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Cat taking over dog's bed,couch

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I recently adopted 2 cats from a shelter to add to my family after I lost my 14 year old cat. Jack is my 4 year old greyhound/ dalmatian mix who is great with cats and generally has no interest in the girls except to take the occasional sniff if they walk by.

Lola is my alpha kitty (about 7 months old) and has recently (in the past 4 days) started encroaching on my dog's territory. She has started sleeping on his bed pillows (in the middle if he's not on it, or anywhere she can fit if he is). And she has started to lay down in "his corner" of the couch when he is sleeping/ sitting there.

Initially Jack would softly growl to let her know that she was getting into his turf and that he "needs his space". Now he only growls at her sometimes, but mostly just lets her lay down and looks at me like he's about to cry. And he seems to be a little sad/depressed.

Is Lola doing this b/c she's decided that she loves him, or is she doing it to be aggressive/ show dominance? Jack is so tolerant of everything they do, and I feel bad for him and am sad b/c he's sad.

post #2 of 4
I think Lola just likes to nap/sleep there. Cats change their sleeping spots all the time and they don't care whether it is occupied or not. You tell Jack it's probably temporary!
post #3 of 4
My cats love the smell of dogs - they roll all over the dog's bed, collar, backpack, etc. like they're covered in catnip. I'm guessing she might be doing this for the smell & the warmth, and possibly even the companionship.

Does she have a cozy bed of her own? You could put it in Jack's for a while to put his scent on it, then set it nearby for her.

Perhaps there are ways you could make sharing his bed a more positive experience for Jack - you could give him a tummy rub or scritch & Lola a pet whenever you notice he's sharing his bed with her, or even a treat (if he doesn't get aggressive around food) so that he realizes good things happen when Lola is close by.

For the dog's perspective, you might want to check out this link (click here) - it's a 'cats & dogs together' subforum of a dog behavior forum.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the insight and info! Both she and Gretta (my other cat) have fabulously comfy beds (one of them is so soft and comfy that I wish it came in a size big enough for me--oh well). But I guess they like his scent... (Gretta has now started sleeping on Jack's beds--but only when he's not there.)

I do tell Jack that he is a good boy and pet him when he decides to share with Lola, which is maybe why he's allowing it more even though he's not really thrilled about it. I'm just concerned that Jack doesn't have a space of his own--one that is all his and no one else's.

And thank you sooo much for the link. I'm going to check it out!
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