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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

If You Want To Make a Cat Mad, Get a Puppy

Seph and Pearl still have to get used to each otherOur tuxedo cat, Seph, is probably about 14 years old.  For the first 3 years after we adopted him, he only lived with other cats.  In 2009, we got our Husky, Kita, and he was not thrilled.  Seph believes that Chris is his human only, and Kita took some of his attention away.  Seph would constantly try to get Kita in trouble when he was a puppy, by bothering him until Kita got mad, and then Kita would have to go in his cage. After about a year, Kita began to figure out how to keep Seph from getting mad at him, and since that time, Seph has grown to love and trust him, even if he does get annoyed by Kita's high energy level at times.

Enter our puppy, Pearl.  Pearl is unpredictable, and if Seph hates anything, its unpredictability.  Change is not acceptable and loud noises are cause for shunning.  Pearl whines and barks much more than Kita ever did, and Seph could not make his disdain more clear to us.  He will stare at her while she barks with a look of pure hatred.  If she is energetic, he runs from the room and will run around crying until she is done.  He, of course, hates when Pearl jumps on Chris's lap, so he will sit in a place where she can't reach him and will stare at her some more.  In the mornings, I drink coffee before I feed Pearl and let her out, and Seph has learned that if he sits on my lap while I drink my coffee, Pearl will have to stay in her "house" longer.  He now schedules his own naps for when she is out playing.

I don't know if Seph will ever learn to accept Pearl as he has accepted Kita, but hopefully they will learn to live in harmony.  Pearl is a wild card to him right now, but the one thing Seph can count on is that Kita will not let Pearl hurt him or our other cat Zoey in any way.  Kita knows Pearl can be rough, so he watches her like a hawk, ready to run and pull her away if she bothers one of the cats for too long.

Seph keeps his distance from Pearl
In short, my limited experience has been that adult cats are not fond of puppies.  I can guarantee that this isn't a universal trait as all animals have very different personalities, but many dogs get calmer and more predictable as they grow older, and cats are much more willing to deal with a personality that they can understand and trust.  Also, Seph and Pearl are probably an extreme example, considering Seph is 13 years older than Pearl and a bit of a grump, while Pearl is young, rambunctious and loud.  Seph is unlikely to change, but he may learn to tolerate Pearl when she grows up and relaxes a bit.  Time can only tell.