Dog Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Our Plott hound mix has been around for about a month and a half, but she's only particularly made friends with one of the cats. She doesn't show aggression towards the cats, but she will chase-- it's more like she's over-enthusiastic to make a four-legged friend than anything. With a 50lb dog versus an average 8lb cat, however, they're naturally going to be afraid of her. She's cornered them a couple times, I think mostly by mistake, but all she does when she gets close enough is try to sniff. She's got a couple of cat scratches across her snout, but she still remains very pleased to see any of them at any time. Two of the three cats are still pretty afraid of her, and usually hide in the basement and the bedrooms that the dog isn't allowed in.

Overall, everything's pretty manageable between the pets right now, but I would like to ease some of the tension. Is there anything I can do to help them become more comfortable with each other, or is it just something to wait out?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,445 Posts
One of the easiest things you can do is give the cats plenty of places that are 'high up' where your dog can't reach, and gives them a place to 'escape' to Cat trees are good (tall heavy ones! that can't be knocked over) and if you are at all 'handy' a 'catwalk, which is a series of shelves mounted on the walls that are like a ladder, then go around the top of the walls.......the cats love being up high and the dog soon learns they are unreachable, gets bored, and finds something else to do Hahaha!
 
  • Like
Reactions: annageckos

·
Registered
Joined
·
884 Posts
The best way to keep the peace is to not allow your dog to chase the cats.
A good rule of thumb for any interactions is, if it's not mutual, it's not play.
Frightened cats are not enjoying their lives, and often become hard to live with. They become shy, stand-offish, reclusive, and that's if you're lucky. They may also become aggressive to your dog adding a whole new dimension of mess, or start peeing on your things and that behaviour can become permanent, so this is something I avoid.
I always introduce dogs on leash, see how they do with cats, and supervise all introductions. I make it fun for the dog, lots of treats, especially for 'look-aways' and if the cats are ready, they get treats too. One of my cats kept getting too close (a rather hostile in your face check out the dog look) so I would call him away with a treat before anything escalated. Basically, it's about keeping everyone calm and happy. Safe zones, hiding spaces, dog free travel zones (we pulled our couch away from the wall so cats can sneak by) will help your cats feel safe, but this should be for their 'feeling of safety' not used for 'actual safety'. As in, it's up to you to prevent chasing. This will keep your dog safe too. A cornered cat is terrified, and will defend itself.
Here is an excellent outline about cat introductions.
Introducing Dogs and Cats | Jackson Galaxy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
917 Posts
I know how you feel, but instead of a 50lb dog I have a 110+lb dog. Freyja has been scratched a number of times. My problem is that I have one cat how will instigate and chase the dog. He'll also go after a dog if he is mad. What I've done is work on leave it. Leave it is one of the most important things you can train IMO. It works most of the time, it's when my cat goes after Freyja she thinks it's play time. Give the cats places to get away from the dog. And give it time. It took my girls over six months to stop hissing and running when they saw Freyja. They will still hiss and stay out of her way but they have gotten better. One other thing I've done that seems to have helped is feed everyone treats together when they are calm. The cats sit on the table and I'll hand out treats and get them taking the treats within inches of each other.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Artdog

·
Registered
Joined
·
884 Posts
@annageckos , could you clicker train your cat to a 'leave it' command? This sounds a bit like what Simba would/might start doing. Simba is the one that did get chased once, and he's checking in on Sonic and getting way too close. Since I've seen him do this with our older cat, I know he will escalate to a slap (claws out) out of fear (the older cat gave him plenty of reasons) so I've been avoiding that outcome by calling Simba & giving him a treat. So far, the behaviour is fading and he hasn't done anything to get himself snapped at.
And yep, with cats, it does take time no matter how safe you make it. After all, we've invited a predator into their midst so they need time and space to realize everything is going to be okay.
 
  • Like
Reactions: annageckos

·
Registered
Joined
·
917 Posts
I'm sorry, the first thing I did was snort when I read your post Artdog. Train a cat, yeah.
I know cats can be trained, and it's not a bad idea. I'm not sure if LG(the cat) can be trained. He's not big on treats, he just likes to terrorize everyone. And get into everything, and 'help'. He's used up at least two of his lives already. But it's something to think on.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Artdog

·
Registered
Joined
·
470 Posts
I have a dog who loves my roommate's cat a little too much. Teaching leave it commands and ensuring the car can retreat to areas gated off from the dog are key.

But honestly? The best lesson of all is the cat schooling the dog. Ezra learned his lesson real quick when the cat tagged him on the ear with his claws. Now he gives the kitty a very wide berth and the cat is much more comfortable around the dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
917 Posts
Freyja has been tagged by the cats multiple times. She has yelped more than once. I've had to remove LG from her face a time or two. But she thinks it's all a big game it gets her all wound up. The other dogs are a bit smarter and avoid LG when he is in a mood. I think time will mellow her as she is still a crazy puppy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
I've had a lot of success with my 70lb dog who has an EXTREMELY high prey drive and a cat that has shown aggression toward the dog. They now live in peace and even snuggle sleep :) We had one relapse of redirect aggression where the cat was mad at the dog because the closet organizer fell down but I retrained the cat and they're all back to normal now.

It might be useful for you to have a baby gate for a bit so that you can easily separate them when either party is showing bad behaviour. As for training, my cat was very receptive to time outs when she was showing aggression and we just worked on strong leave it commands when the dog was showing too much interest.

I also found using "go to your place" was great to remove the dog from any situation with the cat. Rather than "leave it" where she could kinda sneakily stay around the cat, "go to your place" was a definite space away from the cat and I think it made it more obvious to her that she should leave the area around the cat completely.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top