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Old 04-23-2007, 07:52 PM   #226
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I'm thinking of getting a giant stuffed GSD so the cats get used to the presence of a large dog. My housemate had a stuffed Aussie puppy and the cats were convinced it was a real dog.
Perhaps you can try everything except the muzzle part, if you're sure the dog wont attack. That would be my main concern. Especially a dog the size of the one you're getting.

The stuffed animal may not do much because it wont 'smell' like a dog and it wont be moving, etc.
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:10 PM   #227
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Perhaps you can try everything except the muzzle part, if you're sure the dog wont attack. That would be my main concern. Especially a dog the size of the one you're getting.

It's a common misconception that aggression and prey drive are relative to size. Terriers are generally smaller breeds and THEY are the ones bred to hunt and kill small animals. GSDs typically only go into prey drive when they are outdoors. My worry with Chop is not so much her size but her strength, however, most of the sites I'm reading give directions including the use of a prong. I've never used a muzzle but I have used prongs and know when and how to use them (prongs are actually far less painful and far safer than any plain choke chain or slip lead). The muzzle makes me worried because you can read a lot about a dog's feelings by the position of it's mouth and also scent is very important for this process. By covering her mouth with a mesh muzzle, I can't read her queues as well and she will have discomfort trying to sniff the kitties.

My main concern is getting the cats to participate in this process. Getting the dog to sit-stay will be cake pie, but getting the cats to come in the room and spend some time with her....now there's where I need some ideas!! I mean, they love treats and all, but treats + a GSD? I dunno... I would never cage them for such an introduction because 1) my cats HATE cages and 2) it's crucial that the dog understand that the cats are higher in my "pack" than she is - THEY get to walk around and SHE has to sit still. But they won't want to come see her
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:22 PM   #228
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Well that's probably why you're supposed to crate the dog, not the cats. So the cats can come out and examine the dog in the crate and get used to him that way.
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Old 04-23-2007, 08:50 PM   #229
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Well that's probably why you're supposed to crate the dog, not the cats. So the cats can come out and examine the dog in the crate and get used to him that way.
That's the part of those websites I disagree with. It will have to depend on how well the dog responds to verbal corrections while it's crated. According to her breeder, Chop was trained with a clicker/"yes" and operant training (positive reinforcement), meaning she was corrected and then rewarded for doing the right thing. I'm not sure how to correct from outside of the crate and then reward the right behavior (looking at the cat, sniffing the cat, then turning away from the cat, laying down in front of the cat) when she can't do it from inside the crate. The more I think about it, the more I'm glad I have two straight weeks to size her up before meeting the cats!! Oh, my poor babies. They're already sniffing all over Chop's stuff. I'm sure they could never imagine what it's for... I'm trying to plan for the worse so it can't be as bad as I have in my head. Beckham and Posh lived with a dog for three weeks and easily recovered from that so I really think it will be OK, I just feel bad for them already.
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Old 04-23-2007, 09:04 PM   #230
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So: is it okay for a cat to be alone all day and would you declaw yours or do you find that to be inhuman?
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My opinions on declawing - I don't do it because I don't see the need to. It's pretty pointless these days, with all the info on training and all the cool toys and scratching posts that are available. That said, two of mine ARE front declawed. They were declawed before I adopted them and were both done at such a young age and at such low body weights that they recovered almost instantly. Neither of them bite or have behavioral problems because of the declaw.
This is pretty much our situation too; both of ours had already been declawed before we adopted them and in truth, that was part of the reason why we chose those particular two--Falstaff is blind, deaf, and has large exposed eyes (he's a pug), so we were anxious about the possibility of him unintentionally provoking their ire and getting clawed in the eyes as a result. In Lucia's case, this turned out not to be a problem--she somehow just sensed from the beginning that he was helpless, and gets out of his way quickly when she sees him shuffling and stumbling her way...or if she doesn't, it's just to be playful, and she does nothing more than gently tease him by batting his legs with her paws. But Sammy has never figured it out, still gets furious with him for "ignoring" her warning yowls and body language and has smacked him right in the eyes numerous times, so I think it may be a good thing that she doesn't have claws. If you're anxious about the outside possibility of winding up with one who's an incorrigible scratcher and don't want to mess with claw caps, then IMHO, this might be a compromise worth considering. Most shelters will probably have at least a few young cats on hand who are already declawed.

I agree most cats seem to be fine with being alone for large parts of the day so long as you give them a little attention and playtime when you do get home, especially if there's two of them to keep each other entertained. They're just much less likely than dogs to feel abandoned and get frantically destructive, at least in my experience.
Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje
My main concern is getting the cats to participate in this process. Getting the dog to sit-stay will be cake pie, but getting the cats to come in the room and spend some time with her....now there's where I need some ideas!!
I think you may find that moment will happen on its own sooner than you'd think, because the fact is they'll be curious too. We had the reverse experience, introducing two cats to an established dog, and Falstaff is probably a VERY different personality from Chop, so I'm not sure how useful anything I could recount would be, BUT...I do agree with both links Sicy posted about the importance of a "breaking-in" period where even the possibility of exposure is limited and only gradually increased. And one thing that will *probably* naturally come about because of that separation is a growing curiosity on the cats' part about what the heck that THING making all that racket and thudding around in the other room is. I guess if it comes down to it, you could probably have Phil carry the cats into the room and set them down one by one while you control the dog (or vice versa), but I kind of doubt that will be necessary, especially if they've had the chance to check her out while she's crated first. (We didn't use a crate, since Falstaff had long since figured out how to open the latch-style one we have from the inside, and we couldn't afford another one; Sammy and Lucia got to eyeball him through a toddler gate instead. This has the advantage that you could physically be there with the dog while that's happening.) It's also very important for the cats to have a "safe area", preferably as far away from the dog as possible, that they can retreat to during that time, even once the dog seems comfortable with them; it may well take the cats longer than the dog to calmly accept the other's presence.

