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Miles Attacked My Cat This Morning


Guest greytmiles
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Guest greytmiles

:angryfire:(:weep

 

Firstly, both cat and dog seem ok. Now here's the story...

 

I've had Miles for about 2.5 months now, and things have been AMAZING. He's super nice and well mannered and loves ALL people, dogs, and children. I couldn't imagine asking for anything more in a dog.... really.

Though he tested as 'cat safe' with my adoption group, I'd noticed his elevated interest from the beginning.

Given this, he's always muzzled when not directly supervised, and is contained in a gated room while no one's home.

 

As far as I know I've been pretty cautious and tried my best to implement a 'cat desensitization' program... praise the good behavior, reprimand the bad...

Anyway, the cat has JUST started exploring the house again and getting more comfortable with having a presence outside of his gated 'safe room'. It's been going on in increasing frequency for the last month or so. Miles was sitting next to me on the couch (as usual) and the cat came downstairs (as usual) and started exploring (as usual).

However this time when the cat headed back toward the staircase, Miles took off after him... and got him.

It was (as you can imagine) absolutely nightmarish. I barely remember anything... there was a lot of blood (from Miles being bit and scratched, it turns out)... I was screaming NO NO NO and trying to get his jaws open and on and on and on for what seemed like forever.

I'm pretty sure it was sticking my fingers in his nose and (stupidly) grabbing his bottom jaw that got him to release. I wrestled him into the gated room, and rushed the completely limp cat to emergency. $800 later, the cat seems to have escaped with only a broken toenail and an EXTREME case of shock. Miles doesn't seem to have any puncture wounds, but his face is scratched up something fierce.

 

I of course don't blame Miles, but I do blame myself. The worst part is not knowing what's next. I've had that cat for 12 years (and a 2nd one who still stays upstairs for 7 years). Any advice? Obviously the idea of returning Miles is heartbreaking, but I'm not ok with totally ruining my cats' quality of life either.

Sorry so scattered - I'm still coping with the recent events. I'm just not seeing a positive outcome for things at the moment.... sigh.

Thanks for listening,

Erin

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Guest sweetpea

Oh wow, I'm so sorry.

 

So many times it's easy to point out (as gently as possible) what the human did wrong,

but you seem to have covered most of the obvious bases. I wish I had some magic "try this"

remedy, I hope others will have ideas.

 

:grouphug

 

Buzzy

who's got a rat terrier on constant supervision because of his murderizing tendencies

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Oh no. I am so sorry for what happened. I can only imagine how frightening it must have been. I have no good advice to offer, only support, good thoughts for all, and wishes for a positive outcome. I am sure there are others that will have some experience with this.

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I am so sorry! I can only imagine how traumatic that was for you. I've been there to some extent, but the cat that Neyla picked up was a feral cat. Same situation, me ineffectually yelling at her to drop it with her completely ignoring me, until the cat got a good swipe in and she dropped it on her own. To this day I don't know what happened to the cat, but my guess is that she didn't make it although it was all over relatively quickly. Anyway, this was outside on a walk and Neyla has managed to live safely with our cat for many years now.

 

I think you probably have some hard choices to make. The most important question is do you think you can train Miles to live peacefully with your cats and if not, do you feel confident that you can manage the environment well enough to keep all animals safe and happy? I think the latter is incredibly difficult, but it's not impossible depending on your dedication and the personalities of your animals. I would hope the former is possible though. I'm curious to know more about the training that you've done and Mile's reactions to the cat and level of interest as you've progressed.

 

I don't want to influence your decision or make a judgement on a situation I can't fully understand b/c I'm not seeing the animals together, but I will say that once you have a "successful" incident like this, it can make the training more difficult b/c you have a lot of backtracking to do. I'm inclined to think he is trainable simply b/c you've had him as long as you have and so far you haven't posted for help describing a dog who is relentless about hunting the cats, etc., but I think at best you have your work cut out for you.

 

Anyway, it's very hard to make a judgement about whether you can safely train him without knowing more about his behavior. Do you have information about how your group determined he was cat-safe, did he live in a foster home with a cat or was he tested at the track?

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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My grey Cody was SUPPOSED to be cat-safe and was very definitely NOT! I kept her on a short leash and muzzled whenever she was out of her crate (when I was home) and constantly did corrections "NO kitty!" whenever she looked/lunged at the cat.

 

I also kept her crated for over 3 years when I wasn't home 'cause I didn't trust her with the cat.

 

In my case, I think the cat was disciplining her (read: sticking some claws in!) through the bars of the crate 'cause when Cody suddenly decided she couldn't be crated anymore, she was very wary of the cat! Everything turned out OK after that but it was NERVE-WRACKING!!

