Introducing Puppy to Cat
I currently have an 11 year old Border Collie and two cats. The male cat doesn't care for the dog much and hisses if the dog gets too close. The dog usually just tries to stay away from the cat to avoid the drama. I think we did a poor job of letting the cat meet the dog when he was a kitten, and he became scared. Now he's aggressive towards the dog. The female cat could care less about the dog, and they can even brush against each other as they walk by without either of them seeming to even notice. They don't play together though.
I'm concerned about how to introduce my puppy (coming in two days) to the male cat. I don't need them to be best friends, but I'd at least like both of them to know that the other isn't a threat so they can live together peacefully.
Does anyone have suggestions? Thank you.
Make sure the cat has tons of escape routes and ease in running off to somewhere safe. High areas are safe. So having child gates (placed with a space along the bottom that the cat can fit under and puppy can't) works well.
And you DO need to monitor and can start working on the 'leave it' command. MUCH EASIER to work on this when the puppy is so small and will tend to respect the loud hissing scratching cat that's the same size. Rather than waiting when the puppy is much larger then the cat and can accidentally cause injury.
There are great gates that have a 'cat' door in them (also puppy sized initially so I had to double gate for a month or so) and I used that in the doorway that leads to my laundry room and the litter boxes. I like the extra tall one, easy to open and close and tall enough when the puppy does grow so they aren't tempted to hop up.
Yes, that gate would be very helpful. Also as Maggie said, be sure the cats have an escape route. When my Sting was a pup I had a cat who was elderly. She liked dogs but I was very careful. I kept Sting on a leash so I could stop him from chasing her. I also made sure to always give the cat attention first to show Sting that the cat was senior. I introduced him to the cat who was curious and waited at the door. This may sound silly, but it did work. So I had him on his leash - he sniffed and barked. I said calmly: Mavis this is Sting. Sting this is Mavis. When he tried to chase her - I said "Mine" and picked her up, and gave a toy to Sting, saying this is "yours." You have another dog so that will help and the pup will hopefully follow the lead of your older dog and also that your female cat likes dogs.
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