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I think my cat is paranoid...

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hi all..... This is my first post so I apologize if it is a bit lengthy. My cat Sandy is 5 yrs old and has always been very social and vocal. In fact she is more vocal than my dog (his name is Maximus).... which leads to my problem. Max is just about a year old. We have had him since he was 8wks (so that works out to about 10 months). At first, he was just too hyper to let him have the run of the house so we have separated the house into 2 halves using a baby gate. Since then, Sandy refuses to come into "Max's side" of the house except to eat (the food is in the kitchen which is one that side. If I hold her and bring her to the living room (also on that side) she clings to me for dear life and cries incessantly. Her ears go back, her eyes dialate and she looks generally terrified. Unfortunately the main living space is on that side of the house. After 10 months I had hoped she would be used to the dog by now. Should I force them to socialize? What about a prescription to clam her down?

post #2 of 3
No, please don't force them to socialize. That would just make it worse.

One thing I might try is to associate pleasant and fun experiences for her with being near the dog, but still with the security of the baby gate between her and the dog. I would move her food and water to her side of the gate. Then, in the vicinity of the gate, but with the dog restrained elsewhere out of sight, play with her interactively, give her praise and attention, and give her treats. Once she is comfortable with being in the vicinity of the gate, however long this takes, then you can introduce the dog, but keep Max restrained at a distance from the gate. Again, feed, play and treat while she can see the dog. Then, if this is going well, you can let Max loose so he comes up to the gate. If at any point she continues to show fear, just let her run away and hide. If this all works out well, then you can eventually remove the gate so they can interact. But don't force that until she's ready, or you'll be back to square one.

There's an article about introducing cats and dogs in the "Behavior" section of TCS (link at top of page), and here's another: http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.ph...gintroductions

Good luck!!
post #3 of 3
I would not let the dog loose on the cat at any time until the dog has been through obedience classes and passed with flying colors. You cannot control the cat, your focus is to control the dog. In nature they are enemies, and your description of your cat tells me that this cat is clearly terrified and not even seeing you playing and interacting with this dog is going to calm her down. She will just start shunning you because you smell like the dog. If you have any interaction with the cat, wear another set of clothes than what you wore when you played with Max. As terrified as she sounds over this dog, she could easily stress herself out to the point that she quits eating. I would keep her away from Max until you are sure that Max is compliant, obedient and he respects you-

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