How to safely introduce a kitten to my 2 boys?
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  • Long story short, I found an orphan kitten 6-8 weeks. He's been vetted & wormed and I've kept him separated from the B's for two weeks. How do I go about introducing them? So far I've been sitting on the sofa holding the kitten against my shoulder in a blanket so he fails safe nd letting the dogs approach within a foot or sniff the kitten one at a time. It's going well, though the dogs obviously still see the kitten as a food/prey item because they're "begging" for him, etc. The kitten is at that cute, innocent stage where he's not afraid of them at all, but is much too small to teach them to respect his claws, but be now wants to jump down and scamper around to play which would be a disaster. How do I get them all used to each other safely? Keep them apart until the kitten is able to defend itself? I'm afraid he'll be afraid and unsocialized by then…

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    Hard one that is, have only ever introduced dog to kitten, puppy to cat when both animals have had contact with each species since birth through the Breeder. I would try crating(if you do crate) the dogs but letting them see the kitten move around and reward them when calm, wait till kitten is bigger and do one on one introductions controlled always by you and reward nice contact. Would never leave cat alone with two dogs as it would be outnumbered and definitely even my boy now is still excited by fast moving cat. Good luck.

    Jolanda and Kaiser

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  • Safely? Honestly, you can't. If they were not raised with it, if they are seeing it as prey, you are risking its life by keeping it unless you have the ability to give it its own room safe from them always. And really, no. .. no matter how big, his claws will NOT make him able to defend himself. Some dogs go insane when a cat scratches them. You have an adult cat and a puppy, they can teach respect. I really hate to be negative, but I knew a gal with a chow that was interested in cats as an entre. She kept her cat, that she had owned for 17 yrs, in her bedroom. Worked for about 4 yrs, door didn't catch, came home to the cat gutted, blood even under the bed where it tried to escape. She had a nervous breakdown and never got in touch with the rescues she worked with or any of us again. I hate to be graphic, but you have to really consider if your desire to own this kitten is worth the risk when they clearly want to kill it. Many dog breeds, in fact a lot of basenji, can be safely introduced to cats even if never around them. But your guys have already given you clear warning.

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  • While in part I usually would agree, Debra, but one of my puppy owners had numberous times introduce kittens to adult Basenjis… you just need to be smart in the beginning, like never leaving them alone with the kitty... at least until mostly grown... and his Basenjis (various ages) learned quickly to respect the claws. He has introduced adult Basenjis to adult cats, Basenji puppy to adult cats, kittens to adult Basenjis... just have to be smart AND it takes lots and lots of time. Again unless you are right there all the time and focused on the kitty, otherwise, the kitty should always be kept in a secure and safe place when not being supervisered and without distractions

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  • If they do get the cat you can't blame the dogs, they were only doing what they are hard wired to do. Our girl slaughter a nest of juvenile bunnies. There was not a lot we could do to intervene. They were running everywhere and the dog had a switch flip in her and systematically hunted, killed and ate all but one, we were able to save. My wife was horrified. She was furious with our dog. It was a horrible thing to witness. However It was like watching a nature show the way she twisted and turned to catch them, instinctively
    Killing them with one bite, then gobbling them up. This is all by the time you could get to her.

    She killed without anger or vengeance, it was just a natural thing. They are predators don't forget. Hard wired hunters.

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  • I had a grown cat when I got Shaye as a puppy; she quickly learned to respect the claws and stayed away. When I got Gemma at 14 months, she'd never seen a cat, and definitely approached it as if it were prey, and got a very quick lesson in cat claws in the nose; she never did really stop trying to sneak up on the cat and do it harm, but the cat always turned quickly enough to nail Gemma. My cat died last year of old age and a stroke which disabled her, and although I love cats, I now have Gemma alone, and I would not dare introduce a new cat to this house so long as she is here. Basenjis, even the mixes, are hunters; cats and squirrels and the like are prey, hard to change their nature…........

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  • When I got Maggii and OJ (my first two Basenjis) we had a cat… he never swiped at the Basenjis with his claws, had he I think that the male (OJ) would have been better. While my Maggii was the really the least bit interested in the cat, OJ was a mess... he was for sure that it was there for his plucking pleasure... They did finally figure out that he was part of the household, however if he ran, the chase was on... always... so much so that he lived on one side of the house and them on the other.... He (the cat) didn't really mind as he had his own kitty door to the deck in the master bedroom that was on 2nd floor and could come and go via the property fence. Maggii did play a game with the cat... she would lay in the back of the yard and wait for him to come walking along the fence, she would wait till he was on the gate, run as fast as she could and hurl herself against the gate, which would rock back and forth and see if the cat fell in the yard... Needless to say, we nailed that gate shut (there are more than one)

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