|Barked: Fri Jul 20, '12 2:19pm PST |
|Re: litter training. Yep, they usually just know, if they were raised by their own mother and not bottle-fed (and even bottle-fed kitties learn pretty fast.) It's a natural instinct for cats to bury their feces, so they will naturally search out dig-able ground for that. Show him the litter box, make sure it's sited in a good place (a balance of privacy and easy access, away from noisy and busy areas but not a long hike if he suddenly has to go.) Some cats like hooded boxes, other hate them. I would try uncovered first. Usually when cats "forget" to use their litter box, it's because something about the box is scary or gross to them- too long unscooped, in a scary part of the house, or another cat is intimidating them from using it (in multi-cat households.)
Re: dog socialization. I think if Samson is not acting predatory at all, you have a good chance of successful cohabitation. He will get over the weirdness of a cat in his house eventually. Reward him for good behavior and ignoring the cat, such as lying down quietly when you're petting the cat. Make sure that his obedience is up to snuff, so you can quickly call him out of a dangerous situation. I don't know if he's food-possessive at all, but cats are HORRIBLE at respecting dogs' food boundaries sometimes, they'll waltz in like "oh, this looks nice" and it could be a bad situation. I'd make sure that they are entirely separate at meal times, at least for now.
Re: crating at night. If it's easy to do, I'd do it. Better safe than sorry. Make sure kitty has plenty of escape routes and high perches to get away from Samson if necessary. Cat trees are awesome. You'll need a scratching post anyway (for his health and to save your furniture), might as well make it a big one. When you feel safe leaving them alone together is entirely subjective. Some people would say NEVER! with any dog, no matter how gentle, others go by their gut feeling and just make sure kitty has enough private space and escape routes.
Good luck! I love cats but Bruno definitely doesn't (unless you count them as snacks or entertainment).
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