Family & Friends

  • Aug
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Big Cats and Little Dogs—Can They Ever Get Along?

Posted by at 12:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)


Big Cats and Little Dogs—Can They Ever Get Along? by Kerry AnderlikMy family has always adopted big old dogs and big old cats. Integrating big old dogs and big old cats into our extended family hasn’t always gone perfectly. There have been a few chase scenes and a few strategic swats, but over time, peace has prevailed. But I made an interesting observation that I wanted to share with you to see if your experiences have been anything like mine.

Our big dogs and cats often become great friends and sleeping partners. The cats love to have my sister Christy’s big rescued Rottweiler come to visit, but they treat Ma and Pa’s big dogs with mild indifference. They tend to hide or watch quietly from their lofty perches when strange big dogs come over, but when little dogs come to visit, yee-gads, it’s a different story. These otherwise sweet old cats turn into a pack of brats.

At first, I thought it was because the first few little dogs they met were frisky and hyper and might be ready targets, but that can’t be it. They are just as sinister when it’s an old, slow-moving, minding-his-own business, pudgy little dog. Of course, they have always met under human adult supervision, and they have never done any harm to the little dogs, but the big cats seem to thrive on ganging up and stalking an unsuspecting little dog. Even ancient-cat Lucy, who normally barely pays attention to the younger cats, joins in the games.

Do big cats and little dogs just not mix? Is it because the cats see smaller dogs and feel that they can intimidate them? Am I the problem? Have I forgotten that there has always been an adjustment period, even with the big dogs? Do I panic too soon and spread my frantic vibes as I rush in to interfere? I am still not sure, and so I thought I would bring it to Prime for discussion.

I would love to hear from any PETA Primers on what their take is regarding this feline behavior. But I would also like to hear from you folks who have had big cats and little dogs who became fast friends. How did you do it?!

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    Tammy says...

    August 6th, 2010, 2:11 pm

    We have fostered 32 dogs in the last couple of years so we have had big/giant/mini/yappy/calm/you-name-it kind of dogs so I think I can comment here lol. There is now only one cat in our family, although there were two recently :(
    Our cat began as a fearful cat, who would hide whenever a human visitor came to the house. Over the years, he started to assert himself tho. At first, he decided to live in one room of the house, no matter how much we tried to get him comfortable. Then, I guess he just got fed up of his “one room” life and started to confront the stream of dogs. He would hiss and swat at them, no matter what size they were. He would show them who was boss, right from day one of their arrival. He will even sometimes stand at the top of the steps and make intimidating noises! It works too! The poor dogs are scared to go past him and we have to interfere!

    So, our once scaredy cat is no more! To him anyways, it makes no difference which breed, size or personality the dog is! He’ll set them straight and then just casually walk by them super slowly in that way only a cat can, like to show them they don’t even exist in his world lol.

    Cathy says...

    August 6th, 2010, 11:59 pm

    I had a rescued two-week-old puppy once. It was a very small breed. Two of my cats decided to adopt the puppy. They slept with it, groomed it and watched over it. That dog grew up thinking it was a cat! When the cats tried to sharpen their claws on my laundry basket, it would do the same. The dog and the cats would play together and the cats even let the dog put their heads in its mouth. It was an unbelievable sight-sadly ended when a monster decided to poison the neighborhood cats and my dogs feline mommies were the first victims.

    Barbara says...

    August 8th, 2010, 11:14 am

    Thanks for this post. I thought it was just my cat. She is 16 years old and pretty much ignored the 13 pound dog we had for most of her life. I waited a year after that dog and her cat brother passed away before bringing in a 3 year old, 7 pound Chihuahua. I thought the Chi would be the perfect companion. They are about the same size but the cat outweighs the Chi by 5 pounds. Well, kitty is jealous and just doesn’t like the new dog. I will say, though, the dog has added interest to her formerly lethargic life. Her eyes really sparkle now.

    Arlene says...

    August 9th, 2010, 11:59 am

    I have 7 cats, all strays. We (cats and I) live in a 1 bedroom apt. Needless to say I am a slave. Before all this “save as many homeless animals as you can” started, we (my daughter and I) had a small Poodle. She had a baby poodle and at that time I rescued our very first cat. Still a baby kitten he was breast fed by mommy poodle for a while. Then both the doggie and the kitten were bottle fed by my daughter. The doggie was hers and the cat was mine. They grew up together playing and wrestlering until a year old or so. The cat outgrew her. Never the less and they stop playing!!??! She, the doggie, after my beloved cat of almost 6 years passed away and broke my heart due to cancer :( :( had more rescued cats come live with us. Even though very sweet and lovable small dog, she was always in charge; had her own space and no matter how big or what type of temper the new addition to the family displayed, she kept her reign until a car broke my daughter’s heart and mine once again.

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