Cat+B=help?

Hi everyone,
i have had a cat for 12 years, she is crazy in love with me, acting more like a dog, following me wherever i go, and sitting on my feet as soon as i seat, so, when i brought my B Haiku home, i followed a very slow approach: for the first 3 days, Haiku was locked in a room, never having eye contact with Pouka (my cat), but being able to smell only each other; than, my son kept the dog in the balcony and i the cat inside, for short periods, allowing them to see each other, but not actually touch each other. And today, the big day, i left the dog free in the living room and the cat sitting on my knees; Pouka was not reacting at first, and i felt relieved, but after a while, Haiku of course, approached curious to smell her; that was it, the cat tried to scratch him, i grabbed her in time, holding her until my son could turn safely Haiku in his room (my hand now looks like grated cheese, at least it's my hand, not his face).
I know it all depends on the character of the animals, i know it will take time and maybe they will never like each other, but, i sure was hoping that eventually they could stay together without fear, but now i hate the idea that for the rest of their lives, i will have to have one animal always locked in a room, taking turns which one will be free…
I know there are no solutions, just patience, i just felt the need to share this story with you all.
Thank you all for your warm welcome you gave me in the "member introduction".

If you have a crate for your Basenji, put the pup in the crate and let the cat approach on her own terms. Since the cat was there first and since cats are, well, cats, she will end up being the boss. Once the cat gets used to the pup being in the house and doesn't throw a hissy-fit around the pup (it may take some time) let the pup out to have actual contact with the cat. The swipe the cat took at the pup was her way of warning pup she's in charge. Just because a cat takes a swipe does not mean she's going to scratch. She may have been just going to swat him without claws extended. The worst thing you can do is overreact and keep them separated. This will build up animosity between the two and, as you found out, cause injury to yourself. If you do not have a crate, use a babygate so they can actually be around each other. You will find that, after some time, the cat may jump into the pup's area to be around him. Also, give the cat somewhere to "escape" to like a high shelf or kitty tree where she can sit above it all and observe. The most important thing to remember is the cat has to be allowed to approach on her own terms. Once she figures out the pup will not hurt her, she will get more comfortable. After she's comfortable with the new family member, you may find they entertain each other pretty well. As a post-script, it is a good idea that pup learn cats have sharp points on them. He will learn respect for cats this way. A couple swats on the nose is not bad for a dog. It's the way animals train each other. Good luck. 🙂

@AJs:

A couple swats on the nose is not bad for a dog. It's the way animals train each other. Good luck. 🙂

A couple of swats to the nose actually can be bad for the dog if they claws are out and the scratches are deep, they can become infected and become quite an expense. But even worse is the risk to the eyes, I have two with corneal scarring due to cat scratches and was lucky that I didn't have to have surgery on the one because the scratch was quite deep and on the edge of her eye.

When we brought Nicky home, we had him and the cats take a turn in the crate so the other could approach without being overwhelmed and both were safe. We also set up a "safe room" for the cats so they could leave rather than attack Nicky. We used a baby gate across the door so they could see each other and the cats could choose to come and go as they pleased. When Nicky got older we had to use to baby gates so he wouldn't jump into the cat's room.

I can't speak from personal experience, but I remember people calling into Patricia McConnell's radio show with this same type of question quite frequently. Major thing she tried to get across was that some cats can take a very long time to adjust…months or more. I think she recommended doing similar steps to what you did but much much slower. I know it feels bad keeping them separated but letting the cat adjust over time is probably best for their long term relationship.

As you realise yourself it is most likely going to take some time before your Basenji and Cat accept each other.
Benji got on ok with both of our Cats, initialy he did get scratched on his face by Jerry who is the more nervous of our cats. Fortunately his muzzle took the damage and not his eyes. He didn't chase Tom but did chase Jerry on occasions, when Jerry didn't stand his ground and ran. However we quite often came home to discover the two of them fast asleep together.
I hope this picture gives you some hope.
We will be doing the same as you next week when we introduce our Pup to Tom and Jerry.

In my experience, some cats get along with the dogs, some do not - my b's try very hard to get my cat to put up with them, approaching with the play position, walking near her but not bothering her, although sometimes Gemma tries to smell her butt, earning her a loud warning shriek. My cat is never going to tolerate them very well - but they have come to a workable solution - each pretty much stays away from the other. Occasionally Shaye will get too "up in her face." - She hisses and growls to let her know to get away, and if Shaye doesn't get the warning, Missymoo simply sticks a claw in her nose. Hopefully, in time Shaye will learn. So far, the scars heal quickly. LOL. Cats and dogs living together, even if they don't like it, will come to some sort of agreement. I used to worry that because of the prey drive, the b's would kill the cat, but have learned that the cat is much too wary for that.

First of all, thank you all for your advices.
Now, things do change and fast!
Haiku was sleeping in my arm and Pouka in her rush to get to my knees had not realized him there, so for a short time they were together!! She did not hiss or tried to scratch, but did not stayed of course long enough, but it was a very promising start.
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Shelley - what a lovely picture.

