Introducing your tort to other family pets

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
93,446
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
We don't currently have any dogs, and if we did I wouldn't be so quick to make introductions and I would certainly never turn my back on them.
I am still just amazed that Big Jim and Odin seem to gravitate towards each other whenever the chance arises. Odin has no interest in the other cats and they don't have much in him. It's just odd.

I wonder if it has to do with his color.
 

Odin's Gma

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
1,035
Location (City and/or State)
USDA Zone 4a+
Maybe. I have a big orange and white cat and my Russian tortoise would walk right up to him and basically walk under them if the cat didn't move. He didn't do that with the other cat which is a brown tabby.
That's what Odin does, just walks right under and into him and within moments tucks into his shell to doze off and Jim just curls right up with him. Not at all the interaction I initially expected.
 

Cowboy_Ken

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Nov 18, 2011
Messages
17,552
Location (City and/or State)
Kingman, Arizona
Baxter hung out once, more with me than the russians. He thought we were doing a kitty-walk-a-bout but I wasn't so he just crashed out.
 

Odin's Gma

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
1,035
Location (City and/or State)
USDA Zone 4a+
Baxter hung out once, more with me than the russians. He thought we were doing a kitty-walk-a-bout but I wasn't so he just crashed out.
That's how the other two cats are. If we are doing something that interests them (the black cat loves the gardens) they might walk over and give Odin a sniff or just watch him for a bit but in general they have zero interest in him and he in them. I wonder if it will be different when he is their size and larger?
 

Cowboy_Ken

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Nov 18, 2011
Messages
17,552
Location (City and/or State)
Kingman, Arizona
Only about 50% is visible in that picture. I've got 13 in there and for the most part, it's big enough that they get along. But that's a separate thread.
 

leigti

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
7,024
Location (City and/or State)
southeast Washington
True, different thread I was just curious. I think your cat just likes being there next to the nice warm wall. my cats look at my tortoise and Boxturtle as a form of entertainment. Something to watch, but that's about it.
 

tglazie

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Jul 21, 2010
Messages
631
Location (City and/or State)
San Antonio, TX
Tortoises and mammals generally don't mix. Even most of the hairless apes occupying the planet haven't the refinement to mind their manners in the presence of these magnificent chelonia, so expecting good behavior of a dog whose kind was domesticated by said hairless apes is really asking too much. I have no bad experiences with dogs of my own, but I have had several with the dogs of others. I had a couple of neighbors, back when I was in my mid teens, who wouldn't win any prizes for pet owner of the year. They had a couple labs to whom they paid absolutely no attention. I remember the wife complaining to me one time that her dogs were uprooting any new plants they would bury in the backyard, after which I asked her how often they walked the dogs, explaining that labs are energetic water dogs that need to have the energy run out of them. She disagreed with me, saying that she had labs before, and that they did fine just running about the back yard. I told her she would know better than me, given that I'm not in the habit of engaging in petty disagreements with my neighbors.

Anyway, one of those bored dogs ended up getting rather agitated one day, and the dog decided to break a hole in my wooden fence. From there, the dog moved to attack my sulcata Jerry, who was around twenty five pounds at the time. Fortunately, I was home, so I was able to intervene before the dog did any significant damage.

Ever since such incidences, I feel, for me at least, that there isn't enough room in my life and on my property for tortoises and dogs. I do keep cats, though, given their proficiency at controlling rats and other vermin. Baby tortoises must absolutely be secured against them, but I find that cats really don't bother tortoises, doing everything they can to stay free of their path.

T.G.
 

Cowboy_Ken

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Nov 18, 2011
Messages
17,552
Location (City and/or State)
Kingman, Arizona
We have black and white, grey and white, orange and white, all white and a kinda raccoon marked cats. None pay the tortoises any real attention. I count on Ava the dog to help with critter control here at the place at night. ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1424653819.125694.jpg
The horses, now they were confused as you can seeImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1424653960.992467.jpg
 

leigti

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
7,024
Location (City and/or State)
southeast Washington
Hmm. The orange cat theory seems less likely now....
My tortoise would only walk towards an under the orange cat. Didn't pay any attention to the tabby. And my orange cat was the first to walk up to the tortoise and check her out. The first time she smacked him right on top of the shell and ran away. After that she would just sniff and then lay down and watch.
 

Odin's Gma

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2014
Messages
1,035
Location (City and/or State)
USDA Zone 4a+
I count on Ava the dog to help with critter control here at the place at night. ]
Ava has a beautiful smile!
My tortoise would only walk towards an under the orange cat. Didn't pay any attention to the tabby. And my orange cat was the first to walk up to the tortoise and check her out. The first time she smacked him right on top of the shell and ran away. After that she would just sniff and then lay down and watch.

