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Scared... and not why I originally thought...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I've noticed that ever since the move to the new house Tryon has been very... well, mean. She's swatting/growling/hissing at the dogs and has tried scratching their faces a few times. The new kitten... well at first she wanted to rip him from limb to limb... now she just growls and hisses from afar. She also slinks from room to room.

The two dogs and the new kitten get along fabulously. They're all very sweet and mean Tryon no harm. Honestly, I think they all just want to snuggle with her.

At first I thought it was the stress of being in a new house, but I noticed that when the dogs are asleep locked in the bedroom and the kitten is somewhere Tryon can't see him she's like... a whole different kitty. She's rolling on her back begging to be pet.. she's playful... she plays with toys... she hangs out in windows. Basically, she's what I would expect of a happy cat.

I'm not really sure what to do about this... do you think there is any way for her to feel comfortable around the other dogs and cat? She was this way before we got the new kitten, so I really don't believe it's him. Honestly, I was hoping adopting the new kitten would help her feel more comfortable... sort of "someone her own size". I really think she's just petrified of dogs.

Is there any way to make her feel more comfortable around the other pets in the house? I'm worried that this stress level is getting too much for her. She's gotten so scared that she spends most of the day behind my tv (the dogs can't get back there) and only comes out once the dogs have been securely locked in the bedroom for at least a half an hour.

I'm really worried about her, and I feel like an idiot that I never put this together before now. Looking back, she always hung out in the bedroom closet in the apartment... and now I realize it was because the dogs weren't in there. I always thought the apartment was so small being in the closet was as good a place as any... but now that there is room in the house to actually move around, she doesn't.

Poor kid
post #2 of 15
Some cats never 'get' dogs, they are afraid of them and may get pretty confrontational, which is scary, because not knowing your dogs, they may decide to take her up on it one day. I'd personally try to keep them separated if at all possible. We have 2 big dogs and while one of our cats is neutral (but scared) with them, another in love with them, the third is just hostile and in their faces (out of fear), so the dogs don't have free run of the house, but have their own room near the back door (where they go into the yard), with a bed, etc. and while the 'in love' cat goes into their room to visit when we feed them, the other stays back and we don't let the dogs get too close. The third cat just doesn't come anywhere near the room at all.
post #3 of 15
Did your cat get along with your dogs prior to the move? It's just the kitten and the move that has changed? I suspect it's mostly the move. Your cat is probably not completly secure in her new home and an insecure cat is usually defensive. You may just need to give it some more time and maintain some distance from the dogs and kitten until she really has the lay of the place.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well I had the dogs first... and I found Tryon a little less than a year ago. I didn't think much of it at the time because she always hung out in the closet, but on the few times she'd come into the living room she would growl at the dogs. Honestly I just thought maybe the pups tried to get into the water dish at the same time as her (I've tried giving her her own dish, but she wont use it. She wants to use the dogs'...) and she was just trying to get them to move. Now that there's more room and I can see whats going on, I really think she just doesn't like dogs.

She seems to be doing better with the kitten... I mean she's not overly thrilled about him yet, but for the most part she just sits and watches him... like shes sussing him out. I have a hunch that will end ok. It's really the dogs she wants dead. She seems absolutely fine with the new house when the dogs are locked in the bedroom (my bf goes to sleep a few hours before me so he takes them in there so Tryon can have some "free time") But there's no way I can keep my dogs locked up all the time. It was bad enough having them in a 900sq ft apartment. They were absolutely depressed and sulky all the time because they could barely move. I can't do that to them again... there's just no way.

But then my bf mentioned to me yesterday how much Tryon likes to sleep in the bathroom sink... so I dug out one of my dog gates and blocked off the bathroom so only she could get in there (luckily I have two ) and it was weird... like she didn't want to stay in there, but having that room blocked off for her made her more confident in the rest of the house. She's still not loving the dogs, but she hasn't tried to take anyones eyes out in a while either It was like... if the dogs came near her, she knew she had a place to run to where they couldnt go.

