A Cat and a dog in the same house

by Dennis Collins
(Knoxville, TN)

My wife and I just picked up a stray cat. She seems docile and friendly and it was either take her in or have her die in the winter cold. The vet has checked her out and she is healthy. I can pick her up and she comes to us when we talk to her, so she doesn't seem aggressive in any way. We also have a Golden Retriever (about 70 lbs) who is very friendly and docile that we have had since he was a pup (now 12 yrs). In other words, we are dog people. They have steered clear of each other for the first 24 hours and all seems well - only minor hissing by the cat when the dog got too close.

I set up a litter box in a bathroom and closed her in the bathroom for the first night. She used the litter box the first night. The next morning, I let her out while we were getting ready for work. Somewhere along the line, she went over and crapped on our dog's pillow by the fire place. The dog was in the other room at the time.

Is this something to worry about? I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt being in a strange house, with a big dog that she is unsure of, but if she won't use the litter box, what am I to do? Was this a "taunting" by the cat to the dog? Do I just need to give it a few days?

Thanks for any insight.

Dennis Collins
Knoxville, TN

Answer by KAte
Hi Dennis, no don't worry this sounds normal. Cats don't taunt etc she is simply trying to amrk the territory. After all she is in a strange house with strange smells and a great big dog to contend with, she musty be feeling very apprehensive.

As you are dog people can i suggest that you read a few of my pages here on the website which will help you understand what is going on. Also there is a page about introducing cats to each other (same process for dogs) it helps to settle things down.

Don't worry, give it some time and I'm sure things will settle down.

here are the pages i mentioned.



best wishes Kate

P.S god bless you for taking her in during these cold winter days.

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by: Dennis Collins

Thanks for the feedback. I kind of figured I needed to be patient. It's a lot to ask of a cat to be perfectly behaved like my 12 year old Golden Retriever. The dog is an absolute angel for putting up with this new addition - he is still the king.

On a brighter note, things went much better last night and this morning. She appears to be using the litter box so I'll just keep an eye on her.

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