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Discussion Starter #1
... has anyone had experience with this? ... Any recomendations? ...

Basically, we have the two basset hounds, they're just over a year old now ... one of my son's has wanted to get a cat/kitten for pretty much ever and now that we're in the new place, my parents have agreed that we can allow him to get a cat (or a kitten).

We want to adopt one from the local shelter, but we want to do it right.

It's been suggested to us that it's easier to introduce a kitten while they're all still young and not to get a full grown cat as it will already be set in it's ways regarding dogs and instincts etc.

This isn't something we are wanting to just jump right into. It's goinbg to be a couple of months before we do this at least because I'm getting the dogs fixed first. (Priority number one).

BUT

I thought I'd ask you all for your thoughts / advice or oppinions of how to introduce another pet into the mix ... and a cat at that.

Thanks! :)
 

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The biggest advice I can give you is to make sure they are supervised for a while until you see how everyone reacts to each other. My cat tolerates the dogs with no real problems until they want to give him a bath. Alex does not take kindly to this. Periodically they also feel that they have to chase him. He is less enthused by this than they are!

I got Alex at about 8 months (a resuce) and he had no problem with dogs, but didn't like children. A perfect fit for my house! Georgia & Alex spend hours together just curled up with each other. But, Alex won't cuddle with the other dogs. Cats & dogs can coexist wonderfully together. Good luck with your search.
 

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If you introduce them properly, you should have no problems. I have done this numerous times. To begin with, confine the new kitty to a room to which the dogs do not have access. For at least a few days, let him/her live in there, preferably the same room her litter box will be in permanently. Visit often, and sit with your new buddy. The next step will be to confine the dogs or have them outside for several hours, and let the kitty familiarize himself with the house. Don't force this - let him take his own time and explore. After a few of these sessions, the dogs will be familiar with the scent of the kitty. At this point, install a baby gate across the door of the kitty's room, so the dogs can see in but not enter. The first time they meet face to face, the kitty can be on his side, and feel a little more secure. We have a baby gate permanently across the door of our office where the litter box is, installed a few inches off the floor so the cats can go under. This also keeps the dogs from sampling the "kitty almond roca". AS long as the kitty knows he has a safe place to go, he should adapt very well. Sometimes it takes awhile, and as your dogs are young you will probably want them on leashes the first few times kitty ventures out. This is a good time to teach them "leave it" as well. I know this is long, but this has worked really well for me every time. There wil be a few scuffles - unless the kitty is in real danger, ignore it. They will work it out on their own. And of course, I have to put in a plug for keeping your kitty indoor only. I have worked in the animal care field for a long time, and know that having an outdoor cat is a quick road to heartbreak. OK, off the soapbox now :) . Kudos to you for wanting to prepare for your new kitty as best you can!

[ April 13, 2006, 09:33 PM: Message edited by: Marcia ]
 

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Everything Marcia says is great (Especially the part about indoor-only. In fact, our local shelters will not adopt out unless you intend to keep your cat indoors 24/7!).

One trick I've heard of is to put a length of PVC pipe behind a couch or chair, big enough for the cat to get into but too small for the dog. The cat will soon realize this is her/his safe place if needed.

By the way, DH wouldn't allow cats in the house for years, claiming he just didn't like them. The house we live in now was vacant for over a year when we bought it, and it's an old-timer, so by the time we came along, mice had pretty much taken over. That's when I brought home our first cat, and she started catching mice almost immediately (then DH had to listen to me yelling at Buffy to drop the mouse because I can't stand by and watch one animal killing another, especially in my own house :) ). Well -- Buffy has been gone for a number of years and we're now on our second round of cats. DH is a huge fan of both Libby and Isabel, and wouldn't be happy without at least one cat in the house!
 
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We brought Minus into the family with a cat, it will be a year in July with him and Spook (the cat) still beats him in the face (no claws) when he comes around.. Minus is just starting to get the idea now that Spook doesn't really like him, lol
 
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I have always had dogs and cats living together in my home with little trouble. However, when I adopted (a rescue) Homer he was 1 1/2 years old and when he saw the cats he went wild! Chasing them with a vengeance. It has been over 2 years now and I still can't trust him with the cats. I am really afraid he will harm them as I think he may have been taught to hunt rabbits. He has a very strong prey instinct and when he gets a stuffed toy in his mouth, he shakes it so hard it makes me think "what if that was a cat?" The other two dogs, not Bassets, could care less about the cats. So use caution before you introduce them. Cats that dart around will usually capture a dogs attention and cause them to run after them. At least it's that way with Homer. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow! Thank you all so much... a lot of this is really good advice and I am taking it to heart... my son really has his heart set on getting a kitty and I'm sure a lot of this will be invaluable!

I also want to assure you that when we do get a cat... I have every intention of keeping it INdoors.

I have had cats before and have had experiences with indoor and outdoor cats. I fully intend that any cat we get will be an indoor cat - period.

I just needed some advice on introducing a cat into a dog household.

I really like the baby gate and the pipe ideas! Thanks! :)

I really appreciate all your input!
 

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One more quick comment - most cats quickly learn that if they don't run, they don't get chased. :D
 
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