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Concerned Owner - Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Kram, Dec 5, 2018.


  1. Kram

    Kram PetForums Newbie

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    I have posted this in Cat Chat also, but someone suggested to post in dog forum also.

    We have a 6 year old cat and an 8 year old Lab, which we have both had from kitten/puppy. They get on really well. All good so far....

    Now, our daughter has been in Australia for the past 2.5 years and she is returning home for good - happy days. She and her partner are going to stay with us for a little while - probably until the end of Jan, until they can find themselves somewhere to rent.

    However, she is bringing home two Kelpies, which she has had from puppies! They are lovely dogs and she has them well trained, but they have never lived with a cat and will almost chase one, given the chance. Also they are both very active, almost hyperactive!!

    So, we are very concerned about the cat (Thomas)! He hates it when our dog barks or runs to the front door if someone rings the bell. So he is going to be freaked out by them running around all the time.

    Thomas normally sleeps wherever he wants during the day, and in the family room and utility at night.

    The utility, where Thomas has his food and there is a bed, will be shut at all times - he can get in via a cat flap

    The plan is to try and separate them as much as possible, the dogs will stay in the family room as much as possible and sleep in their bedroom at night, freeing up the family room at night.

    During the day, we will encourage Thomas in via the front door, and let him sleep upstairs....

    However I am still very worried how he will react, even to the point he may just leave, and I would be devastated if that happened.

    Any advice as to how to introduce them or to manage the whole situation, would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Mark
     
  2. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    If, as you say, your daughter has her dogs well trained then they won't be running about your house. They will be trained to settle down. As this is for such a short time, i wouldn't worry about introducing your cat to these dogs.

    I would keep them seperate. Make sure your cat can get to safe spots and make sure your daughter understands that her dogs can only access certain rooms and must remain settled when in your house.
     
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  3. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    However 'well trained' they are I would have thought 2 young kelpies are not going to just lie down and go to sleep all day.

    OP , why on earth did your daughter get 2 puppies, particularly of such an active and purely working breed, if she was not going to have anywhere to live when she came home. It will not be easy to find anywhere to rent either.

    I do hope it works out but it sounds rather a disaster in the making.
     
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  4. Kram

    Kram PetForums Newbie

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    I have asked this question many times!

    Unfortunately we are in the situation we are in, just trying to manage it as best we can.
     
  5. Jamesgoeswalkies

    Jamesgoeswalkies PetForums VIP

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    In my opinion, all you can do is have a few possible 'solutions' ready and waiting for when the dogs do arrive. For me this would be installing a baby gate so that if the dogs want to 'run around' or if they can't settle when asked they get popped on the other side of the gate into a room where they can play. They may be 'active' but even active dogs can be taught to settle (or given space where they can play on their own). I am sure if your daughter has them well trained she will understand the concept of this. From day one therefore I would be letting the dogs know that 'hyperactive' is for the garden or the play room - not the house. This will hopefully ensure that the cat doesn't feel threatened by the excess energy.

    Using separate doors and cat flaps and allowing the cat to escape upstairs is always a good idea but if you are unsure that your cat may 'leave home' then perhaps ensuring the cat is an inside cat for a few days may help relieve your fears.

    Has your daughter told you they are cat reactive or that the dogs chase cats? If they are then have leads handy for any areas where cat and dogs may come into contact so that again the dogs understand that the cat is out of bounds. You will also ensure they are not left together.

    Oh and get the dogs out for plenty of exercise!

    J
     
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  6. Chatcat

    Chatcat PetForums Senior

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    Everything that J says above, plus, what about arranging some dog boarding sessions, perhaps weekly? Just so that the cat can breath a sigh of relief for a day or two?
     
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  7. rona

    rona Still missing my boys

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    As well as doors, baby gates, and always shut ones for safety will hopefully stop your cat being chased or worse. I think safety for your cat should be top priority, even if that means Kelpies live in just one room.
    I don't envy you or your cat
     
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  8. Twiggy

    Twiggy PetForums VIP

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    Just to add to the good advice already given - A friend who lives just down the road from me has 5 dogs (ASD, 3 Collies and a Kelpie). She also has 3 cats and they all live in harmony in quite a small cottage. Don't despair yet. If the Kelpies are well trained and well exercised they should chill out in your home once they have settled in a bit.
     
  9. Kram

    Kram PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks all. Taking on board what everyone has said, we are going to confine my daughters dogs to the family room and kitchen only - no exception. That way Thomas has the utility and the rest of the house as sanctuary!

    It gives me hope...!!! :)

    What are everyone's thoughts on introducing them? Not to bother, just keep the apart at all times. Introduce them - I will hold Thomas and their dogs on a lead, and then keep them apart. I am thinking if we introduce them they will be less curious and maybe just move on.... or is that being too optimistic?
     
