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Truman And Meezer, Maybe I Made A Mistake?

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As many of you know, we adopted our first Siamese kitten (Mischka-Meezer) about six weeks ago. Initially, Truman was very curious about the kitten and wanted to chase. This made the kitten really freaked out, and he would dart away which created even more interest for the dogs. I started a re-training program for both of them. I would sit Meezer on the bed and feed him Fancy Feast, then make Truman sit and look at me, giving treats for positive responses. I started with them across the room from each other, then gradually moved them closer together. The idea was for them to associate positive things with one another. After about a week of doing this, the kitten was coming around more frequently, and Truman was practicing more self-control. And now... it's like they are long-lost friends. They've actually developed a kind of game with Truman doing bitey-face and Meezer swatting him (no claws). From observing the behavior, it seems that they both really enjoy it. If Truman walks away, Meezer will meow for him to come back.


The problem is, Meezer is 3 pounds and Truman is 80. Although both of the dogs are very appropriate with cats and have lived with them problem-free for years, I worry about them playing this way. I don't want the kitten to be stepped on or hurt. Should I be doing something to separate them? Or am I being overprotective and worrying for nothing?

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I have a friend whose Husky-Chow mix and cat play like absolute nutballs, with a lot of bitey-face and wrestling involved. But it's a big cat. And an extremely fluffy dog.


I myself would not let my greyhound play with my cats (though she hasn't tried beyond the occasional play-bow and wag). Just feels like Russian Roulette to me.

With Cocoa (DC Chocolatedrop), missing B for Beth (2006-2015)
And kitties C.J., Klara, Bernadette, John-Boy, & Sinbad

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A lot depends on how comfortable you are with dog-cat interactions. Some people are more comfortable than others with that level of play. In my house, with my cats (all of whom were raised around Great Danes and have absolutely no fear of dogs), this is pretty normal. I did have to separate them for a few months last year when Whiskey and the puppy came home. Lilly just plays way too rough for the cats - she doesn't bite them but she does jump on them like they're stuffies and both cats are smallish, so I still monitor them very closely.


But everyone else is fine. When the dog has enough, s/he gets up and walks away. Same with the cats. We don't muzzle when we leave the house, but we do isolate the cats, just in case.


Remember that the kitten won't always be this small, and will grow nice sharp claws. It's only a very not-cat-tolerant dog that will stick around once they've been slapped on the nose a few times. But if you're not comfortable with them playing like that, then don't let them. Re direct to a different squeaky or toy and separate them for a while.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)


Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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My cat Evita will play with Raven. They have silly little games like Swat the Hound and peekaboo. They sometimes like to snuggle. Riley is more cat workable than actually cat safe, so he is not permitted to play with the cats.


My rules are these:


1) No Contact. Dog is too big, cat can easily be smooshed by an overenthusiastic hound. Cat is allowed to make contact because she's a peanut, provided she doesn't get too amped up herself. Rough play is never allowed. Gentle snuggling is OK.

2) No Chasing. Games of chase can turn deadly serious without warning.

3) No Pestering. When the kitty is done playing, no following her and bothering her for more. If kitty doesn't want to play, don't be obnoxious. This works both ways because if kitty pesters a sleeping hound she can get her head bitten off.

4) No Unsupervised Interaction. Ever. No exceptions.

Kristen with

Penguin (L the Penguin) Flying Penske x L Alysana

Costarring The Fabulous Felines: Squeak, Merlin, Bailey & Mystic


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Guest FinnsMom

Sounds like best friends in the making. I had a pitbull and a collie/shepard cross when my daughter begged for a kitten. The initial meeting for me was a bit nerve-wracking but after the first month, the kitten was snuggling with the dogs in the bedroom at night.


The cat lived a few years without a dog in the house and now that we have Finn, I know she is just itching to snuggle with him at night but he's not ready yet, so she sleeps as close to him as she knows he's comfortable with.


I would just keep an eye and ensure Truman (love the name by the way) keeps the play gentle and fun.

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I had an extremely large Russian Blue & a tiny Siamese. Shadow was fine with the dogs at the time but KoKo was a terror & would not leave the dogs alone so the cats ended up with their own room where no doge were allowed. Shadow was a sweet "nurse" kitty & would just sit quietly near anyone that didn't feel well but not KoKo. Good luck & watch them carefully.

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I'd probably separate them when you're not home to supervise. Even friendly play can change if one of them gets over-excited or annoyed. However, I also think it's very special when 2 pets develop a friendship, so if it was me, I'd let them enjoy their relationship.


If you decide not to let them play, or when you need to disrupt play that is getting out of hand, I wouldn't recommend any kind of negative response, like scolding. That could give them a negative association with each other again. Use distraction and rewards to redirect their attention.


For the most part, I believe that adult cats can take care of themselves with a friendly hound. If they annoy the dog and provoke a response, their reflexes are fast enough that they can usually get away in time. Of course, I wouldn't allow a cat to continue to pester the dog, so if it's getting out of hand, you need to be there to step in. Kittens tend to be more reckless, so you'll have to watch even closer to prevent problems.


Here's a video of a mostly cute interaction between Wiki and my younger cat, Indy. Wiki was very tolerant, but he does get annoyed at the end, so be prepared for a sudden, unexpected reaction in the last 5 seconds. Even knowing it's coming, it still makes me jump. :yikes



Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice


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