Help introducing dog to cat

IMPORTANT: If your cat is in any distress or discomfort, please consult your own vet as your first priority.
Post Reply
Buttoon
Returning Cat Chatter
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:32 am

Help introducing dog to cat

Post by Buttoon » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:42 am

Hi,

Does anyone have any good tips for helping my cat feel calm/not threatened when a visiting dog comes to my house please? Yes, I realise this isn't ideal for my cat but the owner of the dog is someone very close to me and I am not going to not see them so it's an issue that is really upsetting and that I'm hoping I can sort?

At first introduction she, not surprisingly, freaked out. She didn't bolt but instead tried to attack him - was really full on. The dog showed no aggression at all, he's lovely but I understand that he came in to her house so she was scared. Since then, I brought in one of the dogs toys so that she could smell him.
We've been keeping them apart when he visits - with her being in the conservatory (it's where she spends most of her time, has access to her food, water and catflap etc). So they can see each other. The second/third/fourth visit she'd come up to the door growling - trying to get to him. But this has subsided a lot now. She watches him and I can tell she's still worried/scared - but she's not grumbling/growling any more.

I've just bought some plug in Feliway as was hoping this might help? The dog probably isn't visiting for another week, should I plug it in now or a few days before he visits? And should I plug it in in the conservatory or in the lounge?

So, does anyone have any ideas on what I can do to try and help the situation please if Feliway probably won't help? Like I said, the dog not visiting isn't an option really. Loads of people must have been in a similar situation to me before? Scared to put them together again as she'll really hurt the poor dog!
Oh, my cat is two years old and otherwise cute and mischievous

vanilla
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:43 am

Re: Help introducing dog to cat

Post by vanilla » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:11 am

Hi and welcome to the forum. I've never introduced a dog to a cat but I've introduced a new kitten to a resident cat several times. It's mostly scent swapping and letting your cat approach the dog on its own terms. Do not force the cat to meet the dog. Dogs behave differently to cats and may get excited and try to bounce and play with the cat. This would appear agressive to the cat. Here's a link from bluecross that you may find helpful.
Take it slow and don't rush the process. Good luck!

https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice ... s-and-cats

booktigger
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 2289
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:36 pm

Re: Help introducing dog to cat

Post by booktigger » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:17 am

Sorry, but if my cat didn't like dogs, I wouldn't force them to keep having dogs in their house, I'd try and think of a compromise, such as keeping the dog in the garden.

User avatar
Kay
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1781
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:50 pm
No. of cats in household: 1
Location: West Wales

Re: Help introducing dog to cat

Post by Kay » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:53 am

poor cat rather than poor dog, is the way I see it - I'd just keep the cat somewhere where she could feel safe and not try to get her to accept the dog's presence - a room where she couldn't see the dog might be better than the conservatory

unless at some future time the dog is likely to be a permanent inmate I can't see why you need them to get along - you do seem to think the cat is the problem rather than the dog, or perhaps you are picking up on this from the dog's owner, but your house is the cat's domain, and it is not nice for her to have a dog regularly invade it

Buttoon
Returning Cat Chatter
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:32 am

Re: Help introducing dog to cat

Post by Buttoon » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:45 am

No, I don't seem to think the cat is the problem and not the dog. I acknowledge that there is A problem. And I know it's her territory etc that's why I came on here....... to see if anyone had any good suggestions, not to be scorned :|

I am able to close a curtain so that she does not see the dog, but sometimes he's here for a weekend. I can't make the dog stay out in the garden for an entire weekend, plus my cat can get in to the garden?
So I was hoping that there was a way of helping them become friends as it's nicer for everyone that way. The dog cannot be left home alone, and I'm not going to stop this person from visiting.

Vanilla - thanks for your more understanding response, I really appreciate it. I'm wondering if we continue as we are, keeping them apart but so they can see each other - perhaps she'll learn that he's not a threat. There may be a time when we all live together hence me trying to get some advice. Honestly, the dog is so docile and doesn't react at all - even when she went for him at their first meeting - so on the dog's side I'm happy for her to approach him as I don't think he'd react - I'm more worried about how she'd react :roll:

Sniper1
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 155
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:49 pm
No. of cats in household: 18
Location: West mids

Re: Help introducing dog to cat

Post by Sniper1 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:24 pm

Hi and welcome shame you got some less than polite responses I have introduced many dogs and cats and your cats reaction is normal i would carry on as you are it will take a while with the dog not being a permanent resident try to keep more dog stuff at yours blankets etc the dog has used and things will settle also treat the cat to roast chicken or something when the dog arrives food can be a great distraction when your friend visits with the dog try to make sure kitty isn't startled by dogs arrival as that will likely make the cat react more aggressively

Buttoon
Returning Cat Chatter
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:32 am

