Puppy and the cat!

SuzanneMarie

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Hi there,

This site gave me wonderful advice about my 14 year old cat and my new puppy, but I have more questions.

My puppy is now 7 months old and 12 pounds - a Havanese. My cat is 10 pounds. So the puppy is now slightly bigger than my cat. When the pup was smaller, the cat was in charge, but I get worried now that the pup is bigger because his latest 'fun' is jumping on top of the cat and holding her down. The cat can get away but the pup keeps doing it. I felt so badly for the cat because she can't even walk across the room without getting jumped. My pup is in love with the cat and wants to play but keeps holding her down.

I let it go for a while but got worried. So I put the pup on a short leash and I hold her back from jumping on the cat. I guess I'm hoping to teach the pup to be more gentle.

But I'm not sure if I should intervene or just continue to leave them to sort it out. My pup will be neutered in 3 weeks - will that calm this down?

My pup is a happy guy who just wants to play. My cat (who has only lived with me for about a year) is very sweet ant I want her to be able to move around freely without being jumped. She has a safe place that is blocked off to the dog.

Should I intervene by holding the pup back from doing this? Or once again, just let them sort it out?

Thanks,
Sue
 

ArtNJ

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Cats friends routinely have bigger size differences. Its not automatically a problem that a younger bigger cat is overly rambunctious. The same should be true with a puppy. You have to "ask" your cat, by examining how they act around the pup, both during rough play, and also during the rare moments the pup is chill. Let us know, and we'll have better advice. I know your cat is 14, and I assume it pretty much hates being jumped on, as most cats that age do, so its likely some degree of problem, but whether its a big problem or a little problem I'd need more details. If its a little problem, maybe you can let them work it out, whereas if your older cat is really stressed, especially even when the pup isn't jumping, then intervening is a good idea.
 
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SuzanneMarie

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Hi there,

Good point. Hmmmmm... the cat often sleeps in her 'safe' place during the day and comes out to visit me several times during the day. When the pup is in his crate at night, the cat is with me. Whenever the cat makes an appearance, my pup races over now and jumps on her. The cat can get away and will go under the coffee table where the pup can't jump on her, but the pup will paw at her and the cat will paw at the pup. The cat will hiss sometimes and cry out but lots of times that's when the pup hasn't really hurt her - I'm watching and it's like the pup is playing and will just 'touch' the tail or ears, not pulling or anything. The cat never backs down but sometimes will move fast to get to where she's going, and often will seek the pup out. There are calm times when they are drinking water at the same time and will just lay near each other - totally calm. They seem to never be mean to one another. My pup and my cat are both very sweet. Sometimes I hold the pup back and the cat doesn't leave and I feel I'm interfering. I just find the pup comes on strong lately but then again, it could be my problem, not theirs. I hate seeing the pup on top of the cat. Any thoughts?
Thanks, Sue
 

ArtNJ

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It sounds surprisingly ok! 14 year old cat plus a slightly bigger much more active pup is not a great recipe, so this actually qualifies as a nice bit of luck. I'd mostly let them be, intervening if/when the cat seems especially miserable or unable to get away. That and give her some closed door affection now and then. Just try to think of the pup as a rambunctuous main coon kitten. Of course the older cat is going to be crotechety, but she doesn't seem to be afraid or overly stressed, so there is no serious issue. As the pup chills, they might even make it to mutual friendship.
 

ArtNJ

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When the puppy is getting too wild with the cat I would use those as training ( “sit, stay, leave it”) moments, with rewards of course.
Its a good point. I'm used to it being another cat in this situation so I didn't mention it, but dogs are (we can admit it!) just more trainable.
 

Pywacket21

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I have the opposite problem. The 11# cat wants to play with my 8# Maltese, who hates the cat. Spookie chases the cat, barks in his face, but in a year hasn’t hurt Pywacket. I keep waiting for cat to swipe at dog, hasn’t happened yet, and maybe never will.
Pywacket and my poodle do play chase, and each will start the chase. Pywacket was fostered as a baby with a standard poodle, guess that helped.
I do watch everybody while this goes on. If your cat has had enough of the pup, she will let her know.
 

Furballsmom

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If your cat has had enough of the pup, she will let her know.
It sounds to me as though the OPs cat is trying to;
The cat will hiss sometimes and cry out
This is too much stress for a 14 year old cat to have to deal with on a multiple-times-daily basis.

I feel I'm interfering.
You are, but you need to. That puppy needs training. Not just for the cat's sake which is incredibly important, but dogs need structure and guidance for appropriate, responsive (to the owner) behavior, around cats, other dogs, other people, in emergencies, etc.
 
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SuzanneMarie

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It sounds surprisingly ok! 14 year old cat plus a slightly bigger much more active pup is not a great recipe, so this actually qualifies as a nice bit of luck. I'd mostly let them be, intervening if/when the cat seems especially miserable or unable to get away. That and give her some closed door affection now and then. Just try to think of the pup as a rambunctuous main coon kitten. Of course the older cat is going to be crotechety, but she doesn't seem to be afraid or overly stressed, so there is no serious issue. As the pup chills, they might even make it to mutual friendship.
You make a good point - the cat really doesn't seem afraid or overly stressed. Lots of times the pup is just laying there and the cat will walk right by him, when she could go another way. I'll keep a close eye and try to see what the cat is 'saying' - maybe it's just my issue, not theirs. Thanks.
 
