December 5th, 2004, 03:02 AM
As most of you know, hubby and I adopted a cat from the SPCA a month and a bit ago. She was pregnant, but got spayed and had the kittens aborted. Anyways, since then she's been good, until recently. She gets along fine with our male cats and our female dogs, but our male dog, Helix, she CAN'T STAND! She chases him all over hissing and growling and scatching at him. Granted, he follows her around and stares at her like he's obsessed, but other than that, he doesn't do anything to provoke it. Tonight, she just went crazy! She just wouldn't stop until we put him in his crate to separate them. Luckily, he won't retaliate when she's attcking him, yet, but I'm affraid he'll get sick of her doing this, adn possibly hurt her! Also, when she got spayed, they cut her nails down really short so when she swipes at him, he can't feel anything, so I'm worried that when her claws grow back that she'll attack him really badly. Even as I'm typing this, she's growling at nothing! Just like a warning or something, even though he's locked away!! I am already so in love with this little girl and she is super affectionate to people, but she just can't stand my one dog!!! Is there any hope of fixing this, or are we gonna have to give her back to the SPCA? It's really starting to get serious and I want to do what's best for both of them, so please, any help would be appreciated.
December 5th, 2004, 03:53 AM
There may have been some conflict between the two of them that you never witnessed. In conflcits, it is suggested that to quote from one article "a vicious cycle may form between the target cat and its aggressor. In anticipation of an attack, the target cat typically assumes a defensive, fearful and cautious attitude, which triggers the attacker's pursuit. Long after the original episode has passed, the aggressive cat may be aroused simply by the target animal's hesitation."
In other words, she may see this as a game that he has no clue he is playing?
These two should be seperated with their food bowls and toys, etc. for at keast seven days (or so the advice says!) Then seperate them and wait to see how they act - or how she acts I guess in this instance. Sometimes the agressive cat may have to be given prozac or a similar medication. Rescue Remedy might help also.
Have you consulted a pet behaviour therapist or a vet?
Needless to say, you should clip your cat's claws every 10 days or so so she does not hurt the dog or herself for that matter.
You could also use positive reinforcement once the two spend SUPERVISED time together. Reward her with catnip, fav toys and treats for behaving well toward the dog.
I hope this helps. I would not want the poor cat to have to go back to the pound because she displays fear aggression due to something that is likely not her own fault!
December 5th, 2004, 09:56 AM
Agree with Cyberkitten about separating this cat and using Rescue Remedy. I would certainly start with that.
This cat has been through a lot in a short period of time - abandonment, hunger, pregnancy, abortion/spaying and is in a new house with a few new animals.
I would start over with her - separation and re-introduction.
he follows her around and stares at her like he's obsessed
Thats enough to trigger her defense/aggression behavior. Staring is very confrontational and threatening in the animal world. The cat feels she needs to take an aggressive stance to defend herself.
Do NOT let the dog follow and stare at her. This is a big source of stress for her. Teach him to "Leave it" and ignore her.
And even with her nails clipped very short, she COULD really injure this dog if she wanted to, but she is deliberately not doing so. Her actions are defensive more than aggressive.
She is just saying to him, "You are making me very scared and nervous. Stay away!!"
Please don't send this cat to the SPCA.:( If you simply cannot keep her, leave her separated from the others and find her a new home.
December 5th, 2004, 10:14 AM
I think if the cat was truly aggressive she would have jumped the dog already....my Chico growls and hisses at Vinnie if he gets too close,Chico will never accept this white fur-ball,but they co-exsist in relative peace.Vinnie takes it out on Rocky who is more than willing to wrestle...
A cat and a dog is probably a different story,but you got some good advice,as usual.....and please do not give her to SPCA,the poor little girl has had a rough time. Good Luck :thumbs up
December 5th, 2004, 11:40 AM
Thanks so much for the advice! I really don't want to give her back. She has already jumped my dog and infact last night she was going at him and jumping at his face and following him when he tried to get away. I know she's been through a lot and that's why I want to keep her so badly! I'm just really scared for her and my dog. The thing with Helix is that he was also rescued by us about 6 or 7 months ago. He knows not to bug the cat and we have taught him leave it, but he still tries. Most of the time though, I catch him and discipline him. At night time though, Nova hides under the bed and the fact that she can see Helix's paws from under the bed triggers her! she growls, and then attacks his paws! I normally don't crate him at night, but now he has been so that her growling and attacking doesn't keep everyone up all night. I haven't talked to the vet about it yet because this wasn't happening as badly when I took her in for her shots early last week. I will consult the rescue group I volunteer with and find out if they have any advice also. I will try starting over with them, but I don't know if that will work as Helix gets obsessed with new animals in the house for awhile, and then gets bored of them. He's just not getting bored with Nova because she won't ignore him like my other 2 cats do. I'm just really getting frustrated, and scared! Thanks though and I will really try hard with this. BTW, what is Rescue Remedy? I've heard it before on this site, but never looked into it before as I never thought I'd need it before! :o