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Despite the popular saying of "getting along like a cat and dog " to refer to a bad relationship, the truth is that these two animals can get along and live together in harmony if the proper guidelines are followed. However, it is not unusual that in some homes the coexistence between these two species is rather unfriendly, with fights and even aggressions..
Surely if you have noticed that your cat attacks your dog you are worried and not knowing what you should do to avoid this situation. For this reason, at AnimalWised we want to help you understand why this enmity exists and how you can put an end to it..You may also be interested: Why does my cat attack me? Index
- Why is my cat aggressive towards my dog?
- What can I do if my cat attacks my dog?
- My cat keeps attacking my dog
Why is my cat aggressive towards my dog?
The presence of a dog in the home does not have to create discomfort or aggressive behavior in your cat. However, it would not be strange for it to happen, since felines by nature are animals that can easily be altered if there is a change in their environment, and depending on the nature of this, they may have more or less difficulties to adapt to said change. The main contexts in which this happens and, therefore, constitute the causes that explain why does your cat attack your dog are as follows:
- Lack of socialization with dogs. If your feline did not know any dogs when he was a puppy, it is totally normal for him to feel insecure in his presence because he is unknown to him, a fact that causes an aggressive response to danger.
- Has lived a negative experience with dogs. This triggers a highly stressful situation for your cat when living with one and, therefore, adopts a defensive aggressiveness towards the newcomer.
- Your dog does not respect the limits of the cat, since it may be a very playful puppy or adult who does not understand the feline's warnings and, consequently, does not stop bothering him. In this situation, it is normal that the kitten has caught a mania and makes it clear to the dog that he does not want to know anything about him by scratching or biting.
- Protect a valuable resource for him, It can be their territory, their food, and even you. This situation is usual when the dog is the newcomer to the home and, before his arrival, the cat was the "king of the house ". Therefore, the cat does not have to agree to have to share its space, your attention, etc., with the new member of the family and shows this rejection by attacking the dog. This can also happen even if the newcomer is another cat, so it is common to observe that the cat attacks the other cat that has just arrived. If you are the resource, do not miss this other article on Why your cat is very possessive of you.
- Finally, cats generally begin to show intolerance and aggressiveness when they live stressful situations, which can trigger aggressive behaviors towards others, as in this case, your dog. In this case, the usual thing is to notice that the cat has suddenly become aggressive or hisses at your dog when he has never done it before. This can also happen if the cat is sick or in pain, so it should be taken to the vet.
What can I do if my cat attacks my dog?
The fact that your cat attacks your dog can be quite alarming, since it could cause a conflict in which one of the two does not come out well. In very serious cases, it is best to go to a veterinarian specialized in ethology to solve the situation.
If you have not yet tried on your own to solve this situation, we advise you to pay attention to the following points to know what to do if your cat attacks your dog:
Keep them separate and use pheromones
Initially, you will have to separate both animals, that is, you will have to provide both of them with their own space with all the needs covered, but which, in turn, can maintain eye contact. For example, putting up separation rails or any obstacle that is stable and allows them to see each other. Now, depending on who the newcomer is, you will have to prepare this separation in one way or another:
- If your cat initially lived in the home and you have just adopted a dog, it is not good that you suddenly limit access to all areas. As far as possible, you will have to try to allow him to follow his usual routines, since a very abrupt change will only generate stress, which will not be beneficial for his well-being or for the adaptation process.
- Otherwise, that is, let it be the cat the one that just arrived home, You will not need to be able to access the whole house, but having a known space in which you feel comfortable and safe will be enough, for now.
On the other hand, and in both situations, the use of scent and the pheromones, Because cats are animals with a highly developed sense of smell and will help them to better adapt to circumstances. For this reason, place a pheromone diffuser in your space or the place in the home where you spend more time to promote that much-needed tranquility and calm. In turn, leave him in his space objects that have the scent of the dog, such as your sleeping blanket or toys.
Finally, in this process it will be vitally important that your dog obey a basic education to facilitate the situation and that, in case the problem is that the dog likes to bother the feline, you teach him to ignore it. Therefore, reward him when, for example, he sees you through the railings but does not address him or show upset (wanting to play, barking ...).
Go closer together little by little
After having spent a season in which you see that, despite the visual contact through the railing, your cat is calm in the presence of the dog (days or weeks may pass, depending on each feline), you can little by little approach them. This process will be delicate and will require a lot of patience, since forcing the situation will be counterproductive. In this step, what you will do is carry out short sessions in which you will bring your dog (obviously, on a leash) to a safe distance and in which you see that the feline remains calm. You will have to reward your cat at the moment so that through positive reinforcement I associate the dog with something good.
To facilitate the process, it is advisable to ask someone you trust for help, since it will require a person who is attentive to the dog, keeps it distracted, brings it closer, moves away and rewards in the process. Another person, in turn, will have to reward the cat through food and games, so that you can ignore the dog..
In these sessions, the goal will be desensitize the cat, that is to say, to obtain that this one is indifferent in front of the presence of the dog. To carry it out, you will progressively approach them during these daily sessions in different rooms, outside of them you will have to keep the railing or the obstacle that separates them, since it will not yet be safe for them to approach..
If your cat is only aggressive when the dog approaches a specific element and, therefore, protects a resource that is valuable to him, you should perform the same exercise in the presence of this element so that the feline sees that the dog is not he wants to remove it.
And if it is the case that your dog is a puppy or a very nervous dog that does not leave the feline calm, during these sessions you will also be teaching him to ignore him.
Coexist with care
Finally, if you know for sure that your cat remains calm and indifferent and your dog obeys you and is not going to bother him, you can start removing the railings and let them meet in the same area. However, you should always be with them to see that nothing happens. Therefore, you never leave them alone in the same room..
In turn, the feline must have access to places where it feels isolated and protected from all danger. For example, it is positive that you have a shelter in a high place that the dog cannot reach. This way, you can leave if you are not comfortable and you will not feel cornered. Finally, it also prevents the dog from having access to its food, water and litter box to avoid unnecessary conflicts.
My cat keeps attacking my dog
If after applying the above tips your cat continues to attack your dog and you have not observed any improvement, then we recommend go to a veterinarian specialized in ethology to personally evaluate the case, determine why your cat is attacking your dog and establish a plan of action. As we have already mentioned, the most serious cases must be treated personally by professionals in order to avoid further damage..