Cat won’t come home due to new dog.(59 Posts)
Sorry, i posted before about my cat and getting a new dog. My cat was quite down after losing his best friend (our old dog). I made the choice to get another dog in hope the cat would bond with it like he did our old dog but things haven’t gone to plan. The rescue dog was cat tested, I saw it with cats and he totally ignored them. My cat was obviously anxious when he spotted a new dog in his home but after a day or 2 he ventured in, he sniffed around the dog and the dog was actually scared of him (hid behind me), the cat then attacked the new dog, clawed his face, the dog yelled and I told the cat off. Since then the cat has not been in the house, he has come into the garden but the dog barked at him as he’s scared he’s going to scratch him, cat then runs, dog then chases.
I knew the cat would be unsettled but he’s now refusing to come home. It’s been ten days now, the cat is hanging around as I see him from time to time (under my car or next door, he’s fine with next doors dog 😐), I put food out for him and he takes it from the front door but won’t come in. The dog is kept behind a stair gate so the cat can have free run of upstairs and half of downstairs but this doesn’t seem to be good enough.
I’m not sure what to do, the dog was fine with cats until mine attacked him and the cat has always been ok with dogs (we have had 2 others).
Is it just a case of waiting for him to come home? Is there anything else I can do to encourage him in? The dog is here to stay and will be fine as long as the cat doesn’t get too close like he did the other night.
Yep poor cat.
You want a dog. The cat may have liked the last dog but clearly doesn’t like this one. The ideal is for the dog to ignore the cat and not bother it.
You’ve seriously messed up. They should have been separated. Scent swapping etc. Teach the dog to look to you for a treat when the cat passed. Dog on a longline to ensure it never chases.
But hey you wanted a dog and now you’ve got one.
Shame the cat no longer has a home.
The cat should take precedence because it has been there longest.
Ugh you've swapped your cat for a dog. How mean. You should feel a bit ashamed of yourself
Poor bloody cat. Poor thing won’t know what it’s done wrong. Just knows it can’t go home any more. People are so fucking selfish.
You should rehome the cat it deserves someone who wants and loves it. I don’t understand people who don’t fulfil their obligations to their animals.
You mentioned in your other thread about the new dog and your cat that the cat had previously lived with two dogs, one of which he got on really well with. Was the second dog the one you ended up rehoming? I realise it was a couple of years ago but I’m wondering if the cat found that whole situation stressful and that’s having an impact on him accepting another new dog.
I would honestly be reconsidering whether it’s fair on either the dog (who the rescue described as nervous) or the cat (who is clearly very unhappy with the situation) to expect them to cohabit happily, especially when they’ve each already had a bad experience involving the other.
If you do keep both then you might have to accept that they will need far more management to keep them happy than your cat and previous dog did. You may need to go for total separation (i.e. out of sight, not just with a baby gate between them) for a while so the cat feels comfortable enough to come home and the dog doesn’t need to worry about being attacked again. The FB group Dog Training Advice and Support has a good guide to introducing dogs to cats (I believe it’s called ‘Dogs and Cats/Small Furries’) in the ‘Files’ section which I’d recommend reading. Obviously you’d not be starting from an ideal point as they’ve already had a bad experience with one another but it may help. As Wolfiefan says the goal shouldn’t be direct introductions so much as teaching them to ignore each other’s presence so neither is forcing any kind of unwanted interaction on the other.
Border the cat got on well with both dogs but the eldest more so as she mothered him from a baby, 2nd was introduced a few years later and yes we sadly had to regime him (not sure why that’s relevant to this thread), the cat never really noticed the 2nd dog leaving as he was still close to the first dog. He’s fine with the neighbours dogs (sits in the garden with them).
I think people are being a bit harsh saying I’m cruel, I didn’t plan for this to happen, of course I knew the cat would take a while to get used to the dog as he has with the other dogs and I still hope he comes around to this one. I have not replaced him with a dog 😐, he’s still very munched lived or I wouldn’t be posting on here worrying about the situation. I came on here for advice on how to get them used to each other not to be slagged off and made out to be a shit pet owner. I know I may not of introduced them correctly which is why I came on here to ask advice. The cat is very strong willed and spends a lot of time outside in the summer, it’s hard to do slow introductions when I can’t get near him, at no point have the cat and dog been alone, the cat did approach the dog, the dog did not respond until the cat attacked his face and now the dog is obviously scared when the cat attempts to come near him. I can’t stop the cat from approaching him as they both have access to the garden, all I can do is to stop the dog chasing him (which has only happened once).
Please if you haven’t got anything useful to say don’t say anything at all, if you do have any advice on how to re introduce them please let me know. At the moment I am trying to get the cat to at least come into the house whilst the dog is in another room behind a door or gate.
And to begin with it was the cat initiating contact with the dog, the dog was happy for the the cat to be around until the cat started following him around and then attacked him.
Try some smell things, like leaving the dogs bedding out for the cat to sniff. Our cat sulks for England but his stomach always gets the better of him, dreamies.
Thanks, I will put the dogs blanket out near his food. He’s happily coming for food just outside the front door and will allow me to have the door open (where he can see the dog from a distance) but won’t come into the house for more than a few seconds. I will give the smell thing a try 🙂
A couple of weeks is nothing really.
It tooks weeks and week for one of our cats to get used to our dog. She now just trots past him and under his legs and sits in the same sofa as him.
We have indoor cats (that have a cattio outside) so out cats couldn't just leave. But the dog isn't allowed upstairs so cats did have their own space. The cat in question did spend most of her time upstairs to behind with but the gradually came down so not an issue.
I'd worry though that if your cat is out all the time then it's never going to get used to the dog. It needs to learn that the dog is OK and not a threat.
