Pet Lovers

Where’s Cookie? Introducing a new puppy to the cat….

My friend recently added a new puppy to her family; she has three kids and a cat (oh, and a husband too). The cat, Cookie, is a relatively new member of her household; as she likes to say, Cookie, a former stray, adopted her family, rather than the other way around.

Cookie was managing to survive a bitter winter last year and would come to my friend’s door and camp out in her yard. Her daughter started leaving food out for Cookie, and despite protests of not being “cat people” they adopted him. Cookie is a survivor and enjoyed lead pet status for a brief time before his world was rocked when the puppy entered the scene.

Cookie and the puppy have now been under the same roof for a few weeks, and Cookie has taken up residence in the (unfinished) basement. It’s been my experience that when a cat is the first pet, they will establish dominance over a puppy pretty quickly, and the relationship develops from there. My friend thinks that maybe because Cookie survived by running and hiding when he was a stray, he sees the puppy as a threat and is returning to his old ways of the street.

She has tried keeping the puppy under control and calmed on a leash while her daughter attempts to let Cookie get close, but he flees nearly instantly. Should she get rid of Cookie? Please post any advice you may have. Save Cookie!


21 Responses to “Where’s Cookie? Introducing a new puppy to the cat….”

  1. Guess Who says:

    Perhaps Cookie would benefit from having a companion, such as a rabbit, to hang out with and distract him from the threat of the dog.

  2. RLBaldwin says:

    We have a cat that adopted us as well. We already had a dog and a cat before she came along and she has animosity towards them. She’ll cuddle up next to us and she loves to be petted. She also hides out in the basement but as long as she’s happy at the end of the day, so are we.

  3. Ruth Ann says:

    I wouldn’t get rid of either. I’ve had cats and dogs all my life and they are usually ok with each other’s presence after a period of time. Cookie and the puppy will develop a tolerance for each other over time. As Cookie sees that the puppy isn’t a threat to her, she’ll come out and resume life with the puppy in her life.

  4. Betty Smith says:

    The above comment is close, but the real solution is to get another cat. Having two cats allows them to play together and also feel like a stronger force against the dog. I would go to the SPCA immediately and adopt another cat.

  5. Hodge says:

    Ruth Anne is right. They will learn to tolerate each other in time. Cats are cautious and a few weeks is not enough. Just make sure the cat can get away to his space when he wants to. Not all cats like another cat. This might not be a good option.
    Don’t get rid of either – you wouldn’t get rid of one of your children if they didn’t get along, would you? Pets are a committment. Good Luck.

  6. Jane says:

    First pet should have preference over newcomer for starters. So the puppy should be crated for a time until the cat gets used to its presence (that should have happened when the puppy was first introduced). No one mentions the breed of the puppy or its general lineage (e.g., terrier mix). Breed will have a great impact on the puppy’s behavior (bouncing off the walls to calm and cuddly) and how the puppy behaves will impact Cookie’s take on the puppy — cats dislike barking and bouncing.

    Although I agree that having a pet is a commitment, it might be a happy solution in this case for the family to find a new home for Cookie. The basement is better than a shelter, however, so that’s not what I’m advocating. Maybe Craig’s list to find a home.

    Good luck to Cookie!

  7. Brenda says:

    I wouldn’t get rid of him..bad idea. Give them time. You should’ve introduced them gradually so that Cookie could get used to the scent and the idea of another animal being there. It worked for me. I have 4 cats and i have introduced them one by and have had great sucess..just give him time he will come around..

  8. Kristin says:

    They will grow to love each other with time (or at least co-exist). We have had our “puppy” for one year now. Before adopting him we had two cats that ruled the house for the last 5 years. Although the dog has way too much energy for them sometimes, they have found their own ways of living peacefully together. I think it is important in the beginning to give the cat a place of his own. We keep a baby gate up most of the time which keeps the dog out of the “cats’ room.” This gives them a place to relax when the puppy is in play mode. The cats avoided the dog at all costs for a while, but now we will actually catch them cuddled up napping together. Be patient, it is quite the adjustment.

  9. Kathryn says:

    Don’t get rid of Cookie. You have to let them get familar with one another. I had a older cat for 7 years and I brought in a new puppy. It took some time but today, they are best friends. My dog now cleans the cat and they play together. But that took time, yes, my dog did get bit, but she learned to respect the cat.

  10. Sid says:

    I have the reverse situation – a puppy left on my door step. I have two male Siamese cats that rule the roost, and when the puppy was introduced, the younger cat (18 mnths) wanted nothing to do with the puppy. The older cat (36 mnths) would sit and “baby sit” the puppy as it slept in the kennel often reaching in every so gently to touch the puppy. This process started 5 days ago and all is well so far. The puppy stays on a leash when out of the kennel, the younger cat runs for his life if the dog barks, jumps, or does anything quickly; the older cat simply “dares” him to bring it on. The puppy has not been able to have any real freedoms under the recommendation of the vet because so much is unknown about the puppy. The puppy weighs in at 6lbs and the cats each weigh in at about 11 to 12 lbs, the puppy would be of little threat to either cat, my fear is the puppy may be “scarred” for life both emotionally and physically. The kennel keeps everyone safe and allows for safe interaction.

    My suggestion is this: Take it slow, keep the new addition in a kennel until EVERYONE is ready to take the next step. A puppy is full of energy and can play a little too rough with a cat or kitten and for that matter even children. Taking in a stray means there are a lot of unknowns both in temperment as well as health. Take note of Cookie…. he will let you know when he is ready to get personal, and keep the new puppy under close watch. Cookie was there first, let him know he is still first and the “Top Dog” of the roost and everyone will come out a winner!

