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Newly adopted kitty not adjusting well

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I adopted Max, a 3yr male tiger striped kitty, from the SPCA about a month ago. He is very docile and he will let you carry him around hold him all day long. But, he is not adjusting at all. He still hides in a bedroom. I have a St Bernard,Ginger, she is very gentle and loving. However, Max freaks everytime he sees her. Last night was the worst. Little Max was in my lap and Ginger came walking in. Max started hissing and spitting at her so, I got up to take him back to the bedroom he stays in. He continued to hiss at the dog the next thing I know Max bit me hard on one arm and scratched the other.

I want max to be happy here and so far all he has done is hide and be stressed over the dog. What can I do to help him adjust better?

post #2 of 4
Maybe poor Max was chased and terrified by a large dog. SB's are one heck of a dog for a little cat! Did the shelter say Max was used to dogs? If not, then you may have to return him and see what cat they have available that is better suited for dogs.

If you want to keep Max, I suggest you leash or crate your Bernard or keep her in a down stay and let Max loose. When you take him back to the bedroom you are reenforcing that there is something to be afraid of. Let Max decide when he wants to make friends.

Do you have a tall treehouse scratching post where Max can feel safer as he observes the dog?
post #3 of 4
We have a cat room, with a baby gate across it. The bottom of the gate is 4 inches above the floor, for quick entry. I know my dogs "could" knock the gate down, but they don't. They don't even enter that room if I leave the gate open when I am in there.

We also put a gate separating the main floor into two sections. Dogs on one side and cats on the other. At first, they would sit there just watching each other. Zoey would hiss, eventually scratching Ben's nose. He is terrified of her.

Let Max decide how fast the introductions go. If he gets upset around Ginger, let him be the one to decide how far or where he has to go to be comfortable. Don't encourage Ginger to get close to him, just let Max get used to seeing her in the house. He can watch you playing with Ginger or giving her pats/rubs/comb outs. How old is Ginger? Puppy or mellow adult?

Two fo my s-i-ls had St Bernards and they are wonderful dogs. Give them time to get to know each other. It took months before Zoey didn't move when the dogs walked over to her. She now sleeps on their dog beds and they sleep on the floor.
post #4 of 4
Here is an article on introducing cats to dogs that may help you: http://www.thecatsite.com/Behavior/5...s-to-Dogs.html

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