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Old 03-20-2014, 07:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default GSD and CAts

I am a cat lover and my boyfriend is a dog lover what is the best way to get our GSD use to the idea of having a cat in the family?
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Here:
Introducing Shepherd to cats
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would get a kitten, not older than 2 months. Pick an assertive kitten, the one that taps back on the glass when you tap to get her attention and wants to chase things. A nervous kitten isn't going to do well with a GSD.

We got Penny at 7 weeks old. She's kinda always had a deathwish. Morgan was obsessed with the cat, had to know what the cat was doing at all times. Otto just wanted to chase her around, my daughter is his person and she'd shriek so he learned quick never to hurt the kitty. Venus if given the opportunity will stand over the cat and lick her while the cat is playing whack a mole with her nose.
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It depends on your dog and the supervision level you are going to be at. If you think the dog will chase the cat, I wouldn't go with a tiny baby but maybe a 6-8 month old cat. Some older cats are fine with dogs in the door. You will learn that the cat sets the tone
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Old 03-23-2014, 10:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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We had a kitten for a couple months with our GSD. They absolutely loved each other. The dog would mouth and lick all over the cat and he would just purr and purr. The cat used to pounce the dogs tail. It did take the kitten several days to warm up to the dog but once he did they were best friends. Our shepherd was still a pup really, about 15 months at the time.

Sadly I was terribly allergic to the kitten and he was causing me breathing problems so we had to find him another home. But the cat an dog thing works once they get used to each other. We just had to calm the dog down enough for the cat to see she wouldn't hurt him


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Old 03-23-2014, 10:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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In reality, I think it depends on the dog and the cat. Sometimes it works out......sometimes it doesn't. I think it depends on the level of acceptance from the cat and level of obedience and threshold from the dog. If you can have that combo, they can get along great. Dog with high prey drive and low threshold with sketchy obedience and a cat that it standoffish and low acceptance is not a good combo.

Right now, I'm living through the latter. It's not an easy balance. I have a well established cat of around 6 yrs. of age and a now 14 month old male GSD. He has what I would call an "alpha" type mentality. He is a challenge at times and there is no way I would even let the cat in the same room. They both have their turns socializing with family. Dog is way to prey driven and to low a threshold and his obedience is hit and miss at times. But that's this dog, not all dogs. It's set off by the cat running. It's that simple. The cat is doing what seems natural. The dog is acting on his instinct to chase prey. Both are hard things to correct.

There are probably other factors as well that would take a behaviorist to sort through.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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We had our cats before our GSD, but my husband had a GSD before he had cats. In our case, our girl has a strong prey drive. The first command we taught her was LEAVE IT, and we completely separated the cats from the dog for the first two weeks. They could smell each other but that was it. Once we were confident in Hildy's "leave it," we let the cats explore while we were home. She chased them once. We both yelled "leave it" and that was the end of that. For safety's sake we only let them spend time together supervised for about three months, then let the cats roam free and crated Hildy while we weren't home. Now, they all stay out together all day. They actually lay on the couch together which is just about the best thing ever the cats both really want to play with Hildy - when we play fetch indoors, they both run towards the ball alongside her.. it's awesome

If you are looking to add a cat to a household with a GSD, go to the shelter or a local rescue and request a cat that has experience with dogs. You can probably get one as young as 6 mos if having a younger cat/kitten is important to you.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Younger kittens are more adaptable to dogs though. Penny was 7 weeks - yes she kneads a bit and has species identification issues. Penny had no idea she was supposed to be scared of dogs. She used to run when she was young, skitter into a room on her tiptoes, arch her back and run away.

Pen always had a safe place and we did closer to a month of segregation with my bringing the dogs in one by one on a leash for cat time.
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Otto von Hena-C 05/23/08
Morgan Donnermond 08/04/01 to 9/28/12 Long Live the Queen!

I have duct tape and I am not afraid to use it.
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