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Cat Fear
by Martina
Cat Fear Hi my name is Martina, I'm from Malta. I lived in Canada for 20 years. This is a great web site, very informative, I got my answers before asking my questions. I just wish to say thanks to all of you out there that helped with all this info. I do have some questions, please help me!

We are going to be getting our Maltese Puppy, she was born on Feb. 1/98. and maybe we can bring her home by the end of March, that's 8 weeks, please let me know if 8 weeks is O.K. I was told that she needs to be with her mom to learn dog stuff, but my friend she's got a Maltese with will be her sister and she got her @ 8 weeks, I just want what is best for Kimba, but on the other hand Ican't wait to bring her home.

This is the question that really bothers me. We have a 10 year old cat, she is a good cat but only with us, she does not like any strangers, as soon as the door bell rings she runs upstairs and hide under the bed, and if anyone goes near her, she hisses at them and everyone is scarred of her. I think you got my point, I am terrified of the fact that she my not like my new baby Kinba and because I work I am worried that the cat my attack her. I am going to crate train Kimba, but I do not like the all closed in plastic crate, I think that in a cage is better this way she can see all around her and she will not feel like she is in jail. I am nervous about potty training Kimba and I read a lot about this. I have a swimming pool and have no grass, it's interlock all over. Is it better to put a sand box in the back yard or newspaper train her, indoor and outdoor.

any suggestions, please help. Thanks in advance.


Hi Martina. 8 weeks is too young. You need to wait until the puppy is 12 weeks of age or older. I know you are excited to get her but it is better for the pup if you wait. I'm surprised the breeder will release the pup to you so young?! I would go to this web site's home page and read "What to Ask a Maltese Breeder" and call your breeder and start asking questions. If the breeder is that irresponsible to sell you an 8 week old pup I just wonder if money is the only thing this breeder cares about and not the dog. I don't even think I would buy from this breeder, but that's just me. I've learned so much on this web site. Three months ago I wouldn't have even been able to answer this question you asked but with the wealth of info. on this site I feel I have learned so much about the maltese breed. Good Luck!

I had the same fear before I brought Lalita home with me. I have a three year old cat, Veba, who doesn't not care for animal in any shape or form, and she would hiss also. Before I brought Lalita home I went and brought a toy and some material that she slept on and let Veba smell it. When I did bring Lalita home I put her in a confined area, and paid a lot of attention to Veba, and not so much attention to Lalita. Veba went up to her on her own and sniffed and hissed at her. She hissed at her for around two days, but that's all she did ( I was there the whole time, I took some time off of work to make the process go much smoother if you can't take time off of work, I would suggest geeting her on a weekend.) By the end of the first week, Veba was no longer glaring at Lalita, and now they are good friends. They play constantly together. I would just keep a watchful eye on the your cat until she becomes used to Kimba, make sure you give your cat extra attention so she knows she isn't being replaced, and don't love her any less. I trained Lalita to go inside on papers, as she became older I took her outside, so now she is trained for inside and outside. Congratulations on your upcoming 'baby' Kimba. Veba, Lalita, and I hope that this has helped, and that the transition won't be that difficult. with lots of meows, barks, and licks...(from Veba & Lalita of course.)
Opal, Veba, & Lalita
I wish there was a magic formula - but I can assure you that your cat may very well be more accepting of the puppy than of strange people. It will probably take a while, then again you never know. Crate training your pup is a good idea for many reasons and yes it will allow your cat to adjust to the pup, as well as the pup to get acquainted to the cat. If you could get something from the breeder that smells of dog, this may help get your cat adjusted to the odor and allow for a faster acceptance. I have paper trained my Phoebe and I think it's fabulous! The pool worries me a bit, but perhaps you can fence off a small area for your pup that will allow her outdoor time safely, otherwise I would think you should keep her on a lead when outdoors.

The eight weeks question, well - I tend to agree with the twelve week theory. I got Phoebe at fourteen weeks and not once have we had a whining night, no problems with bladder control, and her immunizations were truly up to date. The socialization between a pup and mother and littermates is crucial. Many argue this point, but with Phoebe I see where it was beneficial to her. I know the waiting will be difficult, but sometimes we have to do what is best for our babies - not ourselves.
Leslie R

Martina, I fully agree that 8 weeks is too soon to be taken away from her mother . My thoughts are 12-14 weeks. As far as cats, I'm not experiences with that since my hubby doesn't like cats. My Buster (6 mos old)has been around cats and the cats try to scratch at his eyes. Needless to say they weren't de-clawed. You will have to watch them very close to see what happens. Good luck with your soon to be new little baby.
Libby & Buster
I agree with Leslie, & Angel. My breeder would not let me take Lalita home until she was twelve weeks old, and when she gave me the reasoning behind it. I had to agree with her. You should wait. Opal, Veba, & Lalita
Opal, Veba, & Lalita
wow, martina - what a lot of questions! 8 weeks is way too young. at about 12 weeks it is ok, because of the lessons and socialization Kimba needs from her mother and siblings.

the cat thing...my cat hates otto. bad news. But Otto stays at least 5 feet away from the cat. I do not leave them alone. Ever. maybe you can puppy-john train your Kimba and leave her in the spacious bathroom with the door closed when you are away. that way the cat cannot scratch her eyes out. watch the swimming pool. i think all the hair would tend to drag a little dog down, no matter how natural a swimmer a dog is. you will love your new little Kimba - but try to wait for her to be ready to join your family at 12 weeks!

Yes! By all means wait until 12 weeks. Everyone here is right about that. The puppies need to socialize with others their age and they need to learn things from their mother...one of which is bite inhibition. Oh, the problems we wouldn't have if pups stayed with their mom AND littermates until 12 weeks. More socialization will be needed after 12 wks, but you'll have a good handle on it. Just make sure you get her out to strange places, around strange people...little, big, all colors,and exposed to loud and different noises before she's 5 months old. Timing is everything. I wish I'd waited til 12 weeks!
PLEASE...don't ever let your dog outside without watching around a swimming pool! My 14 yr.old English Sheepdog, Hidey, drowned in our pool and we were devastated and guilt-ridden! We now have a 2 year old Maltese who is strickly a house dog. He goes out to do his business only with us watching. He plays around the pool in the summer when we are with him. (He has a boat raft that he floats in. We let him swim back and forth when we are in the pool and we taught him where the steps are, so if he should fall in he will know how to get out. Interestly enough, he DID accidently fall in when I was talking with a neighbor. He PANICKed and had absolutely NO IDEA what to do! If I hadn't seen it happen and jumped in with my clothes on to save him, he definitely would not be here. So please learn from our mistakes and good luck with your new little friend!
Linda S

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