Mature Cats with new Puppy - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Mature Cats with new Puppy

Just looking for any tips from anyone who already had cats when they got their puppies.

We have two 1 and a 1/2 year old large male cats, and just got an 8 week old GSD.

The puppy is curious ... but the cats are being incredibly aggressive. I forgot to mention ... they aren't de-clawed. The pup has been batted rather aggressively a few times.

I don't want there to be too much hostility, because the cats will have the size advantage for a very short while, and I don't want the dog to become fearful and aggressive with the cats as she gets older.

Any suggestions?



ATTICUS - Black & Tan GSD - Born Nov 8, 2010
ATHENA - Black & Tan GSD - Born May 30, 2012
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 12:16 AM
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Sounds like the cats are just laying down the 'house rules' to the newcomer. I bet it won't take long for your little land shark to get the message and fully respect the cat's personal space.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 12:23 AM
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Don't force this. Allow the cat to have an escape route at all times. Let them do their thing on their own.

I have two cats. Ones almost 3 the other almost 2. One female, one male. Didn't take long before they were nice.

My cats have their claws as well.. Now Arlo is 10 months and they get their claws stuck in his eye lids, cheek, ect whenever he invades on their nap time. But he likes em an they like him!
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 12:51 AM
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I agree. The best thing we did for mature kitty/puppy relations was to have pet/baby gates in two different parts of the house.

One blocked the back door that had outdoor access for the cat and the basment, the other blocked a room that was specifically for the cat. This room had the cat's food and water, and litter box. This was really important to help the cat feel like his most important resources were PROTECTED and ALWAYS available to him.

The gates had smaller, cat sized portals in them. Like this: Extra-Wide Metal Walk Through Pet Gate - Sale - Dog - PetSmart

You can also jerry rig a regular baby gate to have a cat sized portal. We did this with one of the gates we use.

Gates and escape routes do so much to lessen tensions!

Good luck!


Khyber GSD

Mr. Coal BFBC (big fat black cat)

Last edited by Metalsmith; 01-07-2011 at 12:53 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 08:00 AM
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I had 2 cats when I brought my GSD puppy home. They were 2 years old and 1 year old.

My cats were furious. Cats do not like change and it really depends on the personality of the cat if they will ever like the dog or not.

I have 3 cats now. In my case one of my cats absolutely hates my GSD and will lash out at him and the other cat tolerates him. My kitten loves my GSD, they are best friends, but she was raised with him, so she sometimes thinks she is a dog.


Sinister ~ black male GSD 3.11.09
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 08:09 AM
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I have two 14 year old cats and they (only recently) tolerate Molly...for brief periods! I have a baby gate so that way they do have some space (half the house) to call their own. I can trust them all to be in the same room if I go into another area but only for short times, just not worth the risk to upset the grumpy old kittys

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 08:25 AM
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This is the easy time! I have 2 cats, one is 18 years old. He has been thru 5 dogs. He sets the rules with new pups right off the bat and earns thier respect quickly. He is very tolerant of head chewing unless he's not in the mood. My other cat is 11 and skitish, she is not tolerant of head chewing. She runs and pup chases, thats my big problem. I have a 0 tolerance for chasing the cat, fortunately the "leave it" command has begun to be effective. It's when the pups get older more serious issues can arise. Right now its more curiosity and since they are all young they should play somewhat nicely. They will probably help teach your pup good bite inhabition.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys ... at least I know its normal now lol

ATTICUS - Black & Tan GSD - Born Nov 8, 2010
ATHENA - Black & Tan GSD - Born May 30, 2012
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 04:14 PM
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We have a six year old female and a 4 month old female cat. They take their own time warming up but its nice to have an escape route as suggested. Our dogs aren't allowed upstairs, but our cats are. So if our cats are having any issues, they have the stairs and up to go to. There was plenty of swatting going on when Killian came home. Oh man, but he learned to slow down his approach. Now, he can walk up to them, sniff them, they growl, and he walks off. The "newness" has worn off, but he still likes to chase. Little monster. LOL!
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-08-2011, 08:38 PM
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We had our 2 cats when we got Sasha(they were about 2 yrs old). Sasha is 10 mths now...and she learned very quickly not to bother the cats. GSDs are not stupid; she caught on quickly that those claws hurt!

She did harass the fat, gentle cat a bit when she was younger, but he started to bite and she learned her boundaries there.

The "boss cat" still doesn't like her in his space, but none of the cats seek her out to fight. If she gets too close to the boss he smacks her and makes a angry meow and she just backs off. He doesn't use his claws on her, it's more of a "get away from me, I'm trying to relax peacefully here". Sasha respects him. She's gentle with the fat cat too... sometimes I catch them sleeping together. We have a kitten too (a rescue) and she's very gentle with it and the two of them play sometimes.

I used baby gates at first, and Sasha doesn't go into the basement; that's the cats space. I never really had to train the "no basement" thing, she just did it on her own. I definitely think you should get a baby gate or two and make a room (maybe the cat's favorite room) off limit to the pup for now. As somebody already said, cats don't like their environment being disrupted on them, and they probably see the pup as an intruder. In time they should at the very least learn to tolerate your pup.

If you're worried about the pup hurting the cats, you can always make sure he/she is crated when you aren't around to supervise them.
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