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 Post subject: advice on introducing a new cat to my 2 dogs
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:43 am 
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Here's why we're even thinking of it... Our old neighbor is moving to Florida in a few months and for some reason she can't take her cat with her. Well. She could but then kitty would have to be an indoor cat and kitty would NOT be happy staying only indoors. My husband and kids and I ADORE this cat and jokingly said many times before we moved to a different town ( quite urban, we have lots of woods all around us...) that we wanted to steal her cat. So when she decided to move, she asked us if we really wanted the kitty.
Yes of course we do BUT we have 2 dogs. Both rescues. One is a pointer mix with a strong prey drive, very fast and VERY agile. The other is a rather large doberman who also has a pretty strong prey drive and he thinks he's a bird dog. Neither of their profiles said they were good with cats quite honestly but part of me thinks I can train them to be ok. Of course we also have the 7 year old cat to contend with and she is not too fond of dogs.
BUT if I don't try it our sweetheart will go to the pound. ( although there IS a great cats only shelter just around the corner from us )
What are my chances of having this work? We'll of course make sure she's got a high spot to take cover in....introduce them slowly....


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 Post subject: Re: advice on introducing a new cat to my 2 dogs
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:14 am 
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I would not suggest this with dogs that have a high prey drive. I trained my dog to be good to cats he is a lab-border collie mix but we started when he was 9 months old. Starting signing the cat up for various no kill shelters in the area. Make sure they are not the cat spends it's life in a cage type. That's miserable. or..... The cat could actually adjust to indoor life that is easier to do than to train a high prey dog not to go after something it sees as prey. It takes 3-4 months and you have to keep them entertained (they will whine alot) and you have to keep an eye on your door when opening it. Your neighbor could consider keeping the cat inside and providing an outdoor enclosure to keep the cat safe. The link below shows examples:

http://www.catsofaustralia.com/cat-enclosures.htm

If that is not possible maybe you can make a safe room in your house that has a window away from the dogs that will have an cat enclosure on the window so the cat can fresh air. They have cat doors that fit windows so the cat can go out during the day and it can be locked at night. A cracked garage door (if the dogs can't get to the cat there) that the cat can go in and out of is another alternative. If you end up caring for the cat start the transition of you feeding the cat in a safe area before your neighbor moves to help the cat adjust and not run off from the stress of losing it's owner when they move.

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 Post subject: Re: advice on introducing a new cat to my 2 dogs
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:52 am 
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Can you have them meet while your dogs are on leashes and see what it would be like? You might be able to tell immediatley if it will be fine or awful.

We have a dog and three cats, and one of the cats just cannot get along with the dog. She hisses at him, he chases her, etc. (he's a german shepherd lab mix). We've dealt with this by putting up a baby gate about 5 inches off the floor to create a cats-only area. This is, however, kind of sad for the kitty (she gets three rooms plus two closets and a bathroom, but she used to have the whole house...).

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 Post subject: Re: advice on introducing a new cat to my 2 dogs
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:56 am 
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Well we could always have them meet on leash/ through a fence...etc so they can check each other out. And then if it goes horribly, run poor little Buffy around the corner to the cats only Paws office. I live on a small Island and everyone goes there to get kitties so she'll find a great home. I'd just rather it be my home. :-(
I'll show my neighbor the cat enclosure pictures, maybe that would be an option for her so she could take the cat with her.
The safe room ideas are great and those are some good suggestions on how to do it. Unfortunately it wouldn't be doable long term in our house because the only place to make a safe room would be a room that has no access to outside for the kitty. Bummer but I guess I just have to remember that when I got the dogs ( the pointer mix we got almost a year ago and the doberman we got 3 months ago ) the cat wasn't even an option.


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 Post subject: Re: advice on introducing a new cat to my 2 dogs
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:22 pm 
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You and the cat have my sympathy. Since you love the cat alot I know you'd be horrified if Buffy got hurt. I had a friend who had a cat that I had a great deal of sympathy for and had I known his oncoming fate I would have taken him.

We will say was very under appreciated since he was shyer than a newer cat that was added to the household. He was not using his litterbox properly due to his owner's refusal to add another litter box ( he was get ambushed by the other cat in house). I was trying to educate her to fix the situation. I went on vacation recently and came back to find that she had put the cat to sleep due to "early onset altzeimers" for a 8-9 year old cat. Claiming he'd forgotten where his litterbox was. He was quite fine when I left. If your neighbor does not want to take him with her maybe she can start searching for a home for him now so he does not have to go a shelter at all. It will be less traumatic and better for his health not to see the inside of a shelter.

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 Post subject: Re: advice on introducing a new cat to my 2 dogs
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:31 pm 
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That is a terrible story.

Quote:
Our old neighbor is moving to Florida in a few months and for some reason she can't take her cat with her. Well. She could but then kitty would have to be an indoor cat and kitty would NOT be happy staying only indoors.


And yes, I agree that if your neighbor can take the cat with her, even if it means the kitty has to be an indoor kitty, its better than being taken to live with 2 dogs that have high prey drives.

Really, its safer for cats to be indoors, and its not that hard to get them used to it. She could start now and slowly reduce the amount of time kitty spends outdoors, and have an indoor kitty by the time she moves. I think people often imagine that its harder on cats to not be outside than it actually is. And the dangers to them from traffic, other animals, disease, jerks, getting confused and lost etc, really outweigh any perceived benefit to the cat.

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/bringi ... nside.html

Just fwiw, my MIL's dog has a high preydrive and our cats have always managed to outrun her if she is over at our place - they bounce across furniture to get to their space and eat etc - but it isn't a happy experience for them.

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