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Cat won’t come home due to new dog.

(59 Posts)
Lovemusic33 Tue 09-Jul-19 22:11:11

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.

Lovemusic33 Mon 22-Jul-19 12:07:29

Thanks Coral ,the cats co img in more and more each day, yesterday he strolled in and ate some of the dogs diner and strolled out again, ddog just stood their looking mortified. He still won’t spend the night indoors but is happily walking in and out (past the dog). The dog has attempted to chase several times but I have managed to hold on to him or tell him ‘no’.

coral13 Mon 22-Jul-19 10:45:11

@lovemusic33 That's great - I'm so happy for you!

(I deleted the mumsnet app but just logged in to see if you'd posted an updare!)

Lovemusic33 Wed 17-Jul-19 19:53:33

The cats been in and out throughout the day today, even managed cuddles in the garden with the dog near me (me in between them), at one point the cat walked up to the dog and rubbed himself along the dog. The dog then decided he would chase the cat but the cat didn’t run and swiped the dogs nose, the cat then left but has returned since. So things are looking up and with rain forecast this weekend I suspect the cat will be coming in even more.

LittleLongDog Wed 17-Jul-19 14:18:49

I’m glad the cat’s coming back. Don’t rush things now that it’s looking positive.

IMO the dog should be scared of the cat at the moment. The cat has to be able to put the dog in it’s place, it’s much more vulnerable than the dog and feels so. Don’t tell it off for hissing/swiping. Dogs bounce back from a telling off much quicker than cats do (as you’ve found out).

Ginmel Wed 17-Jul-19 14:06:32

Fancy seeing you here @Lovemusic33 and boy you got a hard time on here. Hope everything is settling down and you are feeling better too

BlackDogWhiteCat Wed 17-Jul-19 11:22:54

we have similar to medusa
We have 2 cats aged 15 and 4, they love each other and sleep and eat together.
We have had a puppy since April (he's now 6 months old) The puppy isn't allowed upstairs and we have a gate in place.
The cats were abit wary at first, ran upstairs and hid. (they have their own room and all of upstairs)
Now they sit on the stairs and old cat will touch noses with puppy through the gate. They go in and out at their leisure but prefer it if dog is in another room when they do so. The young cat has come into the lounge when puppy is in there, just walked round and left....I feed the cats upstairs and they sleep on my bed where they are spoilt with Dreamies. Puppy is a large Lab so i think he's abit bouncy for them at the moment. I think it's going to take a while longer yet but things are improving.

StillMedusa Wed 17-Jul-19 09:37:45

We have a similar scenario.. two cats (well one and half as Obie is so unfaithful) and picked up our puppy last weekend.
Obie couldn't care less.. he never comes in the living room, but eats then goes upstairs for a kip, so he saw puppy (behind stairgate) and went 'meh..where's my dinner?'
Ophie we knew would not be happy. So weeks prior we set the crate out, plugged feliway all around the house, and started leaving ds1s window open as she sometimes comes in that way anyway.
First day... saw puppy in garden and ran off.
Day 2 came to the upstairs window and ate dreamies there... shouted at me how I had ruined her life and then went to sulk in next door's garden.
Day three.. came into the bedroom and had a cuddle on the bed and food, and ventured to the stairs.
Today... came in, ate food, came into my bedroom for a cuddle, walked downstairs and had dreamies in the kitchen, glared at sleeping puppy and then went back upstairs to sleep..she's there now.

Puppy will NOT be allowed upstairs until she is a much older calmer dog. Realistically I am expecting it will take many months before Ophie feels ok to be in the room, and until then we are taking it in turns to give her maximum fuss upstairs. (Ds1 is delighted that she slept with him last night!)

I really do think the feliway plug in is helping. I was desperately worried that she would run away, but DS2 is an adult with autism and mild learning disability and the ONLY thing he has ever asked for was a dog to love. Now I am reasonably sure she isn't going to run away and has made amazing progress for just 4 days..she's never been near a dog before.

She is getting lots of dreamies....

NoSquirrels Tue 16-Jul-19 20:17:56

Oh good! The more he comes in and nothing happens the easier it will get. Keep up the bribing with Dreamies and tuna!

Lovemusic33 Tue 16-Jul-19 18:27:23

He’s slowly getting braver and will come in for food, has come into the living room through the back door and walked past the dog. He’s still not sleeping indoors but he’s coming in a lot more (2-3 times a day) to sniff around.

coral13 Sat 13-Jul-19 20:42:14

@Lovemusic33 that's great to hear! smile

Lovemusic33 Fri 12-Jul-19 11:28:33

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.

NoSquirrels Fri 12-Jul-19 09:24:24

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.

Lovemusic33 Fri 12-Jul-19 08:29:04

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).

Lovemusic33 Thu 11-Jul-19 17:58:42

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.

coral13 Thu 11-Jul-19 16:23:41

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.

PolarBearOnARaft Thu 11-Jul-19 12:41:31

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.

Meowington Thu 11-Jul-19 12:06:34

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.

Lovemusic33 Thu 11-Jul-19 12:02:20

Silver I haven’t said I wanted to regime the cat hmm 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?

Wolfiefan Thu 11-Jul-19 10:42:51

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.

SilverTheCat Thu 11-Jul-19 09:13:50

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?

NoSquirrels Thu 11-Jul-19 08:40:53

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!

Lovemusic33 Thu 11-Jul-19 08:18:46

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?

coral13 Thu 11-Jul-19 08:10:14

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.

coral13 Thu 11-Jul-19 08:05:18

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?

Lovemusic33 Thu 11-Jul-19 07:50:25

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 🙂

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