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new aggression toward dog

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
We've had a dog for 8 years and 9 months ago adopted a 7-month old kitten. The dog had no problem socializing (she always wanted to play) and things were going well. One month ago we adopted a 4-month old kitten. Everyone was starting to get along really well.

A week after bringing home the kitten I woke to a lot of noise in the next room. I'm not real sure what was going on, but all three were in there; the dog and kitten were on the floor, the cat on the table. Well, I got scared and flipped out on the dog - she was probably just playing too rough.

Since then, the cat has been very skittish and somewhat anti-social (she used to be very affectionate). And, now when the dog chases the kitten, the cat will come running and attack the dog. Also, even though the older one didn't meow much before, not she's not making any noise (other than very occasional purring).

We were so close to being one big happy family - any ideas?
post #2 of 6
Have you taken the now skittish cat to the vet to be sure she is okay? I have to introduce cats and kittens to my shephard quite a bit. I never leave them alone unsupervised until they have been exposed to each other gradually within the period of about 3 months. Once I am sure they are going to get along, then they are left to run and play together. Apparently your dog hurt your cat, and now your cat is looking out for the kitten. I would pull them away from each other and start over, using basic obedience commands with your dog and introducing them slowly again over time.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the response. I have not taken her to the vet, but just made an appt. And I learned that one of the vets in the practice specializes in behavior problems and he trains shephards (our dog is a shephard, also).

I'll keep you posted!
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
It's the strangest thing - seems that since Madeline (the 1 1/2 yr old) went after the dog, things have started to change a little. She's out of the bedroom, following me around again, and just this afternoon jumped on my lap to be petted and was purring. She's venturing downstairs again, and is letting the dog get closer and closer. Maybe she just needed to prove something to the dog? Anyway, I'm happy and we'll see what the next few days brings!
post #5 of 6
Dogs are so much bigger than cats and can inflict a lot of damage if they aren't properly trained and/or socialized to cats. You don't want to always blame the dog for a source of a problem, but they are the ones that need the most forceful training. We trained 2 greyhounds to ignore the cats - and you have to realize that they have been bred for 1000 years to chase down and kill small furry animals, so this was not a small feat. Shephards are much more eager to work for you and please you than sight hounds. Suggest obedience training for your dog and additional coaching for you and any family members. If everyone in the household is not consistent, any investment you made in training will fail.

I find it interesting that your older cat is going after the dog after the incident with the kitten. It sounds like your cat has fully accepted the kitten as family and is defending her pride. My Bogart is the most affectionate cat to all newcomers UNLESS they misbehave with anyone (human or fur) in the family - in which case he will attack them (he has done this twice in his life). He calms down once the bad pet falls in line with the pride.

Good luck! It sounds like you have wonderful babies to work with!!
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for you concern and suggestions.

Everyone is happy again (especially me!) The Madeline (the cat) and Ashes (the kitten) are very playful again, Madeline is sleeping and purring in my lap again, and Sadie (the dog) is being very patient in trying to re-establish her friendship with Madeline!
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