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Is it okay for my shiba to chase the cat?
  • Hello shiba inu lovers,

    This is my main question at the moment.
    I have a two year old black cat and a 10 week old shiba.
    Hachi the shiba chases the cat and it's also the other way around. At the beginning I did not hear growling or hissing. But now I occasionally do. Besides If it was for her she could play/chase maya cat all day. After a while it gets tiring to see this.
    I'm really confused!! I actually don't want her to do this behavior. My husband thinks they are playing and thinks that puppy will soon find out that Maya doesn't like it. He thinks it will go away. I hope so! We are not on the same page on this one. I have seen Maya cat using her nails or she comes back and provokes the pup.

    Should I let them continue doing this or stop it immediately. I have tried correcting her like saying OFF and holding her stable or poking her (not too hard more like one tap) . She doesn't listen. Actually I lifted her away right now and she tried biting my hand and was pissed. It's not like her normal self.
    I'm hoping this chasing behavior goes away.

    What do you think? Should I let it go and let them play? Thanks!
    This coming Saturday I'm taking her to the bbq and there will be cats (not on the bbq).
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    I would have a crate and a separate area the cat can go to for some peace and quiet.
    It isn't a good idea to poke or harshly correct the puppy for doing what is natural. Just put him in his crate when he gets too out of hand. At ten weeks you do not want to create a biting war. Again, time outs in the crate of ex-pen when your Shiba is being a pain is the best bet. Eventually when he matures they probably will get along if things don't get too out of hand now.

    Here's a link with some info on integrations between dogs and cats

    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2010-08-23 16:35:30
  • I'm also curious on this same topic. We have a 9 week old Shiba pup who is not scared of our resident cat. The cat, Reese, is pretty feisty and has not hesitated to show Bentley the business end of her claws. He continues to bark and yelp at her as he thinks shes playing.

    What is the best way to get these guys to accept each other into the house? Is it just by exposing them to each other and letting them figure out their natural order?
  • kuhligkuhlig
    Posts: 57
    Our female dog and male cat have worked it out amongst themselves for the most part--the cat will run to the second step of our stairway, and the dog will leave him alone when he reaches the second step. She will sit at the bottom waiting, or will go find something else to do, even though she could very easily go up the two steps.

    We cleared off a windowsill ledge and babygated our basement to create safe spots for the cat to escape to.
    We correct the Shiba when she tries to go after that cat in the "cat only" zones of our house.

    The cat has about a 10 lb size advantage on her now though. She is 8 months and 12.5 lbs and the cat is 6 years and 23 lbs (he's a maine coon, not a fatty).

    I do have softpaws to put on his claws if he ever gets too fiesty, but haven't needed them yet.
  • TortieTortie
    Posts: 197
    I would agree with SnF in that the cat should have an area that only she can get to, dog-free and peaceful. You don't want to over-stress the cat but it is also a good idea to get the two used to each other now when Hachi is a puppy. Usually after a couple of swipes to the face, a dog will learn their boundaries (just make sure no one gets hurt, of course).

    Just as a note, I wouldn't use the crate as a punishment tool. You want their crate to be their safe haven.

