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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2013, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Not sure there really is an answer?

My indoor/outdoor cats are nervous with people they don't know in the house. That alone may make them stay away for awhile. My male is so jumpy just with me and almost seems to be getting more wild as I have had him. My daughter doesn't come to my house often but when she does they bring their very well behaved dog which is like their baby. Since the dog totally freaks out my edgy 1.5 year old male cat, I decided to keep him and his mom locked in a bedroom this time. Well they hate that and he hid deep into the closet and acted like he was a feral that was just caught. (he was born and lived outside for 7 months). Well as soon as I let him out he took off and I haven't seen him in 1 day and a half. His mother still was around in the house on and off and ate, etc. She has more trust in me and people. If the dog even looks at her, we can say sit or lay down or leave it and he obeys instantly. He lives with 3 cats. I just feel so frustrated that my male has to be so freaked out. Now that I had him trapped he may not even let me go near him when he comes back. I assume he will come back. Oh, they even kept the dog on a leash in the house. This is going to happen again. I can't figure out a better solution for him.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2013, 06:04 PM
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I have this similar problem with Stephano, who HATES all dogs, except my dog, but that took quite a lot of work to get him ok with her. After much work, she does accept my dog, but if my mother in law brings her dog over....and she is small and is an angel to all cats, Stephano freaks so bad.

You have to realize, if they were feral and outside, their experiences with dogs was not good. They have been chased by dogs and fought for their very lives to get away from them. This is not something to easily change after you have a cat that has had these kind of experiences with dogs. It may be possible to get the cats to tolerate your mom's dog, but it may not.

What worked for me to get Steph to tolerate my dog....and she is a big dog, a doberman, we put up a baby gate to block Greta away from the cat, that way the cat knew that Greta could not get into his room to her. I was lucky, STephano let me hold him without clawing me to death and I was able to hold him and talk soothingly to him and Greta, I'd say "this is a nice doggie, see, she won't hurt you" in a very quiet, calm tone, and I'd get a little closer to the gate with him in my arms. Eventually they touched noses and Stephano would bat at Greta, no claws, and hiss alittle and I'd say "no, no" (in a very calm, hushed tone...not yelling at all) "this is a nice doggy, she won't hurt you, see, she is very nice". We had sessions of these little lessons for a few days, and cat and dog got treats during these sessions. Treats let them both know learn that this is a good experience. WIth the treats and the voice, and some time, we eventually got to the point where we had the dog on a leash, in a down stay, and let Steph walk around her, they both got more treats, more praise, LOTS of calmed talking during the whole thing, and they are best buds now. For the first few months, ocassionally Stephano would hiss and smack Greta, with no claws, if she nudged him by surprise, but he doesn't do that any more. And we never left the dog alone with the cat, ever, ever, ever, like when we left, cat went to his safe room. We still put him up in his room if we will be gone for a long time, just to be safe.

It is possible sometimes to teach them to get along. I can imagine it would be harder though if the cat was able to go outside, because I can imagine them being scared away. I think I said your mother's dog before, but I think it's actually your daughter's dog? If it were me, personally, I would just tell her not to bring her dog. I know this sounds harsh, and it's her baby, but your cats deserve to feel safe in their own home. I actually told my MIL to stop bringing her dog with her, because Stephano goes insane with she brings her dog. He actually will stalk the dog and try to attack her, even when she is sitting quietly beside her on a leash. She used to bring her over all the time and Stephano only has a 5 hour window of time in the evening when he is out, before he goes to his room for the evening (because I have another cat that can't be out with him) and I didn't feel it was fair for me to shove STephano in a room during his free time, so she could sit here with her dog for her 2-3 hour visits, so I told her to please not bring her dog. I know the dog is her baby, but I would not feel bad about doing it. Either that or be prepared to lock your cat up in a room every time she comes over with her dog, and expect that the cat is going to be freaked for some time after she leaves with the dog. In my MIL's case, she is home with her dog 24/7, and she lives 2 miles away. I feel like she can leave her dog home for a few hours, it will not kill her or the dog, but it puts too much stress on my cat, in his own home, even though her dog is fine with cats and is not the problem. Cats will be cats. They are not reasonable creatures
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2013, 06:05 PM
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Solution to this is to have the same company over many times. My cat Skittles will run and hide when someone would come over. She got used to my neighbor, who comes over often. Having company come over often can help a cat get used to them.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2013, 06:06 PM
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Oh, poor baby. What's a catmom to do? My cats don't take to strangers at all, but we normally put them all up in a spare BR when strangers come over. I'm thinking maybe you can help desensitize the poor guy by having people over for coffee or something. Go out and ring the doorbell now and then for no reason. Just grasping at straws here.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2013, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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My daughter lives too far away and has to sleep over. She just had a baby and I sure don't want to discourage family time. I am just frustrated because Blanco has been jumpy with me too and he sure hates being confined. I put him in the room before they even came so he actually never saw the dog but all the noise and smell. They took the dog with them a lot so really the confinement alone made him bolt. As he ran from the yard I called his name and he turned and gave me one meow and kept going.
He just isn't super tame. Sometimes I wonder if I should start all over as if he was feral but I think the confinement would destroy any trust (tho dwindling) that we have.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2013, 08:38 PM
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Wow! tough. Each time we have visitors, I have to confine ET in his room too, spray feliway and thank goodness everything worked out. ET never take to anybody except me and is only getting good with hubby lately.

Would having feliway work in your case, while they are confined?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-2013, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all. I will try the Feliway next time as it is a smaller room. And thank goodness he came back. It seems he watches when the company leaves and then when he feels it is safe, he came back. It helps that my other cat can show him it is safe. I don't know about you, but I don't sleep well unless he is in the house at night.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-21-2013, 08:05 PM
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Not sure how to help as my boys are super social and love company. These seem to feel it just means more worship...

The only problem I have is when my Ex husband shows up. MowMow is *TERRIFIED* of him. I used to fret over it because we are friends now and he does come visit on a regular basis.... I just let MowMow hide. When Ryan leaves I give him the all clear and he comes out of hiding (cautiously) and checks the apartment. He's a LITTLE tnese for a while but then settles down.

I guess the only thing I can say is don't make a big deal out of it and don't stress about it. The more YOU stress the more they will think strangers are bad and scary. Book helped MowMow more than anything with Ryan, because Book just loves him. Now MowMow won't hide right away, he'll say hi.. hang around for a few minutes and then go lay somewhere where he feels hidden but is still in the room (under a chair.. under the TV trunk... etc).
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