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Introducing a kitten to existing dog(6 Posts)
We have a 5 year old spaniel cross, who is pretty chilled about most things at home, he can be a bit nervy when out, but he had never really had much contact with any cats, apart from the odd one we see when walking, he will go to chase them but if they stay put he will back away from them.
I would love to get a cat (ideally a kitten) too but not really sure how you would go about introducing them, a kitten seems quite vunerable to a dog. We have had a cat before so happy I know what's entailed with owning and cat and live in a good place for a cat, it's just the dog I'm worried about, has anyone else done this?
From my experience I would suggest bringing the kitten in and letting your dog have a sniff about them. If the kitten has come from a dog free home they'll prob hiss, back away & possibly hide.
Gradually the kitten will come out more to explore. If you know your dog well you should be able to judge on their body language/response to the kitten. I own a very excitable staffy and previously if he's been too "in your face" so to speak with the kitten, I've told him to go to bed (he's very responsive).
If your anyway unsure I would put up a gate so that the dog cannot get to the kitten but they can come in and explore a little more. It might take your dog some time getting used to, it might not, just depends on your dog.
My dog doesn't like "strange" cats and would happily chase them if I'd let him. You'll also find that the cat quickly becomes the boss
Ah, we are also considering getting a cat. We have a 14m old lab/pointer. Our next door neighbours have cats & he has learnt to ignore them... he’s not allowed upstairs so we are thinking of making the cat territory upstairs...
A only speak from my experience. I’ve usually had around d six dogs living in the house, all biggish terriers Skyes, and one cat at any one time. The cats have always been the boss, right from being kittens, & ruled the dogs with a iron paw. One even used to hide behind the door so she could give them all a swipe as they came in from the garden just to make sure they knew their place.
As long as the introduction is careful you will be fine and kitten will soon be in charge and bossing the dog around.
It’s not up to the kitten to put the dog in its place. It’s up to you to teach the dog to leave it alone. Cats have a horrid tendency to go for eyes so you don’t want it swiping the dog.
Blue Cross had some great advice in mixing cats and dogs on their site. And FB group dog training advice and support do too.
You want to get the dog to focus on you. When it sees the cat get its attention and get it to focus on a toy or treat. That way it doesn’t fixate on the cat. You need to ensure the cat can get away from the dog and that the dog has a safe space away from the cat too.
Dog must never be allowed to chase cat. Long lines are useful.