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new kittens and 3 year dog - we are having a disaster

(7 Posts)
mummydoc Wed 01-Jul-09 09:54:33

new kittens came home last night, 3 year old cavalier spaniel is demented, i have had to rescue 1 kitten from his mouth already, he is not growling i think he just thinks it is a toy , 1 kitten has hidden itself in the playroom, neither of them appears to have wee'd or poo'ed or eaten or drunk anything in 14 hrs . please tell me it will get easier, i am yelling at the dog and then at the children who keep letting the dog get into the playroom ...ahhhhh why oh why di di gewt these kitens

mummydoc Wed 01-Jul-09 11:19:51

please ... someone must know the right way to go about getting them all used to eachother

mummydoc Wed 01-Jul-09 14:24:24


GuessWhatIAmANameChanger Wed 01-Jul-09 14:33:12

Ok, my approach would be one of tough loving!

Take one of the kittens (lock the others away) and put it in a cage (a wire type, not plastic). Fill several squeezy bottles with water and then let dog in with cat (cage in mmiddle of the room). Every time the dog even looks like approaching the cat he gets water sprayed hard in his face - no words used, just the water. Every time he ignores the cat or moves away from it he gets a small treat - again, no words. Swap out the kittens every few minutes so they don't get stressed but keep at the dog for a good 10 minutes or so. If I were you I would do it a couple of times a day until you think he is getting the idea before you allow the dog and cats together again. When you do allow them together be prepared to reinforce the lesson again (like starting at the begining again) so he knows it is the cat and not the ccage that is important!

But then, I am a bit of a tough love person, others may have more gentle approachs to try!

mummydoc Wed 01-Jul-09 14:36:09

thankyou - i agree completely on tough love thing, dh wants to keep the 2 separate fro a week or so but i cannot be doing with the stress, think that your approach sounds good will try it out tonight

GuessWhatIAmANameChanger Wed 01-Jul-09 14:38:01

Good luck!

IMO seperation will not work if there is no lesson involved to help your dog understand what is needed of him!

bentneckwine1 Fri 03-Jul-09 13:14:57


I did a bit of reading before bringing my kitten home to introduce to our four year old dog. Everything I read suggested separation as being the way to go - so I decided to follow the advice.

What a nightmare!

Brought kitten home and shut dog out of the room whilst the kitten was coaxed out of the box he arrived in. Dog was very distressed on the other side of the door, was barking and generally making a fuss...which kitten reacted to by hissing and dashing back in the box!
So, again following the advice I started bringing the dog into the same room but on her lead. Still a disaster-dog straining at the lead...I kept giving her a row which wasn't really fair but the kitten was yelping even though the dog had been nowhere near him. After a couple of hours of this my DS (9) were in floods of tears and ended up going to bed really early. Kitten had bed and litter tray in DS room. Dog came in with me.

I was dreading coming downstairs the next morning and starting all over again. DS carried the kitten in the livingroom and put him on the floor. The dog sneaked through the gap in the door and ended up eyeball to eyeball with the kitten. We were just about ready to panic when the dog and kitten sorted it out between themselves!!

Kitten gave a hiss and ran down the back of the sofa. Dog couldn't fit grin so she only got as far as lying with her nose pressed against the space between sofa and wall. Well it seemed to give them both a safe space to explore each others scent...kitten gradually ventured closer and closer towards the dog - who lay there so still and calm it was incredible!

This went on all morning and by lunchtime the kitten had worked out that he could move faster than the dog-he managed to sneak past the dog to reach litter tray and we lifted him up to the food dish out of the dog's way to eat. By the end of that day the two of them could tolerate being in the same room as each other without hysterics. We watched TV that night with DS sitting on the sofa with kitten on his lap. I was sitting next to him on the sofa with dog on my knee. They both slept like that for a couple of hours.

After a few days they were the best of friends...playing like two kittens/puppies chasing each other around the room and tumbling all over each other. Kitten drinks out of the dog's bowl at the same time as the dog! If left alone I come home to find them both lying curled up together on the same cushion on the sofa. (Infact one day I couldn't find the kitten and was rushing in and out of the rooms looking for him. Passed the dog a couple of times asleep on my bed without noticing that the kitten was all tangled up fast asleep within the dogs paws-they are both jet black and the kitten merged into the dog when I hurried past!!!)

It is wonderful now to watch them together - I tell people that they are both half cat/half dog! My DS friends think it is so funny to watch them play tig round and round my table. Maybe the kitten brought out my dog's maternal instincts - she was spayed and never had puppies. Perhaps the fact my dog is medium sized and the same colour as the kitten helped make the kitten more comfortable. But I am not convinced that separating them would have allowed them to develop such a friendship and could only have been much more stressful for everybody.

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