Cat Conundrum

Discussion in 'Cat and Pet Forum' started by Airn, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. Airn

    Airn New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,044
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Bentonville, AR
    SO and I have been in the process of adding a cat to our household for a few months now. After many e-mails with the foster person, we went to visit her cats. We already knew which one we wanted. After spending a few minutes with all the cats and the lady unable to get "Sweetheart" from her hiding place, we decided perhaps she wasn't the best fit. Another cat, "Dori" came up to both of us and meowed and climbed and played and was just all around adorable. So we decided to take Dori home for a test week.

    Long story short, Dori hated Gwen. Gwen was terrified. We muddled up introductions but it was pretty much doomed no matter what we tried. Dori would stalk Gwen, attack her when she got the chance. (We put her in a crate, another room, on a leash.) Dori was a doll with SO and I but we can't handle the 'crate and rotate' lifestyle.

    The foster lady was very understanding and appreciated our experience. She said she would test any cats we were interested in with a dog to see their reaction.

    We were interested in a couple of cats. She used her son's terrier to test the cats and these were the results she got:


    "Cassie (Manx) hissed and growled and puffed up a bit. Spit once? She went up on the shelf and kept her eyes on the dog.....low growl while watching.

    Baxter the declaw stopped, looked studied for a moment and decided food was more important.

    Willow the small grey and white looked at Bocci and walked up like she knew her, sniffed noses....as if to say...hello and welcome. No negative reaction ......must have been around a dog before."


    Cassie is my absolute favorite. I really, really want this cat. She's playful, beautiful, unique and sweet. But, I worry about her response to the dog.

    Baxter is a nice cat. He's very easy going. SO really liked him. But he was just another nice tomcat to me. His reaction to the dog is nice, although not ideal.

    Willow was very playful but I'm not sure SO or I had a connection to her. Her reaction was very surprising.

    (I thought there was a 'fight or flight' condition and cats normally chose the flight. Dori never chose flight. Is that a load of BS or does it have some merit?)

    My real question is: If a cat's reaction to a dog is negative (puffing up, hissing) is the relationship doomed from the start?

    I realize that a random meeting with a dog is not the best indication of how that cat will do with Gwen, but it's better than nothing. (Right?)

    I don't want to subject Gwen to torture but this will also by my cat. I don't really want to settle on a cat. (Kind of like the "Dog for my dog" thread. I want a little of both.)

    Input/advice would be much appreciated ;)
     
  2. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Messages:
    3,048
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Too Many
    Location:
    West Missouri
    If she doesn't have what you want, and you don't want to settle for a cat you aren't in love with, perhaps it would be best to look elsewhere? I'll say when I brought Lucy the cat home, I was concerned for the first few weeks because yeah, she would attack the dogs and Skye would get her riled up and at first it was just all bad. They did come around to each other and are fine now, but Lucy will forever be apprehensive of the dogs. One of the other cats, Morgan, she was totally friendly with them from the get-go and is now frequently in the middle of the chaos, sleeps with the dogs, etc. She's kind of a bitchy cat but she loves her doggies (hates other cats though).
     
  3. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Messages:
    8,070
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Cats, Dog, Leopard Gecko, Gerbils, Fish, African C
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Absolutely not. I would expect most cats to react negatively to a strange dog unless they've lived with lots.
     
  4. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Minnesota
    In general, cats adapt to change very slowly and state their opinions on the matter very clearly. It's an uncommon cat IME who WOULDN'T react to seeing a new dog for the very first time a bit negatively. Sometimes more than a bit.
     
  5. skittledoo

    skittledoo Crazy naked dog lady

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Messages:
    13,667
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Dog Trainer CPDT-KA
    Location:
    Fredericksburg
    Whiskey wasn't too keen on Joey when he first met Joey. He would hiss, spit and swat at him. They still have their moments where Whisk gets annoyed, but Joey is a bouncy nutter butter so I don't blame Whisk. Most of the time they get along now and even play. He is fine with Cricket and Bamm, but he also knew them when he was a tiny little kitten.

    I think with a lot of cats it takes time. I don't know too many cats that are excited about meeting new dogs or even other cats.
     
  6. kady05

    kady05 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,285
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    5
    Location:
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    Home Page:
    This, definitely. Cats are.. cats. Case in point: When Wilson went to live with my parents a year ago, Toby, their cat, was PISSED. Toby has lived with dogs his entire life (and actually was in the house when I got Wilson as a pup; I was there til Wilson was 6 months old), but just.. hated Wilson. Hissed, growled, tried to attack, the works.

    It's taken a full year for Toby to acclimate to Wilson being in the house (Wilson pretty much ignores him, btw). He still has moments where he'll get all angry, but they're much less.

    So, it takes time. Lots of time.

    Too bad you don't live closer, you could have my cat Sneak LOL.

    I'm not serious.. well.. maybe a little.
     
