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Tips for introducing an older dog into a house with an older cat

(14 Posts)
Ahrightsoted Fri 10-Nov-17 10:36:09

Our dcat is 7 and very independent. When we got him as a kitten our bulldog was about 5 and after a settling period they were buddies. We lost our bulldog in the summer sadly to dementia-he was 11 and very old. We all missed having a dog around esp my daughter and dh. I said that I didn't want another puppy as it's too much work and I don't have the patience. So we found a sweetie of a bulldog in a charity and we passed all the checks and last night she came to her forever home, us.
She's settled in amazingly but she chases dcat the two times she's seen him. He's gone off with the huff.
So what do i do to makes this safe for them both??
I can shut dcat in our back room-it's where his food and litter tray is anyway and he sleeps under the table . So how do introduce them without scaring the shit out of dcat

Wolfiefan Fri 10-Nov-17 10:40:15

There's a great leaflet (you can access online) from the Blue Cross. Stair gates and scent swapping etc. Never let the dog chase the cat. It reinforces the bad behaviour. Long line? Give the cat high places to sleep.

Ahrightsoted Fri 10-Nov-17 10:55:45

Ooo thanks for that I'll have a look at it now

Wolfiefan Fri 10-Nov-17 10:59:04

I found it really helpful. Took me ages to get puppy to be safe around our two flighty torties!
We also taught the dog to go to her bed on command. (Offer treats when dog settled there. Attach the word good. Bed.)
A strong wait is VERY useful. My dog will sit and wait whilst I let cats in or out.

Ahrightsoted Fri 10-Nov-17 11:06:55

Ive just read it and it's all makes sense. I still have a stair gate from our old dog so later today I'll put that in the back room doorway so I'm not locking dcat away cos I know he would hate that. New dog has settled in so well and I'm hoping she will accept dcat. Her foster mum said she's a dominate female but dcat will leave her alone if she leaves him alone

Wolfiefan Fri 10-Nov-17 11:09:09

The dog is dominant? No such thing. I'm guessing the fosterer is referring to outdated and now discredited pack theory.
Chasing is fun.
Cats run
Dog chases!
If dog sees cat and is calm then treat. The idea is that the dog sees cat eventually and looks to you for treat. Doesn't even think of chasing!

CMOTDibbler Fri 10-Nov-17 11:17:01

Stairgates, safe places for the cat, keep the dog with you while they settle in, don't do introductions or go near dog with cat in your arms, never leave dog and cat unattended (when you go out, or at night, dog must be in a shut room or crated) and never tolerate the dog chasing or doing anything to the cat even for a second.

You have to teach the dog that the cat is off limits - so if the cat is around, keep the dog on the lead and keep their attention on you. Looking at the cat gets 'leave it', keeping their eyes on you gets rewards

Ahrightsoted Fri 10-Nov-17 11:27:42

Thanks for your v informative answers. I'll get the stair gate up and keep the lead ready for when dcat shows his face. Other than this new dog is perfect so I'm sure we'll work it out. Dcat isn't a lap cat and does his own thing so if i can crack the chasing I'll be v happy

Ahrightsoted Fri 10-Nov-17 15:07:42

Stair gate is up and ready for action but dcat hasn't been home all day. I let him out about 7 and he hadn't touched his food. Been calling him all day. Hopefully he'll appear this evening when he's hungry.

Wolfiefan Fri 10-Nov-17 15:34:50

When he does appear maybe shut the dog away so he can come in without worrying about being chased!

Ahrightsoted Fri 10-Nov-17 16:38:35

He's just come in and gone straight upstairs. He hasn't eaten though. Hopefully he'll go to sleep, tomorrow's another day!!!

Wolfiefan Fri 10-Nov-17 16:40:50

Glad he's home before nightfall!
If my giant sight hound can live with two flighty torties it can be done. Needs careful management though.

NoSquirrels Sat 11-Nov-17 08:08:32

We've 2 cats and just rehomed an adult dog. She is extremely calm and the younger male cat has got over it pretty quickly - they hang out together in the kitchen now getting under my feet and hoping for food. The only times dog has got excited about him was a) in the garden, when he was surprised and running to escape/leaping on the fence and b) when he tried to steal her chicken when she was eating! He was roundly woofed at for that - especially as she leaves the cat alone like a good girl when he's eating!

Girl cat however is firmly of the opinion that we've ruined her life and she'll be upstairs for the foreseeable future, thanks very much. We have stair gates to keep dog down, but they're more a psychological barrier - dog doesn't try to go up after being told No once or twice. We feed her on the stairs at the moment, so she feels safe, and she observes from there. Once or twice she's been to the cat tree whilst dog is around and watched from there. Unfortunately the less she is around the more interesting she is to the dog, so it's a bit of a self-fulfilling problem- she also blends in well with the stair carpet so dog has woofed at her out of surprise a couple of times, which doesn't help.

Anyway, patience and temperament of your cat is the thing - we stocked up on Feliway pheromones, gave LOADS of treats to both animals when together, and generally try to keep it calm. Regular times when you shut dog away are useful too so cat can explore. Bet they'll be buddies before too long!

Ahrightsoted Mon 13-Nov-17 07:15:59

I'm doing things really slowly and dcat is still v wary but not as anxious. Last night ddog slept in the front room and dcat slept on his chair in the dining room. I've only tried one meet and greet since she chased him. When we were going for a walk on sat and she was on the lead I showed them to each other with the gate in between-she didn't growl or lunge so hopefully over the next few wks they will accept each other.
Ddog is such perfect dog in every other way so we can def fix this.

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