Hisses and Kisses

If you’ve read my posts before you are probably already aware that we have three cats. Last Saturday we gained another furry, four-legged friend. This one is a dog.

Adding a dog to our family was not a decision we made lightly. In fact the decision is not yet finalised – we’re undergoing a one month trial period to see if Urho (that’s his name) fits into our lives. I’m hoping he will because I love him already! Ultimately the decision is down to my husband, and of course the cats. They were here first, and if they don’t like him then we won’t be able to keep him.

On that note, you’re probably wondering what the cats think of this new addition.

When he lived in England Sampson had a dog friend. My brother’s dog Wispa was a puppy when we got Sampson as a kitten, and there’s only a couple of months age difference between the two of them. And whilst Urho is no Wispa, Sampson at least had an idea of what to expect from the large black creature in the hallway. He hissed a little but other than that has mostly been content to ignore the dog.

Elvis was already fully grown, and approaching old age, when we adopted him. We don’t actually know much of his first seven years so I’ve no idea if he’s had any experience with dogs. Nonetheless after some initial suspicion, tail puffing, and arched back, he settled down and, like Sampson, is happy to ignore Urho.

The foster home where Lola lived as a kitten did have several large dogs, but I think they didn’t really interact with each other much. Lola is certainly the least happy with our new family member. She avoids him as much as possible, which is easy enough as we’re not letting him in the living room yet so she’s able to stay out of his way there. She has ventured beyond and sniffed around him a bit but she’s definitely suspicious of him still.

Getting the cats and dog used to each other will of course take time. It definitely helps that Urho is a fairly laid back dog, and very well-behaved. (At least most of the time!) He doesn’t pester the cats at all, though he certainly gets interested (and perhaps even a little worried) when Lola yells!


Lady Joyful

Do your cats get along with dogs? If you have both, how did you go about getting them comfortable with each other?

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26 thoughts on “Hisses and Kisses

  1. Rantasalot says:

    This is really interesting. I really hope everything goes well and they all will soon play together. What a great name the dog has, like our former president.

  2. peppermintfarm says:

    Lady Joyful, I’ve always had a mix of cats and dogs. Right now I have a “BIG” German Shepherd, Merlin, (he weighs in at 116 lobs) with my cat Zima. They get along fine. Before my husband died, we had two German shepherds, one Corgi, and a cat. All got along just fine.

    What I have always done is let them work it out themselves. The cats and the dogs seem to know they are going to be sharing in the same family and come to accept one another. I know this may sound strange for those who are concerned about cat and dog fights, but it’s best I found to let them alone. I’ve always had good luck with this. I imagine other people may not.

    In fact, and this will come as a surprise to many, the dogs usually end up being protectors of the family cat/s. My Merlin is very protective of Zima, my cat now. My Corgi, Dakota (RIP) was also that way with another cat I had, Tosca.
    My late husband’s shepherd, Shadow and the cat we had then, Mystic, slept together. Shadow and Mystic curled up every night together.

    Another surprise for many be that the cat and the dog play together. Strange I know but Merlin and Zima have a good time romping with one another in the house.

    When my Tosca died some years back, my Corgi, Dakota mourned her for months. He missed her so much. They were so much company for one another.

    • Lady Joyful says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience! All your pets sound wonderful 🙂 Yes, we’re pretty much leaving them to work themselves out. There does seem to be a little bit of progress every day, so I’m optimistic! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  3. elmdriveimages says:

    You might try feeding them together although keeping their bowls somewhat distant from each other. I’ve always heard putting knew animals of the same type together at feeding time seems to get them used to each other…maybe it will work with cats and dogs? Good luck!

  4. StarOfGrace says:

    A few years ago I got my cats a puppy. They were thrilled LOL. Actually they got along really well. They would box him but never used claws. Half the time I think the dog thought he was a cat. He would chase and run away. The cats would chase him and they even slept close to each other. Sadly, the puppy developed an aggressive cancer just before his third birthday. We lost him in January.

    • Lady Joyful says:

      So sorry to hear of your loss. Losing a pet is always hard, and especially so when they’re very young. Wonderful to hear how well he and the cats got along though! Thanks for commenting 🙂

    • Lady Joyful says:

      Yes you are right, he’s a bit unsure of them at the moment. But I think he will get used to them. I do hope they’ll become friends with time! Thanks for commenting 🙂

    • Lady Joyful says:

      Oh I hope so too 🙂 Yes, it made sense to us to let the cats reactions guide our decision too. As much as I adore the dog, if he and the cats can’t get along together we will not be able to keep him. They were here first, after all! Thanks for commenting.

  5. abbiejohnsontaylor says:

    While growing up, my family had two cats. When I was in high school, we brought home an Irish setter puppy. After many stand-offs with the dog at the bottom of the stairs to the second floor and one or both cats at the top hissing, they eventually learned to tolerate each other.

  6. Jo Hutchinson says:

    We have a mixture of both they all get along fine, except I think the cats bully the German Shepherd a little they tend to steal her bed in the winter, but then you will find them all in bed together.

    • Lady Joyful says:

      Aw, how sweet! Our cats (especially Elvis) have already claimed the dog bed. The dog seems to prefer sleeping on the mat by the front door anyway. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  7. The Shameful Narcissist says:

    If I ever adopted a dog I’m certain the grumpy old cat would hate me even more (he’s still upset I brought Cid, the younger cat) home five years ago. As cute as a puppy would be, I’d think we’d opt for an older fellow (2+ years) since they’re not nearly as bouncy as puppies.

    • Lady Joyful says:

      Oh yes, I completely agree. Urho is definitely very mellow at 9 years old (except when there’s walks or food involved!) and much easier for the cats to get used to than a bouncy puppy would be. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  8. TheMoonLitHowl says:

    I’m somewhat of the let them work it out type person, too, thought obviously you have to be on guard, too, to make sure no one gets hurt. I brought a puppy in with two cats. The cats were a bit younger – ages 3 and 2, but still……………this WAS a puppy, and I brought her home without asking them! Holly was nervous and stressed to have been removed from her litter of 8 siblings, so to see another four legged furry friend of any sort was a comfort to her. She walked right up to our cat Smokey and licked her in the face. Smokey was definitely not thrilled, but other than look disgusted she did nothing. They all sniffed around one another cautiously for a couple of weeks. Our cat Elsa sneaking up to sniff at Holly while she slept. They formed at least a tolerance of one another. They have never “snuggled” with one another, but then again my cats don’t snuggle one another either. They just all know the other is there, and are happy with that. They do occasionally play chase, or sniff noses, and Elsa every now and then will randomly let Holly know who is boss, but they do fine. They are all now aged 14 – Smokey, 13 – Elsa, 10 – Holly, and now five year old Teeger. I hate for Teeger she has no one young to play with, but it was either I take her in or she went to a shelter, so…………..

      • TheMoonLitHowl says:

        They do. Or at least live in a companionable form of pretending to ignore one another. 😉 Holly has some form of herding dog in her. This works great if one of the cats accidentally gets out the door to the great outdoors! She herds them (or pesters them) right back inside. haha

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