Big Paws Only Dog Forums

Newfoundlands => Newfoundland Discussions => : NewfieMama May 29, 2009, 01:46:36 AM

: New here - question about new Newf, old cats, please!
: NewfieMama May 29, 2009, 01:46:36 AM
Hi everyone! I am thrilled to be here, after lurking for months. We are picking up a young adult Newfie this weekend, to join our family!!!!! We have kids and cats, and really lucked out that this dog has lived with both (family situation changed and they tearfully have to give him up).

So my question is about introducing the Newf to our cats - they are 14-15 years old (3 of them). Two are fairly calm, the other can be kind of feisty when she doesn't like something (she has always been this way, hisses at guests who come too close, tries to eat the vet, etc.).

I am planning to separate them with baby gates so they can see each other. We will supervise any "visits" to see how it goes. And the dog will be gated such that the cats have unfettered access to the basement for their food and litter.

Just wondering if anyone else has done this sort of introduction, and has any advice or pointers to share.

Thank you in advance and again, so happy to be here and looking forward to getting to know you all!

: Re: New here - question about new Newf, old cats, please!
: brandon May 29, 2009, 02:44:06 AM
We had an older cat when we got our two newfs.  I don't think we did anything special to introduce them.  I never have with any dogs/cats previously.  I've always found that the dogs learn to respect the kitty's claws fairly quickly after an encounter or two :)
: Re: New here - question about new Newf, old cats, please!
: vmimom2006 May 29, 2009, 03:05:08 AM
I had 6 cats, all over age 10 when I brought Athena home. I too used a baby gate with a cat door. I put up the gate days before I got the dog so the cats could learn how to use it. I keeps the dogs out of the cat food & litter and give the cats a place to go when they get tired of being drooled on.  ;D It really went much smoother than I would have expected.
: Re: New here - question about new Newf, old cats, please!
: Gentian May 29, 2009, 03:26:26 AM
I agree with the others about the baby gate/cat only areas. We have a laundry room with a cat door in it where the cats potty, eat and can hang out without the dogs, plus lots of high perches around the house.

I did want to add that our Newf is the most cat-friendly dog I've ever seen. He is currently helping to raise eight kittens (six orphans, plus a stray mom with two of her own who adopted the six orphans) and he's so good with them that it brings tears to my eyes sometimes. With our older cats, ages 2-10, he just seems to intuitively know how to behave around them. He's gentle with one, playful with another, and steers clear of the third who has no tolerance for goofy dogs! We adopted him at 18 months, and he had never been around cats prior to that.

: Re: New here - question about new Newf, old cats, please!
: brandon May 29, 2009, 03:41:05 AM
Agree on the Newfs being gentle with the cats.

When our senior cat died.   I found her laying on her side on the kitchen floor on a small blanket, with a newf on each side of her.    The dogs never layed in that spot, but it was like they knew something was wrong with her and laid there with her.    They have been very patient with any other animal they have met.. not much in the way of prey drive with the two we have.
: Re: New here - question about new Newf, old cats, please!
: jesday May 29, 2009, 06:44:08 AM
We had our Newfs and brought a cat into the household. She was such a mellow kitty. She hid under a table for a short while which enticed Syrus. 'gotta get the toy - gotta get the toy" But once she came out and pretty much ignored them, she was not fun and now they could care less about each other.

However, babysitting my sister's dog who was more in her face brought a half second kitty slicing to the nose. Big drops of blood, but no more messing with the cat.

Kitties and claws make for a short learning curve. Good luck with your new baby. You will absolutely be in love before you even get him home.
: Re: New here - question about new Newf, old cats, please!
: NewfieMama May 29, 2009, 09:10:35 AM
Thanks everyone! I am hoping for the best, preparing for the worst - it's the mean cat I'm most worried about. When we brought home another cat when she was 2 (he was also 2) she screamed every time she saw him for at least a month. I swear those were my first gray hairs, lol.

It's nice to know that most of your Newfies are mellow with cats. All the Newfs I have met have been such sweethearts, I can't wait to have one of our own. And yes, I am in love with him already even though I have not seen him IRL yet!

Thanks again! I will definitely post pics when we get home!!!

: Re: New here - question about new Newf, old cats, please!
: mtaig12 May 31, 2009, 05:58:16 PM
Hi Julie!

Just wanted to add my story of cats N dogs. My oldest cat was an adult and sort of dog-savy when we first got Max, and initially Max chased him a bit which we squashed. Much later, when we were thinking about getting Star (Dane), we had a home visit from the adoption agency where the lady brought her Dane so we could see how big he was. The visiting Dane wanted to head up the stairs ('cause he wasn't allowed up the stairs at his house) and I knew the cats would be hiding up there. The visiting Dane ran up and down the stairs a few times, then went up once more and stopped halfway. There, halfway down the stairs was my old cat (about 10 years old or so), hissing and turning sideways. Apparently, my cat DID NOT want that dog upstairs and knew how to stop it! We knew then that we didn't have to worry about him and a new dog. 

As long as you have a safe place for the cats to go, they'll work it out with a new dog one way or another. My current oldest cat has lived with Max for 15 years, and STILL hisses at him every time she sees him. Max just ignores her if possible, and defers to her when not.

Good luck!