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Woof! Hiss! (How to get kittens used to dogs)

8 February, 2011

Joining a new home can be a stressful time for kittens, especially if there’s a resident dog or a dog in the neighbourhood.  Here’s how to make settling in easier for your little kitten.

CAT BREEDERS:

1.  If you’re thinking of getting a dog to join your menagerie, then Dessie or Warrior Cats (one of this blog’s readers) has some great advice:

“If you want to get a dog to socialize cats, I recommend a younger and smaller breed of dog from an animal shelter because shelter dogs seem to really appreciate what they have.  If you get younger dogs they don’t have all habits set yet so a puppy can grow along side cats/kittens and it helps a lot.

Also ask the shelter about dogs that have already been socialized with cats so you could be sure right away you would be able to get a companion that isn’t aggessive. “

2.  If you can’t get a dog to socialise the kittens, get a tape of environmental sounds and play it to the kittens as they grow up.  Sound Therapy 4 Pets have a Sounds Sociable CD of has 37 different tracks which are aimed at habituating puppies and kittens to a whole variety of environmental noises, including dogs barking. 

DOG OWNERS:

If you have a dog and thinking about getting a kitten, here’s what will make life easier for the dog and the kitten to get used to each other:

1.  Try to find a cat breeder who already has a dog.  I know a Maine Coon breeder who brings up her kittens with a soppy female Alsatian.  The Alsatian spends most of her day licking the kittens and carrying them round in her mouth.  Result:  bomb-proof kittens who love dogs.

2.  If your neighbour has a dog, I would recommend holding it in your lap indoors or in a safe area, or giving it a toy or treat so it can hear the dog but it’s not within sight.

3.  Ask the cat breeder for some of the kitten’s bedding before you bring the kitten home to accustom your dog to the kitten’s scent.

**********

There was a kitten to went to a home whose neighbour had a dog.  One sunny day, the kitten was out in the garden.  The neighbour’s dog ran up to the fence and barked at it.  Terrified, the kitten headfirst into a wall.  This post is dedicated to that little kitten, little T.  Run wild, run free … .

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3 comments

  1. i have a 12 week old kitten and i have a dog aswell and every time i bring them together the kitten always hisses plse email me back asap i need help plse thanks


    • Dear Charlie,

      You may have to start all over again, and introduce them gradually again. Don’t rush this process. Try restricting the dog (i.e. put on a leash) while the kitten runs around. And feeding them in the same room together so they get used to each other’s company and associates the other with food. Play with the kitten in the same room as the dog and vice versa.

      The kitten will grow up and become a cat and will be a better size, and more confident about dealing with the dog.

      Best wishes,


  2. i have the same problem,when i put them together the kitten growl ang hisses and the dog barks and growls i dont know what to do.



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