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Old 11-12-2012, 10:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New kitten = puppy with bloody nose

Hi All,

My doberman is 6 months old, and a big happy, friendly goofball. I also have a 2 year old female cat. While the cat doesn't exactly love him, (he does love her), she deals with him.

This weekend I adopted a male kitten (7 months) from the humane society. He is a very brave little guy. Unfortunately, he doesn't like my dog very much! All Montgomery (dobe) sees is a new little friend to play with and runs up to say hello. Marshall (new kitten) punches him in the face.

Giving the kitten somewhere to get away doesn't work either, he will walk towards the dog to initiate the fight!

Does anyone have any advice for how to acclimatize the kitten to living with a large, boisterous puppy?

Also, has anyone ever used softclaws, or softpaws? Those little plastic things you put on the tips of the nails. Do they work well?

Thanks!
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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A cat can take a dog's eye out. Please keep them separated until some dog/cat people can help with some advice.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hmm, your kitten sounds related to my youngest female. T-Max has taken a wild hair, and has attacked all three of my dogs. More than once. Seriously, seeing a 50 pound dog running from a 10 pound cat.... (I give Lucky a pass. He only weighs 23 pounds.)

I've never tried the softpaws. At the very least, I'd keep you kitty's nails clipped.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I separated them immediately. I am aware the cute little kitty could cause some serious damage! I'm going to try some of those plastic nail covers before they are introduced again.

And the silly doberman didn't even notice he was bleeding...nor did he stop trying to play with the kitten until I intervened!
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I would not allow the pup access to the cat unless he is leashed- that way he can't "run up" to the kitten and frighten him. The kitten is way too new to the household to have rushed an intro with that little supervision! Now, he is learning to react aggressively to protect himself.

You need to start their reintroduction from scratch. NO access between the 2 that is unsupervised. Have the first reintro in a safe zone- either with a gate between them (so they can sniff but not touch), or have the kitten in a carrier in the pup on a leash. ANY attempt by pup to invade kitty space gets a strong "leave it" command. I suspect strongly that as soon as the kitten no longer feels threatened, and the pup learns to ignore and not run at him, that the aggressive attacks will cease.
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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They were NEVER unsupervised together. The kitten has his own room that he is in 90% of the time. If he is out of 'his' room, I am right there watching the interactions.

Thank you for the advice, I will try allowing the dog up to the kitten when he is in a kitty carrier. My dog was on a leash when they met, however, the kitten will approach the dog.

Hopefully are you right, and once they are used to each other they can be friends!
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have used soft paws before, and they work well, but they fall off a lot. I felt like I was doing cat nails daily.

They also don't prevent a really serious cat from hurting a dog. My big boy cat, Easel, attacked Vixie (8lb papillon) out of the blue one day. We were all lounging on the bed, and then Easel was latched onto Vixie beating the crap out of her. He had soft paws on, but she still ended up getting 4 stitches in two of the 4 bite wounds. He was rehomed to my SO's mom after showing aggression again when we got home from the vet. He is a happy boy now, and my SO's mom loves him, so our situation worked out. I really hope that a more cat savvy person can help you with this situation. I cried for days when we gave Easel up, and I would hate for anyone else to deal with this.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I guess I wonder what it would look like in a video versus being told since the details are a bit vauge.
Both my cats, one still being a kitten, were great at starting a "mom she's beattttting me heeelp" scenario as kittens but really they wanted to whine and play and smack the dog.

It could just be the same with the kitten but a) he isn't great at controlling his claws or b) wants to play but it gets to far so he defends himself.... or it could yes be c) the kitten doesn't get along with the dog, now or possibly ever.

I'd be more worried about finding that out, keeping nails trimmed, and keeping them seperate unless well supervised than the soft paws at the current moment.

I'd also work on teaching your dog how to "play" with a cat and interact. Mabel will give chase but the cats initiate and she's learned from me and the cats that if they say enough, enough!
She had to learn she can't bat her feet and she has to lay down, gentle mouthing is ok but "take it easy", now at an enough or easy command she walks away or bathes "her" kittens lol

Just throwing in an outside persepctive.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I wasn't intending to suggest that they were totally unsupervised, just not closely enough supervised. No dog/cat introduction should EVER have a dog which is allowed to quickly approach or run up to a cat. Especially not a dog like a Doberman- whose favorite thing is to poke that silly nose right into whatever they are excited about. That immediately puts the cat into a defensive state where they are unsure about their safety. Couple that with all of the pawing Dobes like to do and you have a real safety issue on your hands for both cat and dog! For that reason any intro between cats and dogs must be handled slowly and carefully for the well being of the entire crew.

My cats have all been raised with dogs- in fact right now we are working to train our new pup how to properly interact with cats. My 2 feline boys were brought into the house as kittens with resident cat safe (and very cat friendly) dogs, and thus are not adept at putting boundaries into place for their safety. That is MY job.

The first part of that training is a strong "leave it" command, which is used any time the pup approaches them with any type of excitement or strong "focus" (the intent stare/quiet posture). The only time he is allowed to have physical contact is when he is calm & wiggly- and only when the cats approach him. The second part is "gentle"- when the boys initiate/allow mouthing and snuffling contact the pup is reminded to be "gentle". If he becomes overly stimulated or wants to get more rough, contact is immediately stopped with "leave it" (or in our case, "Back Off").

On the other side, our 2 girls who are NOT as puppy tolerant are also supervised in THEIR interactions with him. They are allowed to warn him off if he approaches them (with a growl or hiss), but are NOT allowed to attack or stalk him. If they try to stalk him, I will intervene and make them move away.

