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Discussion Starter #1
We are adopting a 16 month old doodle at the end of May. He is coming from a family with 4 kids, but no other pets. We do already have three indoor cats and a rabbit. The rabbit already lives in a cage in a room so we can easily close that door when doodle is in the house. But, what is the best way for the cats and dog to get to know eachother?

All three cats are declawed and absolute loves. People who come to our house who say they "dont like cats" can not believe how loving and affectionate my three are. The neighbor has a little dog (the cat's size) who comes over some times and visits with the cats through the screen porch. The cats have never shown aggression or fear towards the visitor, only curiosity.

Our house is a ranch with a full finished basement and a door at the bottom of the stairs. We have litter boxes and food/H20 both upstairs and downstairs. My plan for starting is that the cats will be downstairs while the doodle is upstairs. After doodle is acclamated to us and doing well upstairs, I thought I would let the cats see him while he is in the cage in the kitchen. (They will have already seen him outside through the windows.) I think the cats will be okay, but I am afraid the dog will start acting crazy and barking though the cage when he sees the cats.

Would it be best to introduce them one cat at a time with doodle on the leash inside so I can teach doodle appropriate social behavior towards cats? As he is 16 months, I dont have the luxury of starting out with a puppy who is the same size as the cats.

Also, in his current home doodle is on invisible fence, and I believe his behavior towards neighboorhood cats is to try to chase them. They stay outside the invisible fence line out of reach, but the doodle runs up and down within the boundary to try to visit them.

I would appreciate any advice you all could give.

Also, I have been reading other postings on this forum and have already learned so much about what to expect and how to avoid problems. My thanks to all of you!!

Sara
 

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Hi Sarah

Welcome !!
I would not change anything about your cats routines.
as it is their house and the new doggy will have to live
by their rules. Wherever you are going to set up your
Doodle, believe me your cats will go and investigate and I
would just make it uneventful. If you are going to introduce
them then keep Doodle on a leashe and just have him come
into a room where the cats can get up high or escape, have him sit
or lie if he will do that and let the cats approach if they want.
The less you make of it will help as the animals will follow your
lead to a point, and slowly but quitely things will work themselves
out..............
 

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We introduced two doodle puppies to our three cats.
Sue is the resident expert as she has 9 cats.

What we did was introduce them one at a time. Each cat is different
and reacts differently. Our abyssinian thinks its a dog so no problems
with her. She does strike out only when they won't leave her alone.
Our fluffy birman ragdoll cross (alias "The Princess") thinks they are
beneath her and tolerates them but if they get too close they get hissed at.
Our very old Tabby has them spooked. She seems to have this do no mess
with me attitude which both dogs respect.

Like Sue said they seem to know very quickly what each cat will tolerate.
You will have to supervise in the first few weeks but they will sort themselves out.
Being puppies they will do the odd chase but they are quickly told by us
and the cats that we don't like this.

As I am typing this both dogs are here laying on the floor and "The Princess" has just walked between them with not a flicker from either dog.
 

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As I am typing this both dogs are here laying on the floor and "The Princess" has just walked between them with not a flicker from either dog.
Ingrid:
teehee I can relate for sure ...........
For some reason all my cats love the smell of Denver's feet
and when he is sleeping they take turns to get up close and have a good
sniff, it looks like a production line sometimes...............

I just know that in my house if I act like it is no big deal then so do they
But I agree totally that you need to supervise, just to keep everyone safe.
Denver was a puppy so it was a little different and he learned very
quickly who was going to be friendly and who was not and yet teehee
it still does not stop him from being conned ..................
 

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Discussion Starter #5
cats introduction again - please read my follow up

My concern is that Gunner is already 16 months old and 70 pounds. He is trained with invisible fence and he already believes that it is acceptable to chase anything that comes onto his property: cats, dogs, rabbits, squirrels, etc. I understand the point about not making the introduction a big deal, but this is not like a puppy who has never seen a cat. This is a dog who already has practice chasing cats (and everything else).

How about if I introduce the cats one at a time with Gunner in the house but on a lead. That way I will have some control if he behaves negatively and can reward him if he behaves positively. Also, you are right that my three cats have different personalities and are likely to respond differently. My two male cats may not care, but I think my female will be more timid around Gunner at first.

Please tell me if you think this plan is a good idea.

Thanks.

Sara
 

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How about if I introduce the cats one at a time with Gunner in the house but on a lead. That way I will have some control if he behaves negatively and can reward him if he behaves positively. Also, you are right that my three cats have different personalities and are likely to respond differently. My two male cats may not care, but I think my female will be more timid around Gunner at first.

Please tell me if you think this plan is a good idea
There is nothing wrong with your plan but your animals may have
different ideas.... :wink: :wink:
So all you can do is try and see what happens...........You will not know until you try as to whether you will need to train him to not chase,
so until you then I would just go slow and no big deal.........
If he starts to chase then take him out of the room with a firm no, but
with a friendly tone in your voice and then bring him back in and try again.
Good luck and let us know the outcome............
Please PM me anytime if you need more info.............
 

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I agree Sue. Sara I think that your plan sounds really good, but it is hard to control the animals and their reactions.

You may want to introduce everyone is a controlled environment and just see how they react. Have a few people in a room with you, so you can control the situation and just let your pets "work it out".

We have two cats with Jax, of course Jaxy was puppy when they met him, so I'm sure it is different...regardless it is going to take the cats some time to get used the dog in their territory. Every thing that we read about introducing the puppy to the cats said that we should make the cats feel comfortable and not to ignore them b/c of the new dog. It is their home and they should feel like everything is the same (your relationship with them). You don't want them to feel like the dog is taking over (even though they do take over at first).

My cats dont really like Jax yet, but they are still getting used to him and he is still a puppy (10 mos), so he does like to bug them. They really arent afraid of him and definitely show him whose boss when they have had enough (even though they are de-clawed).

I'm sure everything will be fine and all will be happy...eventually. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Taryn and Sue for your support and advice. I will follow your suggestions and see how it goes.

I am reminded of the advice my horse trainer always tells me when I am working with Jack (my registered quarter horse):

"If it's not working, change it. If is is working, leave it alone."

Sara
 
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