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Old 07-28-2008, 09:38 AM   #1
Teh Legacy
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Default OT - Is there any hope in the universe for my dog and new cat to live in harmony?

I recently brought a rescued cat home from the local shelter, and while he is having absolutely no problem adapting, my 3 year old siberian husky refuses to "warm up" to him.

I did my research beforehand, and I was well aware of the possibility of there being a problem with bringing a cat into a household with a dog with a hereditary high prey drive; however, in doing all the research, I learned it IS possible for them to live together.

The problem is I'm seeing very little progress with the Husky. It's only been three days, but at the same time, it seems we're taking one step forward and two steps back every time we allow the two to interact. The Husky constantly whines and tries to get at the cat, while cat just lays there in our arms. The only time he has ever hissed or batted at the dog is when he gets too close or tries to nip at him. THAT is what I'm concerned with - no matter what, the dog CONSTANTLY tries to get at the cat. We have not been able to allow the cat and dog to roam freely in the same room, or the dog will constantly chase the cat. Their only in-person interaction is when we are holding the cat and are able to keep the Husky in check. All other times, they're separated by a door, and their food has been placed on opposite sides of the door with a towel under it that has been rubbed on the opposite animal. (I read you have to associate the animals' smell with something fun - like eating)

The best way I can describe the Husky's behavior is like we got her a treat, and she's whining because we refuse to give him to her.

We've made some progress in that we can sit on the couch with the cat on my lap and the dog laying beside me, but the dog constantly has an eye on the cat, and will sniff him, then the sniffing turns to nipping at him.

What now? A temporary shock collar for the Husky? Is she beyond hope because of her high prey drive? Professional training? I would absolutely hate to put this guy back on the chopping block at the local shelter, but I would hate even more for my dog to turn him into a chew toy.

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Old 07-28-2008, 09:43 AM   #2
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I've seen it work out fine before. We brought a dog into a 3-cat household without many issues. Took a few weeks before they became friendly with each other though.
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:50 AM   #3
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Give it time. That's what we're doing.

We're having issues with a new kitty (now 14 weeks old) and an 11-y/o kitty. 11 y/o kitty was hiding and observing new kitty from a distance for the first week. Starting in the second week, old kitty violently yells at and chases new kitten all the way across the house. She is showing no signs of slowing this aggression down as we enter week 3. We are trying to give older kitty as much attention as possible while hoping for the best.
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:55 AM   #4
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I really hope it's just an issue of giving them time to warm up to each other. It's only been three days, so hopefully we'll see improvement as time goes on.

Does anyone have experience with shock collars? I absolutely hate the idea of shocking my dog, but at the same time, if that is the only thing that's going to get it through her head that the cat is a FRIEND NOT FOOD. . .
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:00 AM   #5
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Redirect the dog when he tries to attack the cat. Train your dog to leave the cat alone.
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:00 AM   #6
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I used a shock collar on my dogs for aggression, and found it was worthless.

What I did find that worked was if my dog showed ANY sign of aggression, I would make him think he was about to die. Scream, yell, grab his collar, etc. Will this work with your dog? Who knows. Personally, I really didn't like doing it, but I had hired a behaviorist because I was having serious problems.

You should also check out this site, as it has TONS of great articles, many of which helped me:

http://leerburg.com/articles.htm
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:03 AM   #7
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I say we get a food chain gangbang going on. Let the cat and dmpi's new "escapee" mouse "get along," then when that's all said and done, let the husky have at it......









j/k, give it time, all will be well. It might even take an encounter where the cat has to fight off the husky for the husky to grasp the friendly animal respect to come about.
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:08 AM   #8
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i dont think a shock collar is the answer.. they've only been together for 3 days! You need to be patient and give it time.

Maybe you can associate kitty time with treat time. When you get the 2 together, give your dog lots of treats and praise for good behavior around the kitten. If the dog misbehaves, remove him from the room. Eventually he will realize that being near the kitten means he can also be near his people and he also gets lots of love and treats. You might want to try this kind of approach first.

There are quite a few people on OT that know wayyyyyyyyy more about dogs/training than I.. you might want to ask them. ie, ShannonO, Sharkbait or Coop... they know what they're talking about. Take a look at the dog thread for tips as well.
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:09 AM   #9
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I had a few minor problems when I first got 2 cats... so getting a dog and a cat together could be tough.

A few things I noticed is that you don't want to give either animal too much attention... or else one of them might get jealous and then possibly angry.

Also getting them in the same house for a few days (but in separate rooms) could help... they might get used to each others smells. I would then start to introduce things that the cat slept on to the dog (so he can get used to the smell even more), and vice-versa. Eventually I would bring them both into the same room, with the dog tied up at one end, and just let them see each other, but not get close enough to touch. All this stuff should be very gradual... over the course of many days.

