help needed in teaching my puppy to get along with my 2 adult cats
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Thread: help needed in teaching my puppy to get along with my 2 adult cats

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Defaulthelp needed in teaching my puppy to get along with my 2 adult cats

    whenever one of my cats appear, my 12 week old puppy Storm will stop what he is doing, and the chase is on. i have a cat door that goes into our basement in our kitchen, and that is where the cat(s) are usually appearing from or where they escape to. but one of my cats is not afraid of Storm. he will go toe to toe with him. he will hiss,and spit, and motion like he is trying to scratch Storm. my cats aren't declawed. i don't know if the cat has his claws out or not. i don't believe the dog has been scratched yet as far as i can tell. but then again i tend to break things up before it gets too crazy. that same cat will also get on top of the kitchen table and swing down at the dog as the dog barks and jumps up at him
    it also seems like the cats are antagonizing Storm. as soon as they know the dog is in the crate. they will appear and sit right outside the crate. they get the dog barking in the middle of the night. i make the cats move so the dog can't see them if he opens his eyes.
    i've tried getting Storm to sit when the cat comes into the room and giving him a treat if he doesn't go after them. he's recieved one treat so far and gone after the kitty cat many times.
    i know Storm is just wanting to play. why can't we all just get along?

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  3. #2
    steveandginger's Avatar
    steveandginger is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Norman, Oklahoma

    DefaultRe: help needed in teaching my puppy to get along with my 2 adult cats

    black storm dog --

    This is a great question -- I can't wait to see the replies. I have a 13-year old cat, and she has, in the past, been OK with dogs (my wife had a miniature Schnauzer when we met, when the cat was 3 years old, and they used to play together until the dog died a year later).

    However, Misty and my cat (Samantha) do NOT get along. Misty just wants to play (she had a cat at the house she was born in). When she sees the cat, she gets all excited, but all the cat does is hiss at her. Misty will usually "submit" to Sam when she hisses; she will slink down on her belly or whatever. However, eventually, she will jump toward the cat, trying to play. Then, the cat gets REALLY mad and hisses and swats at her. This makes Misty bark, and then the hiss/bark fest is on! If/when the cat makes a break for it, Misty chases -- and then the cat runs hissing down the hallway with Misty in hot pursuit. We have a baby gate blocking our stairs to the second floor, so the cat jumps the gate and escapes upstairs.

    I felt that since Misty was raised for her first 6 weeks with a cat, and since Sam has shown some ability to adjust to dogs in the house in her past, that they would eventually become friends (or, at least, tolerate each other). However, Misty's rambunctions nature (and now, her size) seem to be a problem for Sam. Usually, I just will separate them when they get to hissing/barking, but don't know whether I should be doing something else or not. I wonder if they will ever learn to peacefully co-exist?


  4. #3
    Indiana is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    DefaultRe: help needed in teaching my puppy to get along with my 2 adult cats

    I have two cats, a 10 year old female and a 6 year old male. My male cat antagonizes the other animals when he's bored, it's how he amuses himself :

    It really depends on the personalities of all the animals involved. Indy used to give chase, but my male cat put a stop to that real fast. He's dominant, and he bullies the other cat and the dog a lot. For the first few months I let it go 'cause I wanted Indy to know who was boss and not to mess with the cats, it worked so well that I had to start intervening cause the cat was just picking on the dog without mercy, Indy was scared and seeking shelter behind me, and the cat drew blood a few times, luckily nothing serious. Indy still won't walk through a door way or past the cat. He just freezes and waits for someone to come get him and walk him through the door way. At the same time, he is still interested in the cats and wags his tail at them and wants to socialize. And sometimes they'll lay on the floor near each other without world war three breaking out, so I have some hope for the future

    I didn't really do anything special other than I have gates in some doorways so that the cats can retreat to the other half of the house whenever they want. This seems to have helped them feel more confident. Early on, a few times when Indy would start to give chase or try to jump up on furniture to get to the cats, I'd grab his collar and say "no kitty". And any time he barks at them, he gets corrected. That combined with hissing and puffed up tails seemed to do the trick. Given time, even my timid female cat started standing up to him. She doesn't seek him out, but if they cross paths, she stands her ground and stares him down. All that said, Indy's pretty submissive with other animals, so it wasn't nearly the challenge I was expecting when I brought him home.

