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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, my Kitty Ariel is quite the adventurer. After a couple days he was begging to come hang out with the family... including the dogs. He already loves Molly (the old lab is so EXCITED to have another baby in the house to look after. She has already told Bailey to back off a couple times.) but him and Bailey...

To explain the set up- I have only been letting the dogs and the cats see each other when Ariel looks interested, and through a cracked open door. All because he has been looking at the door, meowing at me, looking back at the door, stretching out to touch the doorknob with his front paws and then look and meow at me, etc. He has slipped and ran out a couple of times and has done well, and the dogs have done very well (though it about gave me a heart attack).

Except... Bailey thinks the cat is a new puppy. And she never really learned how to play gently, despite us trying to teach her... You can see where I am going with this. She is prancing around, getting in play position, and all around acting like the rough-and-tumble ******* woman dog she is. Ariel is slowly getting used to this... I think.

He is giving me mixed signals, okay?

So, what it looks like to me- His ears are up at attention and still. His tail is in the straight up and quirked at the end 60% of the time. He will approach Bailey himself half the time. What it seems like to me is that he is interested and even tries to play with her, but then she starts prancing around all rough and tumble and he doesn't like it, so he only then arches his back and lets off a hiss and swats.

And then sometimes it looks like he tries to initiate play! Such as the time he darted out and danced around Bailey, went under the bed, but the let his tail slip out and started twitching the tip... as if trying to get Bailey to pounce on his tail! (Speaking of which, when Molly was sleeping he tried to pounce on hers. It was adorable.)

However, he also lets out this low displeased meow sometimes (even with his ears and tail up and in 'friendly and interested' position), so... I is confused. (Also, to clarify- I give him a clear escape back to his safe room that he has taken a couple times and the dogs cannot follow, so I know he is clear if he wants to leave. Since he is so eager to get out and about I have let the intro process speed up since the main problem is Bailey being so exuberant rather than aggressive.)

I have been bouncing back and forth on the idea of whether or not to keep him in my room more, but he really does seem ok most of the time. I am just worried that I am reading his body language and vocalizations wrong! Any advise?

And sorry for the length, just had a lot of details to pack in! :eek:nekitty
 

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What it sounds like to me is that Ariel is trying to set some boundaries with Bailey. Since Bailey doesn't know how to play with a kitty, Ariel is teaching her. He is showing her that she is getting too rough or rambunctious when he arches up and hisses, but by dancing around her at other times, he is giving her the signal that it is okay to play with him.
It also seems liek he is trying to "correct" her when she misreads his signals, or wants to play when he isn't in the mood.

I would say just stick with what you're doing now, and let Ariel set the tone for play between him and the doggies. :)
 

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When Kitty Ariel wants to come out and play, I would put a leash on Bailey so she doesn't get too rambunctious. Kitty is still a bit frightened of Bailey likely because of her size and bounciness. So if you can get Bailey to be a little more sedate when KItty is out, eg put her in a down-stay if kitty wants to come and investigate her. Reward Bailey for behaving well with her. At least this way you can control the dog from being overly exuberant, until Kitty gets used to her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
catloverami- What I did do was stand half in-between and half to the side, and Bailey does sit and listen to me and leave when I tell her to. It's kinda funny to watch. She will be calm and still, the cat will come closer, she starts to wiggle in excitement, the cat will come closer, and then OMG THIS IS SO AWESOME! <what Bailey's reaction is.

I did try the leash, but the problem is that well... Bailey likes the leash. A lot.

As in she 'jumps 4 feet straight up into the air multiple times when she sees it' a lot. (She associates it with OMG NEW PEOPLE AND PETS AND PEOPLE AND PLACES AND PEOPLE!!!!) We walk her for a hour each day, by the way. She does this every time.

christinaja- I think that might be the case. Partly because of what happened today...

There was a HUGE breakthrough!

You see, I have this fuzzy green blanket that Ariel LOVES. He loves it when I put it over him and wrap him up in it, and it is our 'cuddle blanket'. I usually cart this blanket around with me, and a day before I got Ariel Bailey slept on it and got her scent all over it (butt glands. Hound butt smell ain't pleasant). I grabbed the blanket and carried it and Ariel into mom and dad's room where they have a tv, not realizing I forgot to close the door all the way.

Well, Ariel was covered in the blanket when Bailey came in. After she jumped up, I uncovered Ariel slightly not wanting Bailey to think the lump was something to jump on. Ariel looked at Bailey, sniffed at the blanket, looked at Bailey, etc... while Bailey did the same. Bailey then went into the 'down' position and started batting her paws on the blanket about 6 inches from Ariel, and Ariel started playing whack-a-mole with them! (and it was actually playing-playing, not aggressive at all!)

They then trotted side-by-side with me when I went to the kitchen to make a sandwhich, and Bailey taught Ariel that begging and getting treats by human hand is AWESOME. They then slept right next to each other when I went back to the bed.

Ariel has since taught Bailey that chewing on Cardboard is AWESOME.
 

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Wow! That really is some great progress! I am glad that Bailey is learning to play nice with Ariel, and that they are learning from each other. Draco surprised Jet the other day. He was hanging out in my kiddo's closet, rubbing on toys, sniffing her clothes(hanging up, of course) and in general, acting like he's addicted to anything that belongs to her, and Jet came up for a sniff. Draco rubbed against his nose, and I think Jet jumped straight back about four feet! Sometimes the whole dog/cat animosity thing doesn't hold. ;)
 
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