Should I Get Married to a Man with Dogs that hate my Cats? Cat Lovers Speak Out
We posed a question to our wonderful Petplace.com cat lovers.
I love cats and my fiancé loves dogs. I have 3 cats and he has 2 dogs. His dogs seem to hate cats and my cats hate (are afraid of) dogs. I love him but don’t know what to do.
- Leave him and find a cat lover – 14.0%
- Get rid of your cats – 0.2%
- Ask him to get rid of his dogs – 0.5%
- Live together and figure how if it will work – allow the cats to live upstairs and the dogs down to start – 86.5%
- Most cat lovers said : Live together and figure how if it will work – allow the cats to live upstairs and the dogs down to start.
- We further asked for comments on why the responders felt one way or another. This is what they told us:
1. gradually let the animals get to know each other on neutral ground
2. There are many references about how to blend households. Pick up some books and learn strategies.
3. Try to introduce them slowly maybe in a cat carrier, you have to be in the room and your boyfriend needs to supervise his dogs, one by one let them sniff the carrier. Leave something in the room with the smell of your cat where the dogs are and vice versa ( a dog toy). Also a good idea is to have a plush dog in the room with cats
4. Requires vigorous/relentless dog training-perhaps hire help: dogs are life threatening to cats -but cats are rearely life threatening to dogs-the cats will adjust if you just make sure they are safe
5. Introduce them gradually – feed near each other on opposite sides of the door so they can smell each other. Leash the dogs and allow the cats near them to smell in a safe situation.
6. this is hard. If you two are building a life together, you will both have to reconcile the pet situation for one another and each other’s pets. sometimes pets can grow to tolerate each other, but they do need their space; it can’t be forced.
7. Not gonna touch this one.
8. If the two of you marry and buy a home, I would definitely look for an arrangement where the animals can be kept separate from one another and still be a part of things
9. Dogs and cats will eventually learn to tolerate and even like each other once they become familiar with each other. It has certainly happened in our family before.
10. Gently introduce the animals in small steps and let them get accustomed to each other separate them when you and your fiance are not at home
11. also consult a behavioral specialist to make it work
12. and dont just get rid of these pets to get laid for a while, really. cuz you wont always luv him/her your furry friends – you ought to.
13. keep them separated.. 3 cats and 2 dogs is too much inside….
14. hire an animal behaviorist to resolve this problem.
15. depends whom you love more, your cats or your fiancee
16. Introduce gradually and on an individual basis.
17. eventually they get use to it. I captured a feral stray cat. She gets along great with my dog now.
18. my aunt has this same issue and this has worked out for them
19. This would depend on how much they all hate each other. Maybe they could gradually get aquainted and become friends. As long as the dogs aren’t the type that would attack the cats.
20. time will tell
21. start off with the dogs on lead and always watch their time together until this has settled
22. Depends on the hostility level. Territorial rights are in jeopardy and the dogs cannot be vile but only curious while this is going on. Trim the cats nails, all of them, so no dangerous encounters ensue during this learning time.
23. It is called a water bottle. The dogs will stop chasing the cats when they get squirted. And the cats will learn to avoid the dogs. But will eventually co-exist. My husband had a dog that loves to chase squirrels and my cat hated everyone/everything. Now they cuddle at night.
24. i wonder why you are just addressing this issue now that he is your FIANCE. have you ever seem how they interact together? if you wont live together as a big family then id not marry him. love works things out and never wants someone to get rid of an animal they love and the animals loves them. never.
25. they can learn to live together
26. slowly introduce the animals to each other. keep the dogs or cats in a separate room so that the animals can sniff each other from under the door.
27. If he doesn’t like cats, he probably never will. She would later regret getting rid of the cats.
28. Let them get used to each other before throwing them together full time
29. or it might be better to start over with a new dog and cat. Doesn’t say how old the animals are.
30. Go to an animal behaviorist to see if you can acclimate them and build relationship. I have seen it happen. Still give them safe and seperate spaces – and be sure the two of you are right for each other.
31. keep them seperated but able to smell and see each other. Eventually they will get used to each other and the barriers can be taken down gradually. First while you’re there for short periods of time. As you see conditions improving add time to their conditioning
32. Live together and work on socializing all the pets
33. Sit down and work it out BEFORE you get married; both decide who is more important – spouse or pets
34. Have a trial living arrangement and see if the dogs will learn to be calm around the cats and not hurt them.
35. Do not cancel the marriage because of pets. Keep the ones who will get along and give away the others.
36. If it doesn’t work you will have to decide who will live without their cats/dogs possibly forever. Frankly, as cold as it sounds, I wouldn’t be with someone if I had to get rid of my animals.
37. reintroduce them in a “feel safe” environment for cats.
38. and if what I checked off doesn’t work then leave him and find a cat lover LOL !!
39. Retrain the pets before you move in together
40. how strong are his other qualities??
41. the word of god-cats stay-men come and go
42. get married and deal with it.
