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In Search Of Advice Re: Getting A New Cat

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We had a cat first, then got our greyhound who was slapped once or twice by the cat. They coexisted for 3 years before the aged cat passed away. Its been 3 years and wed like a new cat. Any advice? Hopefully the new cat will put him in his place? He never was aggressive with the previous cat, but he got close to her a few times and was slapped. He wont sleep in a crate. We do have a cat door to the finished basement and he doesnt go down there.

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It will take some time and patience to properly introduce your new cat to your dog, but is quite doable.


Whether you get a kitten or an adult cat there will be good points and less good points about each age as relates to the dog. A kitten will likely adapt more easily to living with a dog, but may set off the dog's prey drive. An adult cat will likely be more inclined to protect itself, but may have a harder time adapting. If you dog is seriously cat tolerant and you don't believe he will have a problem, a kitten will likely be the way to go. If you can find an adult cat that has already lived successfully with dogs, that could make your job easier.


Create a safe space in your house for the new cat where the cat can be for a week or so without having direct contact with the dog - a spare bedroom or bathroom on the floor where the dog spends time. You want to to be able to smell each other, but not interact face-to-face. The dog WILL be very interested in the cat, which is completely normal. After a week or so you can allow them to see each other and observe how they interact in person. Never hold the cat or have the cat confined in a carrier at these times. The cat needs to be able to wander and not feel trapped. Do short sessions, say, 5 minutes every couple hours.


You'll have to judge from those interactions how quickly to introduce them to full time living companionship from there. There are many threads to search for here about introducing cats with tons more info for you to read through.


Good luck!

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

52592535884_69debcd9b4.jpgsiggy by Chris Harper, on Flickr

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, Lilly

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Guest bikecommuter

I have two cat-safe hounds, who live with an adult cat easily. BUT, when I fostered, and then kept, a kitten, it was a markedly different experience than I had expected. Maybe because the kitten was very interested in the dogs, maybe it is the nature of kittens to make squeaky toy noises and to move erratically, but it was hard work and a lot of supervision to ensure that the hounds and kitten figured out the situation.

Now that the kitten is a cat (18 months old), he and the hound who initially concerned me with the difficulty in breaking his focus, have an agreement to ignore each other. The other hound and the cat have something of a love/terror relationship and I have to keep an eye on their interactions due to size differences and thin skin! And I don't want any of my creatures living in terror either, of course.

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Check with local rescue groups that foster cats and ask them if any of their cats are currently living comfortably with large dogs. We lucked out with Monty, who has absolutely no prey drive and doesn't give a hoot about the cats - even kittens (we've fostered two litters and used him as an 'easy dog introduction' to make them more adoptable). But for an even slightly more interested dog, an older cat who lives with dogs and knows how to 'keep them in line' and how not to freak out about them doing crazy rompies in the house might be the best bet for you.


Either way, it is very important to have the new cat(s) able to settle into a room at first, then gently allow them to come out and see the dog (while dog is leashed if there is any doubt). And have lots of hidey areas, and litterboxes in multiple locations, just in case the dog does scare them into not wanting to go to a single location (dog is between cat and stairs to basement where box is, say). And reward reward reward for good behavior!


I hope you can find a good match for your house!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks. We adopted an adult cat on Friday who had lived with a dog. It seems to be going well. Max is interested in the cat but hasnt tried to give chase.he tries to meet her. The cat avoids him but is getting closer to him each day. She puffs up her tail around him on occasion. She hasnt hissed which surprises me!

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