When you do get around to the first few monitored face-to-face encounters, be sure to strike a balance between vigilantly watching the dog's behavior and immediately correcting any lunges etc. on the one hand, and overreacting and frustrating the dog's need to check the cat out and test out a few attempts at (probably vocal) "communication" on the other--I once watched some friends who were introducing a new kitten to their collie panic and start jerking him around and shouting at him when all he was doing was getting down in the play position, which only succeeded in frightening the kitten and overexciting the dog. If you're going to forgo the muzzle (we didn't use one either, but then again, Falstaff's an easygoing dog plus he's blind and deaf), it may make that feat a little trickier, because you won't want to leave the leash as slack as the SFGS writer suggests.

Once they're all accustomed enough to each other to abide being in the same room without the cats bolting or the dog getting excited, it can be nice if there's an opportunity for you to sit quietly with both animals at once. Falstaff adjusted to the cats' presence and lost the impulse to chase them pretty quickly, but they didn't really get comfortable being close to him until they had an opportunity to sidle up to me while I was sitting on the floor petting him, so that there was a 'safe zone' where they could touch noses with him across my lap and see that he wasn't going to lunge just because they were there. I suppose it doesn't really matter if they ever get comfortable enough with the dog to do that, but on the other hand, a cat that freaks and starts yowling and hissing any time the dog wanders into the room may unnerve the dog, and that can be bad news. Sammy was like that for maybe a month after we introduced her and Lucia to Falstaff, and if he'd been able to hear her doing that, it might've been harder for him to stay calm I think.
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Old 04-23-2007, 09:12 PM   #231
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Thanks, yolland! I'm assured knowing it CAN be done. I wish I had a dog I could practice with, not actually introducing a cat, but just going through the motions mentally. It's going to be HARD for me because my cats all love to sit on my lap and be pet (especially Marijke who demands to be held and carted around like a baby) and at first you can't hold or pet the cats while the dog is watching. Why? Because the dog then sees them as my possession and GSDs herd possessions. She needs to see that they are in our pack and she needs to think I'm treating them the same, when in reality I can't because they are cats, all they care about is toys, food, and being pet.
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Old 04-24-2007, 11:24 AM   #232
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Oh look another spawn of Satan.

http://www.nothingtoxic.com/media/11..._Psychotic_Cat
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Old 04-24-2007, 12:51 PM   #233
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question about whats best when getting a new kitty;

what is the best age to get a cat?
i found some in my local paper. 1 is a tabby and white cat which is 6 months old, and the others are grey, and black and white which are 6 weeks old.

when i had my ginger cat, Flop, i got her when she was a kitten and with her been small we had to be careful she didnt wander off or go where shes not allowed to.
but with a kitten been young, it will grow up in its new enviroment.

whereas getting an older kitty, it means its gonna have to get used to the surrounds and may take a while to settle.

any assistance from you cat Guru's?

thanks!!
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Old 04-24-2007, 12:54 PM   #234
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Kittens are much more work. You have to get them spayed/neutered, get their shots, etc etc. 6 weeks is far too young to adopt a kitten They should be staying with their mother until at LEAST 8 weeks. Is the cat going to be going outside? Hopefully not since bad things happen to cats that go outside, but either way cats are pretty quick to adjust to new surroundings.
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Old 04-24-2007, 12:57 PM   #235
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I got Posh at 8 weeks but she was already spayed and had her distemper shot. If I got a kitten, it would be from a rescue or a shelter, not some people that accidentally bred them. Rescues and shelters spay/neuter them before they can be adopted, give health checks, tests for diseases, and first shots (if possible depending on weight). I got Beckham and Marijke both around 15 weeks.
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Old 04-24-2007, 12:59 PM   #236
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thanks Sicy and Lies, that was fast.

hopefully the kitty will remain indoors, and will not be going out at all.

i was thinking the samething about them been far too young to be up for sale.

when we call about the 6 month one, i'll ask if its had its shots, spayed and what not.
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Old 04-24-2007, 01:03 PM   #237
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Old 04-24-2007, 01:11 PM   #238
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Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje
I got Posh at 8 weeks but she was already spayed and had her distemper shot. If I got a kitten, it would be from a rescue or a shelter, not some people that accidentally bred them. Rescues and shelters spay/neuter them before they can be adopted, give health checks, tests for diseases, and first shots (if possible depending on weight). I got Beckham and Marijke both around 15 weeks.
there isnt a animal shelter or pet store that does cats or dogs where we live.
most of the animals they have are birds, rabbit, and other small pets.
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Old 04-24-2007, 01:26 PM   #239
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we just called about the cats.

all the kittens have gone, and the 6 month has gone too.
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Old 04-24-2007, 01:53 PM   #240
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there isnt a animal shelter or pet store that does cats or dogs where we live.
most of the animals they have are birds, rabbit, and other small pets.
Hmmm, I'm not really familiar with how things work "over there". I wouldn't go to a pet store though. At least in the US, pet store animals are all from puppy/kitten mills and are generally not health checked and are pretty filthy and not at all socialized.

Kittens are my favorite because they are fun and I don't mind the time commitment, but I don't think it necessarily takes an adolescent or older cat longer to adjust. I've seen some kittens get pretty freaked and hide for several days. Marijke was 4-6 months (we really can't tell exactly b/c she was malnourished) and it took her all of 10 seconds. The current cats were the ones hiding!
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