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He's not coping!
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#1 Pretty Boy Floyd

Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:48 PM

After waiting years and years ('til the time was 'right') my husband and I have finally gotten a dog. We adopted a three year old bulldog, and he really is lovely. He has settled in beautifully,and he is well trained. He's fantastic with the kids, and after having him with us almost a month now, I'm so in love.

One problem- we have a five year old tom cat who is not coping. We have put a baby gate up in our bedroom doorway and the dog is not allowed in, so effectively the cat can come and go as he pleases. Except he has hardly left the room for weeks now.  
The dog is inside during the day with the kids and I, and is also inside on the days that I'm at work. He sleeps in the garage, so the cat can roam the house during the night- but he's not. He's staying put in our room except to briefly use his litter tray in the laundry.
He wasn't eating at all so I've moved his biscuits into the bedroom.
He sleeps all day in our bed, then wakes up and watches us from the bedroom until I come to bed. He's peeing in our room a bit, which he has done on and off his whole life. I'm washing like crazy! He's still cuddly and affectionate after I come to bed, he just won't leave the room!

The dog is very much a 'people dog' and is with me all the time, follows me around the house, so they have come face to face a few times, between the gate. The dog didn't show any aggressive behavior at first, but the cat hisses and spits and swipes if he sees him- so now the dog will bark at the cat. He only barks once, and quite softly, so still not really aggressive at all.

I guess I just don't really know what to do now. Is it just a matter of time, will the cat eventually start to come out into the house with us more and more? I'd like them to be able to live harmoniously, I realise they will probably never be mates.
Is it cruel to leave the cat 'abandoned' in a room by himself, because that's what it feels like!?
I'm not really willing to leave the dog outside as he has come from a home where he was majority indoors and that's what hes used too. I'd also eventually like to have the dog inside during the night rather than in the garage as he doesn't really like to go in there.

Please give me hints and tips to make this work!



#2 leJadie

Posted 12 November 2012 - 06:58 AM

It can take a while to adjust, especially if the cat was there first.  It took a couple of months for my dogs to get use to our new kitten when we got her and at the start I thought they never would. But now they all love each other.

Is it possible for you to maybe remove the cat from the room for short periods of time? Bring it out on the lounge to sit with you or something?

#3 Faradaye

Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:14 AM

Congratulations on your bulldog - they are gorgeous!

I think it's just a matter of time for the cat to get used to the new situation.

Don't worry too much about what the cat is feeling emotionally.  He's not in there saying to himself "Why have they done this to me?  Is it my fault?  I can't believe they have abandoned me like this!" or anything like that.  Remember he is just a cat.  He's just smelling a new smell and doesn't know what it is and wants to stay in his safe haven until he builds up his confidence.

They probably won't ever become best buddies, but cats are usually very good at sorting out dogs and putting them in their place if there is ever a confrontation.  Eventually they should sort things out and live in peace.  Even if that means the dog gets a scratch on the nose and learns to leave said cat well alone, and cat learns that he just needs to stay up high to be away from the dog.

Just give it time, and don't force a confrontation before they are ready.  As in, don't think it's about time for puss to meet puppy, and take puss in your arms over to the dog.

What you could do is let the cat see the dog on other side of the gate, and let the cat react however he wants.

#4 RebelWithoutAClaws

Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:21 AM

I think continually separating them is going to slow the process down, a LOT.

I'd be tempted to just let them be and see what happens. Though I am guessing you already did that, which is why you've put up the baby gate because you were worried the cat was being harrassed?

Have you got a really tall cat tree??

I ask because when we got Syd (the cat - he was 12 weeks), Elly (the rottweiler) fixated on him and followed him EVERYWHERE. We joke that she thinks he's her boyfriend. She just stares at him and sometimes will lick him. Even now, almost 2 years later, she is obsessed with him. She pays attention to the other cats, but rarely more than a passing lick. He would get away from her by scaling up the cat tree. That way he had a safe place away from her, but he was still with his servants family. Now we will walk near them, but tries to avoid them mostly.

Our other cats were all wary of the dogs at first, but once they figured out the dogs weren't going to hurt them, they are fine. Bert (the ginger cat) gives the dogs facials. In fact yesterday we bought Elly a new bed and she got on it and laid down and Bert got on it with her and then proceeded to wrestle her tail hehehe

They may very well never *like* each other, but hopefully you can get them to a place where they can at least tolerate each other.