43. It’s usually in the introductions. Of course, if the dogs are Jack Russells or a breed that can be a problem with cats (greyhounds LOVE to chase anything and will usually stress cats to no end), you need to remember the commitment to your cats of a forever home. Try introducing them slowly; try working with a professional dog trainer; don’t ever just ‘hope it works out”.
44. You can acclimate the dogs and cats if done correctly. It takes time and perserverance.
45. The animals were there first and more likely would be there longer than the humans in the situations. best thing to do in the long run after you break up with this guy for the sake of the animals, is interview the next possible date regard this situation. You are your cats whole life, you are respondible for them, same for the guy.
46. If you do it slowly, you can settle cats and dogs into a shared environment as long as they both have areas they can escape to. My cats live happily with 2 dogs
47. Perhaps build aseparate outdoor enclosure for one or both groups, so they have their own territory
48. HAVE A FRIEND THAT HAS A SMALL CALM DOG BRING THEIRS OVER. ADD LOTS OF TREATS AND HUGS FOR THE CATS. THIS SOMETIMES HELPS WITH THE TRANSITION. IF YOUR FIANCE’S DOGS ARE AGRESSIVE, YOU MAY HAVE SOME TOUGH DECISIONS TO MAKE.
49. I have 12 cats and 3 dogs….they all live together in peace. The dogs needed to be leashed when introduced, and taught NOT to CHASE, the cats learned NO ATTACKS were allowed…
50. if the two really care for each other they will have to find a way to co-exist with all the animals together……work it out!
51. probably the cats will be very unhappy with this route anyway, we did this in my house – the cats urinated in places they weren’t supposed to – much better when the dog and the man left
52. Hopefully eventually the dogs and cats will get along, it’s all on how you introduce them to each other.
53. bring the animals on a picnics in a park that allows animals with cat and dog treats and see what happens to you, fiance, cats and dogs
54. OR GET RID OF BOTH AND BUY SOME BIRDS.
55. I have no idea. Some dogs will kill cats. Be careful.
56. try it out, but protect the cats if the dogs truly hate cats. Decide on your priorities.
57. If its not a good thing,live with your cats,he can live with his dogs.
58. This will never work. Big red flag here unless you are both committed to a lot of changes in your attitude about dogs and cats.
59. When my husband and I married 20 years ago he had 2 dogs and I had 1 dog and 3 cats. One of his dogs had even killed cats; however, with controlled introductions to my cats she accepted them as part of her household.
60. Get training for the dogs and get them used to each other but keep them apart unless supervised.
61. Way too many pets! Perhaps the dogs could be outside or…find another fiance.
62. Take the dogs to obedience training; “fog” the house with Feliway for both dogs and cats
63. I would NEVER give up my animals for someone. You make the commitment to them when you brought them home!!
64. You should have thought this out before you became engaged! You’re really screwed at this point. If either of you give up your animals, then you’re rotten people. If you put the animals together, your cats are likely to be killed.
65. try to bond the animals a little each day maybe one at a time
66. This works also when combining cats from 2 households. Eventually they may get along.
67. otherwise one of you may need to find new homes for your pets or a more compatible mate. Is this the only area you don’t agree on? Maybe pre-marriage counseling is in order.
68. If there is no up or downstairs, separate by rooms.
69. My daughter moved back home with 2 boxers that did’t like cats, but now my 6 and the dogs are the best of friends. They can learn to live together
70. Live together, dogs outside, cats inside
71. If hubby and I can do it, so can anyone else. The fact that we both love all kinds of animals is a big plus. It wasn’t easy, but all of our animals have a good relationship with each other now. (Sort of like marriage,you solve the problems together, and you don’t quit because you don’t like the way things are going. You pull together and solve the problem.)
72. You can successfully introduce them to each other if you take it slow and always allow each animal to have a space they can call their own.
73. Only you can decide this one
74. Figure it out or separate.
75. This is a disaster waiting to happen. All it will take is for one animal to hurt the other – and believe me, it will be over in a New York minute.Just ask yourself how you would react if one of his dogs killed one of your cats.
76. Get help from an animal behaviorist
77. slowly integrate the animals until they get along
78. it will take time patience and work but you should be able to get them to adapt you and fiance have to work together and not get frustrated or defensive of your pets
79. the animals will work it all out
80. Never the twain shall meet. The woman is usually the main pet caretaker so she should like who she is cleaning up after
81. As animals start living together, they soon adapt to the situation. We have had this problem in the past, but with some stern reprimands (done with love) and a few “leave the kitties alone”, our dog has adapted quite well; in fact our little cat (about 7 lbs) will back the dog (about 60-70 lbs) into a corner.
82. Try introducing them all very slowly and in small doses….constantly supervised, of course. Maybe keep the dogs in a certain room for an hour or so, then have them leave and stay out of that room and put the cats in that room for an hour or so. Let them get familiar with each others’ scent by alternating the two groups in one room for a week or so. See if there is a chance for them to learn to get along. Go from there.
83. I would not be able to give up my cats and it would be cruel to ask you partner to give up the dogs. Break off the relationship and find a cat-lover.
