by Emma Griffiths
(Wadhurst, East Sussex, England)
I have had Piper my cat for six year and my boyfriend has had Logan, a large bouncy husky dog for two. We have just moved in together 2 months ago and we are at a loss as to what to do with the animals - neither of is want to part with out beloved pets so we need to find a way so that they can hopefully live together happily, or at least, tolerate each other.
Piper, the cat, moved in first for a month by himself and us because we thought he could scent it and claim it as his territory. We live in a two bedroom maisonette and have a large garden. The lady beneath us also has an older 15 year old cat and as it is a fairly populated street we have seen about 6 other cats all close by. We have a garden, but we have seen other cats in it and are worried that Pip isn't claiming it for his own as he hasn't been going out very much. Pip has a shelf up high as I read they feel safest on higher levels, and we have out a lot of his toys bedding etc in the spare room so that he feels safe there.
Logan the dog moved in last month. We have kept a stair gate infront of 'Pips' room so that at least Pip can run into it and the dog can't get there if he feels uneasy. We have been trying to keep them separated and are trying to show them gradually to each other. Pip will sit on top of a chest of drawers looking out at logan. When the dog notices him looking though, he will get up and wimper and want to sniff or play with him, but Pip puffs himself up and hisses or makes a growling noises and very slowly retreats back down and hides from the dog.
There was an incident where pip was trying to go outside but the window was closed and Logan chased after him, he isn't an aggressive dog at all he is very friendly, but pip was swiping at him and bloodied his nose, I was shaking as Logan then was trying to grab pip but eventually I managed to pull the dog away and seperate them again. I can't keep living in a house where we are now having to make sure one door is closed and the dog is kept in two rooms and on the otherside pip is through there as he is able to go out side that was, but I am worrying all the time if the door opens a fight will happen again. I'm also worried Pip is stressed that he hasn't got a territory due to the other cats and now a dog in his home.
What do I do? How do you introduce cats and dogs, even to the point of them able to just tolerate each other but still be in the same room. I'm at a loss I just don't know how or what to do.
Thank you kindly for any help at all,
Emma, I empathize with your situation. It is a very stressful and difficult spot to be in. Every animal is different and unfortunately there are no easy answers. All I can do is suggest you read the page on this site that covers many of the variables. I send best wishes for a successful resolution.
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