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cowanbree

Existing Dogs And New Kitten

19 posts in this topic

It has been 18 years since I have had a kitten and there is so much I don't know. 2 1/2 weeks ago I added a 9 week old kitten to the family and to be honest I was expecting the integration to be a bit smoother than it has been. The kitten has a lovely temperament and is happy to sit on crates etc and let the dogs visit but when he gets on the ground he runs and all the dogs follow him.

I am not the slightest bit concerned that the dogs will hurt him but I have quite a few dogs and they are following him everywhere which he is not 100% happy with as it can be a bit overpowering to have your own parade when you are so tiny. I spend my nights supervising and telling the dogs off. How long does it take for them to settle? Am I being unrealistic to think by now they should be able to be in the same room together supervised without issue.

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*kirty*   

You need to stop the dogs from chasing him or he will never stop running. Have them on lead when he is around, have treats on hand to reward the dogs for calm behaviour etc.

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WeimMe   

When I introduced my new kitten I kept him a room for the first week and the dog "met" him under the door. They ended up having their first real face to face meeting sooner than I had planned (my daughter left the door open and the kitten wandered out), but it was all fine.

It doesn't always work that way though - be careful!

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Baby gates are brilliant for when kitty gets older and can jump :) You may have to work with one dog at a time (on leash) and reward for calm behaviour. My dogs are restricted to our living area during the day and there is a decent size scratching tower the cats can retreat to (or jump the baby gate) - mine all get on superbly but I had a temp puppy recently who was a PITA and I really had to supervise. In my house The Cats Rule but they are not allowed to bully either.

When I have foster kittens my Dally (in particular) is just fascinated by them - I put him in a drop stay and the little mites end up climbing all over him and chasing his madly wagging tail. Priceless!

Edited by The Spotted Devil

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I have always had cats so I am not sure why they are so fascinated although they won't have seen a kitten but I keep hoping the novelty is going to wear off. They are closely supervised and don't chase him, they just follow and watch him all of the time.

I have introduced them slowly, he spent the first week in the front room where they could look but not touch, Then he was moved to a wire crate in the same room and then loose on the crate. It is his choice to get off the crate and I am not sure that he is overly scared. He spends time playing or climbing with his posse following closely behind and all is well and then suddenly he gets hissy and hides. I do have a lot of dogs so I guess it can be quite overpowering.

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I just wanted to say he is so cute! And I shouldn't have looked because now I want one! :laugh:

And a puppy fence is great to keep the dogs contained and let the kitten run. They will then get used to him and hopefully leave him alone until he is bigger and can stick up for himself a bit.

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Do you have a leave it command that the dogs know? We often have a lot of small animals in our yard, at the moment there are 40 chicks from 1-5 weeks old and a couple of ducklings too. The dogs will follow them around checking out what they are doing and it sounds similiar, it's not aggressive of anything, they just like to see what they are doing LOL. To start with when they are all loose together I watch them and any time the dogs look like wandering over and getting in the way I tell them to 'leave it' which they know to mean 'mind your own business' LOL Once they lay down and ignore the small animals I praise them from a distance and then just ignore them.

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denali   

What kind of cat is that?- so cute!

Agree with the others, baby gates should work. Some good suggestions here.

Also something that smells like the kitten that is always around the dogs.

A big part of new animals is their strange scent. They should get over it relatively quickly :)

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Do you have a leave it command that the dogs know?

Pack mentality can overtake everything when several dogs chase & it can turn from play to prey in a second no matter how good your dogs are usually.

I am not currently breeding cats but when I did I never left my dogs alone with kittens despite how good they were. I always recommended to never leave a dog with a kitten when you go out or are not close by until the kitten is 6 months old & can jump out of the way correctly & defend itself with confidence.

They leave command is invaluable in this & so many other situations.

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mita   

I just wanted to say he is so cute! And I shouldn't have looked because now I want one! :laugh:

Ditto!

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Totally agree with all the other comments. I never allow our dogs to follow the cats around, they get rewarded for neutral behaviour/ignoring the cats to the point where they avoid even looking at them. I think our cats would be quite stressed if more than one dog was following them around. To start with, I crate the dogs (never the cat) and allow the kitten to roam then move to dog on the lead and reward calm/neutral behaviour like everyone else has said.

I use my smaller female dog alone more at the start because she's very gentle, slow-moving and less intimidating. Usually it takes me a few weeks or sometimes a lot more to make sure everyone is comfortable and safe together, although I have two adult cats here that will never be fully relaxed around the dogs and I still have to make sure that the dogs don't approach. Kittens are generally faster to settle so I'm sure everything will be fine soon :) Just keep safety in mind and remember that the cat is always the one who should initiate the contact.

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raineth   

Baby gates are brilliant for when kitty gets older and can jump :) You may have to work with one dog at a time (on leash) and reward for calm behaviour. My dogs are restricted to our living area during the day and there is a decent size scratching tower the cats can retreat to (or jump the baby gate) - mine all get on superbly but I had a temp puppy recently who was a PITA and I really had to supervise. In my house The Cats Rule but they are not allowed to bully either.

When I have foster kittens my Dally (in particular) is just fascinated by them - I put him in a drop stay and the little mites end up climbing all over him and chasing his madly wagging tail. Priceless!

That's adorable! You absolutely must take a video of it next time! :)

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Baby gates are brilliant for when kitty gets older and can jump :) You may have to work with one dog at a time (on leash) and reward for calm behaviour. My dogs are restricted to our living area during the day and there is a decent size scratching tower the cats can retreat to (or jump the baby gate) - mine all get on superbly but I had a temp puppy recently who was a PITA and I really had to supervise. In my house The Cats Rule but they are not allowed to bully either.

When I have foster kittens my Dally (in particular) is just fascinated by them - I put him in a drop stay and the little mites end up climbing all over him and chasing his madly wagging tail. Priceless!

That's adorable! You absolutely must take a video of it next time! :)

He's an amazing lad...these are not the pics I was thinking of but they were the easiest ones to find...

Starts in a drop...

DSC00800.jpg

Everyone getting more confident...

DSC00774.jpg

In the kitten room at last!!!

DSC00776.jpg

Edited by The Spotted Devil

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Thanks everyone. Indi is an exotic and an absolute doll. I have decided to just have him out with the oldies at the moment and see how it goes

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