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We have an 11 year old Shih-Tzu dog and a 4 year old cat. They are both very well behaved, quiet and timid animals and have always gotten along just great. They are such a great pair. We have never had a problem. They sleep side by side on my bed.

Yesterday, something weird happened - not sure if it was fear of a noise, the dog, or my husband, who is always affectionate with the cat.

Here's how it went in point form:

* As a sidenote, my husband recently got a job promotion and is away 3-4 days a week, so it's just the pets and I in a quiet home most of the time. No kids at home anymore.

* Yesterday, I invited the pets outside to the side patio as I'm BBQ'ing burgers. They both come running (they LOVE being outside). The dog came out but the cat was pokey at the back door (not unusual for her until SHE decides to go out - she eventually does).

* I had my hands really full and I couldn't wait, so I thought "Alright fine, don't come out then." and the dog and I went out. The dog and I are out there momentarily while I quickly put the meat on the grill. I came back in the house for something else and the dog just stayed out, right at the door, waiting and wagging her tail. She is a super-friendly dog.

* My husband arrived home after being away and started doing loud, happy greetings to the dog (he can be very loud), but it was a cheerful yell. I said "She's just outside." He goes to the backdoor to greet her in his boisterous way (!!). Meanwhile the cat was watching quietly in the back hallway. I had my back turned in the kitchen, he let the dog in and the fur flew within seconds. The cat attacked the pooch (not the other way around).

* We had to pry and yank the hissing and growling cat off the trembling dog, the dog had blood on her snout and I had never in my life seen the cat EVER act this way. By the time it ended, the cat was hissing at everyone, there was cat urine and a chunk of dog fur on the floor and we were scratching our heads in disbelief.

She has now spent most of the last 24 hours under our bed and won't come out unless I coax her with treats but she looks fearful. She doesn't hiss at me and will let me comfort her. I feel she needs time alone right now.

The dog still wags her tail at Kitty and right this moment, (cat not growling at pooch), I am sitting in the same room as both of them, although the cat is under a piece of furniture, but it's quiet. Both pets ate treats side by side that I gave them last evening after I gently pulled the cat out from under the bed, reassuring her and then she went back hiding.

My husband walked into this room a half hour ago and the cat hissed and growled at him. He isn't tolerant of this behaviour and he takes everything personally, but now he's really mad at the cat, stands over her and stares madly. I told him to just leave her alone. My take is so different. I think she needs reassurance and love right now, as I really believe is was the combination of the dog excitedly coming through the back door (took her aback) and the commotion of my husband getting pooch all riled up. Maybe she's used to a quiet home since he's away a lot? I think she just experienced sudden, unexpected fear at that moment.

We have to be away overnight tonight, so she will have the house to herself. I hope this helps and that she doesn't think she can't come out from hiding as nobody, including dog, will be here to bug her.

Sorry for the long post, but I am not as familiar with cats as I am with dogs and this outburst scared me a little, as I never could predict it in a million years.

Since she is tolerating the dog at present (not as close) and also now just hid when my husband came into the room again, I fear it's his presence.
He really loves this little cat on an everyday basis, and I have to get the love back, otherwise I fear this will go on and on. He leaves again in 3 days and we'll all be back home tomorrow for a couple of days before his trip.

Any takes on this situation?
 

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Welcome, and I'm sorry your peaceful household has been disrupted.
You may want your husband to read this, though what I am about to share, he may not appreciate reading it.

First, you need to tell your husband, it *is* him, but it also *isn't* him, and he needs to STOP the intimidating behavior towards this cat or he will make the situation much, worse. There is a phenomenon called "misdirected aggression" or "displaced aggression" that occurs when something (sight, smell, sound, something out of the ordinary or usual routine) happens that sets off a cat. The cat cannot reach whatever angered, frightened or disturbed it and has no physical outlet to reach and resolve whatever triggered it, so it misplaces 'the blame' and attacks the closest thing it can...in this case her old friend, the dog.

