We got our new pup almost a week ago, our cat is not very happy about this, we have another dog and the cat is happy6 to sleep with her, play with her and eat with her but sinse we bought the puppy home the cat has refused to come down the stairs (i have to go and get him to put him outside and i get scratched) and when he does go out i have trouble getting him in. He has come face to face with the puppy a few times and now pup has worked out how to get upstairs (which is making the cast worse), pups not bothered by the cat at all, will walk straight past it but the cat is petrified of the pup. Yesterday dd2 let the pup out whilst i was feeding the cat and they came face to face, sniffed each other and then the cat growled and ran away (pup did not take chase). I'm feeling realy guilty as the poor cat wont come down this morning to go outside (the snow is not helping).
Will the cat come around to the idea and venture down?
What should i do to help him feel more comfortable? we have stair gates keeping pup in but dd2 keeps opening them and pup is very fast and squeezing out.
I'd make sure that the cat has a completely safe place to go to (enforce the stairgate and/or put him a comfy place up high - on top of a chest of drawers, say - that he can leap up to) and get a litter tray for him to use inside. Feed him upstairs as well if needs be - eg if the pup is muscling in on his food bowl as puppies are wont to.
Trouble with pups is that they haven't learned proper behaviour and the cat is probably unhappy and confused after getting on well with the grown dog. Are you training the pup? (And DD2, I suspect?)
Thank you, the pup has been great, just walks past the cat of has a quick sniff (he came from a house with cats), pup is being trained, at the moment i seem to be using the words 'in' and 'out' 500 times a day . Dd2 is harder to train, she has ASD and is not great at remembering to shut the gate, as soon as the gates open the puppy is in the kitchen looking for food (he's a pig), he's only 9 weeks old so at the moment he is smaller than the cat.
Ah right - not much you can do about the actual gates then but just maintain the old eternal vigilance.
I'd see if you can get the pup to realize 'No going upstairs'. They can absorb a lot at that age and while I don't know what your house rules are, we've always had a 'No Dogs Upstairs' law - and the cats know it fine and feel safe up there. (Or hassle free at any rate.)
The dogs also pretty soon come to understand the 'stairness of stairs': one paw put on the bottom stair during training (to test the envelope) and they're looking round to see if you've noticed the transgression. Very soon they stop even thinking about it.
It should also be easier to explain to DD2 than something more complex about the relationship between cats and dogs. (And I'm sure some of us would like to be able to understand that as well! )