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Thread: A New Puppy

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    306 Maria de Luna's Avatar
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    A New Puppy

    So I'm looking to get a dog. I think I'm going to get a puppy because I think it will be easier to introduce a puppy to my cats than a dog, or I would get a rescue dog, but I have a problem. My cats are generally bad with other animals. Cthulhu is an asshole. we got a cat more than a year ago and he was very sweet, never provoked her and was generally a good cat, but Cthulhu would hiss at and antagonize him any chance she got. she eventually attacked him and he fought her back (I couldn't blame him, she really is a dick) I don't think she will respond well to any new animal and I'm looking for the best way to introduce her to a new animal like a puppy. My other cat is a former feral and is afraid of everything. she responded to the new cat by hiding for weeks. We eventually had to give the new cat back, and that made me so upset, I don't want to have to do that again. but we really want to have a dog for our daughter and ourselves. Is there something I can do with this cat to keep her from attacking a poor innocent puppy? I don't want either of them to get hurt, and I don't want to get a puppy only to have to give him up if it doesn't work.
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  2. #2
    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: A New Puppy

    Cats and dogs...fighting like Cats and Dogs..It can be hard to get animals to get along..

    And BTW,where the heck you been?

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    306 Maria de Luna's Avatar
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    Re: A New Puppy

    Quote Originally Posted by anunitu View Post
    And BTW,where the heck you been?
    I'm a stay at home mom... I have a teeny tiny and I never get on the dang computer anymore...
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    Silver Member anubisa's Avatar
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    Re: A New Puppy

    I think it can depend on breed to be honest. However, if you get one, you need to make sure you pay attention equally to all of them. It will be hard at first with the puppy, but it will be easier as the dog ages. And cats and dogs sometimes don't get along, that doesn't mean that they can't.
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    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: A New Puppy

    Honestly, an adult dog would probably be better than a puppy. Puppies have no manners and rarely respect boundaries... it can take a lot of effort and management to teach them. An adult dog who has lived with cats previoisly would probably be your best chance.

    Having said that, Cthulu may have an anxiety issue if she reacts this badly to new additions. All cats get stressed when you bring a new cat home... it upsets their social structure and takes time to resolve. Incidentally, the cat that attcks first is generally the victim, not the antagonist. Cats bully each other in very quiet and seemingly innocent ways! Attacker cats have usually been pushed so far past their comfort zone that the feel they have to attack to maintain control. Cats are behaviourally very complex.

    The best thing to help them relax about new things is something like Feliway diffuser. Also make sure she has a place to escape to... this is also where adult dogs are easier to manage... baby gates and low furniture and hooks that keep doors open just a smidge all help provide cat-only spaces.

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    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    Incidentally, the cat that attcks first is generally the victim, not the antagonist. Cats bully each other in very quiet and seemingly innocent ways.
    How i read this:

    "Cats are teenage girls"
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    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: A New Puppy

    Quote Originally Posted by Heka View Post
    How i read this:

    "Cats are teenage girls"
    Hahaha pretty much. They will literally sit 'innocently' next to some high value furniture with their little paws tucked in, staring at the victim cat with squinty eyes, tormenting them with invisible mindrays or something. Then everyone thinks that the poor cat that freaks out and hisses is the antagonist. And they do sneaky stuff like ambush them at the litter tray or lay siege to the water bowl... all calm and silent and just staring quietly. Cats have very subtle body language... they are even harder to read than dogs and because they do a lot of stuff backwards, are also harder to understand. Fascinating creatures behaviour-wise, but it makes it very difficult to manage their stress effectively.

  8. #8
    306 Maria de Luna's Avatar
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    Re: A New Puppy

    Quote Originally Posted by Rae'ya View Post
    Honestly, an adult dog would probably be better than a puppy. Puppies have no manners and rarely respect boundaries... it can take a lot of effort and management to teach them. An adult dog who has lived with cats previoisly would probably be your best chance.
    I had previously thought about this, but determined a puppy would be better for the benefit of the other cat who lives in abject terror of dogs. I had read that she is less likely to be terrified of a juvenile dog, as she will recognize that it is just a baby, also I was hoping that it would be less scary if the dog was smaller than her. I just dont want either cat to be relegated to inside tiny closet spaces because of fear either, and my smaller cat will find a tiny place to hide and never come out I'm afraid if I get a grown dog.
    http://catcrowsnow.blogspot.com/

    But they were doughnuts of darkness. Evil damned doughnuts, tainted by the spawn of darkness.... Which could obviously only be redeemed by passing through the fiery inferno of my digestive tract.
    ~Jim Butcher

  9. #9
    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: A New Puppy

    Quote Originally Posted by Maria de Luna View Post
    I had previously thought about this, but determined a puppy would be better for the benefit of the other cat who lives in abject terror of dogs. I had read that she is less likely to be terrified of a juvenile dog, as she will recognize that it is just a baby, also I was hoping that it would be less scary if the dog was smaller than her. I just dont want either cat to be relegated to inside tiny closet spaces because of fear either, and my smaller cat will find a tiny place to hide and never come out I'm afraid if I get a grown dog.
    Unfortunately, this is not necessarily true (except for very very young puppies), specifically because puppies do not act the way a dog 'should' act, and they don't respect the boundaries and body language of other pets. A very small puppy smaller than the cats will probably be less intimidating, but they will still be all up in the cats' faces trying to play and not listening when they tell it to back off, and a very small puppy can follow the cats into all their little hidey holes, which gives them no chance to escape. It's hard to predict... a puppy may be better, or a grown dog may be better. Ultimately it is your choice and you know your situation much better than any of us do!

    Either way I would get a Feliway Diffuser or two, even though they are pricey, because it sounds like you have two cats that will be highly stressed by this change and Feliway is one of the best things you can do outside of medicating them. Use baby gates to block sections of the house so that the cats can escape, or if they are climbers make sure they have a very high shelf they can escape to. Under the bed or behind the couch is actually not a very good escape place, because they can't get in and out of there without risking being ambushed by the dog. A whole room is better... and if they don't really like each other, two whole rooms is preferable. Then put their food, water and litter trays in the blocked off section so that the dog can't go anywhere near them (being ambushed at the litter tray is very, very stressful for a cat!).

    Also be prepared for them to possibly turn on each other in the short term. Changing the house changes the existing dynamics, and cats that have previously lived together harmoniously may decide they can't cope with each other anymore. So ensure they can get away from each other too, and give them extra litter trays and feeding stations. Don't force them to interact with anyone, including yourself. If they don't want attention, don't force them to take it. Try to keep the routine as similar as you can, which can be very difficult. And understand that cats get stressed easily and sometimes no matter what you do, you can't get them accept new additions to the household. It's not their fault, it's just part of their nature. So make sure that any puppy or dog you get you will have the option of taking it back if it's not working out, or take it as a 'trial' at first. It can be heartbreaking to accept that it isn't working, but ending up with pets that are too stressed to live their lives is heartbreaking too.

    Of course, they may actually cope really well and none of this may happen! But with the history you've described I would have all your bases covered, just in case.

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