originally posted by skeoke

Any ideas on how to help resident cats accept a new dog into the family? They seem a bit reluctant. :wink:

Specifically, a 13 year old 8 lb Maine Coon (well, he looks just like a Maine Coon, except for that 8 lb bit) - Thorn. And a 4 year old 12 lb American Shorthair - Ninja.

Thorn has always been a bit needy and not very confident. He has been staying in the basement, and sneaking up to see us when the dog is crated (overnight and during work).

Ninja has always been cocky, self-assured, and in control. She is hiding in a suitcase, in the back of the closet in the basement behind piles of 'stuff'. She attempted to come upstairs twice and both times came across the dog and ran back to the suitcase.

Zelda (the dog) is a 10 month old Australian Cattle Dog. High energy, loves to be in the middle of things, and is fascinated by the cats. I don't know if she's fascinated because she knows they are part of the family and wants to meet them, or because they are critters and she wants to chase/herd them, or because they look like a great snack/chew toy.

I rescued the cats from the basement this morning (earning several scratches, a bit of blood, and enough nervously shed hair to make 3 new cats) and let them outside. Both have always been indoor/outdoor, so I thought that being out would be a lot less stressfull. I just hope I see them again!

Any ideas on how to make this work?!?

Thanks all!

Skeoke - I don't claim to have any solid answer - just what we've done to manage our parents' sheltie, who visits when they are away. Dad likes to encourage the dog to chase cats (he prefers dogs! hah) so she's gotten approval for the practice and tends to want to do this when we're not looking. so -

If she came here longterm, we'd have to train her - but short term, the cats have to learn to interact with her and feel "safe" - so we leash her and have her fixed to a chair or doorknob while we are "there" with her - and the cats roam. They've figured she's leashed, and learned to pass her by at safe remove OR they can edge in and interact as they choose. The dog is smart and has learned the sudden charge to take a cat by surprise doesn't work - she hits the leash. They can eyeball each other and figure postures and learn what constitutes "dangerous" signals - and perhaps this may work as a step toward acceptance…I dunno.

We've survived as long as a 2 week stay this way, and by the end, things were more relaxed and the dog didn't have to be tied, though we could NOT leave cats and dog at large, unsupervised, not yet.

originally posted by skeoke

Thanks, Janny.

It's been 5 days now, and the cat won't come out of the suitcase in the safety of basement yet. The dog cannot get to the basement. It has a cat door; the cats can come and go as they choose, the dog can get her head in. I currently have the dog crated while I'm at work, I run home at lunch and get ~1/2 hour of play time with her before returning to work. Then she's crated at bedtime. The thought was that it would give the cats a chance to reclaim their territory. No such luck. One's in a suitcase and barely comes out for even canned food, never gets out of a crouch, and dashes for the suitcase at the slightest sound. In about a decade this might be funny. The other cat is walking around the basement, stays clear of the stairs, and flinches at every sound.

Is there hope? Or, should I be looking for a new home for this magnificent dog? (I can't keep her crated all the time! That's mean. She won't like it.)

Skeoke - that's sad…cats do accept change very slowly. I suggest that you post on a pet discussion group – there are bound to be people who are knowledgeable and well versed in such problems.

We learned from a cat person (remember Pete from GEnie?) how to accomodate new cats - you put the new cat in ONE ROOM with the door shut. Leave the old cats at large in the house. You keep this arrangement for a whole MONTH. The old cats know immediately they've been invaded, but over the month, they eventually sniff and paw with the newcomer under the door. By the end of the month, they Know the scent of each other, by this distanced interaction, and all that remains is to see what the new guy looks like. Also, their house stays their house. The new guy's "room" is his safety hatch…not as threatening perhaps as a crate, where the dog is IN the same space.

Of our two cats, two of them ( the old ferals) just stand their ground with the dog and give her whatfor…the other two are shy and afraid - and the dog knows, and takes advantage of them. So the fear factor worsens the problem, I do see.

originally posted by motley

they do the same with sharks in aquariums - sequester them in a massive submurged cage for a month so that the others in the huge tank get used to them.

We did this with our cats, but for the last week, opened the door and used wire mesh to keep them apart, so that they could see as well as smell each other. They started to stick paws through the mesh and play with each other from the second day, but if we removed the mesh, it went back to growling.

originally posted by skeoke

I can report some progress. Ninja is out of the suitcase, is skittish, and stays in the back half of the basement. Thorn will come to the bottom of the stairs, seems a little less skittish, and even ventured upstairs yesterday. Zelda (dog) was spayed yesterday and still quite groggy and quiet from the meds. Thorn made it all the way to my lap before she saw him. He took off and she chased (slowly). I caught her and Mark checked on Thorn, he was sitting in the middle of the basement looking annoyed.

