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Gabila
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Does anyone have any cat and dog issues?

We have a very difficult situation. We have two 8 year old cats and Fitz who is 4 months old. He wants to play and they don't. He gets so excited when he sees them but the cats are irritated. He gets into play position and they go defensive. When he doesn't get a response he barks at them and continues barking at them. They swat and hiss, he barks and jumps around. Then all hell breaks loose. Ivan (my male cat) goes in for the attack and the game is on.

I had kept him gated off in the living room but we realized that we needed him to be comfortable in the front space of the house so we gated off the hallway and now he has access to the dining room, living room and kitchen. BUT that also means the cats. The cats can and do retreat in to the bedrooms when they have had enough. But Ivan loves to sit in front of the big window it's his favorite spot and he just can't do that with Fitz constantly on his tale. So now I have to pen him for a bit every now and then so the cats can get some peace and walk around the living room. Because if I don't it's non-stop meowing, hissing and barking. Now he lunges at the back window when we are outside if he sees that cat in front of it.

We went through the introduction process and things seemed to be going well. We go to puppy class and Fitz does not do this to any of the other pups, in fact, he just sort of stands back and observes and when he's invited to play he's an angel. No growling, no barking, no lunging just light playing. He only barks when he wants attention.

I know that part of it is a cat problem; I have a calming collar on Ivan, who is the most trouble. I even have lavender scented air freshener all over the house to add to the problem. I have gone so far as to buy calming treats for everyone, including the humans. Merlot, anyone? But I need to deal with the Fitz side of it. I try to get his attention away from the cats by calling him, clicking and luring him with treats and it doesn't work. He is so distracted it's maddening. What have you done, or has worked for you? Help!
 

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we are going thru this exact same thing! We have 2 - 6 year old cats who have always lived with our 2 other dogs and got along great with them but the cats came to live with us when they were only 8 weeks old so it was them who were all over our 2 older dogs at the time. They all got along wonderfully. We had to put our 15 year Golden down in June and our other one a month later. Now all of a sudden this fireball comes into our home and the cats are completely thrown off after having 2 senior dogs - quite a difference for sure.

Well They have not liked Baylee since her first day here ... 4.5 month old Baylee like your Fitz wants to take on the cats every second he sees them! They hiss and swat her as well ... they do come around when she is sleeping and sniff her out but once she notices them she all of a sudden wakes up and all hell breaks loose! I too wonder if they will ever get along!?!?
 

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It will get better with maturity. Although maturity may take over a year. As long as the cat isn't too stressed and the dog doesn't suffer any serious damage they'll work it out eventually. You're just going to have to supervise anytime they're in a room together until Fitz can learn to be calm around the cat. You may want to have him wear a leash when he's in the living room and see if you can help him along by making him sit next to you and just relax while the cat is in the room. Unfortunately there's no easy fix. It would be too simple if puppies were always wonderful and adorable but never caused any stress.

Here's my 6 year old cat with our youngest of 3 dogs. Believe it or not, they actually do get along quite well. Although even at 14 months we still have to tell our dog, Teal, not to pester the kitty.
 

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It will get better with maturity. Although maturity may take over a year. As long as the cat isn't too stressed and the dog doesn't suffer any serious damage they'll work it out eventually. You're just going to have to supervise anytime they're in a room together until Fitz can learn to be calm around the cat. You may want to have him wear a leash when he's in the living room and see if you can help him along by making him sit next to you and just relax while the cat is in the room. Unfortunately there's no easy fix. It would be too simple if puppies were always wonderful and adorable but never caused any stress.

Here's my 6 year old cat with our youngest of 3 dogs. Believe it or not, they actually do get along quite well. Although even at 14 months we still have to tell our dog, Teal, not to pester the kitty.
I love this picture. So adorable how the dog is protective.
 

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Flatcoat/Golden mix momma
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We introduced Hendrix to our 1 year old persian two weeks ago and expected all hell to break loose. Luckily the cat is naturally calm - but I'd never ever heard a cat growl before, I thought it was the dog! The first few days were rotten, the cat was very put about. Hendrix's breeder already had two persians so she didn't even bother him to start with.

However curiosity has now got the best of both of them. She bounces him, gets into play position, and immediately his tail starts going. If she corners him (accidentally because she's not aware of it and because he's the worst escape artist known to man) he raises a paw and sometimes bops but no more hissing now which is a relief.

But the more interested they both are in each other, the faster it escalates. I THINK the cat wants to play with her but they just don't understand each other's body language. Sometimes she's playing on the kitchen floor, standing over her toy, and he'll be sat above her on the kitchen chair, and he bops her tail and even the other day dangled and rested his paw on her back while she played. They both like the same toys but it's still a case of 'throw the ball and see who bullies who first to get it'. So we're not on joint playtime just yet.

We've found that keeping calm as possible around them is the best way to make both of them more comfortable. Sometimes we'll pick her up while the cat is sat on the table and hold her close for him to investigate and sniff. He is very interested when she's asleep (sniffing very cautiously but thoroughly her and everything she's touched in the last hour), and doing this calm 'introductions' time seems to help satisfy his curiosity while she's awake, too. We figure if we can get him comfortable being close to her when she's awake we'll be sorted. They currently happily sleep within a foot of each other, bellies up, so must feel pretty happy anyway. But it's this controlled, happy, relaxed moments of holding the dog while letting the cat investigate that seem to have really helped. She even licked his face yesterday during our 'calm time' and rather than hissing, bopping, growling, or running away he just licked his own nose in surprise and stayed put.

The body language confusion I think is causing most problems with ours - a wagging tail means a happy pup but a warning from kitty - and doing calm time together like that seems to help. We also try to stroke both at the same time when they're chilling out close to each other, and feed a treat at the same time etc so they only have happy experiences when in close proximity.

Sorry if none of that helped but I thought I'd share - we're only two weeks in so it could all change! I'd keep it to supervised time and make sure the cat knows it's still king by feeding and petting first etc.
 

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My girl, Storm, is a cat fanatic. Much like ArchersMom stated, maturity was a big turning point with her and the cats.

My cats have all lived with dogs and know how to handle themselves, but as a puppy Storm would not take "no" for an answer. Our oldest cat, the most dog-savvy, is quick to hiss at Storm and get her to back off, but our middle cat always plays possum. This gets Storm beyond excited because she can then scoot the cat around with her nose. Her and our youngest cat wrestle, so she really has a wide variety of personalities to contend with.

We have worked consistently with her on "leave it" and have seen great improvement with that. As she has grown, she's now 2, we have seen the cats relax more and more with her. It has been a challenge, but well worth it. The cats always have at least one bedroom that is gated off with all of their supplies (food, water, litter box). Storm is not allowed in this room at all and I think it has helped to have an area like this.

It does take time and can be incredibly frustrating to get there, but keep working on it!

The picture below is Storm with our "possum" cat. He loved our GSD, but has taken to Storm as she has matured.
 

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