Tagged: “dog”

Introducing Your New Cat to Your Dog

Introducing Your New Cat to Your Dog

Introducing Your New Cat to Your Dog

You added a new kitty to your family! Congratulations! Now comes the challenge of introducing your new cat to your dog. There are many factors to consider before making the new cat to current dog introduction: Is you resident dog a young pup? Is your resident dog already cat friendly? Does your resident dog have a high prey drive? Is your new kitty “dog friendly”? Is your new kitty a small kitten? Is your new kitty nervous, high-strung or generally afraid? Keep these questions in mind as you continue to read.

Remember: Relationships take time to develop. Never force introductions! Your resident Fido might LOVE new kitty but new kitty could HATE Fido. And vice versa. Your job is to be their mentor, to supervise their interactions, to help them forge a positive relationship. This means all their encounters must be associated with POSITIVE experiences. Positive experiences include: 

  • Food/treats
  • Play
  • Attention/Praise

 Be patient and calm: Throughout this phase speak calmly, be generous with praise. Reinforce positive behavior with treats. Provide resident Fido special attention. You don’t want him getting jealous of new kitty. New kitty can receive special cuddles in private. Avoid scolding, speaking in a nervous voice — even if the first meeting did not go well. 

Texas Animal Guardians New Cat/Dog introductions

Baby kitten needs to be kept safe at all times!

CAUTION:

1. Never introduce a tiny kitten to a full grown dog or even a puppy without holding the kitten: Little kitten bones can be easily broken and internal injuries can result from a quick swat of a dog paw or worse death can result if dog grabs kitten by neck and shakes it.

2. Never leave the new kitty and dog unsupervised: A dog can kill a cat very quickly. Even if you think your dog LOVES cats, be very cautious about leaving them alone together. ALWAYS give your new Kitty an escape route, something high to jump up on or a small cat door that he/she can run into (and dog can’t) to hide in safe area.

A Primer on New Cat and Dog Introductions

First!: Give new kitty a “safe” space of her own. A small room is preferable, perhaps a half bath or even a seldom-used closet. Place kitty’s box, food, a scratching post, a comfy bed and blanket in her room. Give new kitty a chance to “decompress” in this setting for a few days before making introductions.

Second!: Give new kitty a chance to explore the home (with Fido out of the way). Start with one room first and gradually expand this to other areas of the home. Give her a scratching post in one of the primary rooms of your home (living room, family room, etc.). The scratching post will help trim her claws while releasing pheromones from her paw pads. These pheromone scents will provide her tranquility.

Third!: Give Fido a blanket to sleep on and in a few days swap out the blankets between the two. That is, give Fido new kitty’s blanket and give new kitty Fido’s blanket. The idea behind this is to co-mingle their scents. Scents that are familiar are far less threatening. Continue swapping the unwashed blankets back and forth over this crucial introductory phase. 

Fourth!: Purchase these items to help the meeting go smoother between the two: calming collars or sprays. A specifically designed gate with an opening for cat to go through (to prevent Fido from following new kitty into her “safe” area).

Fifth!: Set up a supervised meeting between Fido and new kitty.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-love-dog-cat-image1570326

Let Kitty approach Fido on her own.

1. Select an area of the home where both new kitty and Fido are familiar.

2. Place a leash on Fido.

3. Do not use a leash or harness on the kitty — or anything else (such as a crate or carrier) that will cause the new kitty to feel trapped.

4. Have another member of the family or a friend hold Fido’s leash.

5. Bring Fido in first, then new kitty. (Place them far enough apart so they will feel comfortable.)

6. Allow them to set the pace about approaching each other. (Give Fido plenty of treats and praise for good behavior. If Fido knows basic obedience place him in a sit or down position.)

7. Let new kitty approach Fido if she wants to but don’t force her.

8. Keep this meeting short! After a few minutes put Fido away.

9. Let new kitty continue sniffing the area where Fido has been. Put new kitty away.

10. Bring Fido back into the room and allow him to sniff the area where new kitty has been.

11. Repeat this several times a day for a week (perhaps longer) or until the new kitty approaches Fido on her own.

12. Once they have touched noses, sniffed each other without incidence you can begin increasing their time together. Repeat these short visits until both Fido and new Kitty are comfortable with each other. Continue to keep a leash on Fido while they are in the same room together until you are certain they are comfortable with each others company. Always keep them separated when no one is home to supervise their interactions. 

cat_napping

A few suggestions: Separate an area for new kitty for her litter box and food. Fido will often indulge in eating kitty’s food and the litter box is a huge temptation for Fido. Place kitty’s food up on a high counter. Place litter box in a room with a propped open door (or better yet purchase a specifically designed gate that gives her access but keeps Fido out).

carlson-extra-wide-walk-thru-gate-with-pet-door

Gate with separate “cat” door keeps Fido out of kitty’s safe room.

