Help! My Cat Hates Me, NVR
So my kitty, Hibiscus, that is her on the left as my avatar, is my baby. I have had her for 7 years and moved her all over in all sorts of situations. A few months ago, I moved in with my boyfriend, and his 1 and 1/2 year old Weimaraner. It took a few days, but the two got along ok, and after a while, Hibiscus would sit on my lap whenever I was on the couch, and sleep on top of me at night.
Ok, on to the hating. So I got another dog from the Humane Society, 4 weeks ago. A 60 pound Shar Pei/ Doberman. My cat now lives on a folded towel on top of the dryer in the basement. She sometimes will sneak upstairs and sit on the dinning room table, but it is short lived, and then she is back to her towel. I have tried to do some research on this, but everything I read is how to create a positive association for the dog. That is not the problem. I give Moxie treats and make her sit when she sees the kitty, things are fine. But how do you train a cat? Is there a way to convince my cat that the dog isn't so bad and she can come sit on my lap again? I feel terrible for her :'(
So, any of you guys out there successfully gotten a cat to like a dog? And if so how? Help!!!
No ideas. Just support. Poor cat. Hibiscus was okay with the Weimaraner, but not with the Shar Pei/Doberman. Could there be bad interactions between the two that occur when you're not home? That happened on the one Dog Whisperer show I've seen.
You actually can train cats (although I never did). Just like a dog, dolphin, etc. there is clicker training where click or mike some kind of noise with a bridge word, like good, and then give them a treat. When the cat goes on the table which would be positive, because she is not on the dryer, you would click, good, and treat! :o
You don't need a clicker you can just click your tongue or something. If you have any questions just ask!
This happened with my mom's cat. She was 'okay', i suppose, with one dog but when my mom rescued another... Furball hated life. Now she lives on top of the tv or in the top drawer in the spare room. I don't have any advice for you, sorry.
It might just take longer than expected. When I moved in with my boyfriend and his cat back in October, my cat wouldn't come downstairs for the longest time. If I carried her downstairs she would fight me until i let her go and then she would run as fast as she could back upstairs. I tried closing all the doors upstairs and bringing her downstairs but then she would only run under the couch or someplace to hide and would stay there for hours. I felt so bad because I was sure my cat was miserable. It's been 3 months now and she has only just started coming downstairs for a little bit. She still gets freaked easily and runs back up but she is s-l-o-w-l-y getting braver. Maybe the new dog was too soon for her, she was just getting used to the new house and new dog when another one came along. So it might just take a longer than you expected.
Remember that cats are territorial. The dog was in your BF's territory when you came in with Hibiscus, so that's OK, that dog is part of the furniture of the new place, so to speak, she accepted it as part of the deal...but bringing another dog in from outside, Hibiscus sees as an intolerable invasion of what she now sees as "her" territory. Especially if there's a lot of "dog interaction" involving noise and roughhousing. Even if they're not hassling her to play, she feels that her space has been invaded. Cats hate change and fuss. This will take quite some time. She may never love the dogs, but she will eventually forgive you....eventually.
Cats---gotta love em. ;)
As with introducing a new cat, it is important to keep the two animals separate until they can get used to one another. Use a baby gate or some other type of barrier to confine the dog to one area of the house or apartment – a room or two. This will enable the cat to take the initiative in approaching the dog, which is important, as the cat is the one that will feel threatened.
Cats are complex... there's no way to know why dog A was ok but dog B is not. I'd treat it as any other 'blended family' issue-- try treating the cat as an 'only child' sometimes again-- it may be a lost attention issue, relative to your affections... Put dogs in the bedroom, or send 'em out with the roommate, & play with the cat with a new 'catnip-mouse-on-a-stick' toy (or similar)... cats & other pets tend to associate yummies with specific areas; so get extra-special cat treats, make sure the dogs are otherwise occupied/ out of the way; then sit in the 'cat room' with a good book, doling out treats intermittently... then in a few days, after a bit move with book/ treats tot he hallway; then to the next room; etc etc etc until the cat is routinely following you for yummies & belly scratches into other areas of the house... shut the dogs out of your bedroom for an hour at the same time each evening, & just curl up with a book or movie or laptop (or whatever) & the cat. Be extra generous with chin-scratches. Little-known fact: cats are creatures of habit nearly as much as dogs... anything fun you can do w/ the feline near the same time each day (or most days) will encourage the cat to expect it/ participate in it (vs just laying on towel) the next day. Also-- cats often have more inscrutable (to humans) emotional lives than dogs, so allow more time for change & don't give up if attempted strategies don't work quickly. Finally-- maybe consider a vet check-up, to rule out health concerns that could cause lethargy/ social withdrawal...
That's all that comes to mind... hope it's helpful-- good luck!