Hi! Nervous about bringing puppy home to cat!

Discussion in 'Member Introductions' started by Emily Varley, Jan 29, 2018.

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  1. Emily Varley

    Emily Varley New Member

    Hey!
    My name is Emily, and I am a Berner lover! When I was 10 my parents and I brought our first girl, Hope, home. When I was 12 we got Draco. As an only child they became my siblings and best friends. My bond with Draco was something extra special. Unfortunately we lost him to cancer at 5, Hope passed 3 years ago, living to be 12.
    My dream is coming true, my boyfriend and I have put a deposit down for a Berner puppy! We only met with one Breeder but my boyfriend was absolutely taken with her dogs. It was a positive meeting and I've read every word on her website but I don't know if there's any other way I can make sure she's a good breeder?
    I've done A LOT of research on how to best prepare for the puppy.
    My biggest concern is having a peaceful and happy home as we bring to puppy into our apartment with our 5 year old cat.
    The cat's name is Tupac. I got him when he was a year old from a someone who couldn't keep him as they were moving. He's always been uneasy with visitors, mostly keeping his distance, but if people would look at him too long or try engaging him, he might get aggressive (growl, or actually go over and swipe their leg.) We don't often have people over, but for example when my mom is walking by he will sometimes swipe her. Recently we've gotten the Feliway spray and he's calmed down a lot. Two weeks ago my parents came and he didn't swipe at my mom after I sprayed her legs! He and my boyfriend "play" where he tries to get my boyfriends ankles. Rarely, but sometimes, he will go for my ankles/calves and make me bleed. He's a big boy too, about 19 lbs. But at the end of the day he's a cat, he sleeps most of the day, when I come home and sit down he comes up next to me and wants cuddles for a while (he only cuddles on his terms), he sleeps with us, he loves food and coming in the bathroom, no problem with peeing anywhere but the litter box.
    We have an upstairs neighbor who has a dog that frequently barks and he has no problem with that. There's also a dog next door that he watches from the window with no growling or aggressive body language. I walk a black lab daily and last week I brought her to the apartment so he could see my boyfriend and I petting her through a window on the deck. He was curious but did have a low growl, and when the dog started barking for me he hissed. But we were giving him treats while she was there and he was eating.
    From the research I've gathered I have a plan in mind for the first couple days of having the puppy. Having a gate for the room the puppy is in, letting Tupac have the roam of the rest of the apartment and sometimes putting him in the back room. Having places Tupac can hide/get away, we've already put his food up on the counter. Putting a towel that smells like the puppy under Tupac's food, feeding them both when they are meeting face to face, and having the puppy on the leash at all times.
    I know this is a lot of information but I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on going forward! I'm determined to make this work and will do whatever it takes (and take any advice I can get!!) I know Tupac can be difficult, but it's my biggest hope that he will learn to love our new family member.
     
  2. milos mom

    milos mom New Member

    I have a cat with a similar personality. It took a full year for my cat to accept Milo. My cat was raised from a kitten and was best friends with my previous dog ( a chocolate Lab , who passed away) so he did not have a fear of dogs. My cat would (who was very good about about only using the litter box) would urinate on anything that belonged to or smelled like Milo and if I forgot to close the crate when I took Milo out the cat would go in and poop in there. I had my cat declawed previously as he was quite aggressive and was scratching my kids and it was the only way to keep the cat. I am sure that if he had claws Milo's face would be completely scratched up, so be very careful with your new puppy. I bought a couple of baby gates ( carlson pets extra tall gate with small pet door) this allowed the cat access to the house while confining the puppy. It also gave the cat a quick escape if Milo decided to chase him in play. Don't leave them alone together until you are sure of how they will get along. It wasn't easy at first but my cat finally accepted Milo. He lets Milo sniff him , they lay side by side and they even play around with each other. But every once in a while the cat will attack Milo out of nowhere just to let him know who is in charge.
     
  3. Emily Varley

    Emily Varley New Member

    Thank you so much for sharing! I really appreciate it and am so happy to hear they are living in harmony. I am sure it will a challenging first year but am hoping we get to that point. Just found out we'll be getting a little girl in 5 weeks! I've ordered a gate, a new cat condo, feliway plug in and spray, and am ready to be patient and rewarding with both of them. I'm trying to be as positive and hopeful as possible so Tupac feels that and not my nerves. Thanks again!
     

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