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Discussion Starter #1
Max (the GSD) and Xavier (savannah cat) seem to really love playing with each other. Xavier is now a little over 2 yrs. old and was just recently introduced to Max (13 weeks). Xavier loved Bob, our 130 lib. Rhodesian Ridgeback, who passed away about 4 months ago. He basically grew up with Bob, who was a big lovable and gentle giant.

Here's the question... Max and Xavier are loving their current level of play, but Max always seems to try to "up" the intensity and aggression. It isn't dangerous so far, because the cat seems to have a really good sense of control so far. My concern is, will the two of them adjust and stay safe or should I be concerned/intervene because I would be devastated if anything bad happened to our wonderful and extremely patient cat? Xavier is pretty tough and very strict with Max, but one even accidental hard bite from a bigger and older Max could cause serious, if not fatal damage. By the way, Xavier not only enjoys sparring with Max, he instigates very often... so both of them clearly enjoy the play. Worry? Not worry? Intervene?

Here are a couple of video clips of what they typically do:

MOV00421.flv video by Relayer59 - Photobucket

MOV00422.flv video by Relayer59 - Photobucket
 

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hi,

I just wish my dog will play with cats like this...no way, so I have to keep them separate.

I do not think you have to worry, the cat is smart, if ever the dog goes to far, the cat will run away or just give à litle lesson to the dog.

Hope some one else will help you
 

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Thanks, I would feel better assured if an "expert" emerged and gave some advice. True, the cat is very smart and we have a very large house with lots of escape routes, but they have so much trust in each other, one wrong and too hard bite could be a disaster.
 

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I'm certainly no expert, but my cat Spitz has had his head chewed by several dogs over the years. We got Spitz and our 1st GSD Cheyenne when we moved into our house 17 years ago. The 2 of them used to constantly play, well I think the dog played more than the poor cat, kind of hard to play if you have this huge mouth over your head. I honestly feel my dogs know the cats are part of our pack and wouldn't hurt them. An outside cat, well thats a different story. However accidents do happen. I have not witnessed any "agression" in our case, sometimes a lot ruffer than I like. Separate them when your not around.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I keep a room blocked off for Maggie with a gate...I am having problems with this, just started a thread about it...Maggie won't let Jake NEAR her...it's bad.
That's not really a bad thing, IMHO. I'm worried because I have the opposite "problem." The fact that the cat does let him get rough in play is what I'm a little concerned about. If Maggie won't let him near, in a way that's safe for her. On the other hand, I'd be sure to have Jake watch you interact with her a lot (from a Maggie comfortable distance) so that he knows she's a pack member to some degree. It could get ugly if she's "hard to get" and therefore becomes an obsessive target.
 

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I'm certainly no expert, but my cat Spitz has had his head chewed by several dogs over the years. We got Spitz and our 1st GSD Cheyenne when we moved into our house 17 years ago. The 2 of them used to constantly play, well I think the dog played more than the poor cat, kind of hard to play if you have this huge mouth over your head. I honestly feel my dogs know the cats are part of our pack and wouldn't hurt them. An outside cat, well thats a different story. However accidents do happen. I have not witnessed any "agression" in our case, sometimes a lot ruffer than I like. Separate them when your not around.
Thanks for the post! That is somewhat reassuring. They are separated when when they can't be supervised, that's the rule.
 

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They have never been face to face unless gate or crate is there as barrier. Makes it worse is Maggie loves to run around when he is crated and of course his prey drive kicks in....
 

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From looking at the video I see 2 things.

1. I see a puppy that is playing but is also restraining himself in play. He has learned to play appropriately with his litter mates. You can see in the videos that he chooses not to jump on the couch and fully ingage the cat.

2. You also see the cat who is completely comfortable with this arrangement. They are both playing and even the little play muzzles are not upsetting the cat. The cats claws aren't out and the dog knows not to bite.

