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Just adopted a dog & the cats are mad - Help!!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I would so appreciate any and all help on this one!

I have 2 indoor cats, Puppy & Penguina. Puppy is alpha-cat. I am the 1st to admit that I baby my little girls in the worst way. Today we adopted a 4 year old Cocker Spaniel who was rescued from a puppy mill. She has a few health issues, but she is so sweet and almost oblivious to the cats (she has only seen Puppy, actually, since Penguina wont come out from under the bed).

Here is what I have done for the arrival of Possum (the dog).

- I have baby gated off parts of the house so the cats can get everywhere, but the dog can not. I thought this would be good for the safety & emotional well being of the kitties. I have put the cat food and litter boxes in the areas that only the cats can get to.

- I have shown the cats extra attention and love (like constantly) since the dog arrived.

What else should I be doing? How do I keep the cats away from the dog food? What about when the baby gates are gone... how do I keep the dog from eating the cat food? Should I keep one of the baby gates up forever so my kitties have a "safe-room". What is the cat goes after the dog or vice-versa?

Puppy is ignoring me - she is usally sitting on my lap as I type, but she is in the other room staring at me with the evil cat eye.

Will my little babies ever go back to normal or have I ruined their utopia?

Please help and good vibes - I am a mess.

post #2 of 9
I'm sorry, I don't have any advice to give, but here are some vibes

Hope everything works out!
post #3 of 9
Your cats will love you again....but only after they make you suffer a little bit.

I have the cat food on top of the dryer and I have two litter boxes behind a baby gate and the other one has two door stops behind it. I've been working with Fergus on this, but he still raids the boxes if given a chance.
Fergus eats his food immediately so the cats never get a chance to eat it.

Make sure that she is staying oblivious to the cats and if she starts chasing them, be ready to correct her in a positive way. Let her know the cats are not for her to chase.

Since we feel guilty about changing things with our pets, it's very easy to give them emotions they don't really have. Puppy probably isn't ignoring you and giving you the evil eye, but trying to survive the best she can with a dog in the house. She will come around, it just takes time.
post #4 of 9
If your cats have never really experienced a dog before, they will be put off by it for a while. The difficulties with introducing a dog into a house is when the dog is rowdy and goes after the cats. Possum doesn't seem to care about doing that and you are really fortunate for that. When we adopted our puppies close to 4 years ago, the cats that had never lived with dogs before were put out for a few weeks, then returned to normal. And that was in spite of the fact that the puppies tried to wrestle with them whenever they made contact with each other.

I had the baby gates, and moved the food to the top of the dryer and bathroom counter. I also added a cat tree to the room where the puppies were gated so that they had an escape route away from them, but also because cats like to look down upon their minions.

When I feed my dogs, I do not free feed them. They have a time limit where food is available to them (15 minutes) then the food is removed. This is a good way to earn alpha status with your dog and I highly recommend that you do it. If the cats try to eat the food during that time, Possum has every right to chase them away, but I would train the cats to stay away during feeding time. Respect needs to work both ways.

Don't worry, the cats will come around very shortly! Possum only arrived today!!
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the vibes and the advice on the food & litter box placement. I will do those things! I jusy picked up possum from the groomers and found out that she stinks because she has a terrible ear infection and a yeast infection between her toes... gross. Her vet appt is on Thursday... perhaps they can move it up for me - she is scratching her ears like mad!

Thanks again,
post #6 of 9
First cute names for all your pets

We have a lab and 2 cats. The lab eats in the kitchen (and finishes her food in 5 mins or less). The cats eat downstairs on a counter with their food/water. The litter pan is also in that part of the basement.

Our basement has two sides - washer/dryer/workbench in one side (cats side) and the office part on the other. We trained Keno to stay out of the other room - she's very good with obedience and it took only a few times of telling her NO and she will stay out of the room - even if her ball rolls over there. So no problem with litter box.

You will have to work with the dog and see how well trained she is. Until she can be trusted to keep out of the litter pan, you'll have to gate the area.

As far as dog food - how fast of an eater is she? If she' picky or takes a long time you will have to retrain her on eating habits OR you can crate her and feed her.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Penguina has still not come out from under my bed! I brought some food and water in there for her but no litter box. She will not leave the room. She will come out from under the bed only to eat and only if I am in the room. I carried her out and showed her that the dog was out for a walk, but she ran right back in when I put her down. Should I carry her out again or just leave her to her own devices? She is a SUPER SHY cat who only loves me - she still isnt too keen on her Daddy - and it has been almost 2 years. Did I make a mistake with the dog?
post #8 of 9
Your cats will love you again. It's not like they "hate" you because you got a dog. have they ever been around dogs? I would put the cat food on top of a table or something. we have ours on a table and the litter box is by it and we put a chair by the washer and drier so the dogs can't get to the food or the litter box. make sure you put the litter boxes out of the dog's reach and the cat food on a table or something, something high so your dog can't get to it.

I had my dogs before I had Miagi and Tiger so I don't know what you are expieriencing, but I would put your dog's food in a seperate area away from the cat's food and the litter box. perhaps you can put your kitties' food in the basement or something and the litter box that way they have a "safe" place to eat and use the litter box and put their water dish by it, too.

are your cats free fed? what about your dog? I would put your dog's food in a seperate area of the house like a room or something that is off limits to the cats and her water dish. don't worry your cats will come around.

my dogs didn't mind we got cats at all. we also haven't had problems with Miagi and Tiger eating the dog's food unless their is a little bit of canned dog food left somewhere. Good luck and I am sure they will come around soon. maybe you can slowly re-introduce your cats to the dog again, but things will work out.. you'll see.
post #9 of 9
from my experience living in a household with many cats and dogs I know that cats get over their frustration with newcomers. I remember my cats were totally mad about great dane I got. However, in the result they all were best buddies. It just takes time. My only approach was to give equal attention to everybody. Cats really hate to feel rejected.
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