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New puppy vs Cat(14 Posts)
We are going to expand our family with a puppy this year, after a good year of deliberation.
The question I have relates on how to introduce a puppy to a cat really? Although we both have always had a family dog, as now the adults of the house we haven't had to do this ourselves before.
We have a 7yr old female who also lives with us. She is kind and keeps herself to herself and can be a little jumpy. Although inevitable she is going to have her nose put out of joint, how can I introduce fairly and kindly?
I know I need to maintain she still has her area as in where she is fed, where she sleeps and I need to teach pup to understand those boundaries, but how do I do the intro's!
I'm probably over thinking this way too much, but any help appreciated.
The first thing is that you don't introduce them. Use baby gates to keep the puppy away from the cats food, bed, and exit route - we have one across the kitchen door so the cats can come in through their cat flap without meeting dogs straight away, 2 cats choose to have beds in the kitchen and utility (though they also sleep elsewhere obv), and their bowls are in the kitchen.
With pups, I never let them run after cats, bark at them, or 'play' with them. The cats tend to be stand off for some time, but will settle to coming in and looking when dogs are asleep and I will keep new dogs sat with me while the cat is bimbling. But never, ever, introduce them or pick the cat up to take them to the pup to force it. Let them take it at their pace, and just enforce for pup that they leave the cat alone. Crating the pup at night and when you are out protects the cat and allows the cat to have time when the house is their own.
I have 3 cats and 2 dogs of my own, plus foster pups and have introduced dogs to resident cats and new cats to resident dogs.
We've always had both.
Some dogs like cats, some don't
Some cats like dogs, some don't.
Some individual cats and dogs love each other, some hate.
Manage the space so that the cat can always get away. Reward the dog (food and praise) for not reacting to the cat.
We've just introduced an older puppy (6 months) to an established and harmonious 2dog one cat household - the cat used to hang out with the dogs but now stays out of the way.
It's been 4-5 months and the pup is finally not reacting to the cat being brought into the room, carried around, petted etc. The cat is still unwilling to risk walking into the room on her own.
If my old cat had still been alive she'd have sorted him out in a couple of weeks with some whacks and evil eyes! This cat always had her to do the hard work of training new dogs so she runs instead of standing her ground.
I know it will be ok in the end because the dog doesn't want to eat the cat, just play with it. We just need to put in the work training the dog. You should be able to tell whether your dog want to play or kill!
Thank you both!
I plan on keeping pup downstairs anyway as cat mostly sleeps on the end of my bed, so I shall invest in a stair gate as well.
I noticed a comment about holding the pup etc, was wondering if that should be the one of us she doesn't see as her owner? So she doesn't think she's been replaced? Or is that irrelevant?
Dont tell the cat off for booping the dog and setting boundaries but do tell the dog off for tormenting the cat. The dog would need to learn to leave the cat alone and its not a toy and the cat will stick up for itself, the only way for it to learn is let the cat do its thing, supervised, so it doesn't escalate. Crating pupper for a while so cat can investigate the dog on its own terms and is safe while your not in x
That's good to know as my response would've probably been to warn the cat!
We kept them separate at first and before pup came home I started feeding the cat in a different spot where I knew he'd have peace so he was used to it before the intruder arrived. Our dog is 9 months now and the cat has firmly placed himself in the position of boss and is happy to be around him. I wouldn't say they are friends but there's a truce situation.
Our pup is 5 months old. We’ve got 2 cats. Pup is confined to the kitchen/dining room and downstairs family room, cats have the run of the rest of the house. Our cat flap is into the kitchen. We lock this during the day and just let them in and out through the front door. At night the can come and go through the kitchen as usual while pup sleeps in the spare room.
We’re planning on putting a new flap through the front door so that they can come and go as they please all day.
They’re both cautious of pup. One cat will happily sit and give the pup a swipe and then go up onto the work tops to just stare at him. The other keeps herself away but will come into the pups area. Pup is put into his pen for this. So the cats are only having to be around the pup if they choose to be.
I can’t ever imagine them being friends. The cats just aren’t particularly friendly cats. I think we’ll always allow them separate areas of the house.
Also, the cats have lost the garden to the pup but we have lots of fields around us. I think it would have been difficult if the garden was their only territory.
So I’d just bare that in mind-are you able to separate them indefinitely if need be?
I think it’s Blue Cross who have an advice leaflet I found online. We started with scent swapping. Then gates so they could see but not get to each other. Then pup on a longline so it could NEVER chase the cat. Ideally you want the dog to pretty much ignore the cat. So if it sees the cat you can use treats to get attention on you and not looking at the cat. The idea is the dog is more interested in treats and ignores whatever the cat does. Dogs can seriously injure (or worse) cats. But cats can also really hurt dogs. They have been known to blind a dog. Avoid them feeling like they have to batter it!
I do have the option of keeping them separated long term if needs be, and pup would rarely be on its own to harass the cat as our work means one of us is always in the house, which is handy.
Cat mostly sleeps upstairs and I would prefer to keep pup downstairs so hopefully they will have totally separate floors of the house.
She rarely uses the garden, she prefers to stalk the neighbourhood and chase of the resident ginger Tom, so I don't think that will impact her, and I can also give them their own door to leave the house also.
Sounds like you’ve thought it through. I never leave mine together unattended.
Our pup is 8 months old now... cats are both 5.
One cat has moved out (he always was unfaithful and sleeps in 3 houses (!) but this was the last straw apparently. He's now 4 doors down sleeping on my neighbour's bed. We did not expect this as he wasn't bothered by her when we got her and would stalk past as if she wasn't there.
Other cat.. who is timid and cautious by nature has fared better. She comes in and out via an upstairs window and has the upstairs to herself, but as she refused to come down for food she also eats in DS1's room too. She is now at a stage where she will glare at the puppy and stay put if the pup comes upstairs at all, but they are definitely not friends and probably never will be...she's not an 'easy' cat.
Puppy has never been allowed to chase, nose, harrass in any way, and has met our neighbour's cat many times , nose to nose with nothing more than curiosity.
I think it depends as much on the cat's personality as it does on the set up..we divided the house from day 1 but the cats still hate the dog!
I would just let them crack on, but supervised. You can't keep a dog on a long line the entire time you're in the house. See how you go, give the cat a safe space it can get to away from the puppy but don't separate them (unless things escalate), you need to socialise them to be together.
We have two cats and a dog. We got the puppy when our cats were two and three - they're now three and four and the dog is almost two.
They get on fine. Dog chases the cats but the cats definitely rule the roost - the dog got plenty of smacks on the nose as a puppy but he's learnt now and respects their space. He will chase and play with them (especially the younger female) but will also stop when they've had enough.