First: The cat owner has already had one or 2 dogs to visit beforehand to sense their cat's reactions and to see if they think they can managed what could be a 2-5 weeks desensitisation period. It would not be right to put the new Rescue dog in that predicament.
Incoming Rescue Dog:
Dog on a short lead (and muzzle if 'muzzle tolerant') and the short lead left on and hanging so whenever the family need they can pick up the lead take the dog passed the cat so referenced but NOT FIXATED. Also acts as emergency lead to pick up or step on in an emergency ie attempt to chase cat.
Keep moving don't allow the dog to focus / fixate attention of cat visually 'see and move on' see and move one' you want the dog to see the cat and think 'so what' and accept cat as their pack member.
Smell - Allow dog to smell cat's area; bed/ resting place..accepting it into the pack environment
Owner aware and alert ready using voice to shape behaviour reward, or distract or strongly command attention away from cat
Escape routes for cat
Wire crate rather than covered carrier. Latter can create a barrier; put the cat on edge; and focus the dog on hyper alert to noise and movement. The cat needs to use their body language convey to the dog their control of the situation. Dog can't see it properly only smell and hear which are his 2 most vital senses but loss of vision can add concern. Preferable to this is the dog held on short lead and reassured when cat comes in and walks by with distraction and conveyance all is well no need to be alert.
Walking Practice - Muzzle, short lead controlled and especially voice to call back; call back so the cat feels you're in control and they are safe and dog does also.
Calm settled atmosphere
Emergency Water Shock treatment -Voice is best shock to distract attention from cat but some use a water squirter nearby just in case either goes for grab. Ensure water changed daily so fresh and squirt directly in the offending animals eyes
Ideal is, all in lounge cat enters, dog on short lead and no tension given but you begin to talk to the dog to distract their attention from the cat and call away on sighting. OR dog in garden cat comes into garden. Activity attracted away from cats area so cat can feel safe and sit and watch in a safe position..dog sees cat is called away treat given
Dogs that are looking for their forever homes that could live with a cat
1 post • Page 1 of 1