I am trying to habituate the cats by sitting with them and petting them at the bottom of the stairs. Neither is calm yet, but we'll keep on working on it.

If you can find some way to stop the "chase" on the part of the dog - then the cats will learn to venture closer without feeling threatened on first sight.

Once the creatures make actual contact, they will become familiar, have an altercation, and establish their ground with each other.

It's the chase that sets them hiding, with our two that don't like the dog…when the dog couldn't chase, they learned to pass by keeping a wary eye and their distance.

I am glad you are seeing progress. It's only been a week or so? That's relatively quick, for a cat. Watch out for depression - cats do not fare well when they get the feeling their quality of life is lessened. It's great that you spend extra time with them.

originally posted by Blue

Chet has himself, and himself alone, to blame for THIS one with Camas.

Since he has started working at Starbucks corporate center as a computer whiz, he has gotten free samples of new things they are about to send to market. One of them he has gotten me hooked on. It is the banana creme frappachino. I call it a banana slurpee - unlike the slurpee, however, Starbucks uses REAL banana puree, instead of that artificially flavored garbage that tastes nothing like real bananas.

But I digress.

I have had a hankering for these things since he got me hooked on them, so with much complaining about how tired he is, and how broke, we went to Starbucks tonight and each got one. He wanted the smallest, and of course, with something like this, I got the biggest.

When we got home, Chet went into Zombie Boy mode, and fed the cats. Camas, better known to us by a number of aliases was sucking up for attention as usual. He jumped up on Chet for attention, and Camas never takes "no" for an answer.

Of course, Camas may not understand "no" anyway. We're not sure.

Chet became aware of a strange noise about a half hour later. This is usually a source of concern, because Stormy and Camas are both notorious for the trouble they get into. Sunday remains "Daddy's little angel," namely because she is too fat to jump up on the counters to cause the troubles her brothers do.

I was called out to see something cute, namely Camas licking the straw he had pulled out of Chet's cup. This was odd, because one of the few things I know neither Camas nor Stormy will touch is bananas.

Chet took the lid off the cup, and I was treated to a revelation. Camas is obviously part aardvark, because he has a VERY LONG tongue. In fact, I was making jokes about him being the bastard son of Gene Simmons - that's the bassist/vocalist from KISS, for you young whippersnappers.

Again, I digress.

I went back to my room, with the intent to simply chuckle at his antics, and settled down to watching something or other on TV.

About an hour later, it sounded like Chet was about to bust his gut laughing. I went out to see what was so funny, and was treated to this:

Camas decided that the new treat was SO yummy that he wanted more. Where was he going to get it? You got it, Chet's cup.

Now Camas is our special ed kitty, i.e. he's a few fries short of a happy meal, a can or so short of a six pack, the cheese fell off his cracker a long time ago. Take your pick.

Camas had his head completely inside this cup, but he could not get it off. When this happens to a cat, for some reason, their automatic transmissions get stuck in reverse.

Camas was backing around in circles, spiraling in tighter and tighter until he ended up on his ass, looking perplexed. Chet by this time was having trouble breathing, but he retained enough presence of mind to get it off Camas's head.

By the time I got out there, Chet was sitting back in his chair in hysterics, crushing the offending cup, while Camas was sitting to the side, looking nonchalant, casually licking his paws and trying to get the last little bit of cream off his face and into his mouth where it belonged. He looked up as though he were mildly surprised to see me, and gave me a look that could only be interpreted as, "What are you putting in daddy's food? I think you need to cut his dosage down a bit."

I don't have pictures, because that dummy keeps the digital camera out in the car.

originally posted by Blue

For the last few weeks, Stormy and I have been on our annual mutual brush off. The reasons for that are: the weather is hot, I am a heat generator and Stormy has a double coat - it's hell being a Russian Blue when the weather is 80 +.

It starts out rather amusing, because the goofy kitty always thinks it is a great time to cuddle, even when he is slow roasting. He will bitch at me until I give in and pick him up. I try cuddling him, but I am about to roast alive, fur is flying everywhere and sticking to my skin, and he turns into Squirmcloud, trying to find a comfortable position where he can receive maximum cuddles without being roasted.


Then, of course, starts the whining and moaning. Both of us.

I finally have to shut my bedroom door to get any peace and quiet from the hairy little menace. Sometimes, during this annual brush off, he will come up to my chair, whine and moan, and the moment I try to reach down to at least scritch him, he'll run like the wind to get away. About two run throughs of this gets mighty old, LIGHTNING fast. Another tactic is to sit in the doorway, which is about 10 feet away from my chair and howl at me. I turn around, and he seems to say, "Attention Wal Mart Shoppers: I have the rips!"



