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Cat Aggression...?


Guest Norzy
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Hello!

 

So, a continuation of our new greyhound/wolfhound girl's story.

 

It's been 2 full weeks since we got her, having inherited her from a Kansas hoarder. She's now getting more adjusted, which is good, but she's starting to show some cat fixation and we have 2 cats. In the backyard, she chases the squirrels but isn't the most prey-driven that I've seen, and inside the house, she doesn't chase our cats normally - everyone usually hangs out together on our sectional with no problems!

 

HOWEVER, as of recent, when we've picked up either cat for any reason, she immediately becomes REALLY excited and tries to jump up and get the cat. Just tonight, she tried to nip the kitty we were holding! She's only 1 or 2 years old, so might just be very playful at this age, and does play-bow with our other dog all the time, but how can we prevent this from escalating?? As of right now, we do try to discourage her with verbal commands when she starts to stare at the cats, but do you guys think this is going to get worse? What should we do?

 

Thanks so much in advance!

 

Here's a photo of the family:

 

https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/1237930_10101744308109463_833970036_n.jpg

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I would say discourage all interest in the cats and I wouldn't leave them alone together unsupervised just yet either. I would be careful about picking up kitties in her presense as this is clearly heightening her state of excitement and she might not be ready for that yet.

 

If there are two of you, then when you have the cat, does she easily come away when she is called? Perhaps work on the recall and then work on her being rewarded for staying away from the person with the cat.

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The act of picking the cat up and holding it above her eye level makes it ten times more interesting than when it's just sitting on the ground. Just to give you an example, someone did this not long ago with a Boston terrier at our dog park. The guy was immediately rushed by five other off-leash dogs jumping and nipping (including my Henry who is very low-prey). When he put the dog back down, the excitement fizzled out, and then everyone went back to normal.

 

Although this behavior isn't an indication of overall cat compatibility, she does sound a little curious. I would start training just so everyone can live together peacefully and without fear. First of all, don't pick the cat up around her at all. Work on getting her to give you focus and calm responses on-leash. Reward when she can be distracted by using her name or a command word like 'look.' Muzzle and/or supervise as necessary. Make sure the cats have a place to retreat when they've had enough. If she likes to chase the cats when they run, you can use a squirt bottle as a quick and dirty way to get her attention.

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