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Can an old cat learn to live with a dog?

(18 Posts)
MrsHoneybean Tue 12-Feb-13 19:02:52

Do you have any advice on getting a dog if you have an older cat?

We had a lab to stay for a weekend and the cat was very unhappy and cried upstairs all weekend! Then weed where the dog had slept!! hmm

We also took in a lost chihuahua for an afternoon. Our cat was bigger than the dog and was still freaked out.

Do you think I could get our cat to accept a dog or puppy?

Floralnomad Tue 12-Feb-13 19:07:35

Probably not without upsetting it . You would prob find that the cat will move upstairs / out ,that's my experience of friends who have done it anyway .

ozymandiusking Tue 12-Feb-13 19:07:53

No I don't! I think it's positively cruel. Your cat is obviously very upset, and this won't change.
Don't do it.

MrsHoneybean Tue 12-Feb-13 19:20:45

Hmm that's what my hubby thought. I did wonder if we got a puppy if our cat could mould a pup.

I'm sure you're right though.

It's just frustrating as we all want a dog but our cat is only 9 and we're going to have a long wait until he pops his clogs.

I kinda hoped there might be a happy solution. I certainly don't want him to be unhappy or move out as we adore him.

mycatoscar Tue 12-Feb-13 19:43:17

We have a 4 month puppy and our cat is 12 years old. I wouldn't say they get on brilliantly but they are coming to an arrangement and both seem happy. Cat has all of upstairs where he lounges 90% of the time and always did even before puppy arrived. Puppy is not allowed upstairs unless being bathed. Cat also has his food upstairs.

thegriffon Tue 12-Feb-13 19:50:55

I think it's easier for a cat to accept a puppy rather than an adult dog, because then the cat can be boss.
Our cat was 10 when we got lab puppy 2 yrs ago. Cat stayed out of pup's way and mostly lived upstairs, where pup wasn't allowed, for the first few weeks. Then he came downstairs and took up residence on the settee, scratched pup's nose and made it bleed when it tried to jump up and play. No problems since then apart from the occasional cat paw swipe when dog tries to lick cat's bum.
They both sleep in the sitting room at night and share the dog's bed and last summer used to sunbathe on the lawn together.

VerySmallSqueak Tue 12-Feb-13 19:58:00

Our older cat and the young whippersnapper dog have ended up staying in separate areas.
The cat swipes the dog if he over steps his boundaries.
It would be preferable if they got along but they have an unspoken agreement,and I don't think it'll change.They both seem unperturbed by it though.

MrsHoneybean Tue 12-Feb-13 20:31:37

Thegriffin and theverysmallsqueek

That was what I was/am hoping for!! Although hubby is not so sure....

ImNotaPheasantPlucker Tue 12-Feb-13 20:35:46

We have three cats aged 20, 7 and 4 ish (a feral who moved in).

We got a puppy last October, a mad as a box of frogs Springer x. The oldest cat looked at him with complete disdain, walloped him and politely ignored him. The youngest feral hissed, spat, ran and shredded his nose many, many times - blood all over the kitchen on more than one occasion. Springer now ignores her. The 7 year old ginger relished the new playmate - he was twice the size of the pup when he arrived and took advantage for a while, winding the pup up, trying to get him in trouble.

Now, 15 months later, they all rub along together well (with the exception of the ginger who still tries to get the pup in trouble).

So - I think a puppy is easier to introduce than an adult dog.

(Sorry for the essay!)

MrsHoneybean Tue 12-Feb-13 20:45:08


The essay is great. It's all ammo to show dh. It's the kind of situ I was hoping for tbh.

My cat is a big boy so will get to be boss for a while. Plus he sleeps upstairs on any that is warm mostly and I wouldn't let pup upstairs do he would have a haven.

I just hope he doesn't wee everywhere like before. Mind you the lab was v tall but bless she didn't bat an eyelid and just thought he was stupid!!

But anyway your experience is what I hope for.


thegriffon Tue 12-Feb-13 20:47:19

Its taken a while but I think my dog and cat really like each other now. If we see cat outside when coming back from walk he always runs up to dog and they touch noses smile

MrsHoneybean Tue 12-Feb-13 21:07:38


That is sooo sweet grin awww

ImNotaPheasantPlucker Wed 13-Feb-13 10:16:44

I just had to come back to add that puppies are very hard work!

Think long and hard - much as I adore my pup, and in our case all has worked out well, I don't think I would get another puppy in the future

MrsHoneybean Wed 13-Feb-13 17:57:58

I did think that, but I guess to appease my cats I'd have to go the puppy route.

If I didn't have cats I'd def rescue an old dog. smile

Floralnomad Wed 13-Feb-13 18:26:29

Don't necessarily assume that a puppy will let a cat bully it and pick your breed carefully . I have a Patterdale and he has always been completely intolerant of cats and even as a pup would have killed . I know he is not unique as I also know of someone else with a terrier pup who the owner thought had integrated with the cat it came home from shopping to find it mauled . Luckily the cat survived after extensive treatment and the dog was rehomed.

MrsHoneybean Wed 13-Feb-13 18:30:02

OMG!!! shock


ImNotaPheasantPlucker Thu 14-Feb-13 09:03:22

Whatever you decide, you do know you will have to come back with photos of the new family member, don't you?!

MrsHoneybean Thu 14-Feb-13 23:05:56

Of course smile

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