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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-19-2010, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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House guests and cats

Sounds like I'll be facing a potentially delicate situation before long, and am wondering how best to get my kitties through the ordeal. I don't want to go into too much detail, but here are the basics ...

My SO and I will have house guests staying with us for 2-3 nights while they're in town for an important occasion. The trick is that with these guests come their 3 dogs (4-lb, 6-lb, and 35-lb). These dogs don't have high chase drives and are, in general, very easily controlled by their owners (despite being spoiled rotten ), but they don't have extensive experience co-existing with cats so it's difficult to predict how they'll react to ours.

One of my cats, the male, lived with a terrier in my previous home. I wouldn't say he's 100% comfortable with dogs, but he's familiar with them and has lived more or less peacefully with them in the past. The second cat is female -- I've never seen her interact with dogs before, but she's not a skittish or fearful type. In general, though, I'm just a little concerned about just throwing strange dogs into my cats' territory for 3 days. Seems like inviting chaos. And potentially urine marking.

Before people start posting suggestions that I find an alternate arrangement for the guests... there is no alternative. They won't kennel the dogs, they won't leave them with a dog-sitter, and there are no available dog-friendly hotels in our town that have vacant rooms on these dates. And it's a significant enough occasion that we absolutely want them present. So if we want the guests, we get the dogs ... package deal, end of story.

My goal is just to keep the animals separated. Our house is not huge, but can be partitioned, potentially with baby gates, such that there's discrete cat territory and dog territory. But I would love any other suggestions or advice on how to make this as peaceful a visit as possible, for all animals involved. Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-19-2010, 11:42 PM
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Re: House guests and cats

For 2-3 nights, it's not worth stressing the cats, dogs, you or your guests. I'd keep them separated.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 12:12 AM
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Re: House guests and cats

Yes, I'd separate them, but I don't think baby gates would work. Cats are such good jumpers and very curious about anything new. I think you'd be best to have a door between them.




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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 06:45 AM
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Re: House guests and cats

You might want to look into some Rescue Remedy, or something similar for the cats while your guests are visiting. It might help to keep their stress level down. Maybe even start a day, or two, before so they are already mellow.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-20-2010, 06:16 PM
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Re: House guests and cats

Have a FABULOUS time with your guests for the events everyone is attending. I think this can work easily. I would keep the animals separated from each other so they never get to *see* each other. The kitties can live in a bedroom for 3 days, possibly letting them out and into the rest of the house when the dogs are also all out of the home. If the dogs are there constantly, then I'd just leave the kitties in the bedroom constantly. It is a bit of an inconvenience, but I think it is do-able.



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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-22-2010, 02:28 PM
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Re: House guests and cats

IMHO it's the DOGS who need to be kept in one room, not the cats! When I would visit my parents during grad school, I usually brought my dog w/ me. My dog LIVED with cats, but there's still no reason to make my parents' cat -- or their dogs--interact w/ my dog. My dog stayed in my bedroom, and was crated when I wasn't there. I took her out on lead, walked her a lot, etc. She had NO interaction w/ my parents' cat and very little w/ their dogs. Everyone was safe and happy.

That is what I would insist on. They should be travelling w/ crates anyway -- have them crate the dogs in their room when they cannot be in there with them, and the dogs should only pass through the rest of the house on lead on their way to going outside.

I wouldn't have guests in my home who were unwilling to comply with such restrictions -- it's unfair to restrict the animals whose home it really IS!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-22-2010, 08:43 PM
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Re: House guests and cats

I say restriction to a bedroom. My three will have restriction to our bedroom for the better part of the week, d/t we are starting kitchen demolition and I want to be sure when I come home there are still 3 cats here (none run out the open front door etc). They dont' love it but they've done it before, and they spend the biggest portion of the day asleep on our bed anyway.

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