View Full Version : cat problems

06-24-2009, 10:20 AM
Help! My son and his 11 month cattle dog moved in to our house 3 weeks ago. We are having a big problem with him and our younger cat. Since he has moved in she wont come into the house until he is in bed for the night..then she is gone again first thing in the morning..we rarely see her. The few times she has been in with the dog he chases her out the house through the dogdoor immediately. We also have an 18 year old cat but she stands her ground and swats the heck out of him if he even looks her way..at times he tries to go after her but she gives it right back...What can we do to get this dog and our younger cat to at least live together in peace? I dont expect them to be friends but we are upset that our cat is so upset and we really miss her. A few times I have brought her inside while the dog is still up and closed her in my room with me...even then she wants to just stay hidden under the bed. I have older dogs he bothers too but they put him pretty much in his place...wish this cat would to.
Thanks for any advice!

Kita's Mom
06-24-2009, 10:46 AM
Put a long line on her. And anytime she goes after the cat pull that line hard and say NO!!!!. We had to do that with our doxie. It worked. I would do it with any cat that he sees.

06-24-2009, 11:49 AM
We had cats before we had cattle dogs. Since the first cat was terrified of Brumby when we got her, we used a baby gate, so the cat had the run of the bedrooms and Brumby had the run of the rest of the house. Everytime Brumby wanted to sniff, bark, or try to jump the gate, we gave her a big huge admonishment. This took a couple of months, but finally Molly the cat came to be somewhat comfortable around the dog. She chose to jump over the baby gate to be with us, and yes to be with the dog. Years later, we have two more cats (after Molly passed on) and they also had to adjust to the dogs and vise versa. Its a matter of training the dog so that the cats feel OK around them and know that the dogs won't chase. It can work.

06-24-2009, 03:14 PM
It took a couple of months to stabilize the cat issue in our house. Now we have Ozzie trained to leave the cats alone in our bedroom (which he does), but if they dare set foot out of our room while he is in the house, he immediately herds them right back into our bedroom. The more timid of our 2 cats rarely comes out from under the bed since we got the dog. Ozzie would do so well sleeping in our room with us, but we can't let him because of the cats (he won't let them go to the litter box or leave their "perches". Since the cats came first (we've had them 11 years), I won't let Ozzie replace them in bed with us, but I've gotten really bad about sleeping some nights in my daughter's old bedroom so that Ozzie can sleep next to me. It's not really fair to hubby, but he also feels bad for Ozzie.
Our old rottie mix dog completely ignored the cats and even let them come out and sniff him, but this dog views the cats as inferior creatures that must be put in their place. The old dog slept alone in his bed in the front room, but Ozzie has to be right with one of us when he's in the house. Sleeping in a room away from us is not an option.

06-24-2009, 03:56 PM
I second everything Barbara said. The baby gates give the cat a chance to check the dog out without them being so scared. Also, when you put the dog on a lead in the house and work on the 'no chase!' or 'leave it!' with the cats, try treating him when he ignores them/gets it right. I'd be liberal with the treats and keep them close at hand for the first couple of weeks. They are highly trainable dogs, you just have to make it way more fun for him to not chase the cat because chasing it is pretty fun and that prey/herding drive is pretty high in cattle dogs.

Also, watch his body language. Mine start stalking and staring at my cat before they move to chase her and so I give them a 'leave it' (and sometimes a poke when they are too focused to listen) when they go into that mode and it knocks it off before it happens. Sounds like a good start would be working with the cat that gets it and stands it's ground. That's what mine does, and though she doesn't have claws, the dogs respect her when she tells them to back off and I always make sure I back her up on it.

Songbird- what about Ozzie being in a crate next to the bed at night? That's how Buck started when I introduced him to my cat and at first she'd shy away from the crate, but finally understood that he couldn't get her when she was in the crate. I started with a blanket over the crate so he wouldn't go as crazy wanting at the cat, but he could still hear/smell me close. Also, can you work on Ozzie in the same kind of way as suggested? You may be able to get him to the point where he leaves them alone. Right now it sounds like he thinks you want him to keep them in bedroom- maybe there's a way to convince him that his job is to just leave them alone. I know it's tough with higher prey drive dogs and some just can't help themselves, but if you got him to where you are now, you might be able to take another step or two.