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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well we've had Nelson for over a year now and I would have thought for sure by now, the novelty of Spencer the cat would have worn off... :angry:
Thus it has not. Poor Spencer is going to be 10 on Feb. 15th...and I just feel so bad for him that he is so tortured by Nelson.

Spencer is a Ragdoll, so they are very laid back, non-confrontational breed of cat. Doesn't hiss, really swat, growl nothing...doesn't stand up for himself at all. Casey my 1st cat did this with Andy after about a year...and after that they were best buds. And they co-existed.

The only time Spencer has peace is upstairs. However, he is a very social cat, and follows me around, so he comes downstairs quite a bit. We have baby gates up still, and the dining room doors closed, so when he comes down there he can go in there. But it's really sad he can't even walk around downstairs in his own house...and he was here first!!!

The funny part is, Nelson and Spencer travel together in the car for HOURS, and sleep curled up with each other. 2 hours to our cabin, and they did 12 hours to vacation this summer. So they CAN tolerate each other. But when Spencer comes downstairs its game on...

Maybe I should video tape what happens instead of trying to explain it?? I feel like a zoo keeper, its trying to move one animal in the next room while the others moves about, without an issue occuring. Basically Nelson "herds" Spencer around. And everything is ok, if Spencer moves slowly. But if he gets irritated and walks faster to get away, Nelson will start biting, and basically attack him. I've had to seperate them and hair has gone flying. Good thing Spencer has really long thick hair, I don't think Nelson has ever gotten his skin...yet. It's just really sad for Spencer. I thought for sure Nelson would have been over it by now.

Then Nelson gets into a frenzy when Spencer goes in the dining room. It's french doors so he can still see him, we need to put the curtains back up on it lol, and through the gate through the other doorway. So he literally runs back and forth huffing and puffing, barking at Spencer, who is trying to lay peacefully in the other room. And sometimes if we lock Nelson in his crate so Spencer can walk around without gates and doors closed. If he walks by Nelson, he does this god awful high pitched viscious sounding bark, like a crazy person would sound. Which then scares Spencer and he just runs back upstairs.

We've tried distracting Nelson with treats. Rewarding him when he is gentle with Spencer, with treats. But nothing is consistent with him. He could be fine with him one time and get treats...and then attack him the next.

What do you, or have you all done when bringing a dog into a house where there is already a cat established there?? We never had this problem with our other cat/dog. Casey lived upstairs for like a year, never came down...till one day he got the courage too. Andy walked over to him, Casey growled and hissed, tapped him on the head I think. And all was well...and they were best of friends.

Not the same at all this time around... :huh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok well I will have to try and catch him "in the act" one of these days haha. It's hard enough trying to keep them seperated as it is. I'll try and grab the camera next time Spencer is on the move...lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ewww posting another post, my count is at 666 hahah call me superstitious...but I don't like that number!!!
 

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Amanda, I'm not much help but just wanted to say that I am in a very similar position so I can understand what you and your family are going through. Our cat, Isaiah had been our only pet for 12 years and was never around any other animals...we already knew he would not react well to another animal being brought home, because of his personality. He had always been treated like our baby, the center of attention, so we knew he would not take it well. When I wanted to get a dog, Isaiah was my biggest concern. My number one priority when looking for a dog to adopt was if he was good with cats. Bailey's foster mom said Bailey had lived with ten cats at her house and was very laid back with all of them...so I knew he would be a good match. Even so, I have never let the two of them actually interact. Ever since I brought Bailey home, I have separated him and Isaiah...Bailey is usually with me downstairs in our house (that is where our family room and my room is) and Isaiah has the run of the upstairs (the main level of the house). Whenever Bailey goes upstairs, I'm either holding him or he is on a leash. They have never been face to face or even walking around on the ground together. They are comfortable being in the same room with each other but never close enough to touch. We've done it this way for a year now and I dont plan on changing anything. My main goal was to minimize any stress on Isaiah and I think the transition has gone okay for him. Isaiah now even tries to go up to Bailey to investigate...and Bailey really wants to play with him...but I am not going to take the risk. Isaiah is old and just got diagnosed with cancer, so I dont want to take any chances of him getting hurt at all or stressed. So we will continue to keep them separated like this for the remainder of Isaiah's life.

Sorry I'm not any help...but I wanted to let you know how my experience has been with bringing in a puppy with an older cat already in the home. Spencer sounds like the sweetest cat and I really hope someone can help you figure out how to help Nelson be more gentle with his kitty brother!
 

