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tinyfaery's avatar

How do I introduce an adult cat to an adult dog?

Asked by tinyfaery (43616points) July 13th, 2022
12 responses
“Great Question” (4points)

I know I can consult many websites and videos but I want to know from ya’ll.

My cat is about 5 and super mellow. The dog is a maltipoo, sweet and friendly. They are about the same size but my cat has more weight on him. The dog already just wants to be friends with Jasper and play but Jasper is very apprehensive. The dog has come into my room to observe the cat and my cat looks wary but is in no way aggressive.

Other things to know:

It’s the dog’s territory, Jasper moved into his home.

I have no idea what type of history Jasper might have in regard to dogs.

I have never had a dog so I’m unsure about their cues when they are about to be aggressive.

Any help, including links to websites and/or videos, would be much appreciated.

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canidmajor's avatar

In my experience (which is actually pretty extensive) most pet animals would prefer to get along. I have never had an issue with cat and dog problems. I have never had a kitten, and have often introduced adult cats into dog environments, and a couple of times have brought dogs into adult cat homes.
If neither one has a history of aggression toward any species, it should be fine. They may take a while to become friends, or may simply tolerate each other.

Mostly don’t be in their faces, let them figure stuff out. Be vigilant, but not overbearing.

Keep feeding separate if possible at first. Easier if neither is a free feeder.

Keep the litter box completely away from the dog, mostly to avoid the serious ick factor.

Enjoy them, antics can be amusing.

To say again, the history of aggression thing is key.

gorillapaws's avatar

I’m sure you’ll get lots of good suggestions, but one thing to keep in mind is to set up the meeting environment in a way where Jasper can escape if need be. You can usually accomplish this with baby gates and the like.

I’m not an expert, but my inclination would be to lock your maltipoo in some room and then allow Jasper access to the room with an escape route. Jasper can approach when he wants to and flee if he’s scared. It may take many attempts over time for this process to play out. Don’t force anything, be present/attentive/persistent. I suspect in those circumstances, baring some weird dog/cat experiences in their past, most friendly dogs and cats will warm to each other.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I’ve always had more trouble introducing a cat to a cat than a dog to a cat. From what you described, they are BOTH OK with the arrangement. Jasper may be wary as he should be considering. The dog has already accepted the arrangement or he wouldn’t be wanting to play with Jasper…he’d be growling, barking, or showing some aggressive behavior. I wouldn’t leave them alone together for a few days…just to make sure that they stay OK with the arrangement. IF you need to go out for the next few days, I’d leave the dog in the bedroom with the door closed & allow Jasper to roam the rest of the house (assuming the litter box isn’t in the bedroom). Then let the dog back out as soon as you get home. I can’t remember ever taking longer than a week before I felt comfortable to leave them alone together. Of course, that depends on what you observe when they are together. Still, from what you described, I think that they are pretty much working it out between themselves. IF the dog gets too in Jasper’s face, Jasper will probably give him a good smack with the paw to say back off. The dog will back off & they will go on with life.

I successfully had a German Shepherd & cat combo & also had a Doberman/cat combo & NO one ever got hurt!!! Actually, it can be quite amusing watching them bond. My dogs usually became very protective of the cat!!!

kritiper's avatar

Bring them both in from different directions, from as far away from each other as possible. Then let them find themselves and deal with it on their own.

KNOWITALL's avatar

You could use the baby gate, crate or let them meet thru a bedroom door. Most trainer’s say it’s less stressful.

canidmajor's avatar

According to the details, they’ve already met.

janbb's avatar

Now that you’ve had some serious answers, it might be fun for me to add a T.S. Eliot poem on the addressing of cats.

Forever_Free's avatar

Very carefully. I had an Akita that I rescued years ago that came into a house that was ruled by a cat named Talisman. The first meeting was swift and the cat won in the first round.
Eventually they became best of friends and respected each other.
It was so interesting to see a 120 pound Akita groom his face like a cat as time went on.
I have several photos of them together. My favorite photo is one of them laying together with this huge paw over the cats back like two best buddies. I miss them both

tinyfaery's avatar

Welp, all my planning has been foiled by my cat just wanting to meet the dog. The dog (Cooper) peaked his head into my room and Jasper just sat there staring. Cooper walked up to him and they touched noses and Jasper stood his ground. Cooper tried to smell Jasper’s butt and Jasper was not okay with that but still stood his ground. Then Cooper made a yip because he wanted to play and then Jasper was definitely not okay with that. I guess I worried for nothing. I think they will be friends in no time.

Thanks everyone. If I can ever get a pic of them together and I remember, I will come back and post.

canidmajor's avatar

This sounds successful! If Cooper keeps trying with the cold-nose-in-the-butt thing, he may end up with a scratched nose, and he will not be likely to do that again.

Please keep us apprised!

LadyMarissa's avatar

They are going to be just fine. Jasper will continue to remind Cooper who is boss in that relationship & Cooper will simply accept it because he really doesn’t care!!! I’d love to hear the progress that they are making along the way & some of their most precious moments, so please do keep us updated!!!

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