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  1. Introducing pitbull to cats..Advice

    I'm about to adopt a neutered male pitbull and am planning on keeping him indoors with my 2 cats. I know that I will need to keep them apart when when I am not home. The dog is less than a year old and is so friendly, not a hint of aggression. Any advice would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    I just recently added a new kitten to my home, and here is what I did...

    First I had the kitten in a crate where the dogs could walk by her and get her scent. Then I'd switch.. I'd let the kitten out of her crate and put the dogs in their crates so the kitten could walk by and the dogs could see her move. I did this for a few days with my APBT because he was fixating on her.. sort of like a prey drive thing. After about a week, my APBT would touch noses with the kitten through the crate and his body language was much more relaxed.

    Just make sure to take it SLOWLY! Don't rush anything!

    Here is my APBT and my kitten now.. they're great friends!


  3. #3
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    Teal, beautiful picture ... and excellent advice!

  4. Thanks alot.

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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by beco3838 View Post
    I'm about to adopt a neutered male pitbull and am planning on keeping him indoors with my 2 cats. I know that I will need to keep them apart when when I am not home. The dog is less than a year old and is so friendly, not a hint of aggression. Any advice would be much appreciated.
    I was trained in interaction therapy for mentally challenged children, and find that the same tactics work on dogs.

    I have always had dogs and cats together and never had a problem. During the introduction phase, I watch both closely for friendly behaviour and instantly reward with a treat and praise when appropriate behavior occurs.

    Dogs get a little too "nosy" with cats at first, which usually annoys the cat, so I distract the dog when this occurs.

    I also make sure that the cats claws are kept trimmed down so that any mishaps won't result in a bloody scratch.

    Hope this helps beco3838.

  6. #6
    what about your cats? are your cats good with dogs? the reason i asked is because my grandma's cat would try to scratch my dog when i would let them sniff .

    And maybe the pitbull may react to the cat trying to scratch him and $#@!.. so yea..

    just my 2 cents or w.e

    lol

  7. #7
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    From my experience cats tend to dominate "their" house dogs, no matter how big or "tough" the dog, by deliberately showing indifference, bravado and/or affection. :D

  8. My cats have never been around dogs. When he got close to one of them she tried to scratch him. He's making all kinds of noises and barking as well. He is very curious about them. I'm hoping they will get used to him in time. I just don't want him to grab one of them, because could do major damage very quickly.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by buddysmom View Post
    From my experience cats tend to dominate "their" house dogs, no matter how big or "tough" the dog, by deliberately showing indifference, bravado and/or affection. :D
    I had to literally laugh out loud when I read this because this is exactly how my 3 cats act towards the dog: one is indifferent, one shows bravado & the 3rd is affectionate! Too funny :D

    I also love Teal's advice/method, w/ the emphasis being on watching the body language & taking it SLOW. Beco, especially since your cats are not used to dogs; cats are slower to adapt than the dog. You will have to work on teaching the dog to pretty much ignore the cats as much as possible.

    My affectionate cat was raised w/ Debo since she was a kitten. The other two I brought home when they were 2 yrs old & had not been raised around dogs before. They've lived here now for 2 yrs. Debo doesn't bother them, and one mostly ignores him & the other still shows fear & puts on hissy fits sometimes.

    So, it's hard to tell how exactly your cats & dog will do, but w/ time they should learn to tolerate eachother. And, as you already said, you won't be allowing unsupervised interaction, so you are doing good! :)

  10. #10
    You've already been given some great advice on introductions, so now it's time for a warning.

    Supervision means that you are right there, in the room with all the animals. Supervision is not "I can see them through the window", "I can hear them snoring in the next room", or "I just need to run to get the phone really quick".

    Even if your dog and cat become the best of friends, there is ALWAYS a risk that a fight can break out.

    When I first got my boy, he was a year old. He showed very little interest in the cats at all, and everything seemed fine.

    Then one day, the dogs went upstairs to get a drink of water. My alpha cat was there, too, only I didn't know that.

    I hear a blood curdling scream, and here comes my 55lb male dog with my 20lb male cat in his mouth. I completely spazzed and jumped on the dog's back, put both my hands in his mouth and pried his mouth open. He carried me down about 5 stairs before I could do it, and I had ALL my weight on his back. The cat ran off, and there was blood everywhere, on everything. I nearly fainted. I quickly put the dog in his crate and went to search for my cat's body.

    I found my cat sitting on a shelf, coated in blood. I couldn't touch him, I was too scared to feel something I didn't want to feel, but I was finally able to carry his bloody body upstairs to my roommate, where I fell on the floor on my knees with the cat in my arms, crying hysterically because how could I have ever put him in danger like that!

    My roommate carefully looked over the cat and found....none of the blood was his. Not a drop of it.

    I ran back downstairs to check on my puppy. He had long, deep scratches all over his head and neck, between his legs, on his sides, behind his ears. The scariest looking ones started at the rear corner of both eyes and ended at the entrance to his ear canal. I don't doubt for a second that my cat was intentionally trying to blind the dog.

    My dog still shows little interest in the cats, except for when they run in front of him. My alpha cat is known to come flying across the house, swat the dog a few good ones, then fly away again. For this reason, if my dog is allowed in the livingroom, he is on leash and sometimes muzzled.

    The moral?

    Don't underestimate your dog's prey or chase drive, ever.

    Cats will intentionally torment a dog, because cats are evil.

    Cats can also be a danger to your dogs. My dog got an infection from my cat's scratches.

