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My wife and I are thinking about adopting a "mean" 10 year old cat. Right now we have a dog (doberman / shepherd mix) and a cat, both are 3 years old. They get along ok but our dog is very playful and we can't let her play with the cat very much because she's too rough.

The potential new cat does not like people very much and has been living indoors in the same apartment her whole life. Once in a while she'll go up to people and rub on their leg but she hates being pet and hisses almost immediately after one or two touches, and won't hesitate to defend herself (clawing etc) if she wants to. Not light clawing either - serious "get the **** away from me or I'll kill you" clawing.

So obviously there's a lot to worry about here. Anyone have any thoughts? Is there a possibility the mean cat gets nicer once it's in a new, bigger, friendlier environment? This could all be moot if our dog and cat hate the new cat, too.

thanks in advance
 

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It really depends on the cat. I rescued a 10 year old Manx mix. She was abused. Sounded like the one that you want to adopt. I healed her physically, but mentally, she still had her demons. Ended up letting her cross The Bridge after she started attacking me, my husband and my other two cats out of the blue.

If you get her, I would probably get one of these SENTRY® Calming Collar for Cats - Cat - PetSmart for both of your cats and probably the dog one for your dog. The cat and dog you have now are going to feed off of your new cat's energy (which is going to be a nervous, anxiety filled, angry energy because she is in a new strange place with strange people, smells, noises and animals).

Also, allow the 10 year old to have her own room. Get her stuff of her own. Put her in a room with her stuff, close the door and allow her to get used to that room. She might claim it has her own room, which, if all goes well, might be a good thing if the other cat and dog start bothering her. She might retreat to that room for comfort. Then gradually allow your current cat to go near the door. Keep the dog away from that door until the two cats are somewhat okay with each other. The 10 year old cat, if never exposed to dogs, might not ever like your dog. However, you can try to introduce them through the door.

Do you know why she does not like to be petted?

At the end, all you can do is try. That's what I did. If you try and it does not work out, it does not mean you have failed. It just means it was not meant to be. Sadly, that's what happen to our Nina. We tried. But, at the end, what happened in her life did it's damage and she had several great months with us.
 
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