New puppy - will my cats ever come back downstairs?!

(59 Posts)
happy97 Sat 01-Feb-20 07:10:55

We are a week in. Puppy is crated but my 2 6 year old cats are terrified. One did make her way into the kitchen but took one look at puppy and sprinted away. I know it's still early days but I had hoped they would be a bit braver by now.

I have feliway plug ins in a couple of places but any advice would be very welcome. I feel guilty!!

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happy97 Sat 01-Feb-20 14:44:25


OP’s posts: |
TuttiFrutti Sat 01-Feb-20 18:18:10

It may take a long time but you are doing the right thing in keeping the puppy crated. Allow the cats to have access to the puppy's space, but also a running-away option, which you've done, so they feel safe.

My sister did this and it took 6 months before the cat was happy to stay in the same room. They now sometimes sleep in the same bed.

FamilyOfAliens Sat 01-Feb-20 18:21:13

Are you surprised that your cats are distressed by having a dog move into their home?

RedRed9 Sat 01-Feb-20 18:24:30

When you say your puppy is crated what do you mean?

Whynosnowyet Sat 01-Feb-20 18:26:51

Dcat didn't venture to ground level for 2 years....

NotStayingIn Sat 01-Feb-20 18:27:51

But a puppy!?!?! They are annoying as hell with their full on bouncy ways. (If you are a cat.) Surely a rescue adult dog who has lived with cats before would have been a better choice.

Wolfiefan Sat 01-Feb-20 18:29:51

We got a puppy when our cats were young. I think it’s Blue Cross that has a leaflet you can view online. Start by scent swapping. It can be hard work (we have a giant sighthound who I kept on a longline around the cats for quite a while) but it can work.

happy97 Sat 01-Feb-20 20:47:25

@RedRed9 She has a crate in the kitchen that she sleeps in and I can put her in whilst trying to persuade the cats back downstairs.

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happy97 Sat 01-Feb-20 20:48:33

@FamilyOfAliens Not at all, I was more than prepared. I'm just looking for some advice on how to familiarise them with each other.

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FamilyOfAliens Sat 01-Feb-20 20:58:00

Not at all, I was more than prepared.

And yet here you are, asking for advice on how to stop your cats from being distressed at there being a dog in their home.

Unless by “more than prepared” you mean you knew your cats would be distressed, you just weren’t sure quite how distressed they’d be nor for how long?

Wolfiefan Sat 01-Feb-20 21:01:27

Wow Family that’s harsh. We got a puppy. We did everything we could to keep the cats happy. They have extra litter trays and food bowls, to start off with the pup was nowhere near them, we had stairgates, the dog never goes upstairs and we used a longline when she was small. But still? I couldn’t have predicted whether they would end up being best friends, scared or cross.

KatharinaRosalie Sat 01-Feb-20 21:03:02

took a month here. Then best friends.

FamilyOfAliens Sat 01-Feb-20 21:05:46

Wow Family that’s harsh.

In what way? Unless I’ve misunderstood, the OP brought a puppy into her home where she already has two middle-aged cats and is wondering how long they will continue to be distressed by the puppy’s presence and all become friends. Any part of that I’ve got wrong?

Wolfiefan Sat 01-Feb-20 21:12:54

Yep. 6 is far from middle aged.
OP hasn’t used the word “distressed”. That’s your emotive language.
OP is looking for helpful advice for people who have managed to get cats and dogs to live happily together.
That’s clearly not you so feel free to move along.

3teens2cats Sat 01-Feb-20 21:14:30

We already had our previous dog when we adopted our cats. They all got on great and when our old girl passed away they searched the house for her. Fast forward and we get our current dog, same breed but a puppy. Both cats avoided him at first but one got used to him quite quickly, even cuddled up with him within a couple of months. Other, more nervous cat took a longer. It took a good 6 months plus for her to feel comfortable around him. We managed it by going totally at her pace and never rushed or forced it. Moved the litter tray and cat food upstairs so she had no pressure to come down at all if she didn't want to. We have gates which mean the dog can't get to her and she can easily jump over to escape. We also used a calming pheromones plug in. The rest was pure patience. Once cat was brave enough to watch him through the gate he got used to seeing and smelling her and became less excited to see her. We made sure she got plenty of fuss and attention upstairs, slept on the bed or with one of the boys so she wasn't isolated.

FamilyOfAliens Sat 01-Feb-20 21:15:50

The OP said her cats won’t come downstairs. One tried but went ran away when it saw the puppy. If that’s not the sign of a cat in distress, I don’t know what is. Of course the OP wouldn’t use that word; she says she feels guilty already.

And your view about what constitutes a middle aged cat doesn’t change that.

Wolfiefan Sat 01-Feb-20 21:17:14

My cat has been known to run off but to be found sitting smugly on a comfy bed upstairs. Quite happy away from what spooked her.
Off you pop with your judginess!

Holdingtherope Sat 01-Feb-20 21:24:43

I really want a puppy but could t do it to my cat. They are so territorial

Afrigginggoat Sat 01-Feb-20 21:27:36

What an awful thing to do to your cats.

So how long before you are revoking them 'for their own happiness'?

Adult cats will struggle to accept dogs. It's a really bad idea to try.

Of course that's not what you want to hear.

Afrigginggoat Sat 01-Feb-20 21:28:08

Rehoming not revoking but same thing really

happy97 Sat 01-Feb-20 21:33:06

So once you have cats you should not be allowed to get a dog?!

There are some judgemental people on here. I have a fairly big house and the cats have plenty of room upstairs. Their litter tray is upstairs along with their food.

They are happy when I see them, not traumatised, just unsure of what is in their house.

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happy97 Sat 01-Feb-20 21:34:08

@Afrigginggoat They will never be rehomed.

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happy97 Sat 01-Feb-20 21:34:55

@Wolfiefan Thank you!

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Afrigginggoat Sat 01-Feb-20 21:37:37

Yes that's what everybody says but still rescues are full of previously happy cats. No you should not have got a dog

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