So for now I have my fingers crossed, but was thinking... do you think rescue remedy or something like that might help make her a little less stressed? I mean, I don't want to drug her or anything.. but thought it might be helpful for a day or so to kind of get used to the whole thing without as much anxiety.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuttigreeMom
But then my bf mentioned to me yesterday how much Tryon likes to sleep in the bathroom sink... so I dug out one of my dog gates and blocked off the bathroom so only she could get in there (luckily I have two ) and it was weird... like she didn't want to stay in there, but having that room blocked off for her made her more confident in the rest of the house. She's still not loving the dogs, but she hasn't tried to take anyones eyes out in a while either It was like... if the dogs came near her, she knew she had a place to run to where they couldnt go.
This sounds like a great idea, and it sounds like it is working too.

I don't know about rescue rememdy - I'd be cautious, personally, about giving my cat something with brandy in it, but I have seen it recommended on the forums here... I think I'd ring my vet first.

Have you tried feliway?
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Eeek! I didn't realize it had brandy in it.

I've never used anything like this before, so I'm not familiar with feliway. I assume it's better than rescue remedy?
post #7 of 15
Feliway is a plug in (like an air freshener) that emits a happy phermone that most cats find calming (though some apparently ignore it). It is totally scentless to us. It is worth trying - make sure you either have enough to cover the whole house (our house is small enough that we only need 1!) or that you put it in (or near) the room that she is most often in.

I'm not really familar with Rescue Remedy's feline applications, and I've never taken it myself, though I know people who swear by it.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Sounds neat... and if anything, it's worth a try!

Is this something I can buy anywhere, something I'd have to order online or something I'd have to get from my vet?
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuttigreeMom
Sounds neat... and if anything, it's worth a try!

Is this something I can buy anywhere, something I'd have to order online or something I'd have to get from my vet?
I get it at my vets' - from what I've seen from other TCS posters I think USAers can get it in PetSmart.
post #10 of 15
Sounds like she just needs some dog free zones. When we let our fosters out of their bedroom, we keep the dog blocked out of the room, so the kitties have a place to get away from the dog.

Blocking the bathroom sounds like a start. Could you make her kitty space a little larger, like a spare bedroom? Otherwise, maybe block the dogs out of the master bedroom by day, so she can hide in there. Also some tall places for her to get away from them is a good idea.
post #11 of 15
I think a combination of using the feliway plug-ins (which you can get at almost any pet store or online, amazon seems to have the best prices if you're ordering more than one, but petsmart isn't too much more per unit) along with giving her dog safe places, like the bathroom, and a nice high, sturdy cat tree or other place she can get to easily and will enjoy hanging out where the dogs can't reach her. Hopefully your cat will respond to the feliway and not feel so stressed by the dogs.
post #12 of 15
i dont think rescue remedy has brandy in it...at least it doesnt list it as an ingredient on the website
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by OGnStub
i dont think rescue remedy has brandy in it...at least it doesnt list it as an ingredient on the website
Properly made Rescue Remedy does have Brandy in it - I don't know about specific brands or whatever though.

Having said that - a friend of mine started using it during exams last year, and was waxing lyrical about how calm it made him, and I made a joke about it, along the lines of 'of course it makes you relaxed, it's brandy!' - he didn't realise, and when he pulled it out to look at the ingredients, it was listed on the bottle; so the commonly available commerical stuff here definately does contain it.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Shh! Don't jinx it!

I think we've had a break through

I don't think she's in love with the dogs or anything, but right now Tryon is curled up in a ball next to my desk and the dogs are here too. And this afternoon I actually saw her play (she swatted at one of those plastic dumbell looking things with a ball inside).

Oh... *and* she was sunbathing with Peewee this afternoon. Not like next to each other, but they were sharing the same door.


Ooh maybe we're getting somewhere!
post #15 of 15
This definately sounds like progress.

Good luck.
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