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Hello everyone,
A little about my girl Roxxie- Her parents belong to my brother and sis-in-law.
Mom is a pure Himalayan, Dad is a pure Black Persian. My Roxxie is what the vet deems a 'tortie himalayan' and she is beautiful!! (I will post pics soon)
Rox is now 15 months old, still just a baby really but true to her breed, is queen in this house. She is an extremely affectionate cat, who's favourite past-times include cuddling, snuggling, and stealing whatever money is left lying around (yes, seriously- although she does prefer the paper kind, she'll scoop the coins if she can).
She was spayed at 7 months and healed quickly and bounced back well, no complications, no behaviour changes.
Enter a new puppy in the house when she was 12 months old and she has been having behaviour issues since, to be specific- inappropriate urination and defacation on anything the dog has slept in....
I did introduce them slowly.. Puppy in crate, Roxxie being able to sniff without feeling threatened, Rox being held and given just as much if not extra attention, etcetera.... Now luckily the dog barely pays any mind to her, but if puppy so much as blinks or turns her head or is even just in the same room, since day 1, Rox goes on a hissing, growling, tangent. I thought this would lessen with time as the dog has never done anything threatening and is crated when we aren't home, so of this I can be 100% sure.
Then Rox started with the defacation in the dogs beds.... :( 3 mornings in a row- 3 different beds...) i put them each in the garage and soaked then with Nature's Miracle and puppy went without floorpillows for a few days. Rox then started standing on top of puppy's (closed) crate and urinating on/in it...:(
Thought I'd fix that by keeping crate in spare room with door closed- nope! Rox then starts peeing on the couch that puppy is allowed on.... :( Then she peed on a sweater of mine that I'd tossed on my bedroom floor, I'm guessing because it smelled like puppy too.... :(
I have had her to vet twice, I have had urinalysis done twice, bloodwork once, but he told me after the all-clear on anything health related that I have an extremely territorial cat... :(
Just so noone gets the wrong idea re-homing my cat is not an option AT ALL!! I love her like my own skin-babies!
I have been 're-training' her in a bathroom (approx 10'x14') for the last week. She peed all over the floors the first four days... BUT has been good the last three so it may be working???
I really just need help and suggestions to help socialize her with puppy so this doesn't become a re-curring theme... It breaks my heart not to let her out. But before anyone asks, I DO go in several times a day to give her affection and grooming and play, as well as my kids... It kills me to hear her crying though when I have to leave her...:(
ANY advice is welcome....
 

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Is getting the puppy a new home an option? Roxie was 'queen of the house' like a lot of torties are and in no uncertain terms has shown you she does not like this dog at all, even tho the dog isn't annoying her, by urinating and defecating on dog's bed, carrier your clothes etc. You may try to retrain her but it's not medical but behavioral, and trying to change a tortie's mind can be very difficult as they are stubborn and determined in their personality. You may have to put up with her "inappropriate elimination" and just live with it by using old towels to cover the dog's bed that are more easily washable than the bed itself. You might try making a fuss over Roxxie when she is behaving well with the dog, and give her treats if she's near the dog (and give treats to the dog too), so that she comes to associate good things happen when she's near the dog. At 15 mos old, cats are keen to establish territory, so that's another reason why you're getting this reaction from her. It may be that as she grows older and mellows out more, she may come around to accepting the dog (tho she will be the house boss) and you should let her have that role and not reprimand her if she disciplines the dog. If she's in control she may feel confident to go back to using the cat litter box and not the dog's bed. Try some Dr. Elsey's Cat Attract litter and see if you can get her interested, but I suspect this will be a slow work in progress as she and the puppy mature together.
 

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quite a conundrum you're in. sorry to hear about what's going on. if you are determined to keep the puppy as well, the only tiny little suggestion i might have is to also try that feliway pheromone plug-in stuff. i've heard it does wonders for trying to get cats to get along with other cats at least. don't know if it'll work with a dog, but i might be worth a try. sounds like you'll try anything if you're at the end of your rope. good luck!
 

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Thank you sooooo much for your replies. And yes I WILL try anything!!! And no, CatLover, as much as I understand your suggestion, re-homing my animals is not an option. My boys are in love with both of them (and because of a very devastating loss of our animals two years ago, I wouldn't do that to either of them simply because it would be easier).
I have read up on Roxxie's breed and I have come to understand the attachment they place on their family, she is never reprimanded for being upset at the dog, and will let me hold and pet her while petting the dog, and the dog is very submissive to her body language, ie puts head down and just lays there, she does get curious and will approach Rox to sniff, and has been batted a few times but will lie down in front of her and whine. I am definitely going to try the Feliway spray (hopefully it covers fairly large spaces or I'll need a gazillion of them!!) and the litter attractant. Have to go to Pet-valu today for more food anyway so will have a look, if they don't carry it is there a spot you can recommend that does??
Thanks for mentioning about the age possibly being a factor. It's my highest hope that they will eventually get along, but even if Rox learns to just tolerate her I will be ecstatic!
A 'friend of a friend' who works at a vet office suggested side-by-side crating for short periods and slowly increasing the time. Myself I don't think Rox could tolerate it, nor do I think it would be fair to puppy to basically force her to get yelled at by Rox, but she said it has a 'kennel effect'(???) on them and that she will get accustomed to her much more quickly.
I'm not a fan of the idea, but has anyone here tried that??
 