I have always had cats with Basenjis until now. I've found that the Basenjis vary in their reactions but it is much easier when the Basenji is there before the cat, especially if it's a kitten. I've had various experiences but agree that they should be able to see each other without being allowed to get at each other. I've found that it always depends on the Basenji and on the cat. Every animal is different. We used to have Muscovy ducks with our basenjis and they got along fine. When we went on holiday in our van Bs, cats and ducks and boys happily travelled together with no problems. I would think that some Basenjis have a stronger hunting instinct than others. I have had Basenjis innocently free roaming among sheep and others that would immdiately go in to kill.

@anmus:

First of all, thank you all for your advices.
Now, things do change and fast!
Haiku was sleeping in my arm and Pouka in her rush to get to my knees had not realized him there, so for a short time they were together!! She did not hiss or tried to scratch, but did not stayed of course long enough, but it was a very promising start.

😃 Pouka looks like she's saying "Hmm i'm not keen on this upstart but i'm comfy so i'll stay here !"

@Patty:

We used to have Muscovy ducks with our basenjis and they got along fine. When we went on holiday in our van Bs, cats and ducks and boys happily travelled together with no problems. .

😃 What a great picture this conjures up

A lot of it depends on how the cat reacts. I had 2 cats before getting basenjis. 1 cat was very nervous & skittish around everybody and every animal. She would not stand her ground with the basenjis. The other cat, Spooky, is a lot more outgoing and will stand her ground, and even play with the basenjis.
Spooky has never had a problem with the dogs. Since she was bigger than the puppies when they came home, she could outrun them and outjump them and often teased them by going somewhere they couldn't get to. She would even wrestle with them, and once they started getting too rough, she would swat at them or leave the game to teach them to be more gentle. She doesn't run from them, which causes them to ignore her much of the time as she does not trigger their prey drive. Sometimes Lola gets a little too rambunctious, and every once in a while I hear Lola yelp when Spooky has had to remind Lola that she's breakable. I do keep areas for her to get to that the dogs can't, even if its just a tall desk or a baby gated room, but find that we don't often need it.
The other cat NEVER could get used to the dogs. She was a miserable cat (she was a wild cat to begin with) so I eventually had to make the decision that she would be much happier as an outdoor cat.
You DO have to be careful. Leaving the cat clawed I feel is more humane and gives the cat a way to protect themselves, but I have had to treat Callie & Lola for a scratched eye apiece gained during play. We're fortunate the scratches weren't serious, but it is a definite risk.
Have patience…. I'm lucky all of my animals were young when they were introduced. I'm sure a 12 year old cat is very much "set" in her ways and preferences. She make take a loooong while to come around, especially to a crazy puppy.

Depends on the cat. Cat scratch is mighty dangerous. My cats tried to be tolorent of my Basenjis and refran from hurting them All my Bs like to chase the cats until the cats stopped running and then no big deal as you can see.


Ringo r/w (92-2007) and Francois (92-2008). This cat was so good with the Basenjis. He ran from them for a number of years and lived on the dining room table until I put him down and let them all slowly commingle and then the cat realized "hey, I don't run and they don't care".

Here's Nika as a puppy in 1994 sleeping with my cat Mikey.

A couple swats on the nose is not bad for a dog. It's the way animals train each other. Good luck. 🙂

I have seen this with one of my cats in that they knew my Basenjis were family and didn't want to scratch and would just thump them on the head without scratching.

@thunderbird8588:

😃 Pouka looks like she's saying "Hmm i'm not keen on this upstart but i'm comfy so i'll stay here !"

Correct and sweet cat-reading.

@Patty:

Shelley

When we went on holiday in our van Bs, cats and ducks and boys happily travelled together with no problems.

This picture of yours, with Bs, boys, cats AND ducks(!!?!?!!), is one of these pics you can carry in your mind for a life time and feel thankful for what life offers!

@Patty:

I would think that some Basenjis have a stronger hunting instinct than others. I have had Basenjis innocently free roaming among sheep and others that would immdiately go in to kill.

Exactly. When we had only Jazzy, she lived in relative peace with our cats.
They weren't friends or friendly, but she didn't chase them much and when she did it was without much enthusiasm.
Then we got Keoki and everything changed. I know I've talked about him before – he broke three baby gates in his efforts to get at our cats. We've tried various things to bring them together peacefully -- crating the dog, crating the cats, slow introductions, etc. -- and nothing has been remotely helpful. It's been three years.
So, now the cats live upstairs -- which is bigger than the downstairs and where the kids spend the bulk of their afternoons and all night -- and the Basenjis live downstairs.

I should add, the cats have never been the problem. They have both lived in peace and friendship -- sleeping together etc -- with our dogs in the past. Neither one had ever been chased by a dog, Until Jazz, whom as I said did okay with them, but they were never friends as they'd always been with our other dogs.
And Keoki....forget about it.

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