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Introducing newly adopted cat to new puppy

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by antiego, Jun 27, 2020.


  1. antiego

    antiego PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there :)

    My partner and I have recently adopted an adolescent cat, Nala, she is spayed, and settling in very well upstairs in the spare bedroom in the attic :)

    I introduced my partner to Nala yesterday, and we're all slowly building a bond. The cat is very affectionate, eating well, purring using the litter box. Her purrbox is going off and she is kneading,even just being in the same room as us :) so she is settling in very nicely.

    We are taking in a chihuahua 9 week old pup on Monday and planning to playpen-train her, in another bedroom. We have read articles about introducing a new puppy to a resident cat, but as the cat was only adopted 2 days ago, we are wondering if it is wise to allow the cat to explore the house before the puppy arrives? Or perhaps it is wiser to wait until Monday, when the pup is in the house, to allow her to move downstairs. Our cat Nala is slowly starting to show curiosity in what lies beyond the bedroom door :) but she has everything she needs in her own safe room.

    If anyone could advise whether it's best to allow the cat to explore and roam the house, after 2 days in her own room, or better to wait until the puppy arrives in 2 days' time, I'd really appreciate the advice.

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. Summercat

    Summercat PetForums VIP

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    Hi @antiego
    I do not have the answer to your question, never having introduced a cat and dog. I would probably let her explore now as she is relaxed.

    @ewelsh, I think has experience with dog and cat introductions.
     
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  3. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

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    Thank you @Summercat I do indeed have experience :rolleyes::D

    @antiego its lovely you have taken on an older cat, good for you :D you are at an advantage here and probably the easiest way for multi cat and dog home.
    If it were me I would keep the cat to up stairs only for now, keep reassuring the cat so you have the bond and get a routine in place.
    Monday when your puppy arrives, start as you mean to go on, the puppy crate training, the puppy will probably cry to begin with as all puppies do, your cat will hear the commotion which is a sort of introduction. After one week of having the puppy allow the cat to roam and do what it wants, the cat is the priority here every time, because the puppy has no clue to chase or threaten the cat. I would recommend scent swapping with cat and puppy so they smell the same.
    Never allow the puppy to follow the cat, train “ leave it” distract every time and reward when puppy comes to you! That’s the best training any dog owner can obtain.
    The cat will decide where to walk and when, so have beds all over the house and on higher surfaces, and feed the cat on a work top or the puppy will be eating the cat food, you don’t want a puppy with poorly tummy.
    If you have cat and puppy in same room, the cat will be watching like a hawk whilst the puppy plays or sleeps, keep things calm but the cat must always be priority.
    If you do the above you will find the cat rules the house ( best way :D and inevitable) the dog will become friends without frightening it or chasing your cat.


    Good luck and enjoy it all. If you need any more help just ask :)
     
  4. antiego

    antiego PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks so much for your kind advice, really appreciate it :) I will make sure to follow it. Great advice to feed the cat on a work top :) Hadn't thought of that. Nala, our cat, is still very comfortable in her room, although she is showing curiosity as to what is downstairs, she is more comfortable staying in her safe space :) So after the puppy has been in the house for a week, we will allow Nala to roam the house freely as she wants :) But carefully monitoring any interaction with puppy, keeping a dog free zone for her upstairs.

    I will make sure to scent swap with the puppy and cat, from tomorrow. Nala is very receptive to noises so I'm sure she will notice the puppy when she arrives.

    We are slowly but surely building up a bond, my partner and I, with Nala. She is very affectionate and eating well :) using her litter box, purring and curling up next to us. She loves affection.

    Thanks so much, I will share your advice with my partner and follow it to a tee :) We intend to start as we mean to go on with the chi :) and will distract her when she is looking to follow or chase the cat, rewarding her for coming to us :)

    Also thanks @Summercat for your help :)

    All the best
    Regards,
    T
     
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  5. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

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    @antiego today is the day to collect your puppy, how exciting :D I hope all goes well. Can’t beat the smell of a puppy!

    Having a cat and dog home is so rewarding and so much fun. Just remember a cat is a cat, a dog is a dog. The cat rules the house and her “slaves” on her terms, the dog will just remain loyal and follow the rules :D It really is that simple.

    Keeping the upstairs to a quiet dog free zone is an excellent idea, puppies have SO much energy whereas an adult cat will need lots of stress free naps!