Maybe try keeping it in for a little? Especially as it does have it's own spaces in the house?
Also I think cats need to know that they CAN defend themselves (especially if the dog is a lot bigger) so I maybe wouldn't have told the cat off initially.
One of our turning points was when the dog kept wanting to sniff the cat's bum and they both learnt that they could 'bop' him on the nose (without claws) and he'd stop.
They hardly do it now because they know they can just wait until they've had enough and then they can get him to leave them alone.
We also found teaching the dog "stay" and "leave" was invaluable. "leave" when he was already excited by the cats was too late - but doing it as the cats entered to room worked perfectly and the cats learnt that they could just walk past him.
Thank you Carol, I will try and get him to come in. The slow introduction thing kind of went out the window as I had to spend 4 days in hospital (not planned) a couple days after the dog came, my DM was left in charge and in that time the cat did spend one night at home but since then he’s not been in the house but has entered the garden. The dog isn’t much bigger than the cat, slightly smaller than our old dog but similar breed. The cat is huge 🤣 which is why it seems odd that he’s not standing his ground a bit more. He will happily go next door with their large collie. It will be 2 weeks tomorrow I picked the dog up so still early days I guess?
You need to reward your dog for good behaviour - treats when he doesn’t react at all to the cat, so keeping his attention on you, even when behind the stair gate.
I should think you’re right about the weather - outside is a nice place to be right now so he’s staying out. He’ll come around! But you need to keep the dog calm.
One of ours - an 8 year old rescue who had lived with dogs before - took about 4-5 months before she’d come downstairs! Other cat - 18-month-old who’d never lived with dogs before - was happy by day 3. You just can’t tell, and you can’t rush it.
Feliway diffusers would be good, and keep fussing him when the dog is not around. Dreamies or his treat of choice don’t go amiss either!
I think it is quite useful pointing out that you've been rather selfish here. Maybe you won't do this again? And it was you who off handedly said you'd just rehome the cat and keep the dog.
I know it's hard to accept that you've made a mistake here but you have. You're placing stress on your cat when you didn't need to do so. And it's laughable to say ' the cat won't dictate my life.' Errr it's a cat? How are you expecting it to behave?
Stop getting animals without proper planning and then rehoming.
You’re putting this all on the animals and expecting them to sort it out. You need to manage the behaviour. Dog on a lead. Never allowed out in the garden without you. Stay between cat and dog. Monitor and intervene before issues occur.
Silver I haven’t said I wanted to regime the cat it’s the last thing I want to do, I just said that he might move in next door by choice.
Wolf no one can predict how a cat will react to any change in the home, be it a new dog, cat or baby. I did plan and I thought it might take a while. I’m just asking for advice to see if there’s anything I can do to help my cat. I have always had dogs and have always had cats and they have always lived happily in the same house so I wasn’t that concerned about adding another dog to the family, obviously I was wrong but I’m trying to get advice to help fix things but I don’t want to give up and send the dog back after a week as I know cats can take time. Also it’s summer and he would be out a lot anyway so who’s to say he won’t come home when it rains?
How much research did you do prior about the bonding process?
It can take a long, long time and requires an incredible amount of patience. Speaking to an experienced vet or animal behaviourist may help.
In my experience of cats and dogs living together the cat will come round. Telling him off wasnt brilliant....but give him some love and attention away from the dog.
I agree with @nosquirrels completely.
Our cat who we thought was a wimp and who is scared of plastic bags and slippers, was pretty fine with dog straight away - the other who isn't usually bothered by anything was terrified.
2 weeks really is nothing! But I do think you have to try and get the cat in so it can actually get used to the dog if it can and let the cat know it has plenty of it's own space.
I loved my cats more than anything but our dog came from Romania and there was no way he was going to be sent back unless absolutely necessary so I can understand why you don't want to get rid of the dog. Honestly, sometimes you just need some patience and to keep at it.
Thank you, I will try and get the cat in, that all I can really do at the moment as I can’t really do any introduction whilst he’s not in the house.
coral it’s a similar situation with my dog, it wouldn’t be easy just to send him back, he’s not the easiest breed to home and his siblings are still at the rescue with no one showing any interest in them, he was badly treated and has changed so much since he’s been in a stable home, sending him back would destroy him.
I did research, I also posted on here several times about introducing a dog and got some good advice, I didn’t just go out and get the dog without thinking but I probably assumed because we had introduced a dog before that it would be similar this time.
I saw the cat yesterday evening, we managed to have cuddles outside, he let me check him over (wanted to check he had no ticks or wounds), he seemed fine, I tried to get him to come into the house and he came in for a few seconds before leaving again. The dog was behind a gate which I covered so cat couldn’t see him but could smell him, the dog stayed calm. I guess it’s a start, I will try again tonight and leave the door open for him to come in (we don’t have a cat flap).
What’s his favourite meal? Tin of tuna? Chicken? Keep tempting him and reminding him home is best, whilst keeping the dog calm. We found feeding them in eyesight of each other but the cat safely away from the dog was helpful, so our grumpy cat ate a lot of meals on the stairs while the dog ate behind a stair gate nearby. Trickier for you but if you can tempt him into the kitchen doorway for a meal or two then hopefully when the weather turns a bit he’ll be over it and head back inside.
He only really eats dry food so any wet food is very tempting too him. Have bought some dreamies.
He has been in the house this morning with the dog behind the gate and visible, I moved his bowl in the door so he had to come in to eat, he kept coming in and out, sniffing near the dog and taking a bit of food. I then had to go out with the dog and the cat stood in front of the car refusing to move whilst I tried to load the petrified dog into the car. He’s getting braver so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
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