How to introduce a kitten to two dogs?

My grandparents cat passed away about two months ago. In October, they plan to go on vacation and I m mulling the idea of adopting a kitten (or cat) from a shelter for them as a surprise when they get back since my grandmother s only criteria is "a long haired breed". The only thing that makes me hesitant is her two dogs – she has a pair of 11-year-old shi tzus and while they have a remarkable track record with animals smaller than them (namely the small flock of birds we keep), I m a little worried about the possible confrontations with a new animal. So while I haven t made a final decision, I d be really grateful for some tips on how to safely introduce a new kitten into a home with two small dogs!

  • <cite class="sig">ATaraschke</cite>

    While your intentions are good, it's a bad idea to adopt a cat for someone else. If you really want to get them a new cat, get them a 'gift certificate' for a shelter adoption, then take them down there so that she can pick out one herself. And this way you also know that she is ready to have a new pet.

    Was their last cat indoors and did the dogs interact with him? Not the birds – but the cat. Were they OK with it? If you are concerned, then consider getting a young adult. Kittens are small and fragile, while a cat can handle two small dogs. You of course need to introduce them gradually – dogs on lead only at first. Are the dogs well trained – meaning they know the commands of sit, stay, leave it? If not start working on that now. Training is KEY to successful dog/cat relationships. There are other accommodations to make too. Once is a tall piece of cat furniture where the cat can climb to get away from the dogs. Same situation exists for the litter box and food, they need to be place where the cat can get to them without interference from the dog. Food and water can be placed on a table, the litter box of course is a bit trickier. A litter box guarded by the dogs means the cat will go someplace else. But if the dogs live successfully with a cat, indoors, then it will be easer. Again, a young cat (or kitten age 6 months and up) is always safer to introduce to dogs, as they are more able to get away if they need to.

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