Friday, 25 November 2016

Flashback Friday: To That Time Ava Met A Cat

No, really. Even Ava’s humans don’t know about this, because it happened when Ava stayed with me when she was 16-20 weeks old.

brown and white puppy head pokes out of cat tree hole
Nobody told me this was gonna happen either.

See, last night in class we were talking about my instructor’s favourite subject, puppy socialisation and environmental conditioning. We talked about all the things we should safely introduce puppies to in their critical phases of development (~3-16 weeks), when they are particularly sensitive to new experiences. Having calm, happy experiences hearing different sounds, touching different surfaces, and meeting different people and animals during this period helps a puppy to be happy and comfortable in the big wide world.

Introducing puppies to new things really is one of my favourite things to do. It’s fun, and particularly rewarding is the knowledge that your little friend will face the world with a sense of adventure rather than fear. And you get to spend time with puppy without doing repetitive obedience exercises!

So last April, when a friend heard what I was doing and mentioned that she has a cat...

Ava brown and white puppy looks out of crate door
What is that?

Oliver the fluffy white and grey cat with blue eyes looks across the table
It's Oliver, the ragdoll cat.

the cat looks across at the puppy looking back out of the crate

brown and white puppy leans in and grey and white cat leans back
Whoa whoa whoa.

puppy sniffs tail of grey cat

It went decently. The great thing about Ava being so small was that Oliver could simply stay on the couch, out of the puppy's reach, if he wished. Ava and her 'puppy manners' (or lack thereof) got too close at one point, which caused Oliver to hiss and run. That could have been a disaster (for both), but I got lucky.

Next time I do this, I’ll just let the puppy watch from a distance, unless the cat shows signs of wanting to cuddle.

puppy looks up at cat on top of cat tree
I'm thinking NOPE.

Never mind, Ava found ways to entertain herself.

puppy lies at cat tree base chewing mouse toy


  1. That went pretty well. No one got hurt. Kind of like detente.

    1. Thanks, Sam - my teacher would not be pleased that I let the cat take a swipe at Ava in defence! But like you said, they both quickly realised they had no interest in the other - detente is a great word for it!


Thoughts? I'd love to hear them!