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Cat with major aversion to dogs

November 20th, 2004, 09:11 AM
Hi All

I was wondering if anyone has had any experience introducing a dog in to a household already occupied by a cat who may have been attacked by a dog?

The short version of the story is that my room-mate's cat is a foundling she adopted when he was three. His history is unknown to her. But he goes all weird at the vets office if he can even smell a dog in the room. And a few weeks ago, my parents brought their golden retriever over (who was raised with cats and doesn't think they are toys) and Merlin (who escapes the confines of his room) came slowly down the hall growling a very scary growl, got up on his hind legs and tried to attack the dog while he wasn't looking. The cat was not trying to play and can share space with other animals, I have a cat and my boyfriend's kitten visits often without problem.

So, my question is, will this cat ever get over his fear or would my getting a dog only make the rest of his days here miserable? (I'll wait until he leaves if thats what it takes before I get a dog). Any ideas or thoughts would be appreciated.

Lucky Rescue
November 20th, 2004, 10:23 AM
Some cats put up a big bluff, but do not actually attack and are trying to intimidate.

Cats who will actually attack a dog are harder to deal with than cats who are frightened and run from dogs, but it's still workable.

You say he "tried" to attack the dog. What do you mean? Was he stopped before he could do it, or did he stop on his own...?

November 20th, 2004, 11:26 AM
You say he "tried" to attack the dog. What do you mean? Was he stopped before he could do it, or did he stop on his own...?

I stopped him. I didn't want either of them geting hurt... I didn't want the dogs ego getting bruised and didn't want the dog hurting to cat. I think though that had I let him go he probably would have hurt the dog, then the dog might have hurt him (in self defence) and that would have been bad for both parties.

November 20th, 2004, 01:04 PM
Some cats like dogs some don't and vise versa.
If you are planning on getting a dog, there will probably be a period of the pets getting use to each other. Will your cat be miserable? Maybe... for awhile, but I'm sure he would adjust. My cat first liked having my new puppy in the house, when he realized after a few days that he wasn't leaving he became a bit upset for awhile. That wore off and now 10 years later, they are inseperable, they sleep together, eat together and seem to keep each other company while I am not around. Hope this is helpful.

November 20th, 2004, 01:09 PM
There most likely will be an establishment of who's the leader, my little 8 lbs. cat is obviously the leader over my 215 lbs. Great Dane! He never had to swat or show my dog he was boss, but every situation is different. Not to allow anyone to get hurt of course, but a little show of hiarchy is normal among animals as it should be as well with you showing your pets that you are the Leader and Boss.

November 28th, 2004, 06:41 PM
There most likely will be an establishment of who's the leader [...] Not to allow anyone to get hurt of course, but a little show of hiarchy is normal among animals [...].

Any ideas on how to tell when 'establishing hierarchy' is going to escalate into bloodshed? That is, is anyone good with feline body language?

I'd like to get my parents' dog back here over the Christmas holidays while I'm home for the week to see if I can convince Merlin that dogs are ok, but I don't want to stress him out either...

Lucky Rescue
November 28th, 2004, 07:51 PM
Cats and dogs have such different body language and cats are solitary animals who do not recognize hierarchy.

Signs that bloodshed may be imminent are flattened ears, low growling, lashing tail, rippling back.....hissing is usually a warning and does not always indicate an attack.

Since your cat will attack a dog on sight and without provocation, I would recommend you keep them separate over the holidays. A cat can inflict serious injury on a dog.

If you wish to get Merlin to accept a dog, it's going to take a lot of time and patience - much more than a week, from what you have described here.

November 28th, 2004, 08:23 PM
We have a big office where I work.And a big office cat, Foxy, guarding the office. Foxy hates dogs ..people are always coming in with dogs and he "bows" up and doors start to slam. Btw, Foxy arrived around a year ago.

Have a Hurricane, that will cure it all! I could not get a hotel room out of the path of Jeanne like I did for Frances so I was left to stay with Ciara at the office for 6 days. It was not fun, no power and the storm was not near as scary as Frances but...friends were made. Ciara and Foxy are buddys now.
Last night I ditched to the office again because of a severe weather warning. It has been a few months...I had a hard time dragging the uber goober home ...both Foxy & her had a good short romp.

*note to self..remove sig line..getting old, need to forget.

louie's mum
November 28th, 2004, 11:12 PM
not sure if this helps but here's a link to Tail Talk (
it helps me to know louie's moods better. i can now tell BEFORE he bums right out that something's bothering him and if it's something i'm doing (like petting him) i can back off and he'll settle back down.
it may show u the severity of ur buddy's response so u can deflect the situation before anyone gets hurt.
have a look ... if nothing else it's kind of cute but i think it's very telling :p

November 28th, 2004, 11:50 PM
Thanx for the link Louie's mom... PS. Nice Avatar :D

November 29th, 2004, 07:50 AM
I like those signal sites- most helpful. Yin Yin is always wrapping her tail around herself (when she is not playing with it it - being a toddler - the terrible 2's already, lol - and she has discovered her tail and how much fun it is!) - when she lays down or is sleeping. I rarely see that one displayed. But I assume it must mean cat at rest, sleepy or asleep?