Calming Collars Dogs

Calming collars can help introductions.

Calmming Collars Cats

BOOMING Year for Adoptions!

BOOMING Year for Adoptions!

DustyAdoptionTexas Animal Guardians closes 2014 with record number of adoptions!

Texas Animal Guardians’ adoption numbers for 2014 are officially in: One hundred and sixty-three adoptions! This includes both dogs and cats and it is our best number yet. Not only has 2014 been a banner year for adoptions but it has also been a year of growth. Our volunteers are helping to make this growth possible. Thanks to them we have expanded the Petsmart Cat Center adoptions program. With this program, we are able to house more cats and kittens at the New Braunfels Petsmart store. Here they can be viewed seven-days-a-week by potential adopters. Our TNR (Trap Neuter Release) program has also grown. Thanks to the efforts of TAG hundreds of otherwise doomed cats and kittens were given a new lease on life. The TAG Dog Squad program was also out there helping homeless people with dogs by distributing collars, leashes, harnesses, food and treats. To ensure that people who are low on funds can still feed their pets the TAG Kibble Kare program provided pet food whenever possible.

Texas Animal Guardians Dog Squad Program

Ladybug, a regular feature in South Austin,
is a Dog Squad recipient.

It is traditional to make goals for the New Year. Like people, organizations do the same. Texas Animal Guardians is no exception. So what are the hopes and aspirations of TAG for 2015? First and foremost, to reach 210 adoptions in 2015.  TAG would like to distribute pet food to the needy on a regular schedule and give the Dog Squad homeless people more support with food, blankets, dog sweaters and flea/tick preventatives. And TAG has a brand new endeavor: to start a pet therapy program for children, nursing home residents and those in hospitals.

Naturally, these goals can only be achieved with more volunteers. To adopt out 210 dogs and cats in 2015 we will need more foster homes. Fostering a puppy or a kitten is rewarding on so many levels. It’s a fun-filled, family activity that has lots of memory-making moments. And, who doesn’t love a puppy? Even the resident dogs seem to accept tiny puppies. Adult dogs help to potty train puppies, they teach pups appropriate manners and help socialize them. Children learn how to be selfless by giving their time to a help a little creature. Kittens are adorable! And so much fun. They don’t need much space, a spare bathroom or bedroom will do. They only stay in foster care until they can enter the Petsmart Cat Adoption Center. Experienced bottle feeders are also appreciated since they can help out with abandoned or orphaned kittens

Texas Animal Guardians TNR program has saved hundreds of otherwise hopeless cats.

Chuy, a TAG TNR program recipient,
was given medical aid and
recovered from a severe upper
respiratory infection. He was recently adopted
into a loving family.

Texas Animal Guardians would also like to expand its current programs to include an animal therapy program. As mentioned, this program would go into children’s homes, nursing homes and even hospitals. Let’s face it, furry balls of fluff epitomize organic mood therapy. It’s a proven fact that interacting with puppies or kittens will brighten the mood of even the most crestfallen person. They don’t even need to do anything special, just sit there and be cute.Without trying they naturally lift the spirits of those around them. With enough willing volunteers we could bring joy to others while socializing puppies and kittens. This will be a double-good therapeutic program because it ensures positive results to all participants.

The bottom line is that volunteers are needed in every aspect of the Texas Animal Guardians organization. Whatever your skill is, whatever your schedule allows, whatever your passion is – we will find a way to utilize and accommodate it. The results are what count: more adoptions! If you feel led to join the cause please do not hesitate to contact us. We value each of our volunteers. Just go to our forms page, fill out the volunteer application, list the areas you are interested in and someone will contact you.

In conclusion, we would like to thank all our adopters, volunteers, Petsmart Charities, and the New Braunfels Petsmart staff for a most wonderful 2014. And, we wish each and everyone a very Happy New Year. A special wish goes out to our fellow rescue workers: here’s to lots of successful adoptions in 2015!

Texas Animal Guardians adoption program has saved 163 lives in 2014, including this little puppy.


Rescued!
Adopted!
Loved!