Reigning Cats and Dogs: How to rein resident pets in so they don’t rain on their own–or the new animal’s– parade

Let me answer this question of whether resident pets can accept a new pet right off the bat–I mean, cat.

Yes, they can.

But, that doesn’t mean we were cavalier about introducing Yeti to Doc and Zoe last December.

Of the two dogs, we were most concerned about Doc. Maybe it is because we have raised nine-year-old Zoe since she was a pup. She had already accepted Doc, a male two years older than herself. We have also seen her give up many a squirrel chase. When the squirrel dashes up a tree, she acts as if it has vanished. (This action fascinates us because both of us grew up with and owned beagles. But, that’s for another post.)

However, we had seen Doc pursue a cat that entered our campground once and almost succeeded in a capture.

Indeed, there was an initial mutual growl exchanged between then-three-month-old Yeti and eleven-year-old Doc. We limited their together-time for a few days and supervised all interactions. They were devoted comrades after that.

It was Yeti who kept us apprised of Doc’s worsening bone cancer. I watched as Yeti, stationed at the water bowls, licked Doc’s head when he bent to drink. But, when Zoe took her turn, Yeti stood at orderly attention. I assessed Doc myself and discovered he still had a temperature.

Zoe, as we predicted, tolerates Yeti. She isn’t aggressive with him, but gives him a grunt or a bark if she is annoyed with his pouncing. After Doc died, they shared a bond themselves. They missed their dear friend.

Zoe and Yeti Caught Cuddling
Zoe and Yeti caught cuddling.

It became my mission to find another dog that would not only become a best friend for our human family, but for our pet family as well.

Enter a 150-pound, three-year-old, Labrador Retriever-mix I will rename Tiny. Exit Tiny within six hours. Why? Believe me, this no-Tiny matter deserves its own post. For now, I will give this brief bit of advice. When an adult dog takes off with a ball of yarn, clamps down harder when asked to release, requires two people to extract the yarn, and then the dog immediately pursues the cat, he is trying to tell you something.

Enter Shadow, our three-month-old, over-thirty-pound, Labrador Retriever puppy.

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Here is Shadow at 3 months, 7 days. He weighed in a few days before at 31 pounds.

Understandably, Zoe and Yeti are still a bit skeptical even in their reluctant acceptance. So how is it going?

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Not to be outdone, Zoe is sitting pretty even though she can’t control her tongue.
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Yeti shadow-boxing with Shadow

So far so good.

But, that hasn’t kept me from researching to see how we can do better and prevent dissension in the ranks. Here are some links I found that were helpful for me.

How to Make a Cat and Dog Get Along (wikihow)

When Dog and Cat Meet: Helping Them Get Along (WebMD)

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