Also our cats don't jump over our pet gate, have you seen your cat jump over it? Could it be the gate why the cat is staying in there?

Edited by PussyDids, 12 November 2012 - 08:26 AM.


#5 Missy Shelby

Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:38 AM

QUOTE (Faradaye @ 12/11/2012, 09:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think it's just a matter of time for the cat to get used to the new situation.

Don't worry too much about what the cat is feeling emotionally.  He's not in there saying to himself "Why have they done this to me?  Is it my fault?  I can't believe they have abandoned me like this!" or anything like that.  Remember he is just a cat.

Sorry Faradaye but I actually disagree with alot you have said here.

I have been around cats since I was a child and I can definitely say that some things cats (and animals in general) will never get used to.

For instance one of my cats travels terribly in the car, no matter how many time we have taken her to the vet for different reasons she will always get upset and never ever copes well, she is 10 years old and every time I am driving I always think to myself that she should be used to it but she isn't and I don't think she ever will be.

I think sometimes we have to look at it from our pets perspective, your cat OP had been free to roam around your house, feeling comfortable and safe and free of any threats.  That has completely changed now and I can imagine that he would be feeling quite scared and upset now.  Just because we are dealing with animals here does not mean that they do not feel emotions.  I know my cats definitely feel happiness, fear, anger, contentment really the list goes on.

Lastly, my cats and not "just cats" they are treated like members of our family.  By the sounds of it OP your cat is like this and it seems as though you have done everything imaginable to make him feel safe with this new change.

I hope that it all works out for you all.

#6 Pretty Boy Floyd

Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:12 PM

Thank you all so much for your replies.

He can get over the gate as we've always had gates around the house to keep the kids out of the kitty litter etc  biggrin.gif  I have heard him jump over the gate in the middle of the night too...

The cat tree is a great idea. I guess, thinking about the layout of our house, there really aren't that many safe places he can go where the dog can't. If I was to put one in the living room I'm sure he'd find that irresistible.

I think I will get him a tree, and bring him out of the bedroom for at least short periods everyday, so he needs to see the dog, and see that we can all spend time together.
I'm also worried though, that if they do have a confrontation and he swipes at/hurts the dog, the dog will bite him or snap in self defense, in which case the dog is just so big he could really hurt him without meaning to. I'd feel terrible to let that happen.

My husband thinks that I should move his food out of our room and that he will have to come out when he's hungry.. would anyone really recommend this? I'm reluctant.

Thanks again, I can't wait for this to all be settled, its exhausting.

#7 RebelWithoutAClaws

Posted 13 November 2012 - 08:42 AM

OP Elly sometimes puts her nose where it is not wanted (she gets a mood where she wants to nudge the cats.) Some of them LOVE it, but Oscar and Syd in particular don't appreciate it. Oscar has swiped at her several times, but I think dogs, just like humans can read the cats body language and Elly tends to move before there is any contact.

Syd quite happily will curl up in the hammock bed at the top of the tree and pretend the dogs aren't there LOL

I recommend a TALL tree original.gif

#8 dreamingofcats

Posted 14 November 2012 - 11:29 AM

QUOTE
I'm also worried though, that if they do have a confrontation and he swipes at/hurts the dog, the dog will bite him or snap in self defense, in which case the dog is just so big he could really hurt him without meaning to. I'd feel terrible to let that happen.


My mastiff x got taken down by my tabby cat. She smacked him fair in the face and we had to give him eye drops for a few weeks as she infected his eye. Dont underestmiate a p*ssed off cat, LOL.

#9 FaithHopeLove

Posted 14 November 2012 - 11:42 AM

Hi op just to add sounds like your cat is stressed - i find feliway (which contains happy cat pheramones) very helpful. you can buy as a spray or plug-in. i also have bookshelves in a couple of rooms - empty of books but allows the cats to peer down from above.

I wouldnt try moving the food as i would be concerned about the cat becoming more stressed.

One last thing - have you tried getting the cat to sleep on a towel or just rub him with it then use the same towel on the dog so they smell a bit friendlier? cant hurt!

Good luck!




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