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Old 03-02-2009, 03:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My cat attacks my dog for seemingly no reason. Help?

Ok forgive me but this is going to be a bit of a back story. In December 2006 me and my sister bought my cat Holly. Shes the first cat we've had so it's been quite a learning experience. At that time we had two dogs: a female named Sueby and a male name Braxton. Holly and Braxton typically played together when she was a kitten but she never got to close to Sueby. Sueby wasn't the nicest of dogs and typically didn't like her space invaded. In September of 2007 we had to have Sueby put down for various reasons. Afterwards Holly and Braxton still got along. Then sometimes she'd get feisty and attack him. She's an indoor cat and he's let out into the backyard when he needs to do his business. We thought maybe it was scent related and normally they'd go back to normal after awhile. We do have some strays that show up in our backyard but those kind of things really can't be controlled.

Anyways at some point last year Holly attacked Braxton again but it wasn't just a simple batting of her paws. She chased him and we had to try and break it up. She was locked in my room and eventually she was back to her normal self and would be fine around him. Now recently she has begun attacking him again. Sometimes she'll hiss, sometimes when he approaches she'll just charge at him. She's constantly looking around for him. And then sometimes she'll sit no less than a foot away from him and just stare at me. Meanwhile sometimes just her approach makes my dog shake. He goes to my mom when he gets scared. She's really attached to me and she's been overly sweet to me the past few days so my mom wonders if she feels I'm being threatened or something. I just want them to go back to the way they used to be honestly. They used to get along so well. Any ideas what could be going through her mind?
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Old 03-02-2009, 01:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My cat attacks my dog for seemingly no reason. Help?

Welcome, and I'm not sure...I think you are on the right path with the scent thing, but her behavior almost sounds like misdirected aggression or re-directed aggression. ...and this is probably not due to the dog, but due to the strange cats she can see/smell in the yard. She cannot attack them, so she attacks the next-best-thing, which happens to be Braxton.

I'm sure there are some things that can be done to help this situation, but I've never experienced it so I have no advice to give. Hopefully someone else will read this and have some good ideas for you.
Best of luck,
Heidi
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My cat attacks my dog for seemingly no reason. Help?

Thank you for your input Heidi. It wonder if it is something of an aggression problem. She obviously takes their spats very seriously since her tail is always fluffed up and she makes those low howling type annoyance sound. But she just turned 2 last year and I read that that's when some cats start being serious about their territory.
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My cat attacks my dog for seemingly no reason. Help?

I really don't think it is specifically aggression/territory related (and not giving re/mis-directed aggression some study) because she is just behaving as a cat behaves when it has become frightened or defensive.
I still lean more towards the problem being the outside smells/sights and her taking it out on the dog.
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My cat attacks my dog for seemingly no reason. Help?

She went after him again after I made my last post. We live in a tri level house so she actually sought him out on the bottom floor of the house. Prior to that she was acting normal as usual. My only concern is how to keep him safe and her friendly with him. Should we try rubbing him for his scent and then rubbing her?
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Old 03-02-2009, 07:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My cat attacks my dog for seemingly no reason. Help?

Boy, I really wish someone else would reply. I do not feel qualified to give this kind of advice.
I think rubbing towels between them to mix their scent will help, it certainly can't hurt. I think there are also things you can do to help mask smells until everyone smells the same (dot of vanilla on the back of the neck/shoulder-blades of each animal) but mostly there are pheromone things that will help calm the cat by triggering specific centers of her brain with those particular pheromone smells. Fel-i-way may be the product I am thinking of. Or some sort of calming/soothing oil/scents... I just don't know enough about them and how they work and in what ways they specifically work, to advise them.
I'm sorry that I am not much help.
heidi
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My cat attacks my dog for seemingly no reason. Help?

I've heard of Fel-i-way before but it can get costly, especially if it doesn't work. I just wish I could get into Holly's brain for a few minutes and figure out exactly why she's attacking him. Then again I'm not sure I'd want to get into her brain. She seems a bit crazy at times lol. Anyways I appreciate your feedback it is really helpful since you're taking the time to respond to me.
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My cat attacks my dog for seemingly no reason. Help?

You are welcome. I just wish I could have been more helpful.
h
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Old 03-05-2009, 03:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: My cat attacks my dog for seemingly no reason. Help?

Just an update. They seem to be buddy buddy again. Me and my family got together to watch a movie on the 3rd and she and he had been fine all day. Then he saw a chihuahua on the tv screen and ran at the tv barking and Holly attacked him. I put her in my room for the rest of the movie because Braxton loves watching tv and we figured there would be more encounters. The day after and today she'll approach him, sniff him, and walk away. He's pretty nervous around her though.
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