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Why is my cat stalking the dog??

BPR
December 1st, 2007, 07:37 PM
Hi everyone,
We have a 4 1/2 year old kitty named Halle, who is friendly and outgoing and has never shown aggression....until today. My husband's parents asked us to take care of their 1 1/2 year old cockapoo, Woody overnight and they dropped him off this morning. Halle and Woody have been introduced twice before, but only for a few hours, and Halle was very curious, but did not display any aggression (besides a hiss or two).

Today, however, Halle has lunged at Woody twice (both times completely unprovoked by the dog). Once they were starring at each other from six feet away and Halle lunged and swiped Woody's nose. The second time, Woody was following me up the stairs and Halle chased him and swiped his bum! Halle seems particularly territorial of the staircase and upstairs.

Needless to say, we've clipped her claws and have been watching the two of them like hawks. We have also recognized when Halle looks like she might lunge and hold her back and tell her firmly "no." The dog now knows not to go near the cat and actually starts to shake when she comes into the room!!

We are new at this and I'm wondering if anyone has had a similar experience with introducing a cat and a dog? Do you think in time they will work out their differences? At this point, I don't trust the cat around the dog at all! I feel bad for the dog because the attacks are unprovoked, but I also feel bad for the cat because she's normally so friendly.

Any thoughts on this situation would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!

Barbara :)

CearaQC
December 1st, 2007, 07:53 PM
I have the opposite problem!

Linx stays upstairs and just meows on the stairs to let us know when the food runs out. Otherwise he won't venture downstairs at all on his own. He's terrified of the dog because she chases him. He trembles if I hold him around the dog. Before, he would growl and hiss, and now he only trembles. I kinda wish he'd stand up for himself, but he's a lover and avoids any arguments and chooses to run away, which only adds to the dog chasing problem.

I don't know if it's because she has puppies, or is trying to assert pack order over the cat, or if she's jealous. :shrug:

I haven't had much experience in this department, mixing cats and dogs. Maybe some of the more knowledgeable folks here on the forum can give us some good advice!

badger
December 1st, 2007, 08:36 PM
This seems to me completely normal behaviour. Your cat sees the dog as an intruder. And being a fearless kitty, but not stupid, she lets him know his place in the pecking order without apparently putting herself in peril. Poor Woody!

The question is: who gets to sleep with you? :)

want4rain
December 1st, 2007, 09:01 PM
my 12 pound cat routinely puts our 90-95 pound dog in his place. as a matter of fact, if my dog listened to me as well as he did my cats... i wouldnt spend half of my week ripping my hair out!!!

i would guess.... if she keeps at it after your whatever-oodle dog routinely submits... she just wants him out. if she is really laying into him after he submits then step in but unless the dog is actually harmed, i wouldnt mess up whatever conversation your pets are having with each other.

people have language. we can say 'you suck, get the heck out of my house' but cats and dogs cant. to convey that they smack, growl, bark or lay our ears back, glare, wink or whatever other body language gets the point across. what may look like bullying to you is only because of the lack of language. we are taught to use our words, they dont have words so use a method a little more primal.

also understand that cats and dogs both make very subtle body language. it took weeks for us to figure out one of our cats instigated much of what was done to her by the other cats by acting hostile from across the house.

give it time, it will iron itself out.

-ashley

14+kitties
December 1st, 2007, 09:42 PM
You said the cat and dog were introduced before but only for a few hours. Were your in laws always present during those hours? Having a dog intrude on her domain with it's owners is one thing. Having a dog intrude on her domain AND her people is another.
You didn't say how long the dog was going to be with you. It takes a while for an animal to accept another animal. Just read some of the threads in here about bringing a pet home from the vets! And those animals know and love each other!
Here is a site that might help:

http://www.petplanet.co.uk/petplanet/behaviour/behav1.htm

Sorry couldn't be more helpful. Good luck!:goodvibes:

Frenchy
December 1st, 2007, 11:01 PM
When I got my second cat (Paddington) he was very slowly introduce to my other cat and dogs. He did scare the crap out of Nelly (a great dane !!!) a couple of times but they are now best friends. This does take time. And you do have to give them each time out from one another. Introduce them slowly is the best way to go.

BPR
December 2nd, 2007, 12:58 PM
Thank you for the replies everyone!

I'm glad to hear that this is normal behaviour from our beloved kitty. So far today there haven't been any attacks, so things are looking up!

Last night my husband and I decided to ensure we kept everything under control by me sleeping with the cat in our room and he slept with the dog in the spare room! We are trying to keep our bedroom the cat's "safe haven" as her bed is there and we've moved her food up there too.

I hadn't thought about how animals communicate with each other and yes, not having words, I think our kitty is trying to put the dog in his place...and it seems to be working! The dog doesn't bother her anymore and avoids the staircase and the 2nd floor like the plague! Also, the other times we have had the dog over my in-laws were present the entire time, so this situation really is different than before.

My in-laws are coming to pick up their dog shortly. They had wanted us to watch him when they go on vacation this winter for two weeks so now I'm thinking it might be a good idea to have a few more sleep-overs first, to help the animals get more used to each other before a longer two week period.

Anyway, thanks again everyone for the advice, it's much appreciated!

Hopefully the :cat: and the :dog: will be best friends soon!

Barbara

SnowDancer
December 2nd, 2007, 01:25 PM
I think your cat is going to be the Alpha in this relationship. We had a 10 lb. cat - extremely smart - found by our not the brightest bulb (but very loving) Beagle while we were walking him one Nov. night. She put him through his paces, and he did as he was told - but would have defended her to the death if someone had tried to hurt her. After our Beagle died, she was lost - no one to supervise. We adopted a VERY Alpha 10 lb. Dachshund - she was so happy to see a new hound-type dog and came right up to him to set the rules - much to her surprise he had the same bossy look on his face. I guess they decided it was a draw and were buddies from then on - the 2 of them supervised the other fur members of the household as they joined their family - much in the way that your cat is setting the rules. Good thing that the pup realizes who is boss - hopefully it will stay that way.