    Looking forward to some pictures when you get a moment between puppy meals, toilet training, cat cuddles and litter cleaning :Hilarious
    I have four dogs ages 14yrs - 2yrs old, now two cats 9 yrs - 6yrs all arriving at different stages, ages all girls :rolleyes: along the way, the above rules work every time.
    Having 6 pets plus two slaves in a front room with the fires burning mid winter all snuggled together is the best feeling in the world! Enjoy it all :D
     
  6. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

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    I’m wondering how things are going @antiego :D
     
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  7. antiego

    antiego PetForums Newbie

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    Hey @ewelsh :D

    Things are going very well in our house. It's a 3 level terraced house, Nala our cat is really comfortable having the attic to herself, with her litter tray, food, blankets, scratching posts, cat tunnel, etc. But she doesn't seem to be using her scratching posts yet, although I've tried showing her them, I'm sure she'll figure it out :) her claws are quite long and sharp I think, sometimes getting caught in her blanket or fabrics. She is very very sweet and affectionate, and loves being scratched and brushed. She loves having a safe space to herself! Her previous home, I think she was being terrorized by the 3 other resident cats :(

    We originally had the puppy in our bedroom in her crate for the first night, however, my partner has been feeling under the weather and between the cat's zoomies and jumping onto the curtains when on the bed with us :p (reminded me of my old cat, growing up! She really seemed comfortable with us in the bedroom but still hasn't fully explored the middle floor yet) and the dog's crying, she didn't get much sleep.

    Her best friend owns chihuahuas:rolleyes: which is where the love and obsession for chihuahuas came from, I reckon :D and her friend recommended having the puppy's den/crate downstairs in the living room, and leaving the crate door open, ensuring she has a safe hazard free space. It felt wrong keeping her in the cage when she is crying, considering she is in a new house and away from her biological mother :(

    The puppy is very friendly, and a gorgeous small fluff ball. She is eating and drinking a lot, playing, and chewing on things a lot! (including toes LOL) She is very happy just sleeping half the time! And playing, looking at herself in the mirror, and trying to chase her tail and spin around. She is only 9 weeks old AFAIK and is still learning her balance when walking.

    She falls asleep very easily and seems very relaxed in her new environment :)

    We had our first controlled interaction today, which I was a bit worried about. I carried the cat to the living room and let her explore, after a few mins she spotted Maya our chi, who my partner was holding. She had a sniff, and continued exploring the living room. Until I sensed she was a bit uneasy and I walked with her back to her attic.

    I've tried leaving her door open for her, so that she can come down from her room and explore the middle floor of the house at her own pace. However, she seems to be quite nervous when the door is open, often looking over at it, or hiding, so I've closed the door for her, which seems to calm her and make her feel much more at ease.

    That said, on Sunday, she let us know that she was curious what lay beyond her room :) so we opened the door and she came down to the middle floor, down the stairs :) She seemed overwhelmed, at one stage her jaw had dropped, as if she were overloaded with information! But she found a really cosy spot in our wardrobe :) and also jumped onto our bed with us for cuddles, relaxing at the foot of our bed (before later in the night jumping onto the curtains like spiderkitty LOL)

    I will be doing more scent swapping and trying to coax Nala (our cat) down from the attic, to explore the middle floor and chill in our bedroom with us :) she just seems like she will need time. However, she interacted with our chi really calmly, but I think she was a bit overwhelmed by the living room she hasn't really explored before. I will need to take it slow with her :)

    One thing I noticed is that, with the attic door ajar (not fully open) after her introduction with the chi, she was on the windowsill above the radiator in the attic (nice and warm) looking at the street below (window always closed ofc!) her hair seemed slightly spikey. And then when I revisted her shortly, to bring food/water, her tail was puffy, which I had never seen before.

    So I am slightly worried that I went a bit too fast with the introduction today, at the behest or suggestion of my partner's friend, although it went smoothly and calmly, I think that our cat Nala really appreciates having a safe refuge, and it was a little bit too much for her today.

    I am still spending plenty of time giving her love and affection :) and she loves lying down beside you for scratches and purrs and kneads, then gets up, repositions herself, she'll often headbutt my hand when it's outreached, so as to receive those cheek and forehead rubs :Happy

    So in short, I'm going to take it much slower, focus on scent swapping, caring for the dog and cat seperately, and giving Nala the option to explore the middle floor when she's ready :) Any further advice you have or suggestions after the intro today, would be greatly appreciated :cool:

    Some pictures of Nala and Maya attached :)

    Thanks


    WhatsApp Image 2020-06-30 at 23.51.23 (1).jpeg WhatsApp Image 2020-06-30 at 23.51.23.jpeg
     
    #7 antiego, Jul 1, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
  8. antiego

    antiego PetForums Newbie

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    P.S. I reckon that Maya is approx 8 months old! I think that there was some confusion with her age, she doesn't seem to be an adult cat yet. So I am feeding her felix kitten food and she's eating well :) I think she is perhaps a bit underweight :oops:
     
  9. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

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    Hello @antiego

    This all sounds promising. Well done. Sounds fun in your house.

    Yes take things slowly and at Maya’s pace. It’s such early days, any thing forced will be taking a step backwards.