Orange cat theory back on the table! :D

That also cracks me up because our Big Jim is also a "thumper", that's how he keeps the other cats in line (bops them on the head, sometimes rapid fire. It's hilarious!), but he gives the tort nothing but love.
 

leigti

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
7,024
Location (City and/or State)
southeast Washington
Tortoises and mammals generally don't mix. Even most of the hairless apes occupying the planet haven't the refinement to mind their manners in the presence of these magnificent chelonia, so expecting good behavior of a dog whose kind was domesticated by said hairless apes is really asking too much. I have no bad experiences with dogs of my own, but I have had several with the dogs of others. I had a couple of neighbors, back when I was in my mid teens, who wouldn't win any prizes for pet owner of the year. They had a couple labs to whom they paid absolutely no attention. I remember the wife complaining to me one time that her dogs were uprooting any new plants they would bury in the backyard, after which I asked her how often they walked the dogs, explaining that labs are energetic water dogs that need to have the energy run out of them. She disagreed with me, saying that she had labs before, and that they did fine just running about the back yard. I told her she would know better than me, given that I'm not in the habit of engaging in petty disagreements with my neighbors.

Anyway, one of those bored dogs ended up getting rather agitated one day, and the dog decided to break a hole in my wooden fence. From there, the dog moved to attack my sulcata Jerry, who was around twenty five pounds at the time. Fortunately, I was home, so I was able to intervene before the dog did any significant damage.

Ever since such incidences, I feel, for me at least, that there isn't enough room in my life and on my property for tortoises and dogs. I do keep cats, though, given their proficiency at controlling rats and other vermin. Baby tortoises must absolutely be secured against them, but I find that cats really don't bother tortoises, doing everything they can to stay free of their path.

T.G.
People who don't interact with and train their animals drive me insane. I'm talking domesticated animals here like dogs. with a big tortoise like yours the cats are smart to stay away. I have a wide array of animals and I like that they seem to get along well. But I definitely keep track of what the dog is doing even though she has never shown any aggression towards the tortoise. She is still a dog. my friends dog would eat my tortoise in one second if given the chance. She doesn't seem to quite understand why I get so intense about keeping her dog away from my tortoise, box turtle, and chickens as far as that goes. start some dogs have a much higher prey drive than others and hers is at the top.
 

tglazie

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Jul 21, 2010
Messages
631
Location (City and/or State)
San Antonio, TX
It's funny, given that my cats were around when Jerry was still stomping the grounds (he passed away a few years back due to a spinal wasting disease my vet was unable to effectively treat; my vet is very good, and to this day, Jerry was the only one of my animals he was unable to save; it's just that the problem was completely unprecedented), and I do believe that their memory of the terrifying giant tortoise bulldozing his way through the yard established a sort of archetype in their brains, some notion that all tortoises were insatiably curious, unstoppable armored beasts who could only be stopped by concrete walls. Perhaps I have this all wrong, but now, these guys actually seem afraid of my marginateds and run anytime the tortoises draw near. It's always funny to watch Stinky, a cat my younger brother named who also happens to be my chief resident rat catcher, sun herself in this one bald spot in Gino's enclosure. Gino innevitably ends up walking over to bask or get a closer look at the territorial invader, and she immediately moves to the top of the cinderblock fence, beyond Gino's reach. She'll do this even if she's having a time rolling in the dirt of the bald spot. As soon as she sees Gino coming, she high tails it out of there. Given the similarity of this behavior when Jerry was around, I always figured she'd learned it from those times, given that the first time she encountered Jerry when she was a kitten, she wasn't so swift and almost got stepped on. She angrily swatted at Jerry's armored side when he drew too close, all to no effect of course, and when she realized the futility of her fight response, she immediately fled to the safety of the enclosure wall. And she's been doing it ever since.

Her behavior around the baby torts is different. She's always curious whenever I go to the hatchling paddocks to remove the screen tops (for feeding, bringing the babes indoors for the night or late afternoon, etc.), and she watches those babies like a hawk stalking an unsuspecting quarry. There are times when she takes a pounce position, at which point I shoo her away, an action that always leaves her slightly perturbed, an emotion she expresses by turning her back to me as her ears go slightly backward. Usually when I approach from behind to pet her, usually making light of her apparent disdain in playful baby talk, she waits until I'm almost within reach, at which point she dashes away. She normally chills out once I offer food, at which point all is forgiven. I am certain she would make minced meat of these guys, like she regularly does with the unfortunate green anoles that occasionally find themselves in the insect rich confines of my property. I discourage her every anolicide I catch, but unfortunately, it really is something that's hard wired into her behavior. Plus, it's got to be confusing, given that I heap lavish praise upon her every time she catches a rat but scold her every time she kills a lizard or songbird. But hey, I don't know. I'm no expert. Maybe she doesn't care how I behave around her, so long as I'm not willfully cruel or stingy with the food.

T.G.
 

TarHeelNC

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2014
Messages
60
I say it depends on the dogs or cats.. My guys do much better not being curious about things. The sooner I get the curiosity out of the way to sooner they don't care. Lol I won't be letting them walk around together till the torts are much much bigger but for my pups, casual introduction cures their curiosity and makes them much more respectful of the boundaries. They know they can sit and watch them. And that when I bring them out for baths that they can sniff them and watch them. Honestly my cats have give zero sh*ts about them. They like watching the fish lol and Cooper seems to be the only one who wants to interact with the torts. So I let him to keep him from getting too curious. Seems to have worked out great for us. ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1424701716.714168.jpg
 
Top