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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!
We went to our local humane society and fell in love with a kitten. However, Chloe is 16 months old, and has more energy than she knows what to do with. She hasn't had a cat in the house before, although when she goes to daycare they have 3 (she does well with them from what we've heard). We just don't want to adopt the kitten and have it turn out poorly.

Does anyone else have cats? Should we adopt the kitten, and if so how should we go about introducing the two of them, etc.?
 

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I have 3 cats. I had this Dobe first, then the cats. 2 of the cats weren't socialized and were mistreated and I got them around 12 and 16 months (owners didn't even know their birthdays.). They were scared of the WORLD but adapted fine to the dogs. I then fostered a 4 month old kitten who was found at 12 weeks loose so again not socialized well and she too has adapted just fine to the dogs.

My first 2 Dobes WOULD KILL cats and it was not safe for them to live WITH cats. I have a cat room with a baby gate. no dogs allowed. That's where they get fed and litterboxes are. Dogs are not allowed to chase or pace around the gate. Certain hunting dog is not allowed to stalk cats either :) It took a lot of patience, time and consistency with my Dobe. She was much worse as far as wanting to chase than my Vizslas. She likes to 'rub their fur' between her teeth which I can imagine is NOT very fun to a cat!

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I have six cats. Four were residents prior to us bringing Shanoa home. It was NOT easy, as Shanoa has a VERY high prey drive. After over 2 1/2 years she is finally living (relatively) peacefully with the cats. Simon has been good with the cats since the day we adopted him about seven months ago. If your dog has been around cats and is good with them, your chances of success are higher. Even so, I agree with Adara to have lots of safe areas for kitty, and take the introductions very, very slow. I would also recommend a very bold kitten. A skittish kitten is much more likely to run and that's more provoking for most dogs.
 
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My boyfriend and I just recently got a kitten around the time Dreizehn was 11 months old. I recommend a very strong "Leave It" command. We're slowly working on getting Dreizehn to ignore the kitten and it's not the easiest of tasks. He doesn't want to kill it, just wants to chase it. We have a "cat room" also and what my boyfriend and I did was put the dog's crate in there so that at night they could be near each other but safe from each other at the same time. Dreizehn still is super interested in the cat but has become much calmer.
 

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I wanted to add: when we acquired two new kittens last summer, we started them out in a very large dog crate in the living room (with litterbox, scratching post, food, water, bed, etc.). That allowed Shanoa to get used to them - their smell and movements - as well as allowed the kittens to get used to her. For a couple of weeks, we'd have Shanoa out and the kittens crated, and for small amounts of time we'd crate Shanoa (in that room) and let the kittens out to play (she'd watch). Eventually, we would crack the crate door of the kitten crate and let a kitten climb into our laps and get petted while Shanoa was right there. We rewarded good behavior heavily. Eventually we were able to let everyone out (supervised, of course, and Shanoa on a leash). Finally, when the kittens were big enough and we felt comfortable, everyone was out together.

Those two kitties are fearless around the dogs and boss them both around. They very rarely get chased, but Shanoa does not try to actually catch or hurt them, and the kittens don't seem to mind. They are very, very comfortable with the dogs and will actually cuddle with them on occasion.
 

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My dogs all get raised with cats--and conversely we use my cat proofed dogs at the vet clinic where I work to acclimate kittens (which get dropped off in abundance during kitten season by our clients who find them in their woodpiles, garden sheds, garages and under the back steps) to dogs.

The vets used to be appalled when they were in the back ward (where the strays we take and socialize and employee dogs spend their days) when they realized that often kittens, so small they could squeeze under the bar at the bottom of the run door and into the dog runs were in with my Dobermans, drinking their water and sleeping in their blankets. Now they assume it's normal behavior.

I have had cats who ignore the dogs and cats who actively solicited play (which is mostly tag type games) from the Dobes. The dogs are fine with either behavior and my most feral cat thinks that dogs, even strange dogs are much less scarey than strange people.

I do much the same thing that Meadowcat does with kittens I'm introducing. They go into the biggest wire dog crate were they get a litter box, food, water, toys, bedding and a small box they can hide in if they really want to do that. After a couple of weeks I let one dog (the calmest one) start interacting with them by leaving the crate door open wide enough for the kitten to get in and out but not wide enough for the dog to get in and steal all the food.

The house is set up so that there is a baby gate at the door to the laundry room--no dogs allowed. The cats have their litter box and their food and water there. When I had a very old very arthritic cat who really couldn't jump any more I raised the baby gate so she could duck under it but it still kept the dogs out and provided her with a place to go if the dogs bugged her too much.

Seems to work well for everyone.
 

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We've always had dogs and cats together - and guinea pigs and parakeets and fish... you not only need to know if Chloe is OK with a kitten, but if the kitten is OK with Chloe. Ask the shelter if they know anything about the kitten's prior history, and also whether they have a small room where you could bring Chloe and the kitten together. You could hold the kitten, and someone else hold Chloe on the leash, and see if Chloe acts insane or reasonably friendly (the kitten is going to probably panic and scratch you). Another way to introduce them is to have the kitten in a crate in the middle of your living room for half an hour at a time, then in a quiet spot - or separated by a baby gate - so they can adjust to each other's presence. Kittens will usually adapt to other animals quickly... especially if you can get them both interested in a toy or game together. Our first Dobe loved to play chase the laser with the cats. (Oh - and having high value treats for both, and rewarding them together, will make them appreciate each other's importance! But you have to be the leader and be very vigilant for the first year or so!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sorry for taking so long to get back to everyone! Thank you all for your help. We pick up our kitten tomorrow and we're going to take it slowly and use the crate technique. Chloe is pretty good with "leave it" so hopefully she'll behave! Haha.

