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New Cat reusing to come downstairs

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by JuliaM, Apr 19, 2011.


  1. JuliaM

    JuliaM PetForums Newbie

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    HI all,

    On saturday we rehomed a cat, he was being fostered by our vet as his previous owner couldn't keep him as he was bullying the other cat to the point that the vistim could no longer come into the house without being attacked.

    On Sat until Sun night he mostly hid under the bed in his "bonding room". Since sunday nihgt he is happy to comeout and say hello, follow you about and generally be nosey.

    We have a calm dog, who is not allowed upstairs. The cat had never lived with dogs before but the vet had dogs visiting when he was at her house and he ignored them.

    However, the cat saw our dog at the bottom of the stairs and now point blank refuses to come down.

    Any ideas? SHould i just leave him to come down in his own time? I am making sure that the door to whichever room the dog is in is shut so they don't meet each other until we are ready.

    I was assuming it was best to wait until the cat was confident in coming downstairs before tring to introduce them?

    Thanks
     
  2. Sacremist

    Sacremist Mum to 2 cats and a dog

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    I would let the cat come down in his own time. He may realise after a while that the dog is okay.
     
  3. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    Only had to do this once ,along time ago but it was a baby kitten to a dog well used to cats,so no problems.This link may give you some help.There is a section on the page regarding introducing cats to dogs.Hope it goes well and just take things slowly. http://www.fabcats.org/behaviour/introducing/info.html
     
    #3 buffie, Apr 19, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  4. kelly-joy

    kelly-joy PetForums VIP

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    Some people find puppy,baby gates a great thing to stop the dog getting to their dogs. I personally make sure there are plenty of high up places my cats can get up on if they want to be away for my jump in a jack in a box jack Russell terrier x. As every one else has said let the cat come down when he is ready don't push him as you could make it worse. I would get a gate to the stairs that the dog can't get over but your cat can that way he will much safer and more likely to come down to investigate. He will soon work out that he is smarter than the dog and that it isn't a threat and then he will walk around like he he owns the place in no time:)
     
  5. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    I agree with the other posters who said let him adjust at his own pace. Make sure there are elevated perches for him. And install a gate so cat can investigate dog while feeling safe.

    Take the dog away from the house for an extended period of time every day so cat can explore and get his scent on things. As kitty gets bolder Babygate dog in the kitchen so cat can explore knowing dog is there but contained.

    Install feliway plug in diffusers to help with stress.
     
  6. JuliaM

    JuliaM PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the replies and the link.

    We have stairgates due to also having a toddler.

    The dog is a 3 year old lab, and so long as he has had a good walk in the morning he spends most of the day asleep or following us around the downstairs. ;) He has not lived with cats before but i think when he gets the idea he will be fine. He is calm at home and has never been into chasing creatures when we are out and about etc.

    I have been shutting him in either the kitchen or the living room at night so that the cat, Minkey, can investigate the rest of downstairs without bumping into him, but i am fairly sure he stays upstairs. Even when the dog is out, he is not happy to come downstairs.

    So I am guessing that i should just carry on as i am? Any idea roughly how long it will take before curriosity gets the better of him?!:D

    When he is confident being downstairs with the dog in another room I will try and work on intros then.

    "Once again the large pen is ideal for first meetings to keep the situation calm and the cat protected. Let the dog sniff the newcomer through the bars and get over its initial excitement. The cat may well hiss and spit but it is well protected. If you have a large pen then you can put the cat in this at night in the room where the dog sleeps and let them get used to each other for a few days or even a week, depending on how used to cats the dog is. "

    Is that a good way to do it? Elsewhere online I have read that the cat should not be restrained, just the dog, so that the cat can run away if it chooses but the dog can't chase. We have a HUGE dog crate as he had major spinal surgery and had to spend 8 weeks on cage rest. :( Would that be suitable for this purpose? Or would the cat being unable to escape actually make it worse and i should go with the other response i'd found? (which i think was from CPL, but i may have got that wrong).

    Thanks again

    oh and as a ps, we have never had a "rescue" animal as such before, how long does it usually take for them to settle in and feel at home in your experience?

    Thanks!
     
  7. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    I would not put the cat in a cage and force him to spend the night with the dog near by. My goodness what terrible advice, that is down right torture for the cat. Thank goodness you asked before trying that!

    Putting dog (what's his name?) in her crate over night so Minkey can explore and see him safely would be okay. It's his crate after all. And dogs like their Dens.

    But Minkey might go crazy with terror being contained like that.

    There is no set time limit on how long a cat will take to acclimate. It can take days, weeks or months. Yes, it can take months for some cats. But since he is there, and has nothing BUT time on his side, it shouldn't matter if it takes months.

    I know you will feel bad and want him to integrate and be happy. But he is happier going at his own comfort level, rather than being forced into anything.

    If I forgot to say this before, some Feliway plug in diffusers can help with Minkey's stress
     
  8. JuliaM

    JuliaM PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you, it did seem a bit extreme i thought!!!

    The dog is George :001_wub:

    Do you find that the feliway works then? When George had his surgey and then his LONG recovery we used the canine equivalent, but don't think it had much affect. We also were prescribed Zykline (sp?) I think i have read that mentioned elsewhere with regard to calming stressed cats? It's not a prescription medicine, we just had it on prescription so we would claim it on insurance. Would it be worth trying some of that sprinkled on his food?

    Thank you for all your help.
     
  9. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    You're welcome :)

    Yes, I love feliway plug in diffusers. I plug it in anytime I know there is going to be stress for my cats. Whether it's integrating a new kitty, company in the house, or a cat having surgery, I keep that feliway going for about a week before the stress, and a couple of weeks after.

    I don't know what Zykline is. I did a search but nothing came up. Is it like Bach's Rescue Remedy?

    Amazon.com: Rescue Remedy: Kitchen & Dining
     
  10. JuliaM

    JuliaM PetForums Newbie

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    Sorry, my spelling error. Just had a root around in the dog cupboard and checked the spelling- it's zylkene.

    Here's a link to buying it online-http://www.animeddirect.co.uk/dogs/healthcare/Zylkene-Capsules.html

    Thanks
     
  11. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Okay I found the website.

    Zyklene is dosed by weight to be very careful if you decide to use it for Minkey.

    What is Zylkène

    scroll down to see dosage info
     
  12. JuliaM

    JuliaM PetForums Newbie

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    Will do.

    Thank you.
     
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