getting pit bull aquainted to cats

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  • #14525
    lorahayes
    Participant

    we took in a pitbull male who is a yr old he gets along with our other pitbull and chiquaua we got him yesterday he has done awsome getting along with the dogs he hasnt been around other animals hes not doing so well with the cats does anyone have any ideas

    #16278
    Yaminpix
    Participant

    I have a blind cat and another kitten and I just introduced them to Riley, my pit bull mix. (3/4 pit bull, 1/4 German shepherd) The best solution was to confine the cats to a room where there was a crack under the door. The dog was sniffing and scratching and we just went on with life, after a while he got over it. We left it like that for a week or so and then we started to open the door but put up 2 baby gates (one on top of the other so the dog couldn’t jump over) and we closed the door when we weren’t around to supervise. Then Riley could see the cats but couldn’t chase them. As before, he got over it after a while (though he was extremely curious and a little crazy at first.) The cats became a part of the scenery. After that, we started letting the cats and the dog interact without a barrier. Whenever Riley was too excited with the cats, we gave him a very sharp reprimand and a spank (not a hit! Don’t hit!! just a little tap on the butt to get his attention and make a clear point.) When he was good, we praised him excessively and gave occasional treats. After a while the cats and Riley had virtually no issues. Throughout the whole process we rewarded good behavior and reprimanded when necissary. One more tip that helps alot is to make sure your dog is tired out every time he meets the cats. Less energy to focus on them can go a long way. Basically, we introduced them slowly over a long period of time in a situation where they could see and smell each other but not make any contact until we felt like they were ready. Good Luck!

    #16403
    RachelAltner
    Participant

    We have a similar story with introducing our pit (Madison) to our cat Sherlock. I agree with everything that is stated above, ESPECIALLY about the dog being exercised before dog/cat interaction.

    Just a caution however, Sherlock (and most cats in general)is a little instigator!! He will initiate chase by running up to Madison, and as soon as he approaches her, runs the other way! She, for the most part does well. However, if she hasn’t been exercised enough she will ensue in the chase game.

    For the most part, they now play with Sherlock flipping onto his back while Madison nuzzles her snout in his belly. He will shrimp off her face and move his body a bit, then she’ll place her snout in his belly again. She has learned to become very gentle with him, despite the fact that he is not declawed and I am not the best at keeping up with his soft paws (a bit ashamed of that). It is very cute to see the two of them play. I will probably ended up posting a video of it in the near future 🙂

    #16466
    KaylasMom
    Participant

    I agree with most everything, other than the physical contact given to “reprimand” the dog. By doing that, you may be causing your dog to think along the lines of “Hmmm…when I do something not right around that cat, I get tapped. I don’t want to be tapped I need to extinguish the cat, as the cat causes me to get tapped on the butt, which I don’t like”. What you are doing may trigger your dogs brain to realize that cat=punishment. In time, the dog will retaliate on the cat, and that isn’t what you are after. You are looking for a peaceful cohabitation between two enemies.

    You want to do this in the most positive manner as possible. Any type of aversive punishment (water bottle, hitting, tapping roughly, etc.) can have the wrong effect on what you are trying to accomplish. You are setting your dog up for failure, and that is the last thing that you want. Your dog will associate the item that you are trying to make him/her like with a negative response. Let’s say that if every time you took a bite of yummy chocolate, I slapped you. You would take it for awhile, but in time you would retaliate, yell, or do something. That is what will happen to the dog.

    Crate the cat and allow the dog to sniff around the crate. As you are doing this, each time the dog reacts positively (by not growling, lunging, etc.), reward the dog with a really high-value treat (chicken, steak, liver, tripe, etc.). After some time of doing this day after day for a few weels, move the cat to a room where there is more free movement and allow the dog to watch and sniff, keeping the dog on a short, tight leash. Having a baby gate up in a room and monitoring the cat on one side and the dog on the other is a great way to do it also.

    Introducing a cat to a breed of dog that already has a high prey drive (it is a terrier after all) takes time, treats, a lot of praise, and a lot of patience. This is NOT something that you can RUSH. Many APBTs and other breeds never take to cats, or take to them at first, and then treat them as prey later on. Please research it more before you allow them to meet nose to nose. Always supervise them when they are together, and never leave them alone together. Many people have dogs and cats that coexist and many have grown up together, but problems still can occur. Many don’t ever get along. Just be prepared. 🙂 Cats do things that entice dogs to chase and go into hunter –> prey mode. You have to be watching them all the time!

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