We actually got to introduce the two at the shelter. The kitten is 3 months old, and put her in her place so quickly it was unbelievable. She probably has the hardest head I know, but she was so fascinated with the kitten that she didn't bother much at all (a little barking as it was all new and she's very vocal, but overall a pretty good visit). The kitten could certainly stand her ground.

Slow introductions, and hopefully all will go well! We're going to use the wired crate idea, or at least attempt it (Chloe won't go near wired crates for some reason, or baby gates or anything - they just spook her out).

I'll post again soon and let everyone know how the two are getting along!
Thank you again. :)
 

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I wanted to add: when we acquired two new kittens last summer, we started them out in a very large dog crate in the living room (with litterbox, scratching post, food, water, bed, etc.). That allowed Shanoa to get used to them - their smell and movements - as well as allowed the kittens to get used to her. For a couple of weeks, we'd have Shanoa out and the kittens crated, and for small amounts of time we'd crate Shanoa (in that room) and let the kittens out to play (she'd watch). Eventually, we would crack the crate door of the kitten crate and let a kitten climb into our laps and get petted while Shanoa was right there. We rewarded good behavior heavily. Eventually we were able to let everyone out (supervised, of course, and Shanoa on a leash). Finally, when the kittens were big enough and we felt comfortable, everyone was out together.

Those two kitties are fearless around the dogs and boss them both around. They very rarely get chased, but Shanoa does not try to actually catch or hurt them, and the kittens don't seem to mind. They are very, very comfortable with the dogs and will actually cuddle with them on occasion.
This is how I introduced them as well. I crated the kitten up high looking down and feeling safe then brought him down to dog level. My cat is always around and plays with the dogs. He sleeps with them and washes them. I think if ur dog is not aggressive to the cat then this would help.
 

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As long as your dog listens to you and has low to moderate prey drive, I think bringing a cat home is very doable. Dobes are smart and can learn their boundaries quickly.

My Dobe is great with my two cats (he has very little prey drive) and I also keep terriers with cats (which can sometimes be a disastrous arrangement). All dogs were raised with cats, and all dogs learned that if you chase a cat or get excited about a cat running past you, the mean b*^%h-lady is going to come out of hiding and make things VERY uncomfortable. I get tough on them about showing interest in my cats (which is almost never), but it doesn't take much to push a cat-safe terrier into a cat-killing terrier (unfortunately happened at my mom's house). All three dogs are now very friendly and affectionate with my cats. I never do anything to the cats (nails, grooming, etc.) that would cause a cat to get squirmy or upset in front of the dogs....and I never let the cats slip out into the backyard with the dogs. That would be the end of my cats. My cats also have a cat safe room that they can retreat to and are locked in when I cannot supervise them around the dogs.

Most dogs and cats coexist peacefully. I think the key about keeping cats and dogs together is realizing that you have a small animal with a much larger and stronger one and then making simple arrangements to keep everyone safe and happy.
 

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We have eight cats and two Poms. Kaiser is not aggressive towards them and doesn't try to hurt them, but like any Dobe puppy, he has more energy than he knows what to do with. He tries to play with the cats sometimes, and as you know, Dobes play rough. The cats have very little tolerance for him, and most will just avoid him. There isn't really any conflict in the house... honestly, the most conflict between the cats and Kaiser is caused by my mom, who just can't deal with Kaiser being anywhere near her precious cats! :rolleyesww:

If you think Chloe will behave appropriately with the kitten, then go for it. However, my advice would be NOT to declaw it. It may seem a bit harsh, but if Chloe won't leave the kitten alone, a sharp slug to the nose might get the message across - maybe for good. Best wishes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It went so well when we got the kitten home! Chloe has just recently been spayed (she was a show dog, etc. so we kept her intact for a while) and since then she has been having a false pregnancy (although not nearly as bad as some of the stories out there) so when she saw the kitten it was love at first sight.

We took it slowly still just so that they could get used to each other and whatnot but Chloe wanted nothing more than to give the kitten bathes and everything else. She laid down outside of the wired crate for 2 days with as few breaks as she could manage. Finally we decided to let the kitten out and roam around with Chloe in a down and on a leash and Chloe could have been made of stone she just watched the kitten, let the kitten come up to her, etc. she made no wrong moves at all.

Now the two of them are inseparable. The lay down on the couch together with Payton (the kitten) right snuggled in beside Chloe. Chloe gives her bathes (although Payton would definitely prefer that she didn't :p), etc. It's so funny to see. Payton has got herself wrapped around Chloe's little finger. Although they are of course still under strict supervision and both have their separate space and whatnot when necessary.

Thanks again for all of your help!
Pictures to come. :)
 

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In my case, my cat is stronger than Elza. Poor Elza wants to play with the cat but her "Let's play" action scares enough to the cat. She usually runs away from Elza or punches:p
I have a cat room too like others mentioned.
 

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Congrats on your new addition. I have found it is much easier with kittens than it is with older cats no matter the age of the dog and a lot has to do with just the preference of the cat. I hvae a cat that could care less about Jordan but loves the boxer, another that prefers Jordan, but the rules apply with both, THE CATS RULE!! It will take time to be able to trust how your dog will react to any corrections the cat may decide to give also. My cats have no problem correcting rude behavior from the dogs and my dogs have complete respect from them, not fear (which you don't want) but respect.

It sounds like your really off to a good start and they will be great buddies. Soon, the kitten will let Chloe know when her bathing is too much. Don't be suprised to find kitty bathing Chloe too. My senior is a compulsive bather and always bathes Jordan.

Also looking forward to pictures.
 
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