 

My advice would be to start over completely, with leashed/muzzled dog whenever you're there and can you crate Miles when you're not there?

 

It takes a LOT of work with a dog like that - can you commit to that? You do need to keep your kitties safe - they were there first.

 

I'm sorry it happened - it so easily could have at my house too... it was my biggest fear.

 

If you want to PM me, feel free! (You may not have enough posts yet though...)

 

Cody was a starer/drooler at the cat and that's probably the WORST sign of not being cat-safe... and it did work.... eventually... but it took a lot of work and a lot of time!

Edited by ozgirl2

Jeannine with Merlin, the crazed tabby cat and his sister, Jasmine, the brat-cat

With GTsiggieFromJenn.jpgAngel Cody(Roving Gemini), and Weenie the tortie waiting at the Bridge

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Cody was a starer/drooler at the cat and that's probably the WORST sign of not being cat-safe... and it did work.... eventually... but it took a lot of work and a lot of time!

I started to say this in my response, but then didn't. The ones that just stand there staring intently, not moving at all (aside from maybe quivering with anticipation) are the ones to be most wary of.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest Scouts_mom

How horrible. I am glad the cat is okay, it so easily could have been disasterous.

 

I'm afraid I am going to be negative here. Given that you've been working on cat-safe behavior for a couple months and the seriousness of this incident, I just don't think it is ever going to work out. I've had five greyhounds that needed to learn about cats and if this happened to us, I think I would give the dog back because my cats would never be safe.

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Erin, I can only too well imagine how terrifying and upsetting this has been. I'm glad that both the cat and dog survived (you'll want to keep a close eye on his scratches to make sure they're not getting infected).

 

No sort of expert at all, but I've spent a fair bit of time monitoring, managing and observing the interactions between my dogs and cats here in what's still a fairly new situation for them. Part of what's made it work is that my oldest cat is truly king of the house, utterly bold and fearless. I'm not sure how things would have developed if he weren't as confident as he is, but it has undoubtedly made a big difference. My grey Simba tested cat-safe and has been after the intial curiousity; Stella tested the same and was much more reactive when she came home (and is still crated whenever I'm out because of it, though she is 99% improved). It may be a better course, since your cats are shy, to adopt a very non-reactive cat-safe hound, one who could truly care less about shy little cats in the house.

 

Can you keep Miles leashed to you and muzzled when you're home and continue to work on deterring his interest in the cats? But (I wish I could convey sadness better here)it could be a long road that doesn't lead to certain safety.

 

You will be the best judge of this, because you know each of your animals. I'm going to hope you get more (and better) advice here that helps you improve the situation. But if it isn't workable, it is not your fault or failing -- some individual animals just can't find a way to get along and keep the peace. If I were in that difficult position, I would suffer the heartache of returning the hound in order to keep the cats that were here first safe and alive. You will still be able to give him the gift of testifying to his excellent nature and wonderful traits that can help him find a cat-free home if that's ncecessary.

 

Wishing you and your companions the very best for each of you.

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I am sorry you had to deal with this I can only imagine the horror you felt.

 

I'll leave the more knowledgeable among us help you with the training.

 

I just want to make sure that Miles also went to the vet. Cat scratches/bites can get very nasty and infected very quickly.

 

Again, I am sorry and wish you the best while you work on how to move forward.

Colleen with Covey (Admirals Cove) and Rally (greyhound puppy)
Missing my beloved boy INU (CJ Whistlindixie) my sweetest princess SALEM (CJ Little Dixie) and my baby girl ZOE (LR's Tara)

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Well, I also have a "cat safe" NOT so cat safe dog. He doesn't hurt the kitty but he does chase her. If she didn't run when he was around, I think it would be different. He only bothers her when we come in from a walkie. So, I am very diligent then to protect the old lady.(She will be 14 in 2 days.) She doesn't have a lot of sense because she rubs on him too. I think she actually likes his attention. I think in her kitty mind, she is playing with him because even though he chases her, he has never hurt her.

 

I guess what I am trying to say is that if you are diligent, it may work out all right.

Edited by Dawnnziggy
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Guest greytmiles

Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences, kind words, and sympathy. It's helping a great deal to feel understood and supported by like-minded folks.

 

Rest assured, I did bring Miles to the vet later in the afternoon to have his cuts thoroughly cleaned. Turns out he did have two small puncture wounds, and the vet has put him on Clavamox just as a precaution.

 

Right now I'm holed up in the spare room with one very medicated and woozy kitty. I think this household needs a solid night's sleep before mentally addressing all that happened today. I'll definitely keep you posted on my thought processes and actions through this mess.