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SuzanneMarie

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When the puppy is getting too wild with the cat I would use those as training ( “sit, stay, leave it”) moments, with rewards of course.
Another good point. We've been going to puppy school and he does know all those commands. And the pup does listen to me. :)
 
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SuzanneMarie

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I have the opposite problem. The 11# cat wants to play with my 8# Maltese, who hates the cat. Spookie chases the cat, barks in his face, but in a year hasn’t hurt Pywacket. I keep waiting for cat to swipe at dog, hasn’t happened yet, and maybe never will.
Pywacket and my poodle do play chase, and each will start the chase. Pywacket was fostered as a baby with a standard poodle, guess that helped.
I do watch everybody while this goes on. If your cat has had enough of the pup, she will let her know.
The cat does leave when she's had enough, so that's a good point. Thanks.
 
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SuzanneMarie

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Its a good point. I'm used to it being another cat in this situation so I didn't mention it, but dogs are (we can admit it!) just more trainable.
My pup does listen to me, so that's a good point in my favor.
 
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SuzanneMarie

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It sounds to me as though the OPs cat is trying to;

This is too much stress for a 14 year old cat to have to deal with on a multiple-times-daily basis.


You are, but you need to. That puppy needs training. Not just for the cat's sake which is incredibly important, but dogs need structure and guidance for appropriate, responsive (to the owner) behavior, around cats, other dogs, other people, in emergencies, etc.
My pup is actually really great. We are in our third obedience class session and he really listens to me. My cat is really great too, although I have only had her for a year because her owner passed away, and I don't know her as well. And of course she's around 14 - so an older cat. For a long time, the cat was seeking out the pup and was totally in charge of the pup but as the pup grew he started to jump on her in play. The pup is not that much bigger than the cat but this jumping on the cat is new, so I have the pup on a leash now and I'm carefully monitoring the situation. The cat doesn't seem afraid though and they are never together unless I'm there to watch and monitor. But I have never had 2 pets before at the same time and I have never had a cat before so I sometimes think I over-react.
 

Furballsmom

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I have the pup on a leash now and I'm carefully monitoring the situation.
You're wise, and good for you regarding obedience training :)!

It sounds to me as though this will be an ever-changing situation with ebbs and flows of various behavior. Hopefully your rambunctious puppy will become better behaved as time and training continues ☺
 

iPappy

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I don't let mine work it out on their own, ever. I wanted my dog, not the cats, and it isn't up to them to get stressed or angry enough to lash out at the dog for being obnoxious. (And, I know my dog would retaliate, so letting them work it out would be a really bad idea.) If my dog starts bullying the cats, she's told to knock it off once, and if she doesn't listen, she goes in a cage for a few minutes so she can chill out. That usually does the trick.
A week or so ago, my dog and I were playing a game and she was really amped up. She had the tug toy and was shaking it and growling while I held the other end. Lila, my tortie, got triggered by this for some reason and lashed out and bit my dog on the side of her neck. I didn't tolerate that either! I took the cat out of the room.
JMO of course.
 

OopsyDaisy

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Pup just needs to learn to "leave it" and "gentle". That usually works with my cats and dogs. Also, agree that the cat will tell the dog when she's had enough. As long as you are supervising, they should eventually work it out. We have brought so many rescue animals into our home over the years, it takes a little time but they end up getting along just fine. They are only doing what comes natural to them.
 

OopsyDaisy

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I don't let mine work it out on their own, ever. I wanted my dog, not the cats, and it isn't up to them to get stressed or angry enough to lash out at the dog for being obnoxious. (And, I know my dog would retaliate, so letting them work it out would be a really bad idea.) If my dog starts bullying the cats, she's told to knock it off once, and if she doesn't listen, she goes in a cage for a few minutes so she can chill out. That usually does the trick.
A week or so ago, my dog and I were playing a game and she was really amped up. She had the tug toy and was shaking it and growling while I held the other end. Lila, my tortie, got triggered by this for some reason and lashed out and bit my dog on the side of her neck. I didn't tolerate that either! I took the cat out of the room.
JMO of course.
This is true. You really have to watch the dogs when they get too excited. If they are large, they don't know their strength. They have to be taught what's acceptable behavior.
 
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SuzanneMarie

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You're wise, and good for you regarding obedience training :)!

It sounds to me as though this will be an ever-changing situation with ebbs and flows of various behavior. Hopefully your rambunctious puppy will become better behaved as time and training continues ☺
I'm huge into training. I even met with my trainer before I brought the pup home. I think you're right - there will be ebbs and flows for a while. My pup had 6 puppy siblings and also lived with his dog mom, dog dad, and dog grandpa and loved to play with them. And I do think the cat enjoys some of it but wow - all of a sudden the pup is jumping on her and the poor cat can't even go anywhere without the pup in her face. So I'm keeping a close eye. Funny though, other than that, my pup is actually quite calm. LOL.
 

susanm9006

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I'm huge into training. I even met with my trainer before I brought the pup home. I think you're right - there will be ebbs and flows for a while. My pup had 6 puppy siblings and also lived with his dog mom, dog dad, and dog grandpa and loved to play with them. And I do think the cat enjoys some of it but wow - all of a sudden the pup is jumping on her and the poor cat can't even go anywhere without the pup in her face. So I'm keeping a close eye. Funny though, other than that, my pup is actually quite calm. LOL.
Perfect time for a “leave it” and then praise/reward.
 
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