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Cats, like dogs, can come to accept a crate and regard it as a safe haven for rest and quiet. There may be some resistance at first, but it you do it regularly they will accept it. You can start by feeding all meals and treats in the crate. and for cats I do recommend a large dog crate that will have space for a small litter pan and perhaps a cat bed, or blankets. Confine it for short periods and only let it out when it is quiet and relaxed. It's good training for a cat to get used to a crate as then it isn't so stressed if it has to be in one at a vet office or while convalescing from an injury or illness. Often once they get used to a crate they will go in voluntarily to have a rest.
 

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Where is your litter box? Do you have it in a safe place where your cat can use it without the dog around? One of my cats is very skittish of my dogs even though they are good with cats, and she uses a litter box that's in a bathroom blocked by a baby gate. I have other boxes, but if this one is unaccessable she will pee wherever she likes, like the futon, rugs, clothes, etc.

I did what you did with the litter box retraining in a bathroom and I had the same results at first, peeing on the floor, and whenever she was let out she would pee on the futon. She got it though, I had to keep her box super clean and still do. My advise is baby gate across the bathroom door when she is done with retraining, and lots of time.

As for the side by side crating, eh, sounds like a bad idea to me, sounds like it could be stressful for both but especially the cat. I think that's more appropriate for two dogs.

eta: I do think getting a cat used to a crate is good, mine have two they use as beds and go in and out of freely, I just don't think crating next to the dog is a good idea.
 

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I think some of the above suggestions are great, especially the idea of positive reinforcement whenever the puppy is nearby. catloverami hit the nail on the head, Roxxie was "queen of the house".

The bottom line is, Roxxie feels threatened by this new arrival; she is exerting her authority and supremacy. Pooping on the dogs' bed is not a symbolic gesture, it is a literal "I poop on you" statement. She is saying, "You are nothing and I am still queen." Whatever attempts to moderate her behavior, just realize that the behavior is just a symptom. The root cause is her feeling that her position as #1 top cat queen of the house is being threatened.

Dogs often actively seek out our attention and affection, much more so than cats. Keep this in mind, and make an effort to seek out Roxxie and give her affection, loving words, petting, etc., and make sure you don't let her just slink away as cats so often do. She probably won't ask for attention like the dog does, so it's your job to remember to pay plenty of attention to her. (I suspect you already know this, but just in case I thought it's worth a mention.)

Good luck!! I hope all turns out well. I think over time, when she realizes the dog isn't going anywhere, and if you do a good job at making sure she knows she is still loved, valued, and respected, I think eventually (hopefully) she will stop the rude behavior and will more peacefully co-exist.
 

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i think Catloverami is on to something with the Cat Attract litter by Dr Elsey. Ive had good success with that litter with kitties who are problem markers, pee around the house. Jadis is also hit the nail on the head that you have to have cat boxes where the cat feel perfectly safe to change her behavior and use them. Yes your cat is marking to let you know she is not happy with the new addition. Introductions may have been to fast for her comfort.

Im posting two article from Little Big Cat that you might be able to glean some tips out of. The articles from this library are written by a vet and Jackson Gallaxy.

Cat-to-Dog Introductions | Little Big Cat

Also adding some spirit essence along with the Feliway plug in dispensers would go a long way in optimizing your chance of bring peaceful relationships to your household with your dog and cat.

The Making of a Spirit Essences Remedy: Safe Space for Cats | Little Big Cat
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone for your help!
Sorry for the delay in response, I just wanted to give it a few days and see if there was any progress to update or not.
I have 2 litterboxes 1 up and 1 downstairs, both in the bathrooms. I do have the one babygated (at the moment this is the bathroom I have been re-training her in- door closed of course). She has had no 'accidents' outside of the litterbox since the first four days in there and I have let her out-supervised- after three days accident free, just for short periods a few times a day. She did really well for the most part, she crouched once as if to 'mark' a spot so I immediately picked her up and transported her to her litterbox.
The puppy has been kept in crate during her outings and she has been showered with attention and loving (which she NEVER refuses :) ) but at this point I know I can't trust her yet to have her free reign.
Yes, she is definietly the queen, and I have been trying really really hard to let her know she still hollds the title lol.
I appreciate the feedback about the crating side by side. Rox has always been good to go in when need be for trips and vet visits and I was reluctant to make it a place for behaviour modification. I don't want her to associate it to anxiety at all, so I won't be using that tactic.
Rox still hisses and growls at puppy even though she's in the crate while I let her out, so even though it's already been three months, I think I have a long stretch on my hands to get her to accept the puppy. Again, I think this is the biggest challenge, and once that has been met, I think the rest will sort itself out. Hoping anyway :)
Thanks again to all of you. I will keep updating as time goes on and progress (??) is made. :)
 

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I think she may be defecating where ever the dogs slept to kill his scent with her own. This perspective might suggest other remedies, such as getting them to smell the same by rubbing them with the same towel etc
 

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Thanks for the tip faithless. While grooming Rox yesterday I put a towel under her to catch her fur, then took the towel and rubbed it all over the pup.
We'll see how her outing goes today and her reaction to the dog bed with that towel in it...
Crossing my fingers....
 

