I've had Roscoe, my pup, about a month and he's 14 weeks old. Last Wednesday I pulled a stray cat out of a wooden electrical box on the side of my apartment building. I took her to the vet, no microchip, she's in good health, tested negative for leukemia/FIV and got her shots, just needs to gain some weight (she is very skinny atm). She has been fixed and her front claws were declawed. Obviously someone took care of her - I've checked around my complex and done some searching, and can't find anyone to claim her. At this point she's become my cat and I will most likely be keeping her unless her previous owner shows up. She's a flamepoint Siamese (most likely some kind of mix), and the vet said 1.5 -2 yrs old. She's very affectionate with people, very loving, and can be vocal.

Roscoe interacted with my brothers cats when we stayed at his place for a bit, he would try to play and they would be curious about him and swat him a little, but no rough play. He would bark at them outside. Now, with the new cat, he constantly barks at her. I have a one-bedroom townhome, and before Roscoe could climb the stairs, she would stay up there and he would hang downstairs. Now he chases her upstairs and will corner her somewhere and bark at her. Sometimes he'll dart in to lick and sniff her, but pretty much just barking. She cowers and growls, and will swat at him, but since she is declawed, it has no effect. I'm not worried about him hurting her or her hurting him (although she is still pretty skinny at this point, could get bad if he tries to play), but I'd like some advice on if there's anything I can do to get them used to each other. She's only been around a week or so. My boyfriend suggested just letting them go at it until they get tired of it, but I don't know if that's the best bet.

Roscoe starts puppy classes on Sunday - will this help me be able to better control him in this situation so they can quietly get used to each other?

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Is there any place you can put your cat to hang out where Roscoe won't have access to her? Cats generally take a LONG time to adjust to any changes in their life. A rambunctious puppy is probably just freaking her out. When I brought Ginny home, my cat Minerva was so mad that she started peeing on my bed. Repeatedly. Minerva is used to ruling the house and she did not like puppy one bit! I have had her in quarantine (kitty jail) for the last few weeks. Luckily I have a spare bedroom to put her in with her food, litter box, etc. She didn't like being in there at first, but I've noticed she's mellowed out a bit now. My other kitty is more skittish, but he hasn't "retaliated" yet. He spends some of his time in the spare room with Minerva to keep her company, but I also allow him more freedom in the house. If you can't do that, the other thing I'd do is try to get the dog to stop chasing her. Keep Roscoe on a leash with you so he can't run after kitty and squirt him with a spray bottle if he starts to bark and say "no" very firmly. He needs to learn some manners. Puppy probably thinks of the cat as a fun toy and when it runs away, it becomes a game. Can you put up a baby gate in the door of your room so the cat can run in there but Roscoe can't follow her? I'm still dealing with some of the same problems myself so I'm no expert, but these are some of the things that have been helping in my situation. Unfortunately, cats just take much longer than dogs to adjust.
I have Roscoe penned in my kitchen via baby gates when I'm not around. So typically he has the kitchen, and she has the entire rest of the apartment. Usually when I'm home he's free to run around, but last night I would up penning him early because he kept chasing the cat up the stairs.
Can you put the baby gate at the bottom of the stairs when Roscoe is out so kitty can go upstairs and Roscoe can't chase her?
Yes, I definitely can.
Hi, Brody was constantly after our cat also (who would hiss and bat his face, but being declawed of course this really didn't hurt). What worked best was when we went to obedience and taught him "leave it". When we tell him this, he quits trying to sniff / lick her. There are times when we use his herding - the kitty isn't allowed in the bedroom due to hubby's allergies. If she does get in there she like to hide under the clothes in the closet or under the overhand of the bed. We jsut tell Brody "find the kitty" and he'll herd her right out of there. But then we need to call him off of her with "leave kitty alone". My theory (trying to convince hubby of this) is that if we got a 2nd corgi they would herd each other and leave the cat alone! He thinks they would gang up on the cat. Good Luck!
The baby gate at the bottom of the stairs is a great first step. It doesn't teach Roscoe not to chase kitty, but it does give kitty a "safe escape" so she doesn't continue to build fear and animosity towards him.

Your puppy trainer may also be able to help. The "leave it" command is terrific, but I would expect that at 4 months Roscoe will not have the attention span to leave the exciting fun kitty alone with the verbal command. Definitely worth teaching. He will learn to leave inanimate objects first, then food, and hopefully the kitty at some point.

You can also work on conditioning the two to get used to each other. If your boyfriend will help, one of you takes the kitty, one takes the puppy. You sit on far sides of the same room. Kitty can be calmed with little bits or tuna or cat treats. (Don't force the cat to stay if she is totally freaking out...let her go, but try again later.) If Roscoe is ignoring the cat, he gets a treat. In fact Roscoe gets lots of treats and belly or head rubs when the cat is in the room and he is calm and relaxed! You want to be able to coo at and pet the kitty, with Roscoe being calm. When both are calm and ok with the distance, move a little closer to each other. Over a period of several days (or weeks) you should be able to decrease the distance until your happy family is sitting on the couch together. This can be a very long process, and you want to end a session if Roscoe won't calm down in a short time, or the kitty panics. Quit and try later. Keep trying though...it will work with patience. Roscoe will be thinking "Man this cat is so cool! Everytime she is in the room, I get extra food and belly rubs!"

Meantime...extra baby gate...and puppy obedience. : - )


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