 

Again, thank you all. The GreyTalk community has been so incredibly valuable in the short time I've had Miles.

Best,

Erin

 

Oh and to lighten things up a bit, here's a photo album of my darling Miles:

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=142524&id=683457963&l=bb47837a85

Edited by greytmiles
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Guest BlackandBrindle

Ugh. :(

 

I am so sorry you have to deal with this.

 

Unfortunately, cat testing is never 100%. We are fallible in our judgement so there are times when small animal intolerant hounds get placed in homes with small fuzzies. I think it is very smart of you to wait until the waters calm, so to speak, before making a decision. I can only imagine how upsetting/traumatizing the whole situation has been.

 

Whatever you decide, please know that it's okay. It's a tremendous amount of work to get animals to live in harmony at times and you have to be fair to all involved.

 

In the meantime, don't leave them unsupervised. If you have a muzzle, I'd definitely muzzle Miles when you are not there to supervise.

 

Sending lots of calming, healing thoughts to you and your household. :grouphug

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I have not seen this type of situation work out for the best very often, but it's not impossible. If I were you I would set some training goals but be realistic and understand that rehoming may be the only ultimate solution. Ramp up your NO KITTY to Cringe-Inducing Booming Voice of God, get a squirt bottle, muzzle, muzzle, muzzle, securely separate them when you're not home and give it some time. If things aren't markedly better in a month...it might be time for a hard decision. Assuming Miles is even workable, I would say that 99% of a cat-trainable Greyhound's ability to live safely with cats depends on how strong of an alpha the owner is, and how calm and confident the cat is. If you're missing either of those components, it's just that much harder.

 

BTW - some dogs test cat safe because they're not showing us their true feelings at the time of the test due to stress or whatever. But if he's distractable/pliable enough to pass a cat test, then he's got a decent chance of being workable.

Rugrat's Rebel (Simon) 09/03/1995-03/22/2010, Silly Savannah 05/14/1995-02/13/2009, Isabella de Moreau the Sloughi 05/15/1993-10/14/2008, Hammy the IG 06/11/04 and ChiChi the Chihuahua 2003

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Guest bluefawn

Erin, so sorry that you had to go through this (and kitty too). But, on a positive note, your cat will be ok. It could have been worse (I know you don't want to hear that, sorry!). And next time, it may well be. I have told people for so many years that this instinct is bred into greyhounds, not taught to them. Penny has never seen a track in her life, never had any training at all (I got her at 10 weeks old), and she is NOT cat safe at all! When I go and visit my daughter, I have to keep Penny in a separate room, and on a leash when the door is open! She has brought me a couple of rabbits as well, that she caught/killed in the back yard. When the front door (full storm door) is open and a neighborhood cat or stray walks by, I swear I think she is going to bolt right through that glass to get to it! I wish you the best, but you wanted advice, and I think it's only fair to say that no one can predict how safe your cat(s) will be now, especially since this incident happened once already. I hope you can work out something to make home a safe place for all of them! Sending you hugs and good luck!

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Guest Harry702

Not much to add aside from support. I'm sorry this happened. I'd be beyond horrified and traumatized by the whole incident. Our cats are beloved family members, and I can't even imagine going through what you went through. Hopefully both Miles and kitty will come away from the incident without significant, long-term trauma.

 

If it were me, I'd be talking to the group/kennel about rehoming Miles... as sweet as he is otherwise, I'd have a hard time trusting him after such an incident, and well... I'm just not willing to gamble the lives of my other pets on a hunch that I may be able to make it work. As heartbreaking as it will be for everyone now... imagine what it will feel like in a year or more after you've tried your best to make it work. Miles sounds like an awesome dog, and there's sure to be a cat-less home out there that's perfect for him.

 

There are greyhounds who coexist peacefully with cats (we have one at home). I'd strongly recommend a foster or a bounced dog with experience living with cats. All other "cat safe" labels are questionable, IMO.

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Guest bluefawn

by Harry702: "If it were me, I'd be talking to the group/kennel about rehoming Miles... as sweet as he is otherwise, I'd have a hard time trusting him after such an incident, and well... I'm just not willing to gamble the lives of my other pets on a hunch that I may be able to make it work. As heartbreaking as it will be for everyone now... imagine what it will feel like in a year or more after you've tried your best to make it work. Miles sounds like an awesome dog, and there's sure to be a cat-less home out there that's perfect for him." (sorry - I didn't edit this correctly)

 

 

I totally agree! Better safe than sorry. Keep us posted!

Edited by bluefawn
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I believe you said the cat "came down the stairs."

 

So what I'd do is put a gate at the bottom of the stairs--the kind with a cat-sized door at the bottom, and NEVER take it down. That way the cat has an escape route.