In few cases are you going to get 2 animals to get along in just a day or two.
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:13 AM   #10
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I have the exact opposite problem. My mom brought a baby poodle home to my dad's retarded cat (which i hate) this past weekend. the cat instists on kicking the **** out of the poodle everytime it comes close.
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:15 AM   #12
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Put a cat where a dog is.
Wonder why they don't get along.
Surprised?
Why?
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teh Legacy View Post
I really hope it's just an issue of giving them time to warm up to each other. It's only been three days, so hopefully we'll see improvement as time goes on.

Does anyone have experience with shock collars? I absolutely hate the idea of shocking my dog, but at the same time, if that is the only thing that's going to get it through her head that the cat is a FRIEND NOT FOOD. . .
Just keep them seperated and allow them to 'meet' each other only when you are around. Correct the dog when he acts aggressively towards the cat, but don't discourage him from getting close to the cat.

I have a boxer and a pit-terrier....2 years later the boxer tollerates the cat, but the pit loves him and they have played together ever since I brought the cat home.
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:18 AM   #14
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I did the opposite... brought a 5 month old puppy in about 2 weeks ago into my house with two 3 year old cats. It's been a work in progress, but something definitely clicked this weekend, and all the sudden they get along great.

In fact, this morning, I'm sitting on the couch sipping coffee, and the dog (30+ lb german shepherd / malinois mix) comes tear-assing around the corner with a cat hot on her tail. It was great to see them playing.

I set up a very large dog door with a passthrough right outside my room. For the first few days the cats wouldn't come out. Then they started inching out, and at first the dog immediately tried to chase them and scared them back in. Now, the dog responds to me saying "easy" and goes up slowly, sniffs, licks, etc. It gets better and better every day.
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:19 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2-imprez-u View Post
i dont think a shock collar is the answer.. they've only been together for 3 days! You need to be patient and give it time.
Agreed.
Animal integration can be difficult. The best way is to cage the newcomer in plain view of the existing animals in the house. That way they can acclimate themselves to each others presence then being to socialize... all through the safety of being separated by the cage. You are on the right track with scenting a towel though. Good job there.

At this point you want to be firm with the dog and let him know that is is not OK to chase the cat. Discipline the bad behavior and reward (heavily at first) the good behavior.

Huskys do have a pretty high prey drive but they are also smart. He'll figure it out.
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:21 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r0bman View Post
I did the opposite... brought a 5 month old puppy in about 2 weeks ago into my house with two 3 year old cats. It's been a work in progress, but something definitely clicked this weekend, and all the sudden they get along great.

In fact, this morning, I'm sitting on the couch sipping coffee, and the dog (30+ lb german shepherd / malinois mix) comes tear-assing around the corner with a cat hot on her tail. It was great to see them playing.

I set up a very large dog door with a passthrough right outside my room. For the first few days the cats wouldn't come out. Then they started inching out, and at first the dog immediately tried to chase them and scared them back in. Now, the dog responds to me saying "easy" and goes up slowly, sniffs, licks, etc. It gets better and better every day.
Umm...They weren't playing. Your dog is now named CatChow :waving dogeater:
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:06 AM   #17
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When I found my kitten at 6 weeks old we had another cat that was about a year and a half old. Old cat immediatly ran under then couch and hissed and spit for nine hours straight. 9pm he comes out sniffs the kitten and they started playing. Funny thing is my 6 month old 7 lb kitten beats up our 2 yr old 20lb cat making him cry sometimes.
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:14 AM   #18
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We've never had a problem with it. Our dog is dumber than dirt, and doesn't realize that the cats are any different than him. This is, of course, a problem when he tries to play with them and just doesn't comprehend how big he is. But the cats get along well with the dog, and the dog gets along well with the cats. They'll play and wrestle together until the big dumb brute lays down on a cat and gets smacked in the face, but 10 minutes later they're best friends again.

Our success was a combination of a completely retarded dog and all the animals being acquired within a few weeks of each other and brought into their new environments together. It was a system shock for all of them, and none had a chance to get territorial about "their house" before the newbie arrived.
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:17 AM   #19
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put both animals in cages and have them facing eachother until you can let them both lose.
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:22 AM   #20
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I have a shock collar to control my dogs agressive tendencies. It has worked great.

However, after almost a year and a half my two cats cannot share a room with my dog (malamute wolf hybrid). Not even close. Luckily my dog is only allowed in the kitchen and laundry room, so the cats have the rest of the house to live in.

Grant
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:48 AM   #21
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We have 3 cats and had a dog that wouldn't bother them, infact he was afraid of them. He died last year so we got another dog. She is very interested in the cats and will chase them. or the first 3 months the cats wouldn't come out of the basement, but now they come out all the ime and if the dog chases them they just go back into the basement. You might want to make a safe room where the cat can go but the dog can't by installing a cat door. 3 days is definitely too early to tell how the dog is going to do. A few months is more like it. Give it time.
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:51 AM   #22
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Quote:
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put both animals in cages and have them facing eachother until you can let them both lose.
Lose what?
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:55 AM   #23
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Lose what?
The staring contest. Duh.
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Old 07-28-2008, 12:22 PM   #24
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yes.

what you do is crazy glue your cat to your dog's back upside down.

hilarity will ensue.
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:06 AM   #25
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Bump.
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