest upstairs to the lounge.
They’re all very confident and are out and about exploring and mum is fine with this but this means it is currently impossible for my partner to be here.
I’ve bought an extra large dog crate and set it all up comfortably, padded with blankets and towels, filled with food, water and toys but the little buggers can squeeze through the bars! 😹
Our spaniel is quite an energetic boy and has a tendency to chase cats out of excitement and when I first met my partner of almost 4 years he sadly chased my cat at the time away each time he came over until my cat moved in with the neighbours 😥. Luckily he was an adult so knew how to keep himself safe.
Please don’t judge our decision to have the kittens, we got our cat 2 years ago as a kitten and our spaniel was slowly introduced until they were ok around each other so I know he is capable of a good dog/cat relationship. He is also fine with my partner friends cats.
My issue is that there are 5 of them and a protective mum and he is very hyperactive at times.
With the crate set up today my partner held the dogs on the leads and let them look and sniff. Our chihuahua just had a sniff and remained calm but our spaniel whined until he was allowed closer and then when walked to the crate on the lead went very stiff and would not break a piercing stare.
Our kittens started to get their backs up, mum told one of them off to quite an extreme and then she panicked, jumped out of the space at the top of the crate (very large openings but kittens can’t get that high) and hissed at the dogs and warned them off until I held her and stroked her and reassured her while my partner took the dogs away and left the house with them.
I feel awful for my partner not being able to come to my home at the moment but also I feel very protective over the kittens and our cats maternal needs.
Has anyone had a similar experience and how did they figure it out? We will be keeping 2 of them (the 3 others have homes with friends and family for after their 9 and 12 week immunisations) but they will all be with us for the next 8 weeks and I want all of our animals and my partner to be happy.

Wolfiefan Fri 05-Jul-19 17:18:53

So the dogs behave so badly to the cats that one left home? Don’t allow them in your home.

crazycatgal Fri 05-Jul-19 17:22:21

The dogs don't live with you, so why can't he visit without the dogs?

Pinkelephantparade Fri 05-Jul-19 18:12:03

Wolfiefan, yes at the beginning of our relationship 4 years ago our spaniel was a 6/7 month old puppy and was very over excitable.
We didn’t do the whole introduction well as I wanted to make my partner and step daughter feel welcome in my home and my partner didn’t understand the emotion and love I had for my cat at the time. I was so devastated about it when my boy moved out but I try not to go on about it too much to my partner as I know it’s upsetting and I don’t intend to make my partner feel guilty I just want to do it right this time.
I loved my boy so much and am still so sad he doesn’t live with us anymore. I was rubbish. I should have protected him more from feeling uncomfortable in his own home and I didn’t 😥
The only positive that came from it for him was that my neighbours genuinely adored him and showered him with love and fuss.
2 years ago though we successfully introduced our cat (then a kitten) to the dogs and he was after some time calmer around her and she accepted him as she’d grown up around him.
My worry is that we now have a litter of 5 and she is rightly very protective of them and I think sees him in particular as a bit of a threat to them and I don’t know how to introduce him to 5 with a protective mum as opposed to the 1 we managed last time.
She (our cat) is fine with human company around them. She allows them to roam the lounge now and places them back behind the sofa to sleep but lets myself and my 2 Sons play with and hold them but she is understandable dubious of the dogs.

Crazycatgal I wish it was that easy!
We have been together for almost 4 years with 2 sons on my side and a daughter on hers (we are in a same sex relationship) and live a 20 minute drive away from each other with children in separate schools so it’s not as simple as just popping over.
I also am usually here for my step daughter and her dogs when she works evenings so it’s impossible to not have the dogs over.

I also can’t stay at her house overnight and leave the kittens for long periods of time at the moment.

It is unrealistic not to socialise the animals but I just need advice on how best to do it to keep them all happy and safe.

Wolfiefan Fri 05-Jul-19 18:58:26

I really don’t think you can safely integrate dogs that have driven an adult cat out of its home and tiny baby kittens. You’ve already started badly by showing the kittens to the dogs. Ideally you want the dogs to ignore them. You’ve made the cats scared of the dogs and probably that makes them more interesting to the dogs.
Frankly I wouldn’t have the dogs over or would rehome (and spay) ASAP.

crazycatgal Fri 05-Jul-19 19:21:58

Sorry for assuming you had a male partner OP.

I wouldn't trust the dogs with the kittens, even supervised something bad could happen. I don't know how it will work but you need to keep them separate until the kittens are gone.

Heyha Fri 05-Jul-19 19:27:47

What's putting you off leaving mum a d little s overnight, OP? It sounds like all is going well with them and mum. That's one option to sole the human issue although doesn't sort the dog issue.

I really would wait to do whatever you're going to do until the three kittens have gone to their new homes and then concentrate on the dogs with the cats that are staying. I've no advice on how to do that but I'm afraid though.

Heyha Fri 05-Jul-19 19:28:10

That should say mum and kittens

Bookworm4 Fri 05-Jul-19 19:33:34

It’s really not difficult; set the cat/kittens up in a room that’s out of bounds to the dog, I’m assuming your house has doors 🙄
Or the dog doesn’t come over until cats are rehomed, keeping two more cats doesn’t sound the best plan either.

AwkwardPaws27 Fri 05-Jul-19 19:39:41

You put mum cat in a very difficult situation - trapped in a cage with a dog staring at her. The cats should have been free to leave the area if they felt threatened, while the dog was on a secure lead.
I really wouldn't try and introduce such small kittens to dogs, especially a dog who is fixated.
You have chosen to have this cat and this litter of kittens - you need to take responsibility for their safety, this may mean not allowing your partner to bring her dogs to your house.

WatcherOfTheNight Fri 05-Jul-19 19:42:50

Can't reply fully at the moment op but you need baby/dog gates on all doors & dog on a lead in the house .
The cats have priority at the moment & any introduction must be done at their pace with the dog unable to get to them & kept attached to you or shut in another room.

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