View Full Version : Cavs and cats living together?

18th October 2006, 01:38 AM
My husband and I just got a cat (we've never been big cat fans but it's a long story how ended up with this one). So far, him and Liesl are not getting along. When the cat is not in sight, Liesl is ok. For instance, right now the cat is hiding in the bathtub and Liesl knows where he is but she is laying down beside me in the office with a chewie. However, if the cat were to come out into her sight, she would start going crazy. Will they ever learn to just ignore each other and be in the same room with one another? I particularly am nervous when I'm away at work. Liesl stays behind a baby gate in the kitchen and I get scared that if the cat walks past, she will go so crazy that she will knock the baby gate and then everything will just go down hill from there. Any suggestions from those who have Cavaliers and cats living peacefully in one home?

18th October 2006, 02:30 AM
My daughter has rescued two cats, and she has two cavaliers. One cat avoids the dogs, one actually likes to wrestle, play tag and groom them. As long as they don't hurt each other (watch cats with claws-- they tend to hit the eyes with the sharp nails) I would allow them to find comfort or avoidance as they see fit.

18th October 2006, 07:30 AM
Any self-respecting cat will eventually tell a Cavalier who's boss.

We have two cats...one that won't take ANY crap from ANY dog (or cat, for that matter), and one that will let the Cavs 'play' with her a bit before she shoos them off.


18th October 2006, 03:02 PM
What age are your pup and cat? Also, how long have you had the cat?

Usually when moving a cat to a new home, it should be confined to one room for a couple days to a week so it gets used to its environment and has a safe space. You should leave the cat in its own room while you are out so both Cavalier and kitty will be safe.

Article 1 (http://www.cuhumane.org/topics/catdog.html)
Article 2 (http://www.penmarric.ns.ca/catcare/usefulinfo/Catdog-harmony.htm)
Article 3 (http://www.uvhs.org/behavioral_docs/dog-cat_introductions_.pdf)

I think the above articles have helpful information for intros.


These guys were introduced with my Cavalier at age 9/10 and my kitty at 2/3. (Both intro'd in mid-summer with late summer birthdays :) It took my shep/pit mix about 10 days to acclimate to kitties but takes some dogs up to 30 days. Just be patient and you should be able to work it out.

18th October 2006, 03:18 PM
I have a whole article and set of links on this subject in the Library section:


Cathy T
18th October 2006, 03:49 PM
Do be careful with kitty's claws. We had a 13 year old cat when we got Jake. Jake thought she looked like fun...KT wanted nothing to do with Jake. We set up a puppy gate that Jake couldn't get past. That way KT could go to any part of the house where Jake was and know she wouldn't be pestered.

Jake came around the corner one day....right into KT's path...she slashed out and got him in the eye. A trip to the ER that night and he had a scratched cornea. We were lucky that was all it was.

18th October 2006, 11:13 PM
Thanks for all the wonderful advice and articles! We just got the cat a week ago. He's around 7 or 8 (no one is really sure) and has been around dogs before in the past. Liesl is 10 months old. The first 3 or 4 days we kept him in the guest room with his litter box, food, and water. During the day, Liesl in the kitchen behind a baby gate and the cat can have the rest of the house. The cat is declawed so I don't worry too much him clawing Liesl, but he does show his teeth to her quite a bit. Would he actually bite her? I just want them to be able to be in the same room with each other and get along! I feel bad for the cat b/c he just hides all day and has to wait for Liesl to be out of the house or sleeping until he will come out of his hiding spot. I know I just need to be more patient. Thanks for all the great info!

23rd October 2006, 07:35 PM
I am having a similar issue with my cats and Lily. Two of my cats are pretty indiffernet to the dog being around. They take no crap from her or anyone else, so there is no worry there. The third is only a bit over a year and so is still very playful like a kitten. He loves to terrorize the other 2 cats. And now, he does so to Lily too. All of my cats are declawed, so I don't worry about that. But Lily and Bobo (the cat) play fight A LOT! They bite and pull on each other, and wrestle, and growl, hiss, everything... I worry that one will get hurt. I will go over and pick Bobo up and put him up high sometimes to "save him". But he just goes back down. Should I stop this or just let it be?

25th October 2006, 02:09 PM
I have 2 declawed cats. One is 16 and the other is 11. When we got Cosmo as a puppy a few months ago, the 11 year old would just bolt anytime Cosmo would come near him. The 16 year old would hiss and swack at him whenever Cosmo came near. Over time they seemed to have mellowed a bit, but I don't foresee them ever becoming buddies. My 2 cats have lived together for 11 years and have never gotten along with each other, so I don't see any way that either of them will pal up with the dog.

Cupcake Love
25th October 2006, 05:05 PM
We struggled with the whole introducing a new pet to established pets last year when we brought Cupcake home. We have two 3-year-old cats (Roo and Tang) who are the best of buddies and we hoped that they would befriend Cupcake also. Well, it didn't happen exactly like that. Roo was terrified and grossed-out at the sight of Cupcake (she would literally vomit at the sight of her) and Tang would chase her. I know this is different from your situation, but the assimilation process will be similar. It just took lots of time getting them accustomed to each other. We did this by playing games with the three of them, giving everyone an equal amount of attention, making sure everyone got a treat when treats were handed out, and just a lot of supervision.

Now that Cupcake is grown they play together and even sleep on the same piece of furniture together (this is a HUGE breakthrough). :p There is no quick fix and all animals are different; especially cats who have such unique personalities to begin with! My advice is to just keep working through the issues and provide lots of supervision so no one gets hurt.


25th October 2006, 05:43 PM
As the various articles at the links above (and my own link) notes, you will have to manage all interactions and may never have a dog and cat that are happy in each others' presence. If the cat is older and new he will especially need places to escape and time away from the dog. Cats stress out very heavily in a way dogs generally do not hence it tends to be the cat that needs the extra care and precautions not the dog. You cannot rush anything; it is a matter of time. It took months for my two feline girls, Pippa and Jessie, to be OK around Jaspar (the first in my house) and while neither of them were thrilled with the dogs they cohabit fairly happily now and will all share a couch with the dogs (as you can see in my avatar -- the main reason I got a cavalier in the first place was that it is a small breed known for getting along well with cats). The toms both like the dogs -- Quincy adores them so much they consider him a pest as he constan tly wants to rub against them or curl up on them -- and when Ambrose was a kitten they played very actively though now he is more aloof. So it really depends on the cat and the dog. I always would err on the side of protecting the cat and be very cautious though. Especially a declawed cat who now is very at risk and has little way of defending itself -- biting is not a normal defense for a cat and it would have ltitle chance against an attacking dog (which amongst other reasons is why declawing is illegal in Ireland and the UK). Dogs can have their prey instinct kick in by a fleeing cat even when they seem to be best friends so again, always proceed with some caution and manage interactions until you know both cat and dog very well and they know each other very well.

If the cat is at all wary or upset a Feliway plug-in with cat pheromones can really work wonders. :) Widely available online or from vets.

27th October 2006, 03:54 PM
Thanks all for all the ideas and responses. One thing I should have stated that I didn't is that the cat that seems to get "played with" has always been a biter. Both with my other cats and us humans. :) He just likes to play by nibbling. So, when Lily came into the picture, he thought, "Great another thing to nibble"! Well, Lily picked up on this and now uses his tail as a tug of war rope, chews his ears (which he used to strangely love) and so much more. I see them getting rougher in play and that is why I worry. I pick the cat up and put him places the puppy can't get him and he jumps right back down into the middle of it all. So I guess he isn't too upset by it all?