That this kitty has made it to nearly six and a half years of life is the result of greater tolerance than most folks give me credit for.

In any case, the weather is much better, in the opinion of both Stormy and me, so it's cuddle time again!

The night before last, he spent no less than two hours on my desk, curled up against me, purring away, and whipping my computer mouse with his tail. Of course, since it has been a while since we cuddled, he spent a good percentage of that time chattering. Every single time I stroked him from head to tail, he would say something new and (to him) profound. I guess he was bringing me up to date about his life.

What's really cute is when he falls asleep. He will purr from time to time as I am petting him. Ever have a cat start dreaming? Another funny, because he will twitch, then act like he's running, and occasionally meow or chatter at whatever it is he's chasing in dreamland.

originally posted by motley

Blue: I have a British Blue cross Burmese - I wish he'd run away! He seems to be the same demanding, whining, scratch-my-tummy-NOW keyboard squishing type. (He's called Bailey) He also has an incredibly girly miaow at total odds with his bulk. Eventually we compromised with a cushion placed next to my elbow, so I could work at my computer, and he could keep in contact with me get the occasional cuddle and gradually sleep.

His brother, of the same mix, completely takes after the slim Burmese, and has a deep low Miaow and if you just stand next to him, he starts to purr. He loves to sit ON the other two - so the cushion antics can get distracting after a bit!

Cats are just so darn cute.

originally posted by Trys


I suspect that cats have a widely different opinion about what is profound than we lesser and poorer humans. :smiley:


originally posted by Leonie

We rescued a fat tabby cat from death row about 18 months ago and christened him "Fatso". He is now known as "The fat cat" or alternatively "Fatsy Catsy" which both suit him remarkably.

He has two distinct oddities - his absolute obsession with me, and his love of stinky shoes.

His Leonie obsession is ridiculous - it's like having a puppy to a certain extent, but a puppy that trots not just after you but under your feet (somewhat hazardous). And a puppy that watches you shower, toilet, cook and walk while constantly saying "meh". Evenings he prefers to sit on me, but at least near or on whatever I am doing (most recently the tax…) There can be several other vacant laps in the room, which would love him to sit on them, but, no, he has to sit on me or on the child that is sitting on me (but with a paw touching me).

All this love and attention is very flattering but sometimes hazardous. I recently damaged my knee skiing, and the combination of splint, limp and Fatso has been a bit exciting at times.

As I type, he is wandering up and down and has just jumped up on the computer desk.

As far as stinky shoes go - if there's a pile of them, he finds our 10 year old son's (really stinky) and eases his nose into them while purring and inhaling deeply, then kneads in ecstasy. Bizarre.

originally posted by motley

good on ya for rescuing him!

originally posted by Walt

I have a feeling that I may be going home with a new kitty today… A sleek white and gray sweet heart of a cat just waltzed into our office this morning. I think she's on her third trip into the office now and patrolling around the cubicles. She let me hold her once as I put her outside… *sigh* mistake! She's a shorthair like my family loves. The only problem is whether Emma Louise would allow another cat in HER home. She tollerates having humans in her home, but another cat???


Opps! The grey-and-white kitten just found my cubicle…

originally posted by Blue

Stormy is not really the whiny, demanding type unless he hears me at the keyboard. Suddenly, he's Mr. Lovey-Dovey, and powerless before my charms. Don't ask me, I haven't a clue!

I usually have to capture him when he hops up on my bed, if I am watching something or trying to read. He will squirm like mad, whine and moan at me, before settling down and purring what's left of his brains out. I can't help rubbing it in when that happens, with things like, "Yeah, mean old mommy captured you and made you purr!"

I wouldn't trade his weird little hairy ass for anything, though.

Motley, Bailey sounds like a hoot, and if he did indeed run away, taking his incredibly girly miaow with him, you would probably be devastated, and you know it!

Trys - lesser and poorer humans; You've got that right! I still remember the local deli owner saying that working for a particular supply company was like coming back as a cat. I think cats have it made. Human slaves who fuss endlessly over them, feed them on command, they have no bills to pay, they get to sleep for up to 18 hours a day and all for a little bizarre behavior that keep the slaves bemused and amused.