They are NEVER left alone unsupervised together. I am always close enough to intervene should the need arise. I liken it to kids and dogs- great pals when supervised and trained correctly. My expectation of my mixed household is not just tolerance, my feline crew and canine crew develop very close bonds and willingly interact with and enjoy each others company.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Some good advice already. I'd add that if it's the cat that is rushing the dog, you can put the cat in a harness/leash combo or in a carrier or crate. One method I've used in the past is to keep the kitty in a large crate with litterbox/food/water/bed/etc. in the dog's area, so he can get used to the dog while keeping both animals safe. They become much less interesting to each other that way.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Poor Monkey. His sister has opposite problem lol! Yesterday Rocky (my cat) was making this angry cat talk. instinctually I yell at Olive to leave him alone. This keeps going on so I come down stairs to make her listen. There is poor Olive just sitting while Rocky sits under her chest making these same angry meows. Olive ignores so Rocky jumps up raps paws paws around neck and starts biting. (TO EVERYONE, he was completely playing) I had to give Olive ok to play back. Turns out he was meowing because Olive wouldn't play because she always gets yelled at to leave him alone. Wish I had caught on video. Our kitten is such the instigator and likes to get Olive in trouble. I now don't stop her and they are both happy!
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Ah the cat conundrum. Skoll did that let's-shove-my-nose-in-this-cat's-face thing until my roommate's cat Z gave him a bloodied snout from a good hard whack across the nose. Ever since all either cat has to do is raise their paw and he gets out of dodge and their coexistence has never been more peaceful. There are times he'll still go up to the cats but as soon as they vocalize or act like they're going to smack him he hits the brakes and goes in reverse.

My girl, Saffron, is far more confrontational about things she doesn't like and she's really rather unimpressed with him. She's the one I worry over as she's had an incident of a (provoked) attack at the vet's office that landed two people (vet&my mother) in the hospital for bite treatments. Luckily she's also a very LOUD cat and gives plenty of LOUD warnings before she launches herself at whatever she's fussing about. For her it's just making sure she has access to her safe places, and the only time she sees Skoll is if she approaches him herself. She did approach him this morning (and then fussed when he poked her which sent him scrambling) and they were coexisting on the floor together. It's taken about a month and a half to reach this point. Cats are very sensitive to change and very stubborn about accepting the presense of something they don't like.

Nothing funnier though than a 95# doberman backpedalling away from an angry 8# cat.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:30 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Personally, (and I know this won't sit well with a good few folk) I don't ever mix cats and dogs. In nature it is not a mix that goes and so I stick to this precept.

Not sure how you will deal with this other than to do what I do with my boys, crate and rotate. Probably not the solution anyone thinks it a good one, but one I know will keep both kitten and pup safe.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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declaw the cat if nothing else works
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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declaw the cat if nothing else works
Declawing is an amputation of the toe, and not something I suggest as a solution.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:38 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I trim my cats claws regularly. Get them used to it while they're young and it's quick and easy.

My youngest cat likes to rub up against Ivan. Confuses the heck out of the dog.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:46 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Declawing is an amputation of the toe, and not something I suggest as a solution.
I understand how it works. I suggested to declaw as a last choice solution.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:25 PM   #18 (permalink)
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It's still not really a solution because if the cat is indeed using its claws a protection now he's SOL...

If I declaw, and we haven't with these two, we've only ever done the back two to save the furniture or etc... mostly due to old school thought and/or the cat already coming that way compared to how our new cats are showing us they can be good.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:31 PM   #19 (permalink)
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We had a cat before we got Coco. Tiki came to us declawed as she is a rescue. Coco has always loved Tiki so much. Tiki does not feel the same way. We worked on leave it very early on because Coco always wanted to play with Tiki. Coco knows she is not supposed to chase Tiki but every once in awhile she starts to slowly gallop after Tiki waving her nub. She never runs fast enough to "catch" Tiki.

Tiki can hold her own quite well though. She will hit Coco in the face while Coco kisses her and she will hiss when she has had enough. Coco has learned that Tiki has varying degrees of hissing and some really means leave me alone now.

Coco is afraid to go in the basement so Tiki's food and litter is down there. I leave the basement door open and it is quite funny to see Coco lay at the top of the stairs and Tiki sit on the top step nose to nose. Tiki knows that Coco will never come in the basement so it is her dog-free safe haven. Cats need to have somewhere to go to get away from the dogs.

I did come home one day at lunch to find them sleeping next to each other on the couch which was interesting. Once Tiki saw me she made lots of noises, hissed and jumped away from Coco.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:34 PM   #20 (permalink)
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If you declaw a cat you take away it's natural ability to protect itself which can lead to more difficult problems such as extreme biting. I hate it because it seems inhumane to me but I understand your reasoning. The cat needs to know it is safe and the pup needs to know to respect its boundaries. The cat appears to be establishing dominance but if you make sure their interactions are carefully supervised and approached slowly they can make the best of friends. Good Luck and thank you for adopting. Do not give up on your little mean boy cat. He will get the hang of things pretty quickly.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:27 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dave_L View Post
I understand how it works. I suggested to declaw as a last choice solution.
Since this kitten was *just* adopted I would rehome or return to the Humane Society before choosing an amputation. Considering that declawing can lead to a whole host of behavioral problems, it can also create other issues.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:14 AM   #22 (permalink)
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How about teach your silly puppy what behavior is appropriate, that she needs to be gentle with the Kitties. Obviously if puppy gets crazy/ quick lmovements when kitty is trying to say hello, kitty reacts in fear that dog will hurt her.
My girl thought the cats were fun toys too, and it took a lot of patience and persistence to teach her to be gentle and don't bother the cats. Dont let the cat stalk out torment the dog, but don't give her a reason to.
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