Introducing a new kitten into a one-dog household

Got a new, young, furry love in your life? This is the place for you to ask all of your questions - big or small! Just remember that you are receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist! Most important is to remember to have fun with your new fur baby.


Member Since
Purred: Fri Aug 17, '07 5:54am PST 
About a month ago, my neighbors and I discovered a litter of newborn kittens outside our apartment building. One of my neighbors took in the kittens and their mom, and my roommate has decided to adopt one of the kittens when they're old enough.

Henry, my dog, has been an only child for awhile, and I'm not quite sure how he'll react. He's a smallish poodle mix - about 20 pounds - and a rescue with some separation/anxiety issues. He's been around cats at my parent's house before, but they were tough, mostly outdoor country cats that are used to dogs - he did pretty well with them and mostly just seemed curious. He's tried to pull toward ferrel cats around our apartment complex before when we're out walking, but it seemed to be more of a "lemme play" motion than an aggressive action - actually, I've never seen him act aggressively toward any person or animal. And the kittens are being raised in an apartment with a dog. So I think having a kitten in the apartment will work out okay, but I am a little nervous about it. My hope is that they'll end up friends and the kitten will be someone Henry can enjoy being around (although this is just a temporary situation, since we're probably moving apart in January, I might consider adopting a kitten myself at a later date if it turns out Henry likes having this kitten around).

Since the kitten will be my roommate's, the kitten's litterbox/food/etc. should be in her room, and we should be able to separate them easily when we're both gone (and will at least at first).

Does anyone have any suggestions for successfully integrating a kitten into the mix? Any help would be appreciated!

Delyte, Dark- Angel, at- Bridge

Me and my- person, together- against all
Purred: Fri Aug 17, '07 1:18pm PST 
This is Delyte. Our person had a dog, many years before we were born. The dog was integrated into her household as a young puppy with two older and very antisocial cats, who taught her to keep her distance and respect cats. Ten years later, when both of those cats had died, she got a tiny kitten who was born outside around here. The kitten was at first frightened of the dog, but the dog, who had had puppies before she was spayed, adopted the kitten as her child, and they were unbelievably close until the dog died, 4 years later. They played adorably and the dog washed the kitten constantly.

Since your dog is a male, you probably won't get the same response, but there should be some kind of bonding between them, and they should get along okay and maybe even become very close. If the dog knows to respect cats, and the kitten knows that dogs are not the enemy, that is a long way towards getting along. There may be some hissing at the beginning, and you will have to remember to spread your affection equally to dog and kitten, or there will be jealousy.

Good luck! Lucky kitten to find a home!

Member Since
Purred: Fri Aug 17, '07 9:50pm PST 
Thanks Delyte! I'm really hoping they become friends. I think Henry could use some animal companionship, and I happen to be both a dog and a cat person, so it would be great if it worked out!


Purred: Sun Aug 19, '07 7:33pm PST 
Hi there! Right now I live with Maggie, a black dachshund. At first she eyed me with.. such interest that I felt she wanted to pounce me but I stayed away from her turf and she left me alone. Josalee, our owner, treats us both fairly, and so Maggie and I don't resent one another. Good luck on your new pet. wave


The world's a- toy
Purred: Sun Aug 19, '07 9:50pm PST 
I live with some herding breeds so you can guess they wanted to run after me! Now we run together all in fun, but at first the safest place was on top of the couch. Mom wasn't terribly worried with the dogs coming to get me because she kept them doing "downs" and "stays" and the like for a while.



If your dog isn't absolutely a 100% command responder I'd recommend a leash to keep the dog in control at all times.

I read to have the dog sniff the cat from under the door before introductions, we did it but really it was like baby steps for them TOO much because one grew up with a cat.

From experience, put the cats food in an elevated spot, (table), so the dog eating it will not be an issue.

Having a "safe spot" is great.

The kitten wasn't careful enough with his claws at the beginning so I felt better having "SoftPaws" on his nails. I was so scared while playing OR NOT, that someone's eye would get scratched

~Aden's Mom