Leonie - I know what you mean about fat cats. I had a Maine Coon that left me for my neighbor lady. These cats are huge anyway, but when he left me, he was a lean, mean kitty machine of 16 pounds. With my ever indulgent neighbor lady, he ballooned up to 35 pounds. She was ever in denial of this, telling me it was just fur. It was a visit from her adult son, weighing himself and the cat, and then just himself that convinced her to put the cat on a diet. "I wondered why my back hurt every time I picked him up!" My brother's psycho calico follows him from room to room in our place. I've nicknamed her the Puppy Cat, because she'll hop up on something that is at least waist high, so that he can scritch her conveniently, then hop down and follow him as soon as he leaves the room.

Walt - just like the Borg of Star Trek: Resistance is Futile, especially with a kitten that has chosen you as his/her new pet.

originally posted by Blue

Another quick funny:

Sunday the Hutt, our FAT kitty, was sitting on top of one of her favorite perches. The catch is, however, it is just big enough for her to sit her butt on. But somehow, she keeps forgetting that, and I watched her, no less than FIVE times, almost fall off because she kept trying to position herself for a good wash. She would catch herself, with a look on her face like, "What the hell was that?" and do it again.

Finally, she fell off, gave her perch a filthy look, and slunk off to find a better place to wash.

originally posted by motley

Blue: I mean run away … to the other side of the room and bug Whiski, the other cat… or his brother Bu.

No WAY would I want him to really run WAY away. He did sneak over the wall for a night out, and I had bloody stumps for fingers the next morning. When I found him (thanks to Bu's help, he was curled up under the outter hedge, and blinked at me as if to say: So? What took you so long?

Why is it that cats can climb up trees and jump out, over walls, BUT NOT BACK DOWN/OVER AGAIN?


originally posted by Blue

My apologies, Motley, I misunderstood.

Chet and I have a different problem with Sunday the Hutt - she is a lovely girl who has been on a diet since the great pregnancy fakeout but cannot seem to drop the weight. The main gripe is her lead paws. When she steps on you, you are VERY aware of it. It's not limited to fat cats, either. Sunday got the nickname, The Hutt because I remarked one time that she looks like a calico Jabba. Camas and Stormy, on the other hand, are long and lanky, but they likewise have lead paws.

originally posted by Blue

Law And Order: Pastry Theft Prevention

Chet will never learn.

While on our way out last night to take care of some errands, he told me that, again, Camas has struck.

A few months back, I remember laughing my ass off at an article in Cat Fancy Magazine about how cats CANNOT taste sweets.

I would LOVE to bring them Camas and Stormy, and either prove these scientists wrong, or figure out if they are, as Chet and I now hypothesize, just fur covered garbage cans.

The item in question was one of Chet's beloved scones. The main reason he likes going to the Puyallup Fair is that they sell scones - for those of you not in the know, they are biscuit like things filled with raspberry jam. Chet knows they are safe from me whenever he buys them, because I do NOT like raspberry. If we were talking strawberry, on the other hand, he would be in for the fight of his life.

But I digress.

With the hours of work/commute Chet has to deal with, not to mention sleep apnea, he is snoring halfway across the threshold as he comes home from work at night.

A few weeks back, he apparently had not noticed what had happened to one of the above mentioned beloved scones. He was so tired that it never occurred to him that he had NOT eaten it, and that he may have been the victim of theft.

At least, not until the night before last.

Admittedly, Chet and I are not the best housekeepers in the world, but it is next to impossible, with all of the crap out in the living room, for me to get out and do any kind of cleaning. With Chet's lack of sleep/energy,
it is impossible for him to do anything, either, unless he gets a wild hair in that very special place.

Imagine his surprise, then, when he came across what looked, at first glance, to be a petrified scone under his side table in the living room.

At first glance, that is. However, upon closer inspection of the fossil, he discovered that it had had the top portion chewed off, and all of the raspberry jam cleaned completely off.

He laughed as he related the story to me, and both of us fingered Camas as the thief, because of Camas's past history as a pastry thief.

Namely the infamous cinnamon roll incident. Of course, Chet caught him in the act of concealing the evidence that particular time. This time,
however, it was a matter of weeks passing before he caught on, and Camas has had plenty of time to polish his halo. Stormy has not quite caught on to the notion of hiding the evidence of his crimes.

originally posted by Sarah Shoniker

I'm wondering if anyone here has any suggestions for introducing a new kitten to an older cat? My roommate brought home a kitten (Topher) and even though it's been more than a month now, he's still not getting along with my cat (Tsitika), who's about 16 months old now. Tsitika has been very abusive and will actually beat him whenever she's around him. We both thought that if the cats were given time, then they'd sort things out on their own, but it seems to be taking a VERY long time; and it doesn't seem to be improving at all! She's not leaving (I'm not giving her away!), so if anyone has any suggestions of what we can do, that would be great!