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post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My cat I got from the shelter HATES the dogs. I have a beagle, and a springer spaniel. We have the baby gate up so the dogs can't bug her since she's been here for just a little under a month. But everytime one of the dogs comes up to the gate she hisses, growls, and eventually if they get to close she tries to attack them. In a few weeks I'd like to take the baby gate down because she has got to get used to the dogs because its very annoying trying to get down the stairs when you have to climb over a 3 ft baby gate. Should I just let it down and hope she lets the dogs know to just leave her alone?
post #2 of 4
Nope, not till you have the dogs under your command and know they won't hurt the cat. They are supposed to be enemies, it takes time for them to adjust. I would suggest you just keep crawling over the gate till things calm down.
post #3 of 4
Yup you might also want to take your dos to obedience class, if they have not gone yet, so you have control over them when the gate is eventually removed.
post #4 of 4
Do you own crates? I would recommend trying a daily session where the dogs are crated (as long as they are relatively calm when crated), and the cat is free to go up to the crate & investigate the dogs freely without feeling threatened. Then go back to the baby gate system for the rest of the day. Try this until the cat seems more comfortable around the dogs (it may take a while, especially if the cat has had a bad experience in the past).

Once she seems a little less threatened by them, try a session where one dog is crated, and the other is confined on a leash. Teaching the dogs to "settle" see link: settle (the article continues on the page after a long blank space, so keep scrolling) is a VERY useful command in this situation. The dog lays quietly, while the cat is free to investigate. If the cat attacks the dog, the dog can be crated or the cat can be moved to the baby-gated area. You'll have the leash on the dog to maintain control of the situation. It takes time and patience, but peace can be achieved, as long as the dogs are calm & respect the cat's boundaries. Using Feliway spray or diffuser may help the cat to feel more at home - remember that from her perspective, she's facing the double threat of new surroundings AND dogs (and TWO dogs, at that!). Providing places around the house where the cat can safely retreat (tall cat trees and other hideaways) should help the cat to feel more comfortable as well.

We did the reverse - I brought my 3 cats into my husband's house with his dog, and I got a new dog. My cats absolutely hated the dogs at first, but things are peaceful now. The dogs know to respect the cats and give them space, and the cats don't bother the dogs. They'll never be buddies, like my husband's dog and cat are, but it's a peaceful house at least.

This article might help too:
Introducing a dog into a cat household

Even after peace is achieved, please be very careful to feed your dogs separately from your cat, if your dogs are at all posessive of their food. You wouldn't want a simple spat over food to result in a tragedy.

*I'm assuming here that the dogs are accustomed to cats, and are not doing anything to indicate to you that they view the cat as prey. If you have any concerns about the dogs attacking the cat, proceed with caution - it might be better to consult a professional behaviorist, or to find the cat another home. Dogs who are gentle alone may behave very differently in groups (and two is a group when it comes to dogs).
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