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Puppy vs. Cat

ownedbycats
January 3rd, 2009, 07:19 AM
We have a new puppy (yes I will post pictures eventually). We are having problems with her chasing the cats. She sees the two boys chasing each other and wants to play too, or when she sees them racing across the floor she can't resist joining in. (It doesn't help that the cats come back for more every time I manage to calm her down :wall:)
If she just chased, fine, but when she catches them and she is starting to be coordinated enough to do so, she bites. At this point they are big enough that that is all she can do ( bad enough) but as she gets bigger those bites will get harder, and she may start shaking them. I want to discourage this before it gets out of hand. Any ideas? My momma cat stray is able to smack Sunshine puppy hard enough that Sunshine merely play barks and growls at her. I would like to teach my other two cats to hit hard enough to discourage her, and teach Sunshine to not bite.
This is play, not aggression yet. Sunshine will playbow while making bark/growl/whine noises, or bring a toy over to shake at the cats. Its just that her version of play is what she would use with another puppy and she doesn't understand Dr. Seuss and MooBoots version of no. (It doesn't help that Mooby just can't hit. When I've been too slow to interfere, he sits there, while she bites him, PATTING. I got my hand in the way it is like being hit with a feather :rolleyes:. If he just hit harder maybe she would get the message?)

DoubleRR
January 3rd, 2009, 08:37 AM
He will hit her harder if he needs to--the bites must be pretty light bites. I do not know what breed of dog your new pup is. I had a dachshund that would grab my cat and drag him around by the scruff or even his tail on occasion. Sounds mean, doesn't it? The cat would go over and poke the dog if she wasn't paying attention to him, and even purr while being dragged. Obviously he could escape a dachshund if he wished. Dog would growl while doing it, too.
My larger breeds chase my cats if they run, and on occasion catch them, but never to harm. Usually the cats, again, instigate the play. Right now I have a 5 mth old kitten who beats up my 10 yr old cat--or it sounds like it. She attacks him from behind like a lion, he yells and hisses and bats at her--with no claws! Complains bitterly, but does her no harm. Your cats likely know your pup is a pup--and needs some leeway that they would not give an adult dog. Just keep an eye out for anyone trying to do serious harm to the other.

sugarcatmom
January 3rd, 2009, 12:27 PM
I would like to teach my other two cats to hit hard enough to discourage her, and teach Sunshine to not bite.

I realize lots of people leave it up to the animals to sort it out for themselves but I have to disagree with that method, it can have some pretty bad repercussions. I think the primary directive here should be to teach Sunshine that it's not okay to chase the cats, ever, doesn't matter if it's for play or otherwise. There is a good description here (http://www.labadoption.org/linkpages/DogBehave/Articles/Cats.pdf) on how to do that.

Also, make sure your cats have high-up places they can easily access, such as tall cat trees or shelving units. It helps if they feel they have a quick escape route.

puppytwo
January 3rd, 2009, 05:26 PM
I was just the reverse I have 2 adult dogs 1 cat. when the cat was a kitten, the kitten would go after the dogs. The older one put the kitten in place, by growling at her. The young dog would chase the kitten, I would keep an eye on both of them, when the dog realize that the kitten had claws, then he was more careful when he played. I would say you will have to keep an eye on the both, when the puppy gets carried away all you have to say is no or make a sound. Its like when you have to disaplin a baby. :pawprint:

Tundra_Queen
January 5th, 2009, 01:45 AM
I would think that teaching the pup, while it is still a pup, not to chase the cats and definately not to bite is a good thing! I always correct all of our pets when they are being too rough to the other ones.

Debbie

rhartjr
January 5th, 2009, 09:33 AM
ownedbycats, we are in the same boat as you. Poor Katie got drug in to a home with eight indoor cats. Never a dull moment around here. The first thing she got when she came here was a cat collar (collar with a bell on it) as an early warning system for the cats. Now with two tags and the bell they can hear her coming a mile away. While we do have the chasing thing we don't have the biting thing. She will lunge and nip but will not bite them.

Bless her heart she tries so hard to get them to play with her. That's usually where the lunging and nipping comes in along with the playbows and barking. That's also where we step in. Then we either refocus her with focused exercise, fetch in her case, either inside or outside or she is forced to "calm down" usually placed on the couch with us or in her crate.

