Advice on adding a cat to the family - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-14-2015, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Advice on adding a cat to the family

We got our wonderful puppy, Muthu, about a month and a half ago and things are going terrifically! We always envisioned adding a cat to the family eventually, but weren't sure when. My fiance thinks it'd be a good idea to do it while Muthu is still young (he's four months now) so they can grow up together and get used to each other. I have no idea whether adding a new member of the family would be too stressful for a puppy and if we should wait another year or two. Any thoughts on a good time in a hav's life to add a cat friend?

If we did get a cat, we would get one around the start of summer (2 months from now). My partner and I will both have a lot of time off and be around to supervise constantly. We would be adopting a cat from a shelter. While we'd both like a kitten, would it be more advisable to adopt an older cat that already has experience with dogs? Would it be better to get a young kitten who we could mold? We'd obviously look for a more social cat who would be open to all of Muthu's affection (he has lots!).

I'm not really worried about him liking a cat because he LOVES our neighbor's cat/ any living creature he seems to meet. He's never been aggressive on puppy play dates or with other people. I do worry about a kitten though seeing how aggressively he mauls his stuffed animals! What kind of experiences have you guys had? How long did you have to supervise your dog and cat together?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-14-2015, 09:20 PM
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Here's a fairly good article on introducing a new cat http://www.paws.org/library/cats/hom...ng-cat-to-dog/

Here are some more tips http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/iss...d_15938-1.html

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-14-2015, 10:03 PM
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One thing you might want to think about is how you are going to keep Muthu away from the cat's litter box and food . Before I got Wags, I always used dog gates that had the small cat doors in the middle for cats to pass through. I had never had a toy dog before and it never occurred to me that Wags would easily pass through the smaller door! Every dog I know loves cat food and litter boxes, so it can be challenging to keep them separated.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-14-2015, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the links, Dave! I found the information on training the dog not to attack the cat very useful. Even if it's a problem I don't anticipate having, it's a lot easier knowing that there are ways I can prepare myself, just in case!

Wag's mom, I never even considered that! We have trained him to stay out of certain rooms. Even if the door is open, he wont follow us, though he'll sit right by the door waiting for us to come back. Maybe I can put the cat food bowl and litter box in one of these rooms. I wonder if it'll be harder to resist the temptation to follow if he sees his feline friends going in though. What did you end up doing to keep Wags out of the litter box?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-14-2015, 11:45 PM
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I have a dog gate that I open regularly (all the time!) to let the cats in and out . When Wags was young I taught him not to go down the hall that led to the cat's room and I kept a gate up. Unfortunately, all it took was two minutes of me being preoccupied and an open gate for Wags to find the cat food and the litter box! Now, I have to make sure the gate is always fastened. Because there is always a chance he could make a run for it, I use the safest litter possible. Absolutely no clumping cat litters. I am never more than a minute or two behind him, but that is all it takes for him to scarf something down!
My cats let me know when I need to let them through the gates, but that means I am always getting up to open gates. Something I never had to do when I had larger dogs that couldn't fit through the cat door .
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-15-2015, 02:51 AM
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We got two kittens when our dogs were 2 and 5 respectively. We had absolutely no issues. The cats ruled from day one and they all get along very well.
Good luck in your decision...
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-19-2015, 08:57 PM
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Thanks for the links, Dave! I found the information on training the dog not to attack the cat very useful. Even if it's a problem I don't anticipate having, it's a lot easier knowing that there are ways I can prepare myself, just in case!

Wag's mom, I never even considered that! We have trained him to stay out of certain rooms. Even if the door is open, he wont follow us, though he'll sit right by the door waiting for us to come back. Maybe I can put the cat food bowl and litter box in one of these rooms. I wonder if it'll be harder to resist the temptation to follow if he sees his feline friends going in though. What did you end up doing to keep Wags out of the litter box?
Sorry, cat food and "cat crunchies" (poop in the litter box) are irresistible to most dogs. Even very well trained dogs will have a VERY hard time resisting both without constant supervision. We have a small cat, so we have a SMALL cat door into the basement, and that's where her liter boxes are. Kodi can't get through now that he is an adult, and when he was a puppy, he was afraid of the "dark hole" and wouldn't even put his head through it. Even if he had tried, we could have gated it off… the cat can easily jump a dog gate. We keep her food up on a little table that he can't get to. Cats are SO much better jumpers than dogs that up high is usually the best solution for food.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-19-2015, 09:23 PM
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Sorry, cat food and "cat crunchies" (poop in the litter box) are irresistible to most dogs. Even very well trained dogs will have a VERY hard time resisting both without constant supervision. We have a small cat, so we have a SMALL cat door into the basement, and that's where her liter boxes are. Kodi can't get through now that he is an adult, and when he was a puppy, he was afraid of the "dark hole" and wouldn't even put his head through it. Even if he had tried, we could have gated it off… the cat can easily jump a dog gate. We keep her food up on a little table that he can't get to. Cats are SO much better jumpers than dogs that up high is usually the best solution for food.
I wish my cats were still good jumpers . My eighteen year old cat no longer jumps and my other senior cat will only jump to get up on my bed. Thankfully, they grew up with dogs and have been very good with Wags. And getting up and down to let the cats in and out does give me exercise!
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-19-2015, 10:58 PM
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I wish my cats were still good jumpers . My eighteen year old cat no longer jumps and my other senior cat will only jump to get up on my bed. Thankfully, they grew up with dogs and have been very good with Wags. And getting up and down to let the cats in and out does give me exercise!
Our 14 year old girl has a lot of arthritis in her spine and hind end, and doesn't jump the way she used to. But we have still been able to keep her food up on the desk in my husband's office. She can jump from a low couch to Dave's rolly chair to the desk for her food.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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it's terrible, but now we're considering waiting just a bit longer and getting another hav instead. it's hard to imagine wanting another type of pet after we got muthu. not to mention that i love my hair free couch and floors right now. someone please tell me i'm crazy.
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