    I know that a lot people keep a light leash on their dog in the house and anytime he starts to give chase to the cat, they grab it or step on it and say "no kitty". Remember, at this age, he has little to no impulse control, you're just going to have to keep working with him and don't get too irritated if he just doesn't get it, or doesn't listen consistently.

    It takes time, for them to establish a pecking order. And there will be squabbles here and there. As alpha, I would personally show some preference to the cats, so he understands they outrank him and so that the cats feel confident putting him in his place, because very soon he is going to have a serious size advantage. I would monitor their interaction, but not step in unless you think it's going too far (don't pick up an angry cat with claws, just step between them and show them you're the boss, if the dog starts lunging, grab his collar and let the cat leave). Don't get emotional or scared, just act stern, they'll get the message. Learn to read their body language. And never leave the puppy uncrated when you are not there to supervise. As your pup grows up, he will go through phases and won't really be trustworthy with the cats until he's reached adulthood. And the cats should always have multiple easy to get to safe places. Whether that is a really sturdy cat tree (should be bolted down and very tall, now that you have a dog), or another room they can easily reach. The basement is good, but I would give them a few more options, baby gates or just a piece of wood propped up in a doorway is good for keeping the dog out of a room.

    And one final thought. Remember that a dog can be really good with one cat and not with another. They also need time to get used to new members of their pack and any other changes to their pack structure. Again, personality plays a big role.

    Good luck!
    <br /><br /><br /><br />

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  6. #4
    regarese is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    DefaultRe: help needed in teaching my puppy to get along with my 2 adult cats

    I second everything Indiana said. Our puppy is almost 5 months old and she and the cats (5year old male & female) are still feeling each other out. Our male antagonizes for entertainment as well I believe, and the female just avoids the puppy. She barely tolerates us so we knew she wouldn't like the dog, but the dog seems to have realized that the male cat is where she needs to direct her energy if she wants to have a friend. Our cats are declawed so I don't worry so much when they swat at the dog. I let them do it so that Shelby learns her place in the pecking order. I honestly thought it would have taken less time for them to get acclimated to each other, but they're getting there. It's at least entertaining for us watching them get to know each other.

  7. #5
    TinasZoo's Avatar
    TinasZoo is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    DefaultRe: help needed in teaching my puppy to get along with my 2 adult cats

    Hi there. It is an ongoing battle with my pup and the cats. My pup will be 6 months old on the 29th. I've had him since he was 10 weeks old. My daughter is living with me right now with her 3 cats and then I have 2 cats. So, Ranger has many cats to chase! All the cats have claws. My daughter's oldest cat is almost 16. She won't put up with anything with the pup. If he drops a toy near her, she hisses and lets him know he can't get any closer. He usually backs off, but sometimes will bark at her. I usually have to get the toy just to keep peace ;D He chases the 2 younger female cats. But, my daughter's one male cat is almost 20 pounds. He won't run from Ranger. He stands his ground but doesn't get mad. And my male cat would LOVE to play with Ranger. He even does once in a while until Ranger gets too rough. I had to teach Ranger "Leave it" and use it ALL the time when he was around the cats. It has taken a few months, but things are calming down. Ranger still gets rough, but I just tell him to leave it. It takes lots of consistent training. There are times that Ranger and Butters will sit at the sliding glass door and watch the leaves or whatever blowing in the wind outside. I really need to get a picture of that ;D Good luck!

  8. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007

    DefaultRe: help needed in teaching my puppy to get along with my 2 adult cats

    thanks for all the feedback

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