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Old 01-11-2020, 08:45 PM
singular1 is offline
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Bringing home a new dog


So weíve been looking for a new dog for a couple years. Today I found a sweet lab that needs a new home. Tomorrow morning weíll go to the shelter and get our new baby - we have a wonderful cat from the same shelter, but 14 years ago. We canít do the gentle exposure routine of gradually introducing them when itís a planned introduction. This is throwing a 1 year old pup into an elder catís domain. Any tips?
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Old 01-11-2020, 08:53 PM
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Oh - some background. The first cat was impartial to the dog, preferring the company of of humans. The secondary cat that doesnít really like humans adored the dog, spending hours grooming him and cuddling him, purring like a peterbilt. She runs the house. Thatís the one weíre worried about.
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Old 01-12-2020, 03:54 PM
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Could you go over there today with a brush or at least a piece of cloth to rub over him to introduce his scent to the cat before he comes home? Other than that, I would say make sure the cat has a safe space to get to. When we brought a puppy home to our elderly cat we put a cathouse in the kitchen, she would climb up into that and watch us all from her perch. I trained the puppy that she was not allowed to bother the cathouse. I wouldn’t leave them unsupervised together for a long time, until you are confident that they won’t attack each other.
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:05 PM
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I put in a pet gate with a small critter pass through into my pantry/closet/dressing room mostly to keep the puppy away from the other dogs during mealtimes (he's food aggressive and resource hoardy AF, little beggar) and something like that with the small door left open into a room with the cat litter box and food and whatnot would be a great option. The cat can decide whether or not to just hang in the safe room, the pup can't get in to bother the cat and they can hiss and swat and trash talk each other through the bars until they're more settled with each other. Any word from the shelter on whether or not they've tested the pup with cats? Some shelters keep big, experienced cats around specifically to put the fear of the gods into rash young dogs.

Last edited by SmartAleq; 01-12-2020 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:51 PM
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Talk to the pup. Tell them they are family.

You would be surprised how much they understand.
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Old 01-12-2020, 07:18 PM
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Definitely provide for separation at first. The cat must be able to have space that's not available to the dog; and the cat's space should include her preferred eating and sleeping spaces. She's going to feel invaded enough as it is and a 14 year old may not adapt rapidly.

I would start with the dog either crated or kept in one room, and gradually increase the dog's space as they get used to each other. Don't allow them together unsupervised until you're entirely sure they're OK.

I agree that letting them see each other through a dog gate or whatever is a good idea if at all possible.

Was the cat dog-friendly to start with? [ETA: I'm not clear whether it's your dog-friendly cat we're talking about. Do you still have both cats?] Is the dog used to being around cats? If either of those isn't true you're going to need to be extra careful.

Last edited by thorny locust; 01-12-2020 at 07:20 PM.
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