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Adventures with Zuri

#1
Hello- we are proud new owners of our f1 male savannah - Zuri. From the day we brought him into our home....everyday has been a new adventure! We are learning so much about him and he is learning more about our family- it's crazy how wicked smart he is!! He studies everything we do! We love his crazy play time - his unique sounds for food, attention, hunting, and when he is so happy to see us! He is 16 weeks old and very sociable. He loves to be with us, wants to be in the center of everything....but there's a slight problem with integrating him into all the space station of our home....the dog. We have an 8 year old Australian cattle dog, Moxie, who truly rules the roost. She is on high alert when Zuri enters the room...and she never takes her eyes off of him. She hasn't growled or shown any aggression - but he is still fairly small. Zuri, however, hisses and growls. You can see he is irritated by the dog keeping a watch on him and not allowing Zuri to get close to us. When the dog is outside, Zuri feels more at ease....but she is not always outside. We worked this weekend on giving them both equal attention, shared treats (boiled chicken) and plenty of affection to try to show them both our love. I feel it's just going to take some time. Does anyone have any suggestions for helping us get Zuri acclimated better with a dog who is assertive (not aggressive) but she is very vocal, strong and her job is to guard her house and people. I am fearful she can sense Zuri is more wild than domestic- and therefore Moxi will always be on guard. Please let me know if you have any advice to share. Thank you!
 

Attachments

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#2
How high can Moxie jump? My thinking is if you can use heights you can give Zuri shelves and high places to perch in safety so that Zuri can observe, and Moxie can get used to him. Are you able to use baby gates across some doorways to limit Moxie and give Zuri "safe" rooms?

Additionally, how much training has Moxie had? With her likely strong chase tendencies, how easily can you distract her and refocus her when she dearly wants to go after Zuri? You could also make sure you have a harness and leash on Moxie to be able to stamp on the leash to stop any darting after him.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#3
I think the key is already what you've hit on - time. It will take time for both of them to accept the other. As long as neither of them are actually becoming aggressive with the other, then you have all the time in the world. You are already taking the right steps by sharing play time and treats, this should be done on a regular basis. I like Brigitte's suggestions as well of elevated retreats and baby gates to give Zuri options for distancing himself when he feels the need. I suspect if you continue to work with them you will find in time they will be sleeping and playing together as best friends.
 

Vito

Site Supporter
#4
Hello- we are proud new owners of our f1 male savannah - Zuri. From the day we brought him into our home....everyday has been a new adventure! We are learning so much about him and he is learning more about our family- it's crazy how wicked smart he is!! He studies everything we do! We love his crazy play time - his unique sounds for food, attention, hunting, and when he is so happy to see us! He is 16 weeks old and very sociable. He loves to be with us, wants to be in the center of everything....but there's a slight problem with integrating him into all the space station of our home....the dog. We have an 8 year old Australian cattle dog, Moxie, who truly rules the roost. She is on high alert when Zuri enters the room...and she never takes her eyes off of him. She hasn't growled or shown any aggression - but he is still fairly small. Zuri, however, hisses and growls. You can see he is irritated by the dog keeping a watch on him and not allowing Zuri to get close to us. When the dog is outside, Zuri feels more at ease....but she is not always outside. We worked this weekend on giving them both equal attention, shared treats (boiled chicken) and plenty of affection to try to show them both our love. I feel it's just going to take some time. Does anyone have any suggestions for helping us get Zuri acclimated better with a dog who is assertive (not aggressive) but she is very vocal, strong and her job is to guard her house and people. I am fearful she can sense Zuri is more wild than domestic- and therefore Moxi will always be on guard. Please let me know if you have any advice to share. Thank you!
Congratulations on welcoming your new baby Zuri, he is absolutely beautiful, you seem to be doing all the right things, new additions to the family always take their time to settle in. As others have suggested, the adding of some high perches, shelves etc... Is always a good idea, where Zuri can observe from a distance and still be in the same room. This is what we did for Vito and it was really helpful. I'm sure Moxie will learn to accept his new companion and they will both cohabit without any issues, here's hoping they will end up best friends. Would be lovely to hear how things develop from here. Perhaps try to take both guys into the garden on leads together, may possibly be another thing to try. Good luck.
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
#5
The good news is that the energy of your F1 and your dog are probably similar and should be compatible when the kitten is older. On the other hand, I'm not sure that a dog with a high dominance level will be compatible with an F1 with a high stubborness level who likely will not appreciate trying to be herded. You might have a lot of unanticipated work and training to do to keep everyone happy. If the F1 turns out to have an equally dominant personality, you'll have all that work and an increased need for beverages with high alcohol content (for you) :martini drinking:

Keep in mind that the personality of your F1 will evolve until he reaches full maturity at age 3 and there's the possibility that more changes will come after that. My F1 slowly changed last year, at age 5, from a 100% sweet obedient boy to the equivalent of a rebellious teenager -- a stage that I anticipated would happen at 2 yrs of age. Well it did happen at 2 yrs of age but not to the level of last year. I've worked with him a lot these past 17 months to reestablish companionable coexistence with my other SVs which means I have to constantly show him that I'm the alpha.
 
#6
Thank you so much for all of the thoughtful feedback. I am happy to report that they are doing a little better together and seem genuinely interested in gettin to know each other. Although Zuri has a very intimidating guttural growl for just a baby SV...it does cause Moxie to pause when she hears it. Zuri has found that not only can he get to high places to keep an eye on Moxie...he also like son to hide under cabinets to hiss and growl at her when she walks bye. It's almost comical because she such a smar dog....but often forgets he's there and it startles her every time. We did have another funny moment the other day when when Moxie was sitting down and her tail was wagging...Zuri jumped out of his hiding spot to try to catch her tail as if it was a moving toy! Lucky for Moxie he pounced with paws in...and not retracted lol!
I believe it will take time and my hope is they will grow to enjoy each other's company.

I do want to ask about the comments witchy woman shared about her F1 changing his personality.....what contributes to their personality change and how did you know it was going to happen? What should I expect in years 1-2 or 2-5?
"Keep in mind that the personality of your F1 will evolve until he reaches full maturity at age 3 and there's the possibility that more changes will come after ". This is the first I am hearing about this and am extremely curious. Our little Zuri is the sweetest kitten and very affectionate. Loves to snuggle when he's sleepy and offers many head butts while he's playing. I would be so sad to see all of this go away....and especially the thought of having more teenagers - ugh!! Been there done that! Can you please give me a little more insight into why their personalities continue to evolve and possibly into "cateenagers"? I have a lot more to learn about these beautiful kitties!
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#7
I think personalities are hit-and-miss - some cats do change as they mature, but others are loving all of their lives. I don't know that there's anything you can do to change that, sometimes it's just genetics, but providing a living and interactive home certainly could never hurt.