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is it okay to let him play with the dog?

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
Oreo

I bite back
 
 
Purred: Mon Aug 26, '13 7:16pm PST 
My dog is a small dog, part toy breed, but at least twice as big as Oreo at this point.
Most of the time I do have them separated, and they are never together unsupervised. But Oreo just doesn't know when to leave Treader alone.

Sometimes Treader seems to like to play with him, and other times he just wants to be left alone. It helps that Treader is fairly patient and apparently tries to avoid biting if possible, but I don't want to test that.

But even if Treader is just playing with him, I'm worried he's being too rough. Oreo is pretty rough himself, he seems to like it that way.
I did find what looked like a couple small scabs on his nose the other day. One on each side, like my dog had bit a little too hard there. I was gone most of this past week, and that probably happened when one of my family members had them both out one day. I asked them not to have them out together while I'm gone.

Play biting is normal for dogs and apparently cats as well, but where do I draw the line? Or should I just not let them play at all?

Edited by author Mon Aug 26, '13 7:21pm PST

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Midas

'cause his touch- is too much!
 
 
Purred: Tue Aug 27, '13 1:18am PST 
This is a difficult question, because there is no "right" answer. So I will just give you an example, my personal experience. I have 3 small dogs. Currently, they are all smaller than the cat (though one is just a puppy and should get bigger. One dog wants nothing to do with the cat. One, the smallest, plays a lot with the cat. The puppy gets hunted by the cat, but he is new so that doesn't really matter. Haha. It will change. The one that plays with the cat though, it was kind of a rough start. Ember (dog) would end up with scratch marks from the cat (started trimming his nails after that), and would yipe if he bit her too hard. After a few weeks though, they started to figure each other out. Now, after almost 9 months, even when I don't trim his claws there are no scratches. They know how to play without hurting each other. That probably doesn't help though, as I was more worried about the cat hurting the dog than the reverse as is your case.
I do want to caution you on how you try to break them up if they are playing though, as if you do it negatively either animal might start to associate the other with a negative response from you, and become defensive if they see the other approaching.
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Stella

Stella- Felinis--Queen- of All Kitties!
 
 
Purred: Wed Aug 28, '13 6:34pm PST 
It's Stella. A long time ago, our person had a lovely doggie, Trinket. She was a fixed female but she had had puppies when she was young. She was a collie/chow mix, so pretty big, 40 pounds or so with long collie fur. When our person first got her, she had one older cat who did not like dogs. Trinket tried to be friendly and playful but the cat was having none of that and scratched Trink's nose. That cat left and about three years later we got another one who was a kitten. They played wonderfully and were the best of friends. Sometimes it looked a little rough but the cat never got hurt--it was always Trink who was getting bit or scratched. She would try to back away but the kitten was forceful. Eventually as the kitten grew up, they played nicely and slept together. This cat was killed by a car at age 4. We then got another kitten a few months later. This kitten was separated from her mother too soon and became convinced that Trink was her mother. They played together like a mother and puppy, and again, the dog got the worst of it. My person came into the room once and Trinket was standing there and the kitten was hanging around her neck, biting her fur and kicking her! Trink had the most patient but beleaguered look on her face, like, "Look what I have to put up with!"

The answer is that it depends on the dog, its temperament, its background and upbringing, etc. It will change as the kitten gets older and eventually the kitten will not try to force the older dog to play. It sounds pretty okay, there will be wounds as animals do play rough, but it sounds like the dog knows when to back off. Sometimes those kittens can be awfully rough, even when they are playing with people. Keep everyone's claws trimmed well, and it probably is a good idea not to let them play together alone or leave them alone together until they can work out a method of playing.

We all think it sounds perfectly horrifying, but our person assures us that Trinket loved these kitties, having been raised with them since early puppyhood, and we would feel the same way if we had been raised with dogs.
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