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I have lived w/ cats and dogs for my entire life. :) The keys to success are, IMO:

(1) Dog-free zones that only the cat can access. I provide this currently by putting a babygate in the doorway to the "cat room." Mine is very tall w/ a cat door in the bottom, but a normal height gate (36") also works, as any but an old or sick cat can get over it with ease. Put litterbox, water, comfy beds, and toys in this room and let the cat know it's HERS. Never allow the dog access. This goes a long way towards helping the kitty relax--if she knows she can get away entirely she will stop being so upset.

(2) Tether the dog. You should do this w/ a new puppy anyway for housebreaking/chew prevention reasons, but it also really helps w/ training re: cats. I use a 6-8 foot leash w/ the loop around the leg of my couch. Whenever the puppy is in the house with me, he is either tethered to the couch, crated, or tethered to me (leash around my waist). This way he can't get away where I can't see him, so I can be sure to take him out to pee in time, prevent him from chewing things I would rather he did not, and make sure he doesn't get into bad habits re: the cats. My youngest dog is currently Daniel, who I rescued out of the road at 6-9 mos 3 mos ago. B/c he is a coonhound and almost surely was not a house dog before, I have been treating him like a puppy. We had progressed to some off-tether house time when the barn cats (brought into the house a few months ago for good) started venturing out of the cat room. Daniel is great w/ 3 of my cats (the 2 original house cats and Conrad, the more confident of the barn cats), but b/c Erik is afraid of dogs and RUNS, we have a problem w/ him. ;) So Daniel is back on the tether. When I see him fixating on Erik, I call him and then click and treat for his attention. I keep him distracted until Erik wanders off, making much of him. Gradually he's paying less attention to Erik, and as a consequence, Erik is less worried and is hanging out in the LR more.

(3) Obedience train the dog. This goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway. ;) It's important to start positive training early and get a good recall (coming when called no matter what), an "off" or "leave it" (leave whatever you are doing), and a few more basics (sit, down) under the puppy's belt. Then you can tell the puppy TO DO something rather than NOT to do something (the former always works better than the latter)!

(4) Keep in mind that nothing stays the same with animals. How things are now is not necessarily how they will be in 6 mos or 2 mos or 2 weeks. So do what you can to make small improvements and don't panic. :)
 

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I highly highly recommend the serenity collar. You can get it at pet smart and it's like the feliway spray but in collar form so it goes with them.

As for them getting along; to be honest they probably won't. It's getting them to coexist. I have 3 cats and a dog. The oldest cat is terrified of the dog. She use to hiss and attack her if she got to close. She still meows loudly and will attack her if she gets close but the dog avoids her for the most part. Although she still chases her around when she's hyper.
 

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Thanks 3furbabies...
I will try anything. Rox has her hideaway spots, a gated bathroom, all the attention in the world, so like you said I think it's a matter of getting her to accept co-existing....
The towel with her smell on it in the dogs bed did NOT help at all... She was really good around the house for about an hour today, but as soon as I got busy in the kitchen and took my eye off her she peed on it again... :(
So... For now no dog bed out at all while Rox is on the prowl ;)
It's going to take a long time, but I am more determined than my little queen gives me credit for :)
 

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I highly highly recommend the serenity collar. You can get it at pet smart and it's like the feliway spray but in collar form so it goes with them.
Have you tried the collar? A cat friend and I tried the collars but I couldnt see that it helped. I was wondering your experience with it. How long did your cat wear it before you noticed a difference and how long was it effective till you replaced it with a fresh one? Thanks ahead of time!
 

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Have you tried the collar? A cat friend and I tried the collars but I couldnt see that it helped. I was wondering your experience with it. How long did your cat wear it before you noticed a difference and how long was it effective till you replaced it with a fresh one? Thanks ahead of time!
Yes, I recently used it on all 3 of my cats when we moved a month ago. We moved from an apartment to townhouse double in size so we were scared that they would freak out. 2 of the 3 are very skittish in new situations/environments and *hate* change. I put the collar on all three of them when we moved them in the car. They were still scared but as soon as I put them in their new cat room they immediately wanted out to explore. This is rare because normally they would hide in a ball. So we let them out they explored the whole day and then they were in heaven.

You are suppose to keep it on for a month but we took it off after 3 weeks because they acted like the lived here forever. I will be using this again next time we move/any stressful situation. :)
 
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