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Out of Control Cat...

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello Everyone! Was browsing the site and figured maybe i could get some help....

I have a cat that i bought when she was a kitten....now 4.5 years old. I never had a problem with her as a kitten. At the time i was living by myself, so i was gone 8 hours of the day. As she was getting older i noticed that when i got home she would bite at my heels, bite at my legs, and do just about anything for attention.

That being said, i bought her a playmate. Another female. It was pretty typical at first, the older cat being very territorial, but eventually she was fine with it. I didn't get the younger cat spayed quick enought, so after a few months she started spraying. My older cat started eliminating here and there around the house. Not enough to warrant an illness or a UTI, just ever so often. As soon as i got the younger one spayed, and i cleaned everything up thoroughly things went back to normal, although she was still sporadically eliminating in places other than the litter box.

Then about 8 months ago we got a puppy. From day one my puppy has chased and aggrivated the cats. The younger cat seems to deal with it fine, but my older cat has ruined:

One Area Rug
Two Computer Chairs
A couch
A couch cover
Two dog beds

I've dealt with it pretty well......until this morning when she actually peed on the dog. I love the cat, and i've been so patient, and my wife has been very patient....but it's getting to a point where it's going to cost me hundreds (maybe more) of dollars to even treat this. And at this point i just cant afford the cost!!

I'm almost 100% positive it's just stress/anxiety related. The cat is very affectionate to me, and typically to males. Not so much females. Has anyone tried any OTC perscriptions? Can anyone make any other suggestions?

Sorry for the rant!
post #2 of 12
Yes. GET RID OF THE DOG. It is the source of the stress and anxiety for your poor cats.
post #3 of 12
First suggestion, get her vet checked. It is possible she's got a UTI, which would cause the spraying. You can't address it as a behavioral problem until you've ruled out health problems.

Second, train the dog to not chase/terrorize the cats. It is very important that you do so, because IMO, the dog thinks it's alpha over you which is a bad thing. If you say "stop" & he does so when terrorizing the cats, you are alpha. If he doesn't list at all, he is alpha.

Invest in a Feliway diffuser. Buy cat trees & make a "kitty haven" for the cats where the dog cannot access.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarasgirl06 View Post
Yes. GET RID OF THE DOG. It is the source of the stress and anxiety for your poor cats.
In all fairness, i'm not getting rid of any of my animals. I treat them all as family. If you had two children, and one is a good child and the other one is a terror, would you give the bad one up for adoption just because they have a problem? That would be just plain silly. I love my animals and would do anything to help them, but getting rid of them is not a solution.

White Cat,

In regards to what you said....my dog is actually very obedient to me. But she is still very much a puppy. I can tell her no a dozen times, and she'll listen. But she still has the memory of a gnat. I really hope she starts growing out of this phase of her life and learns to be more accepting of the cats, and vice versa. The younger cat actually has no problem with the dog....sometimes she does a better job diciplining the dog than i do!

My couch has to be replaced. I was just hoping to maybe get this under control before i started buying new furniture. And i just hate the idea of taking her to the vet and having to pony up 200 bucks for an office visit and testing!

I actually tried feliway before when the other cat was spraying and she was following behind her. I didn't see any astonishing results, albeit it did help somewhat.....
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarasgirl06 View Post
Yes. GET RID OF THE DOG. It is the source of the stress and anxiety for your poor cats.
I STRONGLY disagree with this, do not "get rid" of the dog. Train the dog. Do not allow the dog to annoy the cats, even if you have to use a long leash until puppy learns to understand do not chase/accidently hurt cats. What type of exercise is this dog getting? Do the cats have places that are dog free zones?
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cococat View Post
I STRONGLY disagree with this, do not "get rid" of the dog. Train the dog. Do not allow the dog to annoy the cats, even if you have to use a long leash until puppy learns to understand do not chase/accidently hurt cats. What type of exercise is this dog getting? Do the cats have places that are dog free zones?
I try to give my dog as much excercise as possible....I take her in the morning before work, usually my wife gets home before me and takes her for a longer walk after work, and we also take her out twice before bed!

The cats have a few places to be that the dog cant get to them. We are slightly cramped for space right now....but are going to find a bigger place in the spring that will allow some separation between them....
post #7 of 12
This is a short term problem, and should be treated as such.

Are there enough UP places for the cats to flee to? Once they've discovered they have trouble outrunning the puppy, they will want to perch somewhere, out of his reach, and laugh at him. See if you can come up with places for them to do that.

Does the puppy have a crate or otherwise a quiet time where the cats can roam the house freely for a while? This will help reduce their stress by letting them stay in touch with their old routines.

It sounds like your older cat has problems with any animal interaction. I imagine the two cats are not buddies. Even though the younger cat is modeling the proper ways to deal with the puppy, the older cat can't model it back.

It would seem the older cat needs a new routine that will keep her away from the puppy. If you have a room where the puppy never goes and the other cat can, your solitary cat can establish herself there, away from stresses, and form new routines as you go in and play with her there.