Re: Help introducing dog to cat

Post by Buttoon » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:30 pm

Sniper1 wrote:Hi and welcome shame you got some less than polite responses I have introduced many dogs and cats and your cats reaction is normal i would carry on as you are it will take a while with the dog not being a permanent resident try to keep more dog stuff at yours blankets etc the dog has used and things will settle also treat the cat to roast chicken or something when the dog arrives food can be a great distraction when your friend visits with the dog try to make sure kitty isn't startled by dogs arrival as that will likely make the cat react more aggressively
That's such a fab idea thanks - the roast chicken! As I guess the association may help. I had a feeling it could be a long journey but that's fine, just want her to feel okay sooner rather than later. She is fine once she's seen him through the door, she's not on edge the whole time etc
With regards to the dog's arrival, not sure how would be best not to startle her - but I always make sure she's at a distance from the door he enters AND there's no way they can get to each other (which she knows) as there's a glass door dividing them.

Thanks for the input though! I have one of his toys here but will get some more, and will definitely try the chicken idea! Many thanks :D

User avatar
fjm
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 985
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:11 pm
No. of cats in household: 2
Location: North West England

Re: Help introducing dog to cat

Post by fjm » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:46 pm

Does the dog have a crate? Settling the dog in the crate with a really good chew, and letting the cat investigate may be a way of moving things forward without too much risk. And I second the idea of chicken to reward good behaviour - Dog=Good Stuff for Cats is the sort of equation most cats can quickly learn.

Buttoon
Returning Cat Chatter
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:32 am

Re: Help introducing dog to cat

Post by Buttoon » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:48 pm

fjm wrote:Does the dog have a crate? Settling the dog in the crate with a really good chew, and letting the cat investigate may be a way of moving things forward without too much risk. And I second the idea of chicken to reward good behaviour - Dog=Good Stuff for Cats is the sort of equation most cats can quickly learn.
Ooh, another great idea thanks! We haven't got a crate no, but sure I could try and buy one. Will keep you posted. Really appreciate your input! :)

User avatar
fjm
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 985
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:11 pm
No. of cats in household: 2
Location: North West England

Re: Help introducing dog to cat

Post by fjm » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:08 am

It does depend on the dog being trained to enjoy the crate as a happy place to relax - I suggest asking his owner to get him used to it at home (Crate Games by kikopup on youtube is a good resource) before trying it at your house. Just shutting the dog in a crate would be very stressful - teaching him it is a lovely comfy place where good things happen will make it a really useful resource when travelling, not just at your house.

Buttoon
Returning Cat Chatter
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:32 am

Re: Help introducing dog to cat

Post by Buttoon » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:40 am

fjm wrote:It does depend on the dog being trained to enjoy the crate as a happy place to relax - I suggest asking his owner to get him used to it at home (Crate Games by kikopup on youtube is a good resource) before trying it at your house. Just shutting the dog in a crate would be very stressful - teaching him it is a lovely comfy place where good things happen will make it a really useful resource when travelling, not just at your house.
Many thanks, good point there. Don't want to stress them both out :/

Would giving my cat her treat (chicken) perhaps in his food bowl be a good idea, or not? As it'll smell of him etc

vanilla
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:43 am

Re: Help introducing dog to cat

Post by vanilla » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:31 pm

I agree with Sniper1 about treating your cat everytime the dog arrives. It will then start to associate treats with the dog! :lol:

Don't put her treat in his dog bowl. You wouldn't want to eat off somebody elses plate! :lol:

Buttoon
Returning Cat Chatter
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:32 am

Re: Help introducing dog to cat

Post by Buttoon » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:36 pm

vanilla wrote:I agree with Sniper1 about treating your cat everytime the dog arrives. It will then start to associate treats with the dog! :lol:

Don't put her treat in his dog bowl. You wouldn't want to eat off somebody elses plate! :lol:
Ha, true - especially a dog's :lol:

I'll try the treat idea so hopefully she'll soon learn that he's not a threat AND he brings treats!!

Sniper1
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 155
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:49 pm
No. of cats in household: 18
Location: West mids

Re: Help introducing dog to cat

Post by Sniper1 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:40 pm

One thing I always do when introducing a new dog which may work for you at some point is to use one or more baby gates so that the cats can have safe rooms but access the same room as the dog at their own pace that way they're not feeling shut away from each other and the cat can still be in a separate room if it wants that only works though if the dog is unable to jump the gate

Buttoon
Returning Cat Chatter
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:32 am

Re: Help introducing dog to cat

Post by Buttoon » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:30 pm

Sniper1 wrote:One thing I always do when introducing a new dog which may work for you at some point is to use one or more baby gates so that the cats can have safe rooms but access the same room as the dog at their own pace that way they're not feeling shut away from each other and the cat can still be in a separate room if it wants that only works though if the dog is unable to jump the gate
Many thanks :) Annoyingly, I sold my two babygates two weeks ago :roll: But also, my cat would attack him given the chance - so she'd be flying over the top all aggressive :? :(

Post Reply