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The big thing I would want to know is how much of this is play, how much is prey drive, how much is serious nastyness? When we measure these aspects up, that gives a treatment plan. How you address the behavior depends on why the dog is doing it. A dog who is just over-excited playing is an easier fix than one who is truly in prey mode. If you have a trainer come in your home (which is not a bad idea), you need to be sure they know cats! Your dog is only 1/2 the picture. If we don't know how the cat is reacting we can't give an accurate assessment. Most dog trainers are not well-versed in cat behavior. This often requires a veterinary behaviorist.
 

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Thankfully my cats were/are very patient with Jodi, he still dances around Lily as she walks down the hall and she makes wide circles to get where she's going. Poor thing. BUT she can jump out of the way and perch on the furniture where he can't jump.
I never had to worry about the cats hurting him though, they didn't scratch him ever and maybe once or twice batted him. He still tries to play and chase but he knows Lily is boss.
What if you really tired him out with a walk or play before letting them in the same room.
 

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The big thing I would want to know is how much of this is play, how much is prey drive, how much is serious nastyness? When we measure these aspects up, that gives a treatment plan. How you address the behavior depends on why the dog is doing it. A dog who is just over-excited playing is an easier fix than one who is truly in prey mode. If you have a trainer come in your home (which is not a bad idea), you need to be sure they know cats! Your dog is only 1/2 the picture. If we don't know how the cat is reacting we can't give an accurate assessment. Most dog trainers are not well-versed in cat behavior. This often requires a veterinary behaviorist.
How do you tell if your dog is being nastgy versus wanting to play? Yesterday Aolani saw a schnauzer and was barking and going towards him and I told the dog's owner that Aolani is not too good with other dogs but he let the dog stay around Aolani and when his dog would go towards him Aolani backed up. The schnauzer wanted to play. They kept at this for a while back and forth back and forth until the schnauzer finally gave up and stopped going towards him in the play position and just watched Aolani bark at him. I can't tell if Aolani wanted to play but I do know that sometimes when I am playing with him he does bark while in the play position. Would appreciate your input.
 

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I guess I have been lucky...my two cats were three yrs old when I got Chloe and I never had a problem with them playing or getting along. It may be that I had a dog before Chloe (though much bigger) and they were used to a dog. I kept Chloe separated for about a week to be sure but everything worked out fine.

When I got Summer last year, Chloe and the cats had to adjust to her. I never separated any of them. The cats would hiss and growl if Summer came to close but Summer just wanted to investigate and never went after them and they in turn, never hurt her. Within two weeks, all the hissing and growling stopped and everyone now gets along. Summer doesn't think twice about cuddling with the cats and they don't mind either.

Chloe is the one that chases them every now and then to play. If she hears them meowing or having a little sibling squabble, she is right there to break it up.

Maybe if you let them spend a little time together with full supervision, they may eventually get along.

Hope things work out for you.
 

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We also have a 10 year old cat and all I can say is that I think we were lucky that things worked out so well for us. After over a year of watching we have a pretty good idea of their feelings for each other.

Boots is very patient with Dora and has always been a playful cat, so we thought he might actually enjoy having her around. It helps that Dora started out much smaller than him (they are now almost exactly the same weight)! Dora usually wants to play for a few minutes every now and then and after that Boots will either escape or Dora will be distracted by something else.

At first we thought she was playing too rough but then we noticed that Boots was playing back and would sometimes even bait her....swishing his tail in her face or reaching a paw out towards her without his claws out. We do always watch when they are playing. If Boots yowls or we notice Dora is pulling on his ear (ouch!) we separate them. Boots knows he can get away by going upstairs or up on the top of the cat tree.

I think getting Boots a cat tree for the living room was one of the best things we ever did for him. He can sit up high and watch everything, be close to us in the room where we spend most of our time, and not be bothered by Dora.
 

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If I could teach dog body language in a paragraph on a board I wouldn't be spending so many years and dollars on studying it. There are plenty of general this=this, however none of those can be taken without the entire context of the behavior and environment. Typically dogs that bark and charge on leash are fearful.
 

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If I could teach dog body language in a paragraph on a board I wouldn't be spending so many years and dollars on studying it. There are plenty of general this=this, however none of those can be taken without the entire context of the behavior and environment. Typically dogs that bark and charge on leash are fearful.
Got it. Thank you. I was hoping there were some general things to look for, and that maybe I was just insane for worrying about Aolani, but I don't think that is the case. I will continue giving him treats when he's calm around other dogs.
 
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