    I would leave the doors open so Maya can decide when to venture around, she will hear the noises which will be come familiar and will settle. By closing the door of her bedroom your reinforcing her security. Maya hasn’t realised yet that the puppy can’t get in her room. The puppy can’t climb the stairs ( so don’t let her when she tries ) up stairs is Maya’s territory. She will come and have another look for sure when she’s ready. Your aim is to have them both content together and apart as and when they want.
    Keep doing what your doing all sounds great. Wet food is always the best for cats, never dried. Try find a better quality wet cat food if you can, like Lilys kitchen which is grain free and sugar free which will fill Maya longer with more controlled vitamins etc. Introducing this new food slowly, t spoon at a time. As to Maya tail puffed out, she might have seen cats outside which spooked her! That could explain a puffed tail.

    Your friend who has Chi is quite right about crate training downstairs :D but I guess it’s your house and your the one who has to hear the puppy cry all night :D it’s not exactly a Labrador who will end up on your bed in the future :Hilarious

    Lovely photos they are both gorgeous :D


    Oh one tip is Chi can be barky so try and stop this before it gets out of control because cats dislike barking!

    Stay in touch love to hear how all is going.
     
  10. antiego

    antiego PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks so much for your reply :) sorry for my really long post! I just got carried away :Hilarious Just to clarify that Nala is the kitty and Maya the pup, but I have got them confused a couple times when saying their names :D

    Had some lovely quality time with Nala today, I had gone for a walk and was a bit tired so napped. The last few days, with the door to her room open gradually longer and longer, he has been sitting on the bed with my partner and I, curling up, getting accustomed. I napped for about 2 hours (I know! :p) and when I started to wake up, she was curled up at the bottom of the bed :Cat

    Taking it slow with her, but it is encouraging to set her blossom into her new forever home :Happy

    Scent swapped today and going to continue doing that, Nala is curious to explore the middle floor of the house and the pup is a wee adventurer too :) I was going to play with her this evening to tire her out before bed, but she's been napping the last couple of hours and I don't want to wake her :rolleyes: she's beautiful.

    Thanks for the food recommendations :) I was going to purchase Lily's but saw that for the kitten food there were a few people getting bone fragments in their batch. So I went ahead and ordered:

    Thrive 100 Percent Complete Kitten Food Chicken
    James Wellbeloved Kitten Food Turkey
    Applaws 100 Percent Natural Wet Cat Food, Multipack Fish and Chicken Mixed Selection in Broth

    Royal Canin Chihuahua Junior

    From Amazon (difficult for me to find specialist pet food stores that are within a reasonable distance, and a bit heavy walking home with all that! :p)

    My partner is a bit worried that the Chi will bark or growl too much, but I tell her not to worry, that we can correct it before it becomes a problem. Right now she is just teething so biting everything! :rolleyes:

    I will introduce the new food gradually. And continue with what we are doing but slowly, and at our kitty's pace.

    Thank you so much for your advice, we really appreciate it ;)
     
  11. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

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    No such thing as a long post :D it’s lovely hearing all about your two. Apologies for name mix up, I can never get my girls names right!

    Sounds as if Nala is becoming very content which leads to a happy cat :Cat There is nothing lovelier than a cat cuddling on your bed.
    well spotted re Lilys kitchen kitten food :eek: when you are trying to change her over I would try one food at a time or she might have an upset tummy. Imagine if you only ate potatoes and sugar every day then suddenly your given, curry, spaghetti bol, fish pie :D Also stand by for her NOT liking the new foods, trust me it’s extremely common and very frustrating when one minute they like it, next they won’t touch it after you have placed a huge order :Hilarious The reason most cats like whiskers or felix is because it’s full of rubbish and addictive like a Mac Donald’s I expect. So be prepared for a slight battle.

    Keep doing what your doing, all sounds perfect. Play is a good way for a cat to de stress and forget about her worries.


    As for Maya barking there are several ways to prevent it, it all depends what, why and IF she barks.

    If she does start, try recognise what causes it, door bell, tv, raised voices, play, then you can deal appropriately.
    For me and an example, if my dogs bark from over excitement, I stop everything and ignore them until they settle and become quiet then I reward the silence! = calm quiet earns a treat. If they bark because the door has been knocked I do not shout them to be quiet because they think I am barking with them. So it’s realising the trigger you see. If it happens write it down and then we can go from there.
    I am a huge believer in calmness around dogs and show your in control, they will follow your example. Also dogs feed of high energy, if my teenage step daughter is giggling and running around doing tic tok my youngest terrier goes mental, so I take her outside to calm down where I am calm, I don’t tell her to be quiet or scold her, just ignore her and prise calmly when she is calm, then we come back inside, if she gets exited again, out we go again. Repetition and patience is the key to a calm dog.

    BUT if a flipping horse comes on the tv my terriers go mad and I have never been able to stop this :D No Western movies in this house :Hilarious
     
  12. ewelsh

    ewelsh PetForums VIP

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    How are things now @antiego :D chaos or calm :Smuggrin
     
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