    Never ever let yourself lax on the idea of supervision. It is very very very easy to get a little lazy about supervision, especially when your dog and cat have been friends for many years with no problems at all. But the truth is, a simple swish of a tail can set off instincts your dog has never acted on before, but now cannot ignore. So be prepared to be a bit paranoid, it's not always a bad thing.

  11. #11
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    Rai -- What a story!!! :eek:

    I'm sorry you had to go through that and your dog got hurt.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by buddysmom View Post
    Rai -- What a story!!! :eek:

    I'm sorry you had to go through that and your dog got hurt.
    Thanks, but it was entirely my fault. I had never had a dog before that would attack a cat, and didn't even consider it to be a real possibility.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by beco3838 View Post
    I'm about to adopt a neutered male pitbull and am planning on keeping him indoors with my 2 cats. I know that I will need to keep them apart when when I am not home. The dog is less than a year old and is so friendly, not a hint of aggression. Any advice would be much appreciated.
    If you are adopting him from a rescue group have they temperment tested him with cats??
    If not ask them to.
    If you are adopting from a shelter ask them to allow you to take him into the cat room. Lead him up to the cat cages if he completely ignores the cats or acts fearful he is good to go or if he looks at the cats curiously he is probably ok but if he stares and you can't get him to look away he will not get along with cats and is very prey driven when it comes to cats.
    It is not a foolproof method but 9 out of 10 it's right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rai_77 View Post
    Never ever let yourself lax on the idea of supervision. It is very very very easy to get a little lazy about supervision, especially when your dog and cat have been friends for many years with no problems at all. But the truth is, a simple swish of a tail can set off instincts your dog has never acted on before, but now cannot ignore. So be prepared to be a bit paranoid, it's not always a bad thing.

    Perfect advise, Rai. My cats and dogs are NEVER left alone together. Always supervised and when I leave the house, the cats go upstairs in the studio so that they are separated from the dogs. I will take no chances with my animals.

  15. Jersey and Boston just want to play with our cat Sox, but she wants nothing to do with them. She just stays downstairs, and the dogs are gated upstairs with us. Although, she will sometimes sit at the gate and meow her little heart out until one of the dogs shows some interest in her and then she will hiss and spit like there is no tommorrow. Cats are evil, and well dogs are gullable.

  16. #16
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    Here is some excerps from an email I wrote to my friend about this topic:

    "... The HSUS has a great plan for introducing cats and new pets. If you scroll halfway down the article it gets very specific about dog to cat introductions.

    http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/ou...a_new_cat.html


    Now in my home I had all my other pets before I adopted my two pitties. It was obvious they had never been around cats before, but if I'm being honest I did not follow the reccommeded guidelines LOL. I sort of just had Daisy come into the house and see what she would do. I am very lucky she didn't eat a cat LOL. She chased them and barked but didn't try to hurt them. Then I was smart enough to decide to close the door to the back bedroom where all the cat stuff is and put the cats in there. Because it was my first pit I was a little worried. Then I would open the door for maybe a few hours a day and let the cats come out and monitor Daisy's reaction. If she got to riled up I would put all the cats back in the back room again. About a month later I felt I could fully trust her and now everyone lives happily, no closed doors :)

    When I adopted Ninja I guess the positive experience before spoiled me and again I did not follow all the guidelines LOL. He had pretty much all the same reactions as Daisy except he is a little more reactive. And instead of cowering and crying like Daisy does when a cat swats him, he gets really mad and chases them and barks. Sometimes he will even put a paw on them. But I have not seen him try to pick one up in his mouth or anything harmful thankfully. I think he may just be playing rough, b/c he playes rough with Daisy also. But I keep a closer eye on him and try to redirect his attention when he gets focused on a cat. He has never hurt the kitties but I know I need to be more cautious with him. He is always crated during the day too when we are gone.

    I know that there are some dogs that just can not live with cats period; the prey drive is too high. I always hear of dogs killing cats, so it does happen ... just being honest. Now sometimes all it takes is slow intros and even if they were to be predatory in the beginning they probably will be fine with proper slow-and-steady intros. A lot of people are irresponsible and lets face it, STUPID, and they'll get a new dog, throw it in with the cats and then ignore their pets until one of them gets hurt, so thats probably the majority of these cases of dead cats!

    ... it's just like pit bulls getting a bad rap because of dumb owners who don't understand the breed and do things that make them territorial and agressive, like chaining them up outside. The dog then is not properly socialized and territorial about his space and if it breaks it's chain or a kid walks by, an attack happens and it ends up on the news. (And it never mentions the dumb owner, just the 'VICIOUS' dog!) Or people DUMBLY teach these dogs to be guard dogs. Well they never seem to attack intruders ... just innocent people, because a dog can't differentiate. People never consider getting an alarm or a good dead-bolt lock LOL. And these dogs are genetically dog aggressive, and even though they can get along with other dogs, often in maturity they can unexpectedly become very dog reactive, but again uneducated owners do dumb things like taking pit bulls to dog parks or leaving dogs together along unsupervised. The next thing you know there is a dead neighbors chihuahua or something like that!"

    ... So anyway, the moral of the story is find out as much as you can about introducing dogs & cats, and you will be just fine! Good luck and go slow!
    Last edited by amanda214; 09-14-2008 at 06:59 AM.

  17. Good advice, thanks.
    I tried introducing my dog and cat together by crating the dog, but the cat decided to be typically cat-like and tease and taunt the dog, sometimes by reaching into the crate and flicking his food around. Mischievous cat to say the least.

    Thy turned out as good friends, however, so all is well in the end.

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