 

Never leave the dog loose in the house with the cats, and consider keeping the cat in your bedroom.

 

I'm so sorry this happened. I'm sure it was very traumatic.

 

Best wishes to kitty!


Hamish-siggy1.jpg

Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Pennies in a soda can worked wonders in my home with all my greys. They hated the sudden loud racket and learned very quickly to stay away from the cats. With my first grey, angel Bessie, one cat, the one I expected to never come out from hiding, frequently was found to be sleeping with Bessie. Never thought I would see that. Current greys are now turning away from the cats, but none sleeping together yet. Cats go nose to nose with both greys when they are laying quietly on the floor. Never thought I'd see that either!

 

Good luck.

sue

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I'm glad that both are doing all right, and hope that you all have recovered (emotionally especially) to this incident.

 

That said, I have to say that with your skittish cats, this might not be the best situation for trying to "startle" your dog from any focus on the cats - a loud can of pennies, or the VOICE OF GOD at the dog, may well cause the cat to scatter and make itself look even more enticing to the dog. I know that would happen here with my spooky boy kitty.

 

I agree with the people who are saying go back to the very beginning: muzzle and tether, and squirtbottle in arm's length at all times for *any* intense interest from the dog.

 

I also agree with having a babygate with a catdoor in it (you may have to tape the door permanently open, and have the door on the *far* side of the gate from the dog to prevent blockage of a quick escape).

 

Good luck.

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Hoping your kitty is feeling better today and Miles' wounds are OK too. What a monstrous scare for all of you.

 

I don't have cats. I think what happens next is entirely dependent on how much work you want to do without knowing what the outcome would be. Someone above suggested a month of "cat boot camp" for Miles and then reassess, and that is reasonable. It would also be reasonable to go with your now-the-shock-has-worn-off gut feeling. If you think Miles is unlikely to pass "cat boot camp," then it would be reasonable to return him to the group.

 

Big hugs.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Geez, that's a tough one. We've had success getting our hounds and cats to peacefully co-exist, but two of the dogs had zero interest in the cats from day one. Raven was a little too interested for my liking at the beginning, and we very aggressively managed her until we were 100% sure she was safe with them. If she so much as looked a second too long in their direction, she got "NO KITTY!" in the VOG. If she followed them, or looked like she was going to follow them, it was the squirt bottle. She was always muzzled when in the room with them, and we tethered her leash to the bed at night. It sounds a bit harsh, but within a couple of months she was bombproof with them and everyone was free to mingle. Even so, I always have a safe place in every room for the cats to go if they feel threatened. If things went sour and they had to run all the way across the house to get someplace safe, they would be caught. The extra-tall baby gate with the little door in the bottom is a great idea and we have used one.

 

In your case, since Miles has already completed an attack on the cat, I think it will be much harder to work with him. I don't think it's impossible, but as others have said it will take time, vigilance and dedication. You may never feel entirely comfortable with him around the cats. It's possible that the cat inflicted enough pain on him to make him think twice about attacking again, but then that didn't seem to deter him at the time. Your cat will probably show fear around him now, and that's not good. If you can't train him to be reliably safe around the cats, or can't keep everyone separated without diminishing their quality of life, it may be time to consider returning him to the group and adopting a hound who has either lived with a cat (best) or who has been repeatedly tested and shown absolutely zero interest. Cat testing is an art, and sometimes even the most careful groups misjudge a dog. It's not fair to your cats to risk their lives or keep them cooped up, and it's not fair to Miles to surround him with constant temptation. It's not fair to you to be in a constant state of fear. I'm sorry you have to make such a difficult decision. :(

Kristen with

Penguin (L the Penguin) Flying Penske x L Alysana

Costarring The Fabulous Felines: Squeak, Merlin, Bailey & Mystic

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Cat testing is an art, and sometimes even the most careful groups misjudge a dog.

Not that the OP is even accusing the group in any way, but I wanted to add to this that sometimes it's just the cat. Dogs certainly react differently depending on the looks, size, activity level, personality, etc. of the cat so often a dog who lives peacefully with one cat in a foster home has issues in his adoptive home. Not to make it sound like it's that difficult to find a dog who can live safely with a cat b/c 95% of our dogs who test trainable do just fine with cats, it's just another consideration, and reason to proceed slowly with any dog.

 

To the OP, how are you feeling now that you've had some time to digest? And how is your kitty doing?

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest jettcricket

I have heard stories of cats/small dogs and greyhounds living together in harmony for years and then for whatever reason tragedy strikes. Doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

 

There are no guarantees....we just do our best.

 

I hope it all works out for you.

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