84. As long as the dogs don’t try to kill the cats, you can probably work this out. Consult an animal behaviorist. If it doesn’t work (and you don’t even have to live together first), then find a new guy. 😉 Oh, my cats say they would not want to be confined upstairs.
85. This situation will never work. Is his dogs aggressive towards your cats. You never said what type of dogs they were. Certain breeds can maul cats. How old are the animals. Need more info to give you a better answer on this one.
86. Fight like cats and dogs, huh? WOW! Some animals have accepting personalities; others do OK if they grow up together or one thinks it has raised the others. Where there’s a will there’s a way.
87. Introduce them slowly and constantly to each other with supervision. Hopefully they will eventually get used to each other’s presence.
88. consult with a behaviorist?
89. Introduce them slowly, bring their scent into each other’s home to facilitate the transition. Go slow.
90. Each give up until only haveone dog and one cat, then do behavior training with both
91. Trust me on this.
92. Consider contacting a dog trainer / animal psychologist. It may seem a little bit extreme, but sometimes relationships are work including those with animals, and this seems like it may be one of those times. If you value your relationships with your fiance AND your pets, then it’s worth it.
93. Engage an animal behavier expert to train the animals to get along.
94. Not sure how to answer this one, but would rather see it worked out so that everyone could live in harmony.
95. Like new step children, they have to learn to deal with it. Separate the pets if they are in danger and go from there?
96. Who says you can separate the species? If you’re living in a one-bedroom, the question is, can you train them to get along. If you can’t, you need to decide what comes first, your human relations, your companion relations, and/or your overall sanity.
97. The dogs and cats need to get used to each other. You should have them separated but all still in the house and take blankets with the dog scent to the cats and cat scent to the dogs. After about a week you should let them interact supervised. Once they have gotten used to each other all should be fine.
98. Asking either one to give up their pets isn’t right. However, you will need to establish clear boundaries. Since the dogs are a larger threat to the cats than vice versa, he will have to assume the larger part of the responsibility of keeping the animals separated.
99. J/k! Or work on the dynamics and see if your vet can provide some advice on training or intrducing them to each other safely in ‘neutral’ territory.
100. Your pets are forever faithful. A human may not be. Don’t give up your pets, but figure out an arrangement as the dogs stay outside, the cats in. When the dogs come in for a couple of hours, then the cats are in a quiet space all to them selves.
101. Should have thought about this before getting engaged. Owning pets is a priviledge and shouldn’t be sacrificed. See if you can make it work without too much grief.
102. and stay loose. The cats and dogs can feel tension and act accordingly
103. My daughter did this & it has been over 2 years & it is working.
104. You’re not compatible in the long run.
105. Separate them for a time after he wedding, and gradually put them together. It may work out.
106. This relationship has inherent problems. This one will come back to haunt you for years if you don’t settle it now. You may be able to get the cats and dogs to co-exist.
107. call the cat whisper in
108. Keep the Dog outside, and the Cat inside
109. When ready to replace them because of age and illness, get a puppy and kitten to raise together
110. Haven’t a clue on this one
111. there may not be a compomise here, perhaps get a big house and keep the cats in and the dogs out or somehow keep them separate. How much do you love him?
112. The menagerie may work it out on its own, if not, doesn’t love conquer all?
113. It may just be a matter of everyone learning how to live together peacefully. If it cannot be done, some may have to be adopted out.
114. do what is best for the animals.
115. have the animals meet on neutral ground. see how the dogs react and move on from there.
116. ask a pro to suggest a course of action
117. Or call the Dog Whisperer
118. They will learn to adjust and like each other if you spend time with them and introduce them to each other slowly
119. Animals can adapt if allowed to adapt.
120. it can take a long time, but they’ll eventually sort themselves into a hierarchy—and maybe even make some new friends! be sure to supervise them when together until they learn their manners!
121. Try and find a way to “marry” all parties together. It will be a good test of both relationships.
122. Lady, You have a Problem; Just like Houston…
123. Don’t worry about it…they WILL adjust!
124. We did this with two cats and a Rottweiler. We set up a room where the door would only open a couple of inches. Kept the cats closed their for a few days to get used to the dog smell, then opened the door with that stopper and let them come and go. Took a few days for them to get near the door, but little by little they got used to the dog and he to them. Got to where they would sleep together and the cats would play with him by going up and touching noses with him and running so he would chase them. Fun to watch, hard on furniture (BIG dog!)
125. Work w/the animals to adapt to each other. You’d be amazed at what animals can do. Adopting a pet is for life. You don’t just “get rid” of them to suit your lifestyle. If you had children and they didn’t get along you wouldn’t get rid of them would you? And if all else fails.. get rid of the fiance.. they’re easier to replace.
126. They will eventually get along
127. HAVE CESAR MILAN HELP YOU KEEP YOUR PETS
128. Personally, I would have to end the relationship
129. be very careful with this optoin so a cat doesn’t get killed
130. blend the family for short periods of time, then extend the time over a period of weeks or even months.
131. wow, this is tough. don’t really know how you’d handle it
132. Keep the dogs outside and the cats in if you have a house, if apartment get rid of the dogs