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Husband wanting a cat

Discussion in 'Bull Terrier' started by aprotopo, May 19, 2012.

  1. aprotopo

    aprotopo Big Dog

    Hey guys! I have a question for bull terrier owners (sorry pit bull owners I know the breeds are related, but I really want just the opinions of owners with bull terriers this time).

    So my husband has been nagging me about a kitten and I think I have failed to convince him that it will be a pain in the @#$ having a dog and a cat. So Sonya has never been allowed to interact with a cat off leash. She shows interest in cats (outside and in Petsmart), but can easily be distracted with treats. It seems like she shows similar type of interest in cats as she does with small dogs. I never let her play with small dogs as she quickly overwhelms them.

    The final goal would be to have the future cat and Sonya in the same room unsupervised and have them ignore each other. I am not planning to leave them out unsupervised (maybe only if I go take a shower or go to the bathroom, etc). What are your opinions?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. Gatorpit

    Gatorpit Good Dog

    Doesn't matter what breed of dog it is really. Any dog that was not positively introduced to other species prior to 16 weeks of age (socialization window) and then had that positive experience continued through regular socialization with that species, is more likely than not to view that species as potential prey.

    Can you train a dog who views another species as prey to get along with that species? Yes. 100% reliably? No. Is it worth the risk when the other species could be killed in an instant by the dog? Not really.

    It's possible your dog may not view a cat as prey. Not all dogs develop prey drive to that extent. But being a terrier, it's more likely than not your dog will want to eat a kitty rather than play with it.

    If you really want to give it a shot, I think if you're realistic and careful about desensitization in a (very) controlled environment, you could work this out. How much desensitization you have to do depends on how high your dog's prey drive reaction to a cat is.

    Leaving them unsupervised for any amount of time is a bad idea though. Even if it's only a few minutes. A dog can kill a cat in a matter of seconds if something were to go wrong.
     
  3. fctv808

    fctv808 Little Dog

    so you married a "cat guy" eh? uh oh.

    jk!
     
  4. aprotopo

    aprotopo Big Dog

    lol
     
  5. Azelgin

    Azelgin Puppy

    I've had a cat with all four of my adult BTs. The first dog had never socialized with a cat until he was 15 months. Introduction was almost fatal for the kitten, with lots of yelling and screaming. He adjusted to the presence of the kitten and we never had a problem leaving them alone together for the next 10 years. He would still kill any cat but his own. Another BT was 2 1/2 years old, before we got a cat (6 month old kitten) and it was no big deal. It helped that the cat was pretty mellow and not at all flighty. The other two grew up with a kitten, so, it was just part of the family.
     
  6. aprotopo

    aprotopo Big Dog

    Thanks! Do the triggers seem to be the flightiness of the cat? If that's the case, we can try to look for a cat that's very calm.

    Azelgin, did your cats play with the bull terriers? I'm nervous that play can end tragically for the cat if Sonya hucklebutts into it or just gets too rambunctious.

    Thanks again!
     
  7. Azelgin

    Azelgin Puppy

    Yes, they did play together. The cats knew when things were getting too rough and would retreat to higher ground. We had a couple of pups with the one cat during Christmas time and he would climb the tree to escape. The cat and BT we have now are getting older and no longer play chase around the house. The cat used to let Buck know when he'd had enough by sinking his claws into both sides of the dog's face and bitting him on the nose. No blood, just a warning.

    A confident cat that stands it's ground, like the one we have now, does seem to make the relationship more stable. We have a mini wiener dog that gives the cat more trouble than the BTs did. He's not sure wheather to run from it, or, kill it.

    ---------- Post added at 09:27 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:06 AM ----------

    View attachment 40678 Buddy and Buck. Sometime in 2000. Cat is 18 months, Buck is about 11 weeks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2012
  8. Azelgin

    Azelgin Puppy

    4807015852_174987763e_s.jpg Buddy and Buck. Sometime in 2000. Cat is 18 months, Buck is about 11 weeks.
     
  9. xchairity_casex

    xchairity_casex Good Dog

    I have 3 senior cats, Cesar came to stay with me when he was 6-7 months old and had NO manners.

    i know you do not like to use corrections, so i will not suggest them.
    Cesar was fine with the cats,untill he would try to play with them, or they would gt playfull and run thru the house then he would try to chase them, when he did i would use a verbal correction,if that didnt work i would attatch a lead to him collar and the next time he triedto chase them i would give a snap to the lea then praise.
    but my situation was a little differnt as my cats were already adults and knew how to "Deal" with dogs and would give him a smack if he stepped out of line (as in knocking into them,trying to sit on them ect)

    its gonig to be VERY tough bringing in a kitten as kittens ARE playful and love running around day and night, i can almost guarentee she will be triggerd by a small kitten running thru.

    even when your going to take a shower or use the bathroom, thats all the time it would take for your girl to corner the kitten and snap its spine.
    NEVER EVER leave them alon together EVER take the kitten or sonya into the bathroom wih you.
    even though Cesar respects the cats 100 percent of the time i will not use the bathroom without him coming with,or my shutting the cats into the basement.

    terriers are terriers,no matter what youll NEVER get rid of that prey drive or that instinct to chase. even the best trained dog has trouble focusing when a small thing is zipping past, and obviously if your not there,she has nothing to focus onto BUT the kitten/cat.

    some excersices i would reccomend is once sonya is calm around the kitten while the kitten is calm practice having sonya in a down/stay while you sit on the floor and pet the kitten or play with kitten. if sonya does not react reward and continue , if sonya reacts calmly put her back into the down/stay.

    practice feeding the kitten somewhere in front of sonya and donot allow sonya to seal the kittens food or stare at it while its eating when she ignores the kitten reward her.

    practice giving them both treats side by side first kitten,then sonya,kitten,then sonya dont let sonya try to steal the kittens treat if she noses your hand while your handing the kitten a treat jsut close your fist and dont let her have it.

    these excersices will help teach sonya self control around the kitten and to respect the kitten.
    a few things i never let Cesar do to my cats ever are
    -steal there food (my cats food dishes are out in the open with food in them he knows he is not allowed near them)
    -take a treat left behind by a cat unless i offer it to him
    -nudge me while im petting a cat
    -get onto a piece of furniture while a cat is on it
    -play with the cats
    -chase them
    -growl,bark,groan or whine at them.

    are they freinds? not even close but thats fine i never expected them to be all i ask is that he respcts and ignores them and they respect and ignore him also.
    it took a long long time and even now somedays if he hasnt gotten enough excercise he will try to join into there game but a quick "uhuh" from me is enough to remind him to leave them be.
     
  10. aprotopo

    aprotopo Big Dog

    Thanks Azelgin and Charity! I had a talk with the husband, and I think we'll skip on the cat for now, yay! I'm slightly allergic to them, so besides Sonya, I was was worried about myself too.

    Thanks again everyone!
     

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