    All Best

  11. Christel says:

    You do not need to get rid of either one!! A cat adopted us last year, and a dog just a few months ago, plus had 2 of each to start with. All of them have come into the family at different times. 4 of them are indoor and outdoor pets. Almost all of them had to take time to get acquainted, both felines and canines. I have a basset, beagle and lab mix, so all sizes of dogs too. They will eventually get along, it just takes time. Worst case scenario, they will tolerate each other. Let them go at their own pace, neither will do harm to each other.

  12. Stacy says:

    I have a house full of animals. I have a 16 year old Shephard and a 2 year old standard poodle. I also have a 23 year old siamese, a 3 year old maine coon and the recent addition of a (guessing here) 6 month old tri-color cat. The old guys are buddies, but it took a little while when the dog was young. The puppy loves to play and the old cat tolerates her as long as she’s not trying to “pin” him. He has actually started letting her clean his ears as long as the paws stay on the floor. The younger cat actually dominated the puppy when she was little, but he’s also 20lbs worth of big boy cat. The latest addition of the kitten is a bit trickier. Because she was a stray that I rescued from my parents camp and had not been around humans or other animals other than her sibling, she’s taking longer to get used to things. I started by keeping her in a bedroom by herself for about a month to let her get used to the humans first. Now I leave the door open and the other cats have access and have started showing an interest in her. She’s warming up to them now and it’s really rather sweet. It’s been over two months though. The dogs stay downstairs and don’t have access to her but she has the option to try if she would like. It just takes time and the dynamics are different for everyone. They may never be buddies but they can definetly co-habitate and still be happy. Just patience and make sure that Cookie gets a little family time without puppy every once and a while.

  13. debbie says:

    i have a house full myself,give them time they will come friends soon it will take them time just give them there space they will be fine.
    but is going to be one that is always going to be the boss no matter if they are dogs or cats

  14. Camille says:

    I had this situation the other way around. We already had a hyper-active dog and then adopted a cat into the house. She is still skiddish, but I set up our spare bedroom with a baby gate so the cat can escape from the dog, yet still be able to see him and get close with a barrier in between.

    They may never get along perfectly, but there is no reason to desert either pet; this is a responsibility pet owners take on. Cookie will just need time, maybe months, to get used to the doggy. Just make sure to give her some special one-on-one attention so she knows she is loved.

  15. Jessica says:

    We just got a new pup for Christmas. We had 2 cats. The one has gotten where he will lay within feet of the puppy, The other is slower and older. She will sit and watch on the other side of the baby gate, on a chair or if she knows she can wander through quickly she will, We will carry the cats to their safe spots so they would know the puppy couldnot get them. I think the big cat just like to hit him , Just give them time I think :)

  16. Annuli says:

    We had the same issue with a cat adopting us. Ink just walked through the front door and now refuses to leave. We already had a cat Travis and Dog Chloe. The 2 cats have never gotten along during the day, and Chloe likes to play with Ink, chasing her around the house and carrying her by her head. Travis hides on top of my upper kitchen cabinets, and Ink hides in the basement. But over time and as Chloe has gotten older and as calm as a black lab can get, the 3 of them all sleep together on the same bed. Good Luck to all of you. I hope you still have Cookie and things have gotten better the last couple of months

  17. candie says:

    Hi A Rrcipes

    I would like to know how to make dogs cookies just what they have in the backey for dogs.

    Thank you
    Candie

  18. candie says:

    candie said: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    01.14.11 @ 1:29 pm Hi A Rrcipes

    I would like to know how to make dogs cookies just what they have in the backey for dogs.

    Thank you
    Candie

  19. BJ says:

    Just a few quick words. IT ALWAYS IS NECESSARY TO BE CONSISTENT WITH ALL OF YOUR ANIMALS AND INTRODUCING A NEW ONE TO THE MORE ESTABLISHED ONE (S) IS VERY ESSENTIAL. Sometimes just a couple of weeks isn’t enough for “new” animals to get used to each other; it takes time for each one to become familiar with the other. Give each animal enough time to get used to the other and to realize that nothing bad is going to happen to them. In this type of a situation the “human (s)” need to be patient and allow each animal to get used to the new one in such a way as to be okay for all concerned. One of the biggest issues to remember is the fact that all animals have their own way of reacting to different situations; you cannot treat them all as though they will react in the same way towards the existing situation. What may work for one household probably won’t work the same way for another household. The most important thing to remember is to take your time and not expect things to immediately happen in just a few days or even weeks. Good luck with your animals, their behavior and getting everyone to the point where they will accept the “new pet”. God Bless — BJ

  20. BJ says:

    Since I have dealt with all types of animals all my life I have the greatest tendency to suggest keeping both animals; why would you want to get rid of either one of them? As in so many different situations dealing with getting more than “one” creature to tolerate another — it takes alot of time and work!!! Especially when you are dealing with two different types of animals – (1) a cat and (2) a dog!! More times than not I have seen and been a part of these critters beeing together and getting along fine. And there are alot of variations to the getting along. Most everything depends on the household and the humans who are there. You should give these guys a sporting chance and plenty of time to get used to each other. Please don’t even think about getting rid of either one of them; just let them have plenty of love and help from each family member and you’ll discover that they will be fine TOGETHER.
    God Bless each one of you in this endeavor.
    BJ

  21. Barbara Rose says:

    No…No…No…..Please don’t give up on Cookie. Give her time to adjust. A couple of weeks is not enough. She has just been rescued from a life of constant fear and now is in an uncertain place again. A puppy is full of energy and playfulness and does not know how to be gentle with even a well adjusted cat, never mind one that is so fragile. As long as she has a place to retreat to when she needs to. Show equal amounts of caring and play time and they may become friends. If not they will both learn to live under the same roof and avoid each other.

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