In a few months my fiancee is coming home with our dog. It's gonna be a long flight from Brazil to Spain so our dog will be stressed at first.
We're going to live in a big apartment with enough space and rooms for two people, two cats and one dog.
Any tips on how to start a friendship between the cats and the dog? What's necessary to know? What steps should I take to let them get used to eachother little by little?
Our dog is used to living outside in Brazil. He needs to get used to living indoors and going out 4 times a day so there are more changes than just two cats in one apartment.
First does your dog already get along with cats or does he chase them? If he is a chaser you'll have a problem. He looks like he has terrior in him and this may be tough. You will need to put the cats in a seperate room and let them smell each other from under the door. Do this for a couple of weeks. Then, with supervision, hold one of the cats and bring it to where the dog is. Don't let go of the cat! Let them smell each other and see how they get along. It will be a new experience for all of them and they will be excited. If the dog or cat is too excited put the cat back in the room to keep them seperated. Have a 'cat tree' in the main part of the house so when you do let the cats out in another couple of weeks they have some place to escape.
I have always had dogs and cats together, however, when it's the first time they are introduced it can be challenging. Some dogs just don't get along with cats, therefore, it's best not to have them together or the cat may get killed or the dog will loose his nose.
Thanks so much and oef! It will be a challenge because the dog is used to guard the house in Brazil so he chases away cats that want to pee in the garden.
It's a male dog and my cats are boy and girl. One is very curious, the other is timid in the beginning and get's nosy later on. I like the 'cat tree' idea and I know they need their safe part in the house.
I know it's gonna take time and leaving them alone in the house would always be in seperate rooms. I'm even thinking of a special room for the cats to have them safe and quite when I go out.
I'm expecting a long ride with this, lot's of patience and a good result!
The single best way to set them up right is to keep them in separate rooms for several days. They 'get to know' each other through the door and it makes them calmer.
I was even thinking in several weeks. I do believe smell and the habit of smelling the same thing in the same surroundings, makes them more att ease.
However I'm counting on a longer trial period and since I'm home most of the time it's all possible. The three of them together, playing and sleeping would be such a joy after a difficult start!
If you can do a longer period this is good. You can also encourage acceptance by moving their food dishes to near the door between them. Something about eating together seems to help. And if you have a 'baby gate' you can use that is an intermediate step.
I've had both cats and dogs and personalities count for a lot. The age, and how they are introduced is crucial as well.
Don't throw them in and expect instant friendships.
I wrote about this very subject and beleive it can work out if done right.
I certainly aprreciate your input here and I am going to check your Hub on this. I actually expect it to be harder than I hope it will be.
It's not just the transition from being around a new animal or a different animal. It's also a change in environment for the dog. More indoors than outdoors. From his own territory to new territory and shared territory.
I'm confident though that it's possible and leaving the dog behind is no option. It's his everything, like my cats are my everything. We're going to make it work no matter what it takes:-)
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