Hi all! I'm seeking some advice please.
I've just gotten a new kitten, Indie, from rescue. She's around 10-11 weeks old now. She started off afraid of me but in the short time i've had her she's come around and loves to play as well as sit in my lap, purring away like nobody's business.
We have two other pets in our household - our 'original' cat, Melody, is around 21 months. Our English Setter dog, Jake, is around 10 years old. Jake has in the past couple of years had some issues with a cancerous tumor that we had removed but it has sadly returned and the vet has declared there is nothing they can do and it is just a matter of time. As Melody has known Jake pretty much her entire life, I thought it may be an idea to introduce a new friend for her (plus Indie was the only kitten left at the rescue and nobody seemed to want her, attributed to her being mostly black.. so it tugged at my heartstrings!) for when the inevitable happens and we lose Jake.
Introductions are a bit.. interesting to say the least!
Melody, naturally, doesn't like Indie that much. Neither will approach the other and Melody stands at the other end of the room, hissing and growling before usually attempting to seek a way outside - if one is not available she will take to her sleeping spot behind the couch and not be seen again. Indie doesn't seem to show much if any signs of aggression when faced with Melody in the same room, but will not attempt to interact with her either.
With Jake, however, Indie becomes a hissing, growling, spitting and swiping mess. Jake means no harm and has not once shown any kind of aggression, usually just interest but he has been securely stopped from reaching her for obvious reasons.
I've been so far unable to use the 'feed each animal on each side of the door' technique on any of them. Scent transferal to a towel/blanket which is then left with the other isn't working either. Melody is so independent she rarely accepts treats from us and can't be coaxed into doing much, which makes her a bit of a challenge in this scenario, although she is very friendly with us. Jake is the most food-obsessed dog on this planet so any attempt to feed them together on each side of the room becomes a struggle to keep him from taking Indie's food, too.
I was hoping Indie would be a little more settled with Jake - Melody had no issues with him at all when she arrived at nine weeks old so I was hoping for a similarly easy ride. Wishful thinking sadly!
I'm hoping someone here may have been in a similar situation and could offer some advice - I really don't want Jake's remaining time to be spent having to avoid an aggressive new cat in his own home. It just seems cruel to me.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.
IMPORTANT: If your cat is in any distress or discomfort, please consult your own vet as your first priority.
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