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So every since I got Stella I've wanted to socialize her with cats, and except for a short, positive interaction with some kittens for adoption patting her nose through a cage, I've not been able to. I've literally asked people since January if they can help me their cats or any cats they know if, but even the one or two people who offered never had a chance. This was important to me because 1) I love animals and would like a cat someday 2) I figured any equally animal loving person I dated or wanted to move in with might own a cat and 3) I don't want her to ever go after cats we see on walks or at events.

Unfortunately we had a bad experience that will make Stella getting along with cats even harder. A few weeks ago when I was at work my mother let Stella in the backyard and she saw a cat in the neighbor's driveway. She wen up the steps jumped the short side fence and chased the cat into the neighbor's backyard. Thank God the cat ran in there and not the street...

Either way this forced me to continually harass people again or search for ways to try and condition her to not go after cats. This is an even more dire issue in my mind because I'm now in a relationship with someone who...you guessed it, has a cat. And not only does she have a cat, but she has an older cat who lived with her 3 dogs all his life who traumatized him. So she said that even though she'd like to help it would really stress her cat badly, and his potential running off would make it 10 times worse. I've felt somewhat desperate in terms of trying to train her with this, because I don't want her to run away, hurt/kill someone's cat, or prevent me from moving forward in a romantic relationship if everything continues to go well.

So this week picking her up from daycare at Petsmart, I had the thought that they have cat condos for cats for adoption there, so maybe I could do that. Today I was working with Stella for a while (I didn't count the time, but it was nearly a full pouch of treats!) in an aisle of the store where you could see the cats. I felt mildly guilty about scaring one of the cats in there, but at least the others slept through it. And I kept her from getting too close and jumping up at the glass after we went by the first time. Stella did actually do pretty well focusing on me, and looking away from the cats when I called her away with her name or “leave it” when she was staring hard. We didn’t get too close, because I know she has to work up to it. She also did good focusing on me because there was a dog adoption even going on on the other side of the aisle as well. I want to go back again this week to do it, and maybe even practice a little when I pick her up from daycare. Again though, I just feel guilty scaring the cats a little. And even in the event Stella masters letting the cats alone in the condos, how to I work up to her being with an exposed cat without a cat? And a dog savvy one that won’t run off and maybe swat her on the nose to teach her a lesson. *sigh* I don’t know. I’ve even offered to muzzle her to do this but it’s hard. I might try to contact some other trainers and see if they have access to a dog savvy cat….


I’m not even sure what I was looking for with this post, for advice or tips or just to rant. Anyway, any input would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
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