When you hear the pitter patter of little feet and a cat flashes by with pup in pursuit then the pup comes flashing by with the cat in hot pusuit then thats playing. If the pup traps a cat under the chair and its hissing and boxing thats not playing (at least to the cat). If the cats get into it she is immediatly stopped from joining in and told to leave it alone. There do have to be consistant boundaries set and them consistantly enforced.

Letting them "sort it out" or a strict no chasing no harrasment requirement really is a tough call and we pretty much play it by ear. But as stated before, I believe there must be clear boundaries that are consistantly enforced. My experience has been that the pup will lose interest in the cats as it grows up.

Have your cats been around dogs before? My cats have always been around dogs and my dogs have always been around cats, we've had no real issues in thirty years of a mixed household (knock on wood).

Has Sunshine discovered those delicious puppy treats that hide in the litter box yet?:D

ownedbycats
January 5th, 2009, 11:23 AM
I realize that Sunshine thinks she's playing, and that this isn't intended as aggression. However, she is already the same size as the two oldest cats and bigger than the kitten. She could do serious damage as she gets older. I was hoping for suggestions on training her to ignore the cats, or at least be gentle. I don't intend to let them sort it out themselves, I want to train Sunshine. The problem is Sunshine is young (10 weeks) and excitable. We have started basic obedience but it is reliable only in absence of distraction. (Cats definately count as distraction and the minute training starts they show up to make sure none of the rewards are appropriate for cats.)
rhartjr- I like the idea of noise makers so the cats can hear her coming. To answer your question, Dr. Seuss grew up with an older dog. Hd is used to big dogs, but ones that don't move very fast. IF she was gentler he would probably play with Sunshine quite happily. Don't know Misty's background, but ever since their introduction, Sunshine has been respectul of Misty and while she does playbows, stays away from Misty's invisible "no dogs allowed" boundary. Misty seems perfectly comfortable scaring away a rambunctious puppy. MooBoots had never seen a dog in his life until he met Sunshine. Half the time he is fascinated, sneaking up to investigate, the other half he is screaming for help because she caught him before we could stop her, and she has hold of his middle or his tail. ( Seuss and Mooby both have lovely fluffy tails that hang down and twitch. Irresistable to a puppy intent on chasing everything that moves and eating anything that stays still. IT doesn't help that any time we throw a toy, Mooby thinks he should be chasing it too.)
She knows about cat "treats" from outside, but we barricaded the litter boxes so only the cats could get to them. NO surgeries for our puppy because she swallowed cat litter.(:pray:)

helicoptermom?
January 5th, 2009, 12:11 PM
When our lab was about 1 yr old we brought home two very tiny kittens. At first he wanted to play rough with them too. He bowed and hopped around and generally acted crazy. The kittens would get all poofy, hiss and genrally let him know he was on their last nerves. When ever he got out of hand I made him sit and lay and be calm next to me on the floor for a few minutes. Slowly the cats came to him in this position and I said the word gentle over and over again when ever he sniffed them or licked them kindly. If he became too excited the cats skittered away and I would help (not force) him calm down again. After a few days of this introduction he knew the word gentle. I would say it when ever the cats came near and he would treat them accordingly. We praised him when ever he had a successful gentle interaction with them. Dont get me wrong he still had a few moments when he decided he wanted to play rough and chase with them. We always corrected with the word gentle in a calm voice. Before you knew it they were crawling into his crate with him at night to sleep. The cats layed on top of him in the living room and they often shared the water bowl and each others food (much to my annoyance).Their interactions became about snuggling and cleaning each other and less about play. The word gentle has transfered to small kids and skittish or older dogs at the dog park. I dont know if it works with all dogs but it worked with Duke.

Dogastrophe
January 5th, 2009, 06:43 PM
I'm not a big fan of letting them work it out / set boundaries on their own. My worry isn't so much that the cat will get injured but rather ending up with a dog who can only see from one eye. Cats are just too damn quick with the poke to the head and (my) dogs are too dumb to get the message. ;)

We will let the dogs play with Gracie as long as they are gentle (all of them, not just the dogs). Actually it tends to be Jack who she plays with - Lucy still scares the bejeebers out of her at times. Once one of them starts to get to rough - Gracie hooking the razor blades into his head or Jack getting nippy, we'll separate them, otherwise will let them play.

Cheers,
:dog::pawprint::cat: