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Cat Issues


Guest AH710
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I'm afraid that the bad behavior of one of my cats is causing my cat-tolerant dog to have issues with all cats. I've had my greyhound for 4 months and he lives with three cats. He has never chased the cats, and even used to snuggle on the couch with one of the cats. However, one of the cats is aggressive towards him and swats him unprovoked, just for walking by (twice drawing blood on the nose). Now, my boy will growl and snarl whenever any cat jumps on the couch. Also, the cat will basically stare him down and stalk him while in his crate, which has resulted in the dog lunging and growling in his crate (only happened once a couple days ago). Finally, he used to be a hearty eater, but over the past few days he has not finished his food and left it, which I thought was due to the cat stalking him while he ate. I've been putting the cat in the bathroom, so the dog can eat in peace, but he will just leave it and then growl if any of the other cats walk by it. I also tried just feeding him in his crate because he goes there willingly for treats, but he refused. He does not have space or food issues with people at all and is a really great dog. It almost seems like they are working out who is boss now that they have gotten used to each other, but I miss the days when there was no tension between the animals. I don't expect them to be best friends, and certainly don't blame the dog for reacting to the cats attitude, but if anyone has any tips for getting a smoother co-existence, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

Spray bottle for the cat. When the cat starts to act up, quick squirt in the butt. I wouldnt work on the dog's reaction, i would teach the cat what is acceptable behavior. Just be cautious, when the cat is sprayed he may take off, which may perk the hound's chase response.

 

Chad

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Thanks for the tip, Chad! I will definitely utilize the spray bottle .... much better than me trying to pick up the cat when he is being a stalker (took a claw to the face yesterday lol).

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We are heading down the same road, AH710. We've had Bonnie for nearly 2 years, and adopted our cat Ozzie this past summer. At first, Ozzie was leery of Bonnie, but once he realized she wasn't a threat, he started giving her unprovoked swats. At first I thought the cat was trying to engage Bonnie in play; until I saw that Ozzie's claws were extended. He hasn't drawn blood, and Bonnie has always ignored him, but I'm worried that one day Bonnie will be tired of turning the other cheek. I'll be trying the squirt bottle too; thanks Chad.

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I haven't had cats since I was a kid, but I'd work on making the cat behave. Just because cats are small doesn't mean they can be bullies and don't have to treat other family members with respect :)

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I'm curious, why do you think your cat is behaving like this? Do you think he's just an ahole :lol or do you think there's an underlying reason for his behavior? I have my theory, but I'm curious what you think.

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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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I'm curious, why do you think your cat is behaving like this? Do you think he's just an ahole :lol or do you think there's an underlying reason for his behavior? I have my theory, but I'm curious what you think.

At first the cat was afraid of the pup so he left him alone. Now that the cat is more comfortable he is showing the pup his true nature....which is an ahole :) I'm curious about your theory though! the cat was a rescue that used to live with a large dog so I thought he would be the easiest, but my other skittish cat actually loves the dog.

Edited by AH710
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At first the cat was afraid of the pup so he left him alone. Now that the cat is more comfortable he is showing the pup his true nature....which is an ahole :) I'm curious about your theory though! the cat was a rescue that used to live with a large dog so I thought he would be the easiest, but my other skittish cat actually loves the dog.

I was actually going to suggest that he is in fact afraid or uncomfortable of your dog. :) I suspect he's getting bolder either because his initial defensive tactics didn't work or because he's becoming increasingly stressed by your dog's presence.

 

My suggestion would be to take some steps to destress the cat. Get Feliway diffusers for the rooms where the cat hangs out most of the time and to set up some barriers to keep him separated from your dog. Make sure he still gets plenty of interaction with/attention from you, but I definitely wouldn't leave them out together unattended (whether that's when you're gone or when you're home and unable to supervise). When they can see each other (but for now they're separated, via baby gate or x-pen would be good) they both get treats for being calm around the other one. Gradually you start having them come closer to each other, always treating for good behavior.

 

My concern if you use a squirt bottle or other form of punishment, you're only going to reinforce to your cat that the dog is something to be stressed about and the behavior may get worse, or he may develop other behavioral issues as a result. Also worth having him checked out medically if he hasn't been to the vet recently and this is new behavior.

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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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Thanks for the tips Neylasmom! I will definitely check out the diffuser. Henry (my hound) is crated while we are at work but they are all lose when we are home and sleep in our room at night. Henry had a bit of a melt down when we tried baby gating before while at work so I've been scared to try again but I think it would work for giving separation while all of us are around. There haven't been any issues with them apart from feeding and couch time so I don't have any worries at night and everyone sleeps in our room. Actually when both are just wandering the house they are fine (but get lots of praise for this) :) I'm thinking Henry's food issues were less behavioral from cat activity than stomach ache as he is back to normal today and the cats aren't lurking for his leftovers because he ate them all

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I'd be worried about squirting the dog by accident! I'm not a fan of using water as an aversive because when it comes time that you need to wet your dog down due to heat it may be aversive .... (its happened with my dog Bender, he's a little strange and maybe a well balanced dog wouldnt have this problem but you never know!)

 

Will be interested to know if the feliway helps.

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Any way to just separate that cat from the dog on a semi-permanent basis? Like make him your upstairs cat? A cat scratch on the nose can get badly infected. And even the best natured dog can turn in a heartbeat if push comes to shove, so to speak.


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Just wanted to say thanks for all the helpful tips! So far, I've found that if I sit in the chair while he eats the cats don't try to bully, so the food issues are working out. The nose scratches happened months ago, but we are working on keeping the bad cat away so hopefully he will remember that the others are his friends.

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Just wanted to say thanks for all the helpful tips! So far, I've found that if I sit in the chair while he eats the cats don't try to bully, so the food issues are working out. The nose scratches happened months ago, but we are working on keeping the bad cat away so hopefully he will remember that the others are his friends.

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