Cat terrified of dog
We have a dog (she's 3, a duck toller/lab mix, had her since she was a pup) and we recently got a cat (1.5 yrs old, we've had her for a couple weeks).
The cat is sometimes okay around the dog but others just terrified, its really sad, she'll hiss and growl and sometimes even shake. Shes tried to attack the dog twice, the first time she jumped on top of the dog and the latest time she clawed the dog then hid in the corner, but she wouldnt leave the corner, not even for her litter so she went to the washroom in the corner and of course that meant she needed a bath because shes long haired.
The dog does nothing to provoke the cat, shes only ever chased the cat when the cat attacked her (tho she was told no and stopped), she'll lay calmly near the cat, head down, shes definitely at the stage of co-existing or even being friends.
Everything I read says discipline the dog, leave the cat alone, well there's really nothing to discipline the dog over but I dont wanna just let my cat hide in a corner for the rest of her life. I dont expect our cat to adjust right away, but shes seems to be getting more scared as time passes.
Suggestions? Advice? please!!
Where did you get the cat from? Do you know anything about her history?
Does she have a safe refuge (like a separate room) away from the dog, somewhere that the dog isn't allowed to go? If not, that's the first thing you need to do - establish a safety zone for her with her food/litter/bed where she can feel completely comfortable. Doesn't matter if the dog isn't a threat to her, she doesn't know that. Once she's doing okay in that room, you can very very slowly work at reintroducing her to your dog (using lots of treats and praise and going at her pace).
You'll need plenty of patience and understanding. Some cats will never feel comfortable around dogs, so be prepared (make sure she has lots of vertical space she can escape to, and constant access to a dog-free zone). It could be that she's had bad experiences with dogs in the past, or simply that she's never been socialized to them.
We adopted her from the SPCA. We dont know anything about her history, they said she was good with other cats, but they didnt know around dogs. She doesnt have a safe room (but shes never with the dog unsupervised) because we only have a one bedroom so her stuff is in the living room, she does have a cat tree to hide on top of though where the dog cant get to her. She's also allowed on the couch and the dog isnt.
At this moment they are literally laying at most a metre apart on the floor. She's not scared right now, she's about to fall asleep. I just don't know why she's comfortable with our dog sometimes and others not.
I have been working on kinda creating an invisible bubble around the cats tree/litter, (by that I mean I'm not letting my dog go too close). Our dog is very smart and quite obedient so she's catching on to that quickly. Maybe that'll help?
Thanks for the reply :)
Why don't you try setting up an outdoor playpen around the cat's area? You can get the outdoor pens at any good pet store. They're large, steel mesh, ususally six pannels and no top. They can be bent to fit any shape, near enough and would make a good indoor barrier for your cat. Your cat should be agile enough to jump over the fence or small enough to squeeze through the mesh. Also, if you can, get your cat a tall cat tree with a kitty condo on top so she can climb up and hide. Just make sure the base is stable enough that your dog can't tip it over. Another option is to install a cat door either in the bathroom door or the bedroom door so your cat can get away from your dog. A baby gate would accomplish the same thing. We use a baby gate to keep our dog from snacking on cat food and cat poo from the litter box.
Sorry, can't help you with training tips 'cause we had cat first, then dog. By the way, they are best mates now and the cat will even invite the dog to play by showing his belly for a play fight!
I didnt think of a play pen but thats a good idea! we had been putting up a baby gate in the kitchen but the cat didnt like being in the kitchen lol
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