Humans in the lounge, too: I'm looking for helpful stories, suggestions.
I have 3 cats. An old friend has just moved here to share the house & cost of living. Friend has a dog, a beautiful sweet BIG one. We're trying to make a go of it. The cats and the dog haven't yet hit it off, it's been about 2 weeks. Dog is curious but hasn't yet had a taste of the cats. Cats are really nervous and are making themselves scarce and I miss them but I'm also falling in love with the dog. (dammit, I swore I'd never have another dog)
All 3 cats are indoor-outdoor. Very safe outdoor area, lots of good hiding places, they stay pretty close to home. (usually come when I call them). Dog is never loose on property -- if not off on adventures, tied on the side of the house, or closed in their room for the night. Dog is not unhappy. (Landlord requests dog not be loose on property outside.)
When dog comes in and out, we usually give her a tour to sniff around house, as long as cats are outside. So they are all getting used to the others' smells. Sometimes one cat watches dog through the window, and dog watches cat back.
Cats have the entire night to themselves, indoors and outdoors, though they haven't quite figured this out.
Will they ever co-exist without trauma and drama? I don't want poor dog to always be restricted or confined at home.. (she does get out, on lots of walks and runs with her master.)
Is canine-feline friendship even a remote possibility in such a situation? (Cats are all around 3 years, neutered males. Dog is 2.5 year old lab-golden, F)
I had the brilliant idea to get a kitten, for the dog, to bridge the gap between dog and cats. My idea was that the kitten wouldn't have preconceived notions about dogs and would bond. Dog would learn how to speak cat language and become better able to understand the other cats. As kitten matured he would educate the other cats about how to deal
with a big dog. The other cats would learn by watching the kitten grow up that dogs are a cat's best friend.
If anyone has ever done this unsuccessfully, please talk me out of it immediately. Thank you!