How this became his fault and also not his fault...is this isn't something he deliberately set out to do...but the cat *did* react in this manner and it is now very important to put aside any feelings of resentment he has towards the kitty to resolve the issue, now. The cat is confused and doesn't understand. Something happened that upset her (boisterous entry, perhaps husband brought in different smells with him, perhaps also the dog brought in different smells...whatever)...something has caused the cat to react in this manner and it is now imperative that the cat be reassured everything is okay and whatever frightened it, isn't an issue.
I am very sorry for stating this bluntly, but your husband's hurt feelings have no place in this equation. He didn't do this on purpose, the dog didn't do this on purpose, but the cat doesn't know this....so now it is up to the household to show the cat that everything is okay. Your husband needs to take the lead in winning back this cat's trust.

Patience and understanding is necessary and cruicial in resolving this. Your husband must stop this animosity he is displaying and feeling towards this cat. If he wants this situation to resolve itself, he must be an active participant in helping to achieve that goal, not part of the problem by behaving in a negative manner towards the cat. The ONLY thing this behavior will do, is confirm to the cat that she was *right* to react the way she did...I mean, all she has to do is *look* at how the husband now behaves towards her. This is why it is so crucial for your husband to take the lead on this, he needs to win her over using toys, treats or just gentle attention.

I need to stress: your husband, the dog, the cat and even you, have done nothing wrong. What has happened, is an unfortunate series of events happened that has caused the cat to over-react. The cat needs reassurance, here.

Gah! I've got to run and can't add more. Please research the misdireced, misplaced aggression and hopefully other members who have had experiences like this can help with better advice.
Best of luck,
Heidi
 

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Heidi, thank you SO much for your wonderful post. The information you provided was so clear, concise and makes so much sense. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the time and effort you took to explain everything in detail. I was thrilled by your valuable advice.

I will definitely look more into this behavioural mode, as you suggested, that can set cats off through a matter of circumstances and with no fault of any one thing in particular... just a series of circumstances. I also mentioned to my husband that he may to talk gently and lovingly to her to re-establish the relationship between he and 'Audrey'. I will read him parts of your answer that applies to people in general. He always cools down about things, so he takes the cat attitude as personal, then he becomes a real softie. I mean NO animal is comfortable with confrontation or anger.

Again, Heidi, much appreciated! We came home late tonight, changing our minds about an overnighter. Audrey was good with KaseyGracey dog except for a wee hiss when Kasey approached her, tail wagging (poor dog keeps nicely trying),. then Audrey retreated under the bed, but that's ok. Hubs went to his den straight away, so no direct contact until he gets over Audrey's short-lived rejection (I hope) of him. Tomorrow....

You could be the Dr. Phil of the cat world! Are you sure your NOT a cat? :)

Sending you a big 'Thank You' for your post! 8)
 

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UPDATE:
I just read most of your message to the hubs, cleverly and quickly revamping the sentence to reflect 'us' as owners. :wink
He thought the advice was terrific coming from an outside 3rd party. :evil: MEN!
So it looks as though he is softening as usual. Yay!
 

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buffiness said:
Are you sure your NOT a cat? :)
I dunno...but I *can* speak bat! ...and my Husband has asked me (in the middle of an argument) if I wanted to take my broom on a test-drive around the skies. I tell you, it is NO FAIR arguing with him when he makes me laugh. Totally ruins my "mad".

I'm very happy my advice was appreciated. I was so pressed for time, I was afraid I was coming off much too strong since I didn't have time to think of kinder ways to put it. *just saw your update and I think that is GREAT!* I also wanted to add that I think the single hiss and retreat is actually a good sign that the cat is getting ready to calm down and return to normal. I think if your Hubby applied some of his "softie attitude" with her, it could resolve this...hopefully right now, but maybe w/in a day.