I think it should be similar to if you had a large and a small dog. if it look like it's becoming onesided, then stop play but both animals seem to understand and follow the rules of the game. And both equally enjoy it. I would just keep an eye out as he gets bigger and watch to make sure he still plays by the rules and the cat doesn't get overwhelmed.

2.
 

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I also wanted to add that I'm going to show my BF your cat. He LOVES savannah cats! lol
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I also wanted to add that I'm going to show my BF your cat. He LOVES savannah cats! lol
Savannahs are awesome! He is the smartest and most engaging cat I've ever had and I've had several. It's not that a lot of cats aren't smart, it's the incredibly social way they use it. Glad your BF is a fan! Thanks also for the thoughtful response to my concerns.
 

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No problem. We have been trying to find a cat that he can tolerate. he has pretty bad allergies. We looked into the bengals, and the siberians. The siberians are supposed to be less allergenic but we haven't had him tested yet. And we talked to someone about bengals and he said they are just as allergenic as other cats. So a Savannah is probably out too. But I'm sure he wouldn't mind being tested on some. lol
 

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I agree with Kira. Neither of my current dogs play with my cats because they're way too excited by them and my kitties won't usually fight back. The dogs will chase them if they run, but won't hurt them, although Keefer loves to air snap at their heads when they're on my desk or a table. If the cats would sink their teeth or claws in doggy muzzles a few times that might put an end to that, but they actually like the dogs and would welcome more interaction. They used to groom Cassidy when she was in the mood. She'd also chase them and mouth their heads, but they could read her very well and knew when she was calm and relaxed and unlikely to chase, and they'd saunter right past her on the floor, or come over and lick her ears and face.

I spent months and months and months working with Cassidy, getting her to behave around the cats, and at the time I asked our trainer about cat and dog interactions. The cats did not appear afraid of her and I wondered if they just didn't know better or they were actually cuing off her body language and knew that she didn't mean them harm. She said the cats could probably read her better than I could since that's how animals communicate. So looking at the video and seeing the cat's reaction to the puppy would tell me a lot - and clearly both of them are having a great time!

Our first GSD Sneaker used to play with my kitty Punkin, and it was much more rough than that. Punkin would wrap her entire body around Sneaker's legs and bite them, and for the longest time I was afraid Sneaker would get tired of it and chomp her good, but it never happened. It took forever before I was able to relax and not worry about them, but they lived together for 14-1/2 years.

Cassidy used to grab Elvis by the head and drag him around on the hardwood floors. He'd end up covered in dog slobber with a disgusted look on his face, but totally fine. Both he and Emmy knew how to avoid her, they had lots of escape routes, and although she could beat them in a dead run, they were much more maneuverable and they knew it. They also knew that at floor level they were prey but at eye level they were equals, huge size difference aside, so all they had to do was jump up on a piece of furniture to turn off her prey drive.

The prudent thing is to always separate them when you're not there, but you're already doing that, so I would stop worrying and enjoy the show!
 

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Ruby gets pretty keyed up sometimes around Zora one of our cats. She loves to herd the cats. I pretty much set the "enough!" rule. Which means no matter how comfy they are with rough house or whatever is going on, if it feels too intense to me and Ruby is breathing down Zora's fluffy tail (picture Bugs Bunny and the giant black Bull cartoon - "yer steamin' up my tail!" <smack!>) I tell them "ENOUGH!" and it's like a little DING DING!! I never let the play escalate too much. Zora can be a mountain lion and I dont want Ruby to catch it in the eye. I never leave them unsupervised and out together.
One wrong swipe or one hard bite even in play and ...no good.
Zora HATED Ruby when she first came. Little daggers, poison bottles and anvils would appear in the air above her head! It took several months, but now they will lay within 3 feet of each other, pass in the hall, touch noses, and get along ok. They arent snuggled together ever, but no more plotting dark horribles demises from the cat's end... I think. :) Actually Zora's favorite place to sleep is on Ruby's crate at night.
 
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