Cats with new puppies

Hi there,

Well we got our puppy and he is a Coton de Tulear. He is so sweet and we absolutely love him. He’s 12 weeks old.

The huge problem is our 4 year old cat. He has attacked him and I can’t see him ever accepting the puppy. We have to keep throwing him out for the safety of the puppy (Harvey).

Does anyone have any top tips on what we can do.

Many many thanks

Gill x

You’ll be lucky if the cat stays around after that.
Doing this could possibly make the sitaution worse as the cat will become afraid to go near the dog and when cats are afraid, they tend to attack!

I was told to have a rolled newspaper and when there is an incident smack it hard on your hand to create a diversion. After this one of you stroke the puppy and the other the cat.

Hi Gill,
I think you’ll find that the cat will always have the upper hand, they usually do!
They may even learn to enjoy each others company or the cat will simply ignore the presence of the dog!
Either way it may seem difficult at the moment but things will get better, take it easy and you’ll get there.

Sure they will get there Gill! xx

Hi everyone,
Thanks so much for all your advice. I really appreciate it. We are trying our best to reassure the cat and the puppy has now found his voice and has a very cute bark which does not please the cat at all!!!
Anyway we will carry on keeping them apart and introducing them slowly and hopefully one day they might get on. Just need the puppy to grow quite a bit as he is half the size of the cat so the cat has the upper hand at the moment.
So thanks again and I’ll keep you posted.
Gill xxxxx

In this instance, think of the situation from the cat’s point of view. this 4 year old cat happy in HIS own home, the one place that is sacred to him alone, his territory, he then has thrust upon him an interloper in the form of the dog. The cat’s natural instincts are to attack and so he is PUNISHED for doing this! (this is why in this situation a water spray will have the oppositie effect)
The dog should be kept on a lead and introduced slowly to the cat making sure the cat has escape routes, either to other rooms or the outside or on a high shelf.
It is the dog who should be isolated for periods of time to allow the cat time to get used to the idea. The problem has been made worse and will take longer to resolve now that the cat is not only feeling threatened by the dog but by the people he trusted. his confidence needs to be won back, he needs to be made a great fuss of and he must learn to associate good feelings with the dog’s odour.
To do this you can brush the dog and then the cat and vise versa, you can rub a blanket around the cats face thus releasing the pheremones onto the blanket and then rub this blanket over the dog before introducing him to the cat again.
You can rub the dog and then feed the cat a treat on the blanket so he associates the dog’s smell with good experiences.
It is a shame that Gill wasn’t given good advice from where the dog originated as now she has her work cut out to undo the wrongs.

When I took my first own puppy I had two cats, doing the same. A friend who was a dog-trainer adviced me to put the cat(s) in the bench - instead of the dog - every once and a while. They can not run away, not attack, and they are save for the ‘attacks’ of a puppy.

Biggest problem is the “franglais” between dogs and cats! Where the cat hits the dog, the puppy thinks the cats wants to play… They don’t speak the same body-language.

And no, I did not put the cats in a bench, since I did not have one with my first dog. But I gave them sort of their own room, one room in the house with a barrier, where the cats could jump over, but the puppy couldn’t. Worked as well. However, with one cat I had to pay attention for a long time and when I wasn’t there I made sure they couldn’t be in the same room. Cats in their room and the dog in the kitchen, doors closed.

Much luck,

Thanks Lynn!
So what should she do? I’m asking as loads of people will read this and want to know but prob not get in touch with you to ask, so if you could post something that would be really helpful. Thanks! And sorry for adding to your workload xx

In this instance Catharine the water spray will just tell him he is not wanted.
Gill needs to reassure the cat not drive him away.
They need to slowly integrate the cat with the dog and also give the dog some limits. Spraying the cat with water in this case will just make the situation worse!

Hi Gill
I use a water spray to discourage ‘bad’ or unacceptable behaviour (i.e climbing on worktops etc) with our three cats and would do so in this case . (Lynn will probably tell me off now!!) They do seem to get the message and I should imagine the cat will suss out that if he attacks the puppy, he will get squirted and thus want to leave the room , thus eventually deciding it is best not to attack said puppy in the first place. Photos of your puppy please?!

Hi Gill,
What you are doing is effectively punishing the cat for what he sees as no reason, he will never intergate like that.
I have a fact sheet I can send you concerning integrating cats and dogs. Of course your cat has his nose out of joint and if you keep ‘throwing him out’ how is he ever going to learn?
Let me have your email adress if you’d like the fact sheet, you can contact me through