  10. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    You could add plug in Feliway diffusers to help Thomas with any stress he feels .
     
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  11. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    Alternatively - offer to pay the rent on an accommodation til jan - problem solved;)
     
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  12. Chatcat

    Chatcat PetForums Senior

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    I think you should avoid introducing them, especially if you think Thomas might leave home. Do you have any idea how soon your daughter might move out? Is she really dedicated to finding somewhere? In which case, I would just keep them apart.

    If it is going to be a long term home-stay, then introduce them.
     
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  13. Kram

    Kram PetForums Newbie

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    I am saying he might leave home, the honest answer is I don't know for sure. He comes and goes as he sees fit and we don't really worry about him as he is not one for roaming - nearly always within earshot if we call him.

    They are arriving next Thursday, and hopefully will move into rented at the end of Jan. They are reasonably committed to finding somewhere - they are not going to want to live under our roof, after having their own place for so long.
     
  14. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    If your daughter is only staying short term then it's not advisable to try and introduce the cat to the dogs. It can take many weeks / months for an introduction to be successful with small steps going at both the cats and dogs pace.

    As they will not live together permanently and as your cat already shows unhappiness when your own dog is bouncy etc then it will lead to stressed cat and stressed visiting dogs and also has the potential to irrevocably change the existing relationship between your own cat and dog.

    The visiting dogs are young, come as a pair and an active herding breed who will be living in a strange house with strange people in a strange country (the changes in scents sounds and sights for them will be huge). They will have also undergone a very long journey All these things will increase arousal and stress/excitement and are not the feelings you want when trying to introduce strange dogs into a household with cat.


    In order of safety and harmony for all concerned I would recommend the following:

    1) kennel the dogs either at a boarding establishment or make temporary kennels in your garden with sufficient heating and comfort. Keep your cat inside for the duration and only let the dogs mix away from the house.

    2) Put the cat in a cattery. Depending on the cats previous experience and which one you choose this may or may not be stressful for the cat. Have the house deep cleaned in areas the dogs stayed prior to your cats return to reduce the high levels of scent from the visiting dogs.

    3) Set up completely separate areas of the house for cat and visiting dogs and use baby gates leads and closed doors to always maintain a double barrier between cat and dogs. Barr in mind that Kellie's could easily jump baby gates and humans can easily forget to close doors so relying on the cat to be able to get out of the dogs way may well not be sufficient. There will be a risk that something will happen. If you have additional visitors to the house then this can add to the complexities.
    The latter option is high risk both that the dogs won't be able to managed sufficiently to protect the cat and also that if they do get a chance to chase or even get excited about the scent or presence if a cat even from more if a distance your existing dog may join in in that excitement leading to him no longer bed g trustworthy with the cat once the visitors depart.

    Remember animals live primarily in a scent related world so tthe cat will need to adjust to both new humans and new animals. Your dog will also but as he will have a wider experience of meeting unknown humans and dogs he may fit in better.

    Point 3 will take a huge amount of management and everyone needs to be 100% committed.
     
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  15. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    Good advice from Kittih. I really hope it works out. I have just had my daughter and her partner staying while I had an injured dog that had to be kept confined to one room and quiet. Nightmare with extra people in the house and as for her first proper walk. She ended up with a lead on her collar (neck injury) before I noticed and was allowed to jump out of the car. Good luck with it.
     
  16. Kram

    Kram PetForums Newbie

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    Thomas booked into a really nice cattery!!!! Lovely lady, who is flexible on departure, as January is quiet.

    Thanks to all for advice - I feel relieved..... and breathe!
     
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  17. Chatcat

    Chatcat PetForums Senior

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    That's good, the whole thing will be slightly more easy to do. Will you go to visit him?
     
  18. Kram

    Kram PetForums Newbie

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    Not sure - worried that may unsettle him more.

    I know that would unsettle our dog if we visited him, as he gets into a routine - takes him approx 3 days to accept the situation.
     
  19. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    Many years ago, when i was a child, we got a puppy (which was not well and didn't live long but that's another story)

    We had a resident cat who had moved in with us as a stray. We had had this cat a number of years. When we got the puppy, she "left" home.

    She was really in the huff. At the back of our house was a single track country lane and over the lane was a field. She sat in the field with her back to our house!!

    When the pup died, she moved back in. We didn't get another pup until she passed on. I can still remember her sitting there with her back to us.

    Thomas will be safe and secure in the cattery @Kram
     
  20. Chatcat

    Chatcat PetForums Senior

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    Hmmm, that is a difficult one, I'm not sure I could not visit! At least he would know you were about. I think cats are more independent and resigned than dogs. He might appreciate the contact, but not be too bothered when you leave.
     
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