Cats and new puppy not getting on - please, please help!

Discussion in 'Pets Corner' started by Lozzz31, Oct 20, 2017.

  1. Lozzz31

    Lozzz31 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Jun 30, 2017
    We've always had cats because I felt it wouldn't be fair to have a dog while we both worked full time. However, we've both recently retired and so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to have a puppy join our family. I did a whole load of research before getting the pup, as to whether it was possible to bring a puppy into a home with two resident cats, how to go about it, how to ensure that things went well. I spoke to our local Cat Shelter, I spoke to many friends who have both dogs and cats, I did loads of internet research. Everything I found out pointed to the fact that it might take a while for things to settle down but eventually they would find some sort of grudging friendliness towards each other even if they didn't end up being best mates.
    Well it doesn't seem to be working. Star and Lottie, the cats, pop in for their mealtimes and that's all I see of them. They don't spend any time in the house with us now - even though they have a safe space where they can be away from the dog. This has been going on for three months and was ok in the summer when the weather was better but now the cats are out in all weathers - wind, rain, storms - all night long. They've always had access to the outside but now they just won't spend any time in the house apart from food time.
    I'm absolutely devastated! Ziggy, the pup, is now five months old and, apart from the occasional chase when he first saw the cats and we weren't quick enough to stop him, he's pretty uninterested in them, but the cats just won't settle with him and I don't know what to do. I've tried gentle introductions with Ziggy on him lead and the cats in one room but as soon as they can they disappear out the door - even when he's not around - and I don't see them again until it's food time, and then only for five minutes.
    I had this lovely (perhaps unrealistic) vision of the cats and dog snuggled up in front of the fire in the winter. Now it seems that Ziggy will be snuggling with us while my beautiful cats sit outside in the rain shivering. It's absolutely breaking my heart and any advice would be really gratefully accepted.
    So sorry for the long rant.
  2. selina27

    selina27 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Aug 24, 2016
    Herefordshire UK
    I know just what you mean!

    It can happen, I grew up with dogs and cats in the same house and have had them in my adult life too, and would agree there is often a grudging acceptance but also sometimes genuine liking.

    But this time around is taking longer, I have Maisie (cat) who is very, very feisty and does not suffer fools at all, she's 7 and Cassie my black lab is 18 months. I've done quite a lot of LAT with her, and also get her to come to the kitchen when the cat appears, give her something better to do and make her think good things happen when the cat appears. Also I attach her lead and get her to lie down when the cat is in same room. It's working. It's been uphill though because even when Cass was getting good at ignoring Maisie she would growl and leap and hiss at her !! So of course Cass thought "yippee, game on" and mayhem followed.

    But it is getting better now, it is just taking time and consistency.

    Hope this helps.
    Harley Quinn likes this.
  3. Edp

    Edp Registered Users

    Mar 16, 2014
    Cats are funny...its all on their own terms and they are very territorial. Dogs dogs and cats take a good while to settle, so do cats and cats. I have had umpteen combinations of dogs and cats and they all get there in the end. They might not be best friends but usually end up tolerating each other. My last rescue cat was very nearly eaten ( I kid you not!) by my old Alaskan Malamute...I was horrified, 6 months later they are besties. Could you have some rooms in the house where the cats go and the dog does not ! Might start to win them over again and remind them its home, best of luck Emma Meg Jasper Kat and Suzie :)
    Harley Quinn and zrinka like this.
  4. Snowshoe

    Snowshoe Registered Users

    Sep 5, 2015
    Ontario, Canada
    It took a year for our three to accept Oban. He was a very bouncy puppy. The cat who was bonded to our previous Lab, sweet, gentle, calm, respectful Jet, took the longest. She literally did not show her face if he was around, loose in the house. Yes, they had safe places to escape to that puppy could not follow but it still took a year. They did all become friends.

    ONe trick our dog trainer suggested, for training the dog, was to use a second dog and reward it first if the puppy did not comply fast enough. I didn't have another dog so I used Sadie-cat. Oban SIT. Not fast enough, Sadie gets a free treat. This not only had the desired training effect ( the nex time that little puppy bum hit the floor so fast and hard I could hear it smack, LOL) but it also showed Sadie that she had some, power, sway, standing, whatever you want to call it.

    Another thing I have always done is speak to, pet, feed, the one who was here first, first. I'm not sure how or if it affected dog/cat relations ( it sure didn't work on cat/cat relations) but it made me feel better.
    Emily_BabbelHund, Harley Quinn and MF like this.
  5. Liz Scambler

    Liz Scambler Registered Users

    Oct 17, 2017
    Our cat had similar reaction to new puppy, cat is 5yrs old, first 3 days refused to come indoors. Then came in and went out as soon as it finished eating.
    I devised a method of cat in one door, puppy out the other door (OH very kindly helped by looking after puppy whilst outside). Cat extremely suspicious at first but I was trying to show her the house was "safe". In less than a week she is much more relaxed and yesterday even spent all day asleep on a chair with pup in different room. I feel your pain it's horrid thinking the cats are outside in the cold (ours actually has a haybarn so is ok). If you have two doors and a helper this method might work!!!
    Harley Quinn likes this.
  6. AlaskaSkeeter

    AlaskaSkeeter Registered Users

    Sep 3, 2017
    We got our kitten after there were 3 dogs in the house..she get along wonderfully with our dogs. She licks my 2 black labs whenever I pet one of them, when I pet her, the lab licks her. I wish I had 3 hands to pet the 2 labs and cat at the same time (cat is now 2 years old, labs are 6 and 1 year old). She likes to snooze in a dog box, curl up in the dog bed with a lab. I think the key is she grew up as a kitten with these dogs...she is afraid when we have a guest dog in the house, but gets along with our dogs wonderfully..
    Harley Quinn and MF like this.
  7. Cath

    Cath Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Jan 17, 2015
    This is Annie and Ted. Annie use to chase Ted but now they are the best of friends. Give it time.

  8. Harley Quinn

    Harley Quinn Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Feb 15, 2017
    Hi @Lozzz31, very similar to you we also had cats before Harley. We have two adult male Bengals. And although the initial months were not eventful because they were fighting, it was sad because the cats just completely gave Harley a cold shoulder. They pretended like she didn't exist. It is now almost a year since she came home and although there aren't love and cuddles it is a very peaceful house. Cats seem to take ages to adjust and they also seem to keep hoping that the dog will do away and life will return to what it was...
    Beau's mummy, Lozzz31 and selina27 like this.
  9. Beau's mummy

    Beau's mummy Registered Users

    Jul 6, 2017
    My cat took at least 5-6 months before he would stay in the same room as Beau, now they play chase and give each other nose bumps, it’s so sweet. Give it time, it’ll happen when you least expect it

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