Getting an older cat adjusted to a new puppy

I have a 16 yr old cat who is VERY attached to me. She is being treated for hyperthyroid, arthritis and UTI so she is under a lot of stress and medications at the moment. In about a week my new puppy is arriving and I'm very worried that it will stress my cat even more. I do not want her to feel like she is being replaced, I love her so much and I'm very worried about her. How can I make it easy on her and not make her feel like she is being replaced? Thanks! She will always be my number one and I want her to know that.

Asked by Member 941506 on Jan 27th 2010 in The Catster Website
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Izadore (Izzie)

Since your cat is elderly and her health is compromised as well, can you postpone getting your pup for a few weeks until your kitty is back on her feet so to speak? If not, then you must be your kitty's protector and be very vigilant when the youngster is around. Your cat will not like the puppy. Her feelings will be hurt and her territory of 16 years will be invaded. If you are the primary caretaker of the animals in your family, the pup will also become very attached to you and if you are running interference between him and the kitty 100% of the time, consider that it may not be fair to the pup as well, who will need training and much socialization time with you. If your cat is like mine, you can't schedule time to pay attention to her. Cats like cuddle-time when they want it and not when you want it. Unfortunately, when she want to cuddle may be the time the dog needs to go out. Seek counsel from your vet as to how to make introductions and if they feel kitty can handle a pup.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 1/27/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Izzie's advice is excellent and I just wanted to add that you need to make sure that she has someplace she can go that the puppy can not get to and that her litterbox and food dishes are protected from the puppy but easily available to her. If she is still able to climb and jump over things, this will be easier to accomplish. And depending on how large the puppy is, I use a baby gate to keep my dog out of the cat's food area. My persians are not particularly athletic so jumping over it upsets them but since my dog is large, I just put the gate several inches off the floor in the doorway so that they can easily slip underneath but he can not. Of course this will not work if your puppy is a small breed. Just keep reinforcing to her that she is still number one and make sure she does not feel left out. Lots of treats and cuddles!

Allie answered on 1/27/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer