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Silverwind April 14th, 2017 08:31 PM

How to get your cat to tolerate your dog
So we've had Lily :cat: since January and Betsy :dog: since February. Lily tolerates Betsy, but just barely, and as Betsy grows bigger, Lily stalks her and occasionally goes after her. Everything I am finding when I google is if the dog is the aggressor, but that is not the case here. I need to learn how to work out Lily's issues before Betsy is fully grown because we had a small adult dog in here today and Lily lost her mind and attacked him several times. I do not want her to hurt Betsy, and I will not give either of them up. What do I do??

hazelrunpack April 15th, 2017 09:07 AM

Does Lily draw blood on Betsy, or is it more like mock attack behavior? We have the opposite situation here--a cat that loves dogs and dogs that are put off by his mock attacks. But I think in our case, it's just a lack of communication. The cat invites play by making the mock attacks and the dogs think he's a pest. The dogs play bow to invite the cat into their games and he looks at them like they're crazy. So much invitation, so little comprehension...

What does Betsy think of the cat?

Silverwind April 15th, 2017 03:20 PM

Lily has scratched Betsy's ear once or twice but I think those could have been accidents. Usually she stops short of contact. Yesterday with my daughters friend's little dog, she drew blood on me- would have on the dog but I got in the way. She was definitely trying to hurt him. Betsy is a little afraid of Lily, and mostly tries to avoid her if she can, although she sometimes forgets and bounces toward her.

Reg April 15th, 2017 10:00 PM

Hello Silverwind:

We're sorry to hear the problems you are experiencing lately with Lily and Betsy. May we suggest some possible reasons for it.

First we should ask is if you or someone is clipping the cat's claws? This would help to decrease any chance of puncture wounds to the pup and the family.

The use of soft paws - they are toenail covers - might also help.

Cats are very territorial, and we'd imagine Lily is still dealing with Betsy being in her world, even though they have only been house mates for about 2 months. Lily will still be suffering from stress from having another animal around, and a puppy to boot, not a kitty.

That being said. You mentioned in your last post that your daughter's friends brought a small dog into the house. This would be a major intrusion into her territory which could set off all kinds of scenarios. Still working trying to work around Betsy, and to have another dog enter the scene, would stress Lily out extremely.

The best thing that we can think of to do is if the neighbours bring a dog over again, put Lily into a secure room by herself while the dog is there.

Basically, you have to give Lily and Betsy time to adjust to each other, and this is not going to happen overnight. It could take months.

Also, perhaps your children could spend more time with Lily. They could play with her with cat toys - especially ones that are string mounted, like a ribbon on the end of a wand, or something like that.

If you're using a lazer - keep the use of the lazer short, and finish off with a tangible toy that Lily can capture and play with. Cats don't have any sense of the light - they can't get their paws on it to feel it, and consequently this has a tendency to stress them.

I know with our cats, one of them can't even stand people coming into the house - he takes off and hides. Depending on who the visitor is - governs his hiding time. He might come out after half an hour, but it could be as long as a couple of hours or so.

All of our cats are prone to behaving in a very strange manner should they happen to see a strange animal or another feline on the property. It's an intrusion into their territory, and they express their displeasure. They will even pick on each other over the event. We've seen it take up to three days to get over the event. They will check the windows to make sure nothing is out of place.

We hope this information will be helpful to you in understanding Lily and Betsy.

Is there a chance of seeing any recent pics of Lily? - full body.

hazelrunpack April 15th, 2017 10:16 PM

Excellent advice, Reg.

And I had the same thought about trimming Lily's claws.

It sounds like Betsy and Lily are working out the terms of their agreement. I think if you're patient and supervise them well, they'll eventually coexist nicely. Take it slowly and make sure that until they work things out, they aren't left together unsupervised.

I think that as Betsy grows up, loses a little of that puppy enthusiasm, and learns that cats are to be respected, things will settle down for you. Lily will become accustomed to Betsy--in fact, given that she attacked the visiting dog, but is pulling her punches with Betsy, Lily already knows that Betsy is a part of the household. It helps that Betsy has learned a little caution--wish our JD would! :rolleyes:

As Reg points out, patience is key here. We were adopted by JD last July, and we're still in the introduction stages, so it really might take months. Of course, our task is in teaching the cat that not all dogs love him as much as he loves them, so we're approaching it from the opposite direction.... :o

Silverwind April 16th, 2017 06:35 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks for the advice. We have now trimmed Lily's nails- me holding, my teen daughter trimming, and my 6 year old feeding treats as fast as Lily would take them LOL. This is Lily, looking like a grumpy gus. She is actually very sweet, most of the time. Also, I don't know why the picture is sideways, it's not on my computer, and I don't know how to fix it.

Silverwind April 16th, 2017 06:36 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here's another one

Lynne&Co. April 16th, 2017 08:47 PM

Lily is one cute kitty:cloud9: Even her Grumpy face pic is cute!

Silverwind April 16th, 2017 09:05 PM

Thanks. Yeah she is my sweet girl :lovestruck: That crumpled ear just did me in when I met her.

hazelrunpack April 16th, 2017 09:24 PM sweet Lily all tuckered out from getting her nails clipped? :D Or is the pic unrelated to the big event? Glad to hear she let you do it! :thumbs up

Reg April 17th, 2017 12:42 PM

Nice to have a full-bodied photo of Lily. I thought in previous pictures that she was a tortoiseshell colored, but couldn't be certain. She is very pleasant looking, and I can see what you mean about her having issues with her ear at some time in the past. It would be interesting to know some of her past history.

We have a soft spot for Torti colored cats, because one of our cats Mrg is a tortoiseshell too.:D

Barkingdog April 17th, 2017 02:25 PM

What a sweet looking :cat: . :cloud9:

Silverwind April 17th, 2017 06:59 PM

We don't know what happened to her before the Humane Society got her, and she lived there for about 2 years before we brought her home. I just love her so much! I don't know what happened to her ear, but the vet told me that it is cartilage damage, likely from being in a fight with another cat or dog.

Longblades April 18th, 2017 02:14 PM

Her poor little ear. I've not seen one that bad, not even on a Tomcat.

WE've found we just cannot predict what will happen. When we brought a puppy home to three cats used to a dog the one most bonded to the previous dog hid for a year, now they are friends. ONe live trapped outside I think was friends with the dog before he was ever handled by people. Another had kittens outside and was leery of the dog till the kittens got older, now she grooms the dog. The most recent just walked up to the dog, outside, and said, "Hey, let's be friends." It was later that he pushed himself into our house and told us, "I want to be YOUR cat, because you have my dog." :)

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