Cats And Dogs Living Together in Harmony…Not Yet

cats and dogs living together
April (foreground) and J.R. the crazy poodle pair

When Marty joined the family in March 2011, he had one four-legged sibling, my toy poodle Jessie.  I’ve seen stories of cats and dogs living together as the very best of friends, in our house it was a matter of tolerance between Jessie and Marty.  They peacefully co-existed, but were never best friends.

In June, my beloved Jessie passed away.  It was extremely rough on both Marty and me.  Marty stayed close to me, and would look at me as if to ask when Jessie was coming home.  Marty would lay downstairs where Jessie’s bed was, I could tell he was missing her since all he’d ever known was having her here since he joined the family.

I continued to mourn and thought maybe the answer for Marty and me was to consider adopting another dog.  The search began for a cat friendly small dog that would not intimidate or terrorize Marty.  Since things went fairly well between Jessie and Marty when he became part of the family, I thought another toy poodle might be a good fit.  I searched the various sites often, but wasn’t finding the dog I thought would be the right one.  Then one night, I saw a posting by one of the the local rescues, a brother and sister poodle pair.  They were adorable, and I sent a note requesting more information on them.

I went to meet them, and they seemed very calm, sweet little dogs.  They’d been together since birth (they are now 5 years old), so the rescue wanted them to be adopted together if at all possible.  After meeting them, I decided to take a couple of days to decide if I was up to the challenge of taking on the responsibility of two dogs rather than one.

Three weeks ago, I adopted J.R. and April.  They are 5 year old miniature poodles with a LOT of energy.  Upon seeing them, poor Marty went into hiding for about a week.  I set up “safe zones” for him to escape in the event he felt trapped.  The dogs aren’t aggressive toward cats, but when Marty would encounter them, he ran and of course the dogs thought he wanted to play and would chase after him.

As time goes on, Marty is becoming a little more comfortable, or maybe it’s more curious, about the strange dog creatures.  His doggy sister Jessie was calmer than these two, and Marty is studying them, trying to figure out their odd behavior.  He’s even come downstairs a few times, but still isn’t comfortable enough to stay very long when he knows the dogs are around.

Cats and dogs living together can be a challenge. I doubt Marty and the dogs will ever be best friends, but hopefully with time Marty will decide they aren’t so bad and accept them as his siblings.

Written by Karen


Karen is Publisher of Fully Feline. She also owns a pet care business in Overland Park, KS called Joy of Living.