I talk to my cats, a lot of nonsense talk, but I think they understand quite a bit just by the tone of voice. I also, when trying to calm them, pet them firmly and slowly; running my hand from their nose, over their head/ears, neck, shoulders, ribs, back, hips and tail, sort of pulling the tail around in a circle that leads me right back to the nose. I will make low/slow "Uuuuummmmm-hmmmmmmm" sounds and have your husband BLINK at Audrey. That is a trick I use with socializing/taming feral cats.
A cat who trusts, will close their eyes. It is like they are saying: I trust you enough to NOT watch you every moment. I catch the cat's gaze, and either slide my eyes down/away and make a slow, big sigh (audible relaxation the animal recognizes). Or, I'll catch their gaze and slowly blink my eyes closed, hold them closed a moment and slowly open them while smiling (close-mouthed, no teeth showing) and then take note if their expression softens and if THEY blink in return....that is GREAT success!
Your Hubby sounds like a keeper for trying so hard to resolve things with your pets.

Do keep us updated, I hope this works out quickly and smoothly. It sounds like your husband will be able to do it, so I don't anticipate any problems.
heidi
 

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Another update. The advice worked perfectly and my husband and Audrey are all back to normal. She is totally back to loving him, myself and the dog. He is happier and valued the advice, even though he won't admit it. :roll:

I was SO worried there for awhile and probably over-reacted.

I loved the commentary as well about how we talk to our feline friends and pet them. Audrey reacts so nicely and we are so comfortable with each other - that's why I was disturbed at this aggression, but no worries now!

YAY! Back to our happy family. :D

Thanks again.
PS: This website is terrific.

(Now I must go put furniture polish on the family room coffee table leg that she loves over the scratching post. Thank goodness it was a yard sale find....)
 

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I'm sorry, I only watched to the end of the first song. It kept stopping and buffering and I was getting frustrated. When the song began again, it was only a blank screen, so I clicked back.

First, I :luv your kitty! I didn't know she was a Meezer-Tortie. 8O Um. *If* she ever winds up missing? I wouldn't bother looking for her at my house, she wouldn't be here. But I'd be more than happy to help you look for her in Hawaii. Or the Bahamas! :wink

I think my fave pics were the ones of the kitty on the back of the couch, sniffing the hand. Almost all of the ones with the cat/dog together, I *loved* the bandana pics! (dog wore it better, cat looked like she was going to wait til you went to sleep to kill you) and the video of the kitty grooming her puppy-friend.
Very sweet!
heidi
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey Heidi:

I am frustrated by youtube.com
My vid was so watchable, but even when I try to watch it, it buffers. SO frustrating.

Anyway, in the future, my vid is called DOG & CAT TOGETHER by 'The Diane 1000" on youtube.com

I have a Meezer-Tortie? You are speaking Greek to me, girl.
This cat was a barn cat who had plain old orange and grey brothers and sisters.
She was a standout in the litter and that is why we chose her. We thought she was Siamese'ish looking and very special, when we chose her. She has a wonky eye in the photos, but no evidence of that in real life. Honestly. Is she some kind of weirdo space alien?

PLEEZE tell me what a Meezer-Tortie is?
We love her so much...


LOL...
Buff :luv
 

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WHAT is a Meezer-Tortie?! :yikes ONLY my Most Bestest and Favoritest combination of breed/color of cat in The World! :mrgreen:

Meezer, is an affectionate shortening of the name, Siamese. Siamese -> Siamese-er -> Meezer.
Tortie, is an affectionate shortening of the description tortoiseshell. A Tortie, is a female cat who genetically carries both BLACK and ORANGE as base colors, has no agouti (no stripes in the black, if the black cat had agouti it would be a common tabby....and no stripes on the meezer points, if the meezer points had stripes, it would be a lynx point) and the black/red hairs are intermixed over the body, in a mingled "tortoiseshell" look...that is what a tortie is. Tortie cats who *do* have the agouti gene...are called Torbies. Tortoiseshell + Tabby = Torbie.

A Meezer-Tortie is the combination of Siamese AND Tortoiseshell Calico cats...I'd LUFF :luv to have a Meezer-Tortie; two cats, in one!
 

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Alright! She is a very pretty cat, even though the look in her eyes says "I will destroy you in a moment's notice".

I had no idea she is a Meezer...