  7. Airn

    Airn New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,044
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Bentonville, AR
    Well actually I really like Cassie. I'm just apprehensive about Gwens reaction to her. I would like to do a trial week with Cassie but I wanted some advice before I decided to do that.

    If you (general you) feel that her response was not unusual or a deal breaker, I'd love to give it a go. Its okay if it takes some time. I CAN 'crate and rotate' i just don't want to long term. And I don't want the cat to stalk and attack Gwen. Telling her off is one thing. What Dori did was not, in my experience, normal behavior.

    Thanks for the advice. I feel more comfortable now!
     
  8. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Messages:
    13,402
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Kennel Manager
    Location:
    Guelph, Ontario
    Honestly? Cassie's reaction was probably pretty on par with what I'd expect. Just be sure she has room to stay away/up high/watch from where Gwen can't get to her, and I think it'd be fine.
     
  9. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Messages:
    2,826
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Colorado
    Rhio's cat stalked and tormented the hell out of Zander at first. At least a good month before they just ignored each other. Zander would always initiate play, but cat thought differently. Eventually they both got over it and just ignored each other unless they were testing waters. It was getting to the point of small zoomie play sessions by July or so.

    Cats just change slowly. And they are stubborn. And generally seem to make things annoying and complicated by nature. It's probably going to take more than a week if you are serious about getting a cat.
     
  10. Airn

    Airn New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,044
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Bentonville, AR
    I'm willing to wait more than a week. I just don't want that week to be filled with my dog shivering under the bed and the cat crouched just outside the door. That's just not acceptable.

    Thankfully this woman is super helpful and would take the cat back under any circumstance.

    As long as the first week sees improvements, I'm willing to work it out.

    (Gwen has lived peacefully with a cat before. He just wasn't totally evil.)
     
  11. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Messages:
    2,826
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Colorado
    Poor Gwen. Zane knows them feels. Sorta. He did thunderpaw the cat a few times. Just don't lose hope if things aren't or don't seem to be improving after a week. If Gwen knows cats, you just need to find a not evil one. Maybe try setting some yummies up high to foster a "leave the dog alone" attitude?

    Kudos to helpful foster woman!
     
  12. Airn

    Airn New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,044
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Bentonville, AR
    I just picked up Cassie to do a test run. Although we're pretty sure she'll be staying. She hasn't met Gwen yet. I wanted to give her some time and have SO here before I attempt any introductions.

    She spent the first few minutes exploring and then quickly hid for about half an hour. I tried encouraging her to come out, but figured she would eventually come out on her own. She did and is now cautiously exploring and meowing at me. I'm pretty sure she knows there's another being in the house. :eek:

    Wish us luck! Thanks again for the suggestions. ;)
     
  13. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Messages:
    6,601
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Professional Illustrator
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    Home Page:
    We're on six months of getting Marshall's cats used to Finn (granted, we don't live there yet, just lots of visits). Nowhere near there yet. In fact, Fiora drew blood on him earlier this week! :rofl1: (It was minor. She freaked out, so Finn barked. A claw or a tooth hit its mark.)

    But compared to the first few meetings, we're making leaps and bounds. Stan, the older one who HATES Finn, even approached him once. And didn't try and kill him. Legasp.

    So, yeah. Adding my voice to the "it can take a long **** time" group.
     
  14. Airn

    Airn New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,044
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Bentonville, AR
    I'm hoping it won't take months. I'm impatient. I can handle it if I have to, though ;)

    She was hiding in the litter box for a while so I'm not sure if senses Gwen and is scared? Or just nervous about a new place? Not really sure what to make of it. I don't want to rush things. Internet advice is pretty conflicting....

    Fiora is what we've decided to name whatever (female) cat we end up!(Probably from a different source, though.)
     
  15. Skits

    Skits New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    45
    Location:
    Canada
    Sometimes it takes a while for a cat to get used to a new place. I have six cats with my two dogs. My males are all fine, I've had them all since they were kittens though. They were terrified of the dogs at first, lots of hissing and back arching but they got used to them quickly.

    My two females, Bella (been with us since she was a kitten), and Moon (an older cat we've had for three years now) can tolerate the dogs but will still hiss and run at times. Bella hated the dogs at first. She'd hide everywhere, hiss, growl, spit..but she got used to them...sort of..she's still a b****. When we first took in Moon, I thought she'd never get along with dogs because she was hissing and swatting at them, but she took on quickly after a proper intro.
     
  16. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    3,199
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    9 not counting ducks, chickens, and fish
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Fiona did not forgive me for years for getting dogs....but once she did she was totally fine lol. Odin LOVES dogs but hates change...hid for 6 weeks when we moved and he is a super friendly outgoing cat (like greets people at the door with the dogs)
     
  17. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Messages:
    6,601
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Professional Illustrator
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    Home Page:
    Marshall named her after a character in League Of Legends (video game). I don't play LoL so I dunno the reference. :p
     
  18. Airn

    Airn New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,044
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Bentonville, AR
    Uh... that's exactly the sane reason. SO and I play League of Legends! Lol!
     

Share This Page