Sunday, October 25, 2009

INTRODUCING A KITTEN INTO A HOME WITH A DOG AND CATS

Wow people that was fast!!!
Thanks to "Nancy" for posting the first question.

"Just adopted a stray last week--named her Rosie. She's about 4 months old--a tuxedo cat with white paws and a little bow tie. Working on socializing her with the other 2 cats (ages 10 and 5) and my 7 yr. old springer spaniel. Let her out today and she was a maniac! Running up and down the stairs, chasing the other cats. When she's in her safe bathroom, she's so docile and affectionate. Any advice out there about introducing a kitten to an established household with cats and a dog?" Nancy

Nancy poses a question that is indeed common however many cat owners are at a loss for exactly how to successfully introduce a kitten to a home with an older resident dog and 2 older resident cats. Frankly I never experienced having to introduce a cat to other cats already residing in the home (but I do have experience introducing a dog to a resident cat)....soooo.......I called in the reinforcements! Translation, I did some research and think I found some good solutions for you.

The following tips came from the website allexperts.com, cats, cat expert "Carol"

"Keep feeding bowls and sleeping areas of the cats and kitten separate"

"Give extra attention to the older cats"

"Keep claws trimmed on all of them"

There will be hissing, but the younger cat will soon learn to respect the boundaries of the older cat
 You  will want to supervise all interaction between the resident cats and the new kitten. It is my feeling that Rosie is "running like a maniac" because she was confined in a smaller space for too long and she wants to play with the other cats!! She will learn soon enough when they want to play (if ever!!) Cats are wonderful at "ignoring" and setting their own boundaries so do not be alarmed with any hissing or swatting that may occur!

As for introducing the new kitten to the older dog more caution is needed. Thankfully your dog is used to being around cats but it is still better to be safe than sorry. I was faced with the same dilemma when we brought our 6 mo old Sheltie in to live with our 6 mo old cat.  I learned through research on the Internet that  dogs and cats rely on scent and are more accepting to someone or something with a similar scent. It was advised that I spray perfume (yep perfume!!!) It can be any scent that you wish it is just important that both the dog and cat are sprayed with the same scent! I thought it was a nutty idea when I read it but it worked! I confined our Sheltie in a crate and allowed the resident cat to come and check him out, there was one hiss and they were fast friends. In your case you may want to crate the cat and allow the resident dog to smell her.  After she has had a chance to check her out you can take Rosie out of the crate and hold her while your dog sniffs her as you are holding her. I am telling you this works!!!


Nancy I hope this helps! If anyone else has experienced the same problem and found a way for everyone to reside in bliss, please feel free to pass the suggestions on!


6 comments:

  1. Hi!
    Well I followed your suggestion and yes....it worked. I let her out with supervision. She stopped running like a crazy girl and just started exploring and trying to make friends with the resident cats. I definitely see the need to give lots of attention to my other two. I do have another question for you--the adopted kitten was a stray for 4 months. She is getting very comfortable as a house cat. She has an unusual behavior. She sucks on my fingers--just at night when I'm trying to fall asleep. She jumps up on the bed, puts her face next to mine and sucks away on each of my fingers...eyes closed and purring up a storm. Sounds cute, but definitely makes it hard to fall asleep. What's up with that behavior? Your suggestions to help me get some shut eye without rejecting her? Thanks! Nancy

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  2. Hi Nancy!
    My gut instinct....she is "nursing"....she is trying to get food from your fingers!! :)
    She is purring while she is doing it because she is in "kitty nirvana" She thinks you are her Mama! Probably because you rescued her!

    I would gently move her away from you and maybe put her next to you (maybe by your leg) and then pet her while she is there. I would just gently pick her up and move her.

    You could also try buying her a little bed and put it by your bed and put some catnip in it to attract her, or get her a stuffed animal to sleep with in the bed that you purchase for her. I believe they make some that you can put a hot water bottle inside of. I will look into that for a future blog.

    Let me know what happens!

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  3. Hi! Just want to let you know that everybody--dog, 2 cats and newcomer Rosie are getting along great! Thanks for your advice! Love your blog!
    Nancy

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  4. Hi, I have 2 dogs(both 2 years old) and just adopted 2 kittens that are 6 weeks old. I came across your blog while looking for ideas on how to make my dogs more accepting of the new comers. I have always had cats and dogs who loved eachother but after 16 plus years of living and loving eachother they have also passed on together so I am having to start all over again and I wondered how I did it in the first place,LOL. Your advice about scents is interesting and I am excited to try this and I will let you know how it goes. Thanks for the tip, this is the first new thing I've read all night that makes scense.

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  5. Hi!!
    I am so happy that you found me!
    I am so sorry for the loss of your dogs and kitties that were together for 16+ years!!! How lucky you are to have such amazing memories and days that I am sure were full of laughs and mischief!!!
    Please let me know how the perfume thing goes! As I mentioned in my blog I had to introduce a dog and cat (but they were both around 6 mos old) (I adopted my cat after passing of my beloved 18 yr old kitty)...and I, too googled and found the perfume suggestion, it worked like a charm!
    From what I hear it is much easier introducing cats to RESIDENT DOGS than vice versa.......
    Since your kitties are so young you will want to be sure you supervise their initial interactions....but please, please let me know how it goes and thanks so very much for reading my blog and responding! If you would like to
    "follow" me that would be great too!
    If you have any cat topics you would like to see covered please let me know! Have a great day!

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  6. Great post, Caren! Who knew about the perfume....I'll certainly keep that trick in mind! Good advice.

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