I thought with her being a good old barn cat, she was just a common girl.
Her brothers and sisters were quite ordinary grey and orange, but to us she seemed quite special, as she stood out so much as being a pretty cat in the litter. Believe me, I would have taken them all had we not been in the City.

So, Meezer is a very quiet and timid girl. When we let her outside, she goes on the grass as if she had never discovered it before. It is all new to her and she is cautious as the day is long. I love her to death and big softie hubby is quite a card with her...

You are a gem, Heidi.
Thank you so much for your feedback.
Let's try this again on you tube...



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0FVkJX-pjQ
 

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buffiness said:
I had no idea she is a Meezer...
I thought with her being a good old barn cat, she was just a common girl.
Her brothers and sisters were quite ordinary grey and orange, but to us she seemed quite special, as she stood out so much as being a pretty cat in the litter.
Darnit, it kept buffering again. Oh, well, I saw quite a bit of it the first time I watched it. I think I watched about 5min? so I saw quite a lot. I forgot about the cute laundry-cuddle pictures.

Some more genetic info:
I should warn you, I am fascinated/obsessed with genetics...
Audrey *is* a 'common' girl, but the difference with her, is her pointed markings make her genetics that define a breed characteristic more recognizeable than many other breeds. The thing with cats, is most cats carry most of the genes that make up the specific breeds. I bet anyone could collect and gather similar cats with similar phenotypes (the way they look) and within a few years, by selective breeding, have cats that breed true to genotype (genetic make-up) and look very, very close to their pure-bred counterparts whose genetic lineage has been traced and recorded for many years.
The genes for body type, face shape, haircoat (density and length), tail length and coat colors are all out there in a mixed up hodge-podge...and it is from this exact same hodge-podge...that our cat breeds have come.

Color breeds, like the gray/silver/blue-colored Korat, Russian Blue and British Short Hair have been selectively bred so every cat is homozygous (matched gene pair, inheriting one gene per parent) for black, no-agouti and cream...so every cat is gray (dilute black) with no stripes.
Siamese cats are also homozygous for black, points and no-agouti. A particular difference between the Meezer and the other breeds I mentioned...is the "pointed" gene is recessive, which means the cat *must* get a matched pair of pointed genes, one from each parent, in order for the pointed meezer markings to show phenotypically.
Gray cats can carry one black and one cream gene and still be gray, but when bred, can have litters that include black kittens who did not receive the cream gene. Selective breeding removed the heterozygous (non-matched gene pairs) cats from their breeding programs.

A cat who is part-meezer, can breed with another part-meezer and have kittens who look meezer (when the kitten receives the pointed gene from each parent) and in the same litter there can be kittens who may carry 1 pointed recessive gene, but didn't get a pointed gene from the other parent and are instead a solid base color. However, IF that heterozygous cat breeds with either a meezer or another part-meezer, kittens could be meezer marked. The deal is: the kitten *must* receive a pointed gene from each parent. Audrey's litter seemed to be a veritable potluck of genetics; with meezer, black, orange, agouti and cream being distributed among all of the kittens.

Black is dominant over Red, though because the color red is carried on the X (female) chromosome, female cats (XX) can have both black AND red colors show on their coat...becoming calicos or tortoiseshells. Male cats are XY, with the coat color being decided by the color associated with the "X" chromosome. The only way there could be a male calico, is if there was a genetic anomally and the cat was genetically: XXY, carrying an 'extra' X chromosome.

Yeesh! I got going again...sorry if that was TMI. :oops:
 

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I loved that information, Heidi. You really know your stuff!
I guess genetics are not unlike humans in this sense.

We couldn't figure out how Audrey came to be in this litter of all grey and orange cats.
Barn cats to boot. Now it all makes sense. Also her mother was a Supersized cat. HUGE!
Audrey is a tiny thing, although she expanded in the belly area after her spaying.

I swear her mother could have been in the Guiness Book of World Records!

I find this genetic information so very interesting!

Thanks so much for filling me in on howxit works.

And, I'm serious, her eye is not as wonky in real life !

LOL
 
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