New Puppy vs. Cats

Well, we’ve done the horrible deed, and brought a new puppy home. Our cats are most displeased. It’s been a while since I did the puppy/cats intro, and it was with different older cats, and I don’t recall any drama. But that dog as a puppy was pretty mellow. Either that or I’ve just blocked out those memories, lol!

Any tips or tricks? Just time and patience? They loved my old dog who was their big brother, but this puppy is, well, not him.

We’ve made progress in the past week, and both cats (indoor/outdoor cats) would like their routine back. They are eating downstairs again, and the braver one is trying to stand his ground and take back his house, but there is still much hissing and some barking. Puppy seems to be trying to play/figure out the cat, and I’m trying to broker a peace deal and not allow the puppy to get wound up and re-direct her. I’m trying to keep her from chasing, but that cat just wants his space back and catches me off guard and just appears majikally (like cats do). Any tips appreciated!

First of all I’d cut your cats’ nails, if you haven’t already. Puppies will not necessarily react in time to avoid an eye injury.

I would definitely create some opportunities for the cats to get away from the puppy - e.g. place gates that cats can jump over but puppy cannot; keep feed/water up high so they can be away from the puppy for eating.

What kind of containment do you have for the puppy? (How old?) I’m assuming 8-9 weeks but maybe I’m wrong. If that young, they probably need a puppy corral or at least some gates so they don’t wander too far through the house anyway.

1 Like

The cats can escape upstairs, where the puppy cannot access them. They are being fed while she is crated in their normal spot in the kitchen, but also have water, litterbox and occasional dry cat food upstairs as a treat They also are allowed outside during the day (barn cats :joy: :roll_eyes:). Not gonna lie - I don’t see nail trims happening in their future.

Puppy is crated when not being actively supervised and is 3.5 months old.

Definitely a gate giving the cats some free space. Also puppies sometimes develop a taste for cat box delicacies.

Also a tall cat tree so the cats can observe from above, and for pup to learn that chasing is not an option.

Congratulations on your new addition. You are so lucky!

So long as the cats can get away, I think you’re doing all the right things. You could consider a spray bottle of water if the puppy really gets annoying - a spray of water might help if she starts chasing.

Are you doing any leash training yet? My only experience is with rowdy GSD rescues who wanted to chase and harass cats so I started from day 1 on in house leash training near the cats.
Sit down and have dog sit next to you on leash w/ collar. The idea is to get the dog to relax and just watch cats- no excitement, no movement, just relaxation. When dog moves towards cat, correct w/ jerk of leash, sit dog down w/ stay. Then praise. Do this over and over several times per day.
Dog will learn quickly, if it’s a smart breed. My wildest GSD only took a week to be safe. But watch them carefully. Never allow any chasing of cats.


As long as our cats had their safe space to eat and rest and be free of the puppy we never really had problems for long. As others have said we did not allow the puppy to chase the cats ( if possible).

Best thing ever was a tall , structurally sound, dog tipping over proof cat tree!

The cats would hiss and strike and then one day , when that puppy phase had passed you would see the cat rubbing against the dogs chest and purring…