You'll get more room, the puppy will develop an attention span, and the future will be brighter. Right now, your task is to give the cat in most trouble, what she most needs.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Actually, she's a very small dog! (Yorkie) And she's actually the sweetest dog you will probably ever meet. But she cant get to ANY high places. My cats spend most of their time on the window ledge or even on top of the TV.

I keep the dog crated at all times when we are not home. So they actually get 8 hours in the day and 6-8 hours at night to freely roam.

It's strange since all of this went down yesterday, my younger cat is really upset with the older cat because every time she passed by the older cat last night she would hiss and run. Any thoughts on what might be the deal with that? Is the younger cat trying to tell me that she disapproves of the older cat's actions??
post #9 of 12
We have just introduced two 20 week old kittens (now 6 months old) into our home and we have two Chocolate Labs. It has taken upto now for all of them to get on. The kittens were very wary at first and Dudley my youngest Lab has a reall dislike of cats fter a big balck and white tom used torment her at our old house. We have had a few disagreements but now they all get on ok and all even had a mutual cleaning session of each other yesterday.

The one kitten is still peeing in various places but she is the tortie and so is a bit of a wild child compared to the other one

We are making sure the litter tray is always clean and also making sure that the areas she has peed on are all cleaned with biological washing liquid ( breaks down the enzymes) and are using a pet mess deodorizer.

We are also get a catflap fitted at the weekend so hopefully this will encourage them to go out when they feel the need to go to the toilet .

Lucy
xx
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by emallon View Post


In all fairness, i'm not getting rid of any of my animals. I treat them all as family. If you had two children, and one is a good child and the other one is a terror, would you give the bad one up for adoption just because they have a problem? That would be just plain silly. I love my animals and would do anything to help them, but getting rid of them is not a solution.
No, but I might send the problem one off to boarding school, either a military one or one run by a very strict religious order.

That being said, you really should have given more thought to anticipating problems. You knew that the one cat had trouble adapting to new animals, and you chose a terrier. Terriers have strong pursuit instincts with respect to animals that behave like prey and also have lots and lots of energy. I would have suggested a hound breed, myself; they tend to get along with cats far better than terriers.

I second that you should establish a dog-free zone in the house and concentrate on training the dog. Where's Caesar Milan when you need him?
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zane's Pal View Post
Where's Caesar Milan when you need him?
I think he was sued too many times for hurting and killing the dogs he was attempting to train. Jan Fennell is the behaviorist to follow.

When I brought our puppies into our household, some of the cats had a very bad time adjusting to them, mostly peeing in their kennels or their beds. Had I let the dogs on the sofa, they probably would have marked them also.

Since the cats had the run of the house before the puppies arrived, I let them have the majority of the house and left the puppies in 3 adjoining rooms. I put a tall cat tree in that area in case the cats were in there and they could use it to get away. Between the cats and I, we trained the puppies to respect the cats and once they got over that hump, all marking stopped.

At 4 years old, our dogs have total respect to the cats, to the point that if a cat is sleeping on the sofa, the dogs will not jump up with them because they know it will disturb them. Instead, they come to me and ask if they can jump up. If I move the cat, the answer is yes. I can feed our cats their wet food on the floor in front of the dogs and the dogs will not attempt to eat it unless we tell them the cats are done.

I mentioned Jan Fennell's name earlier because we do use her techniques with our dogs and have established ourselves at the top of the pecking order with the cats second and the dogs third. I think you can work yourself out of this situation with a little bit of coaching and a lot of patience.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
It's strange since all of this went down yesterday, my younger cat is really upset with the older cat because every time she passed by the older cat last night she would hiss and run. Any thoughts on what might be the deal with that? Is the younger cat trying to tell me that she disapproves of the older cat's actions??
This is probably due to all the stress between the cats. We had two cats growing up who didn't like each other, but got along most of the time. Anytime a new cat or dog showed up at the house, things went beserk. They didn't just act weird toward the new animal, but also towards each other.

One of my friends pet-sitted one of my cats for a few weeks. The single addition caused her cats to completely reverse the old pecking order. The top cat hid and was scared of my cat and her bottom cat. The bottom cat suddenly decided to be top cat and attacked anything that tried to go upstairs (including humans).

Point being, both cats are stressed, and they're showing it in different ways.

Some ideas:
* Crating the dog for now is a good idea to give them some peace. It will still aggravate them though just because they can see/smell the dog.
* Always greet the cats first when you come home. Also feed them first.
* Get them a tall cat tree, or even two. You can buy very large ones on eBay for extremely cheap (our 7 foot tree was $40).
* Feliway. Also try Rescue Remedy, some people swear by it.
* Obedience training classes. It seems people only do this for big dogs, but small dogs need classes too!
* Give the cats attention in a room which does not have the dog and the door is shut. They need one room (possibly one room each), that they can claim as their territory. Never allow the dog in those rooms. After a year, you won't need to enforce this yourself; the cats will do it for you. Our girls each had their own room since they weren't buddy-buddy, and it sounds like yours are the same. Hopefully, they will eventually declare one room to be the neutral zone with the dog, most likely the family room or your bedroom.
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