    Also, try redirecting the behavior rather than holding or poking at her. You can make an "eh eh" sound rather loudly to get her attention and then throw her a toy or something to distract her from the cat. When she goes for the toy instead, praise her.
  • Thank you for the help I really appreciate it!
    I don't harshly correct her it's more like a tap. But you are right I should not do this. I guess I watch too much dog whisperer where Cesar taps the barking dog and the dog stops lol. I would not use the kennel as punishment, it's her haven. She has been willingly and happily using it and sleeps in there all the time.
    The cat really doesn't have her own areas just the chairs or table where Hachi can't reach her. Need to get creative on the cat only spaces.I will continue using limited spaces. For now I close both doors in the living room. But then I make sure to open them again later just in case she wants to go in the garden and do her business.
    I think I will make CHHHH sounds or have a word like FOEI which means bad in Dutch.
    Great tips!! THANK YOU EVERYBODY. And please feel free to continue commenting.
    The thing is that I have seen them bite each other or Mayakat squeezes her nails on her little head. It seems like they are playing, but then they overdo it.
    Post edited by Hachi0406 at 2010-08-23 19:05:29
  • hey there,
    we've had a cat for 4 years before getting our puppy. We love our cat dearly, too! Our puppy Selene loved chasing our cat Macondo and we sort of let her at first as it was apparent that she meant no harm. However, after asking the lady who takes our puppy classes, she encouraged us to stop, saying that if Selene learns that it's OK to chase cats, she might not be as lucky some day and perhaps she'll be injured, she'll injure a cat or run away chasing one.
    Needless to say, our cat never really enjoyed Selene's attention, but at work we have a cat who loves playing with the pup! well, since we stopped allowing Selene to fully play with cats - she's still allowed to rub heads etc, but under supervision - she's a lot quieter around cats and our Macondo has started to come into the house when the doggy is asleep and get a pet!
  • Update: Since the cat spends a lot of time in the veranda I've decided to just close the doors between veranda and livingroom. At first it was hard because my shiba started yelping that she wanted to get in there, but I completely ignored it. Now when she gets closer to the cat she knows it's a big no no. I try to stop her before they go playing with each other and then chasing around. She's understanding that it's not allowed. Also keeping a good eye on them.. This will require lot's of patience.
    Also she got her last anti parvo shot so now I can take her out for nature walks and she can drain the puppy energy. Next week we start puppy class which i'm looking forward to so she can meet other pups and peeps. I'm sure we will both get something out of it.
    Post edited by Hachi0406 at 2010-08-26 10:35:02
  • Napping together...
  • JenngamJenngam
    Posts: 19
    My cat has never liked new things. When we brought her home about 2- 2 3/4 years ago she hated our dog Chewy. Couldn't blame her, she was probably just scared out of her mind with this German Shepard/Great Dane wanting to play with her. She got used to him in a few weeks. Unforutnately, he developed bone cancer and had a huge tumor in his leg. He didn't have a lot of energy to really play with her so he just let her play with his tail while he moved it around for her to catch. After he passed, my sister and I noticed that the cat loves to play chase. She would always try to get us to do it but of course we got tired doing it.

    Then we got Bandit and she hated him. He was smaller than her when we got him. She always growled and hissed so their first encounters were always me holding the cat and my mom holding Bandit. A year later and she still hisses and growls away at Bandit but only when she's not in the mood to play or when he catches her in a game of chase. We always thought she never liked him til one day when Bandit was sitting next to me and my cat was on my lap she reached over and bitched slapped him. He just looked at her like wtf? She did it again but it was like come on and play and then they were off. She knows how to pull the doors open around the house and at night when Bandit is with my parents sleeping she'll try to open their door or she'll just sit there and wait patiently.

    Now I have my Shiba, Coco, and the cat is still standoffish. Its only been two weeks and she lets Coco get relatively close to her before she starts hissing and growling. She let Coco sniff her at one point but for the most part she rather keep her distance. I think its so funny how similar Coco and my cat are to each other.
  • Hey everybody, I wanted to come back again and thank you so much for the help. I have been using all your tips and there is less chasing around. At the moment we are keeping an eye on both but it's working. There are times where they just pass each other.
  • Hi guys,

    Had my little Appa now since November 2012, and he's an absolute dream. Cute as all outdoors, have never had any bathroom issues, he's great with other dogs when we take him to the dog park for socializing, hasn't done too much damage at home vis a vis his teething (he's 7 months old now). He's a genuine blast.

    The ONE issue we are still having however, is in regards to the 3 year old cat that lives here as well. Appa attacks him mercilessly. Sometimes, when the cat is on his elevated area eating, I can see Appa literally sticking his head around the corner just enough to be ready for Reggie (the cat) to jump down so he can pounce on him. At first, we separated it immediately, because Reggie was not enjoying it. When I say not enjoying, I mean he just cried about it. He doesn't fight back, not even a growl. He literally just lays there while Appa drags him around by the head.

    What's the solution here? Appa knows we don't want him doing it. For months, I would put him in the quiet place immediately when I caught him doing it. We also tried socializing them, by having Reggie come over to him (which he'd do) and try to nuzzle him, while we held Appa back. That hasn't made anything better either.

    My wife and I are at our wits end trying to understand this behaviour, and how to make it stop.

    Any advice from someone who's also dealt with this and found a solution, or just knows how to fix it, would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks guys.
  • DebDeb
    Posts: 286
    One of the best things for this that we taught our dogs is "Leave it". We do not allow the dogs to chase our cat, let alone bite her. We don't allow the dogs to hunt the cat, if we see one of them lying in wait, they are redirected. Our cat doesn't care to interact with the dogs, though. We do have cat only access to the office as well as the greenhouse and cellar and those are places she chooses to spend most of her time when she isn't on our bed or in our laps or on the back of the sofa with her head near us. Miss Kitty will stand her ground and fight if need be, but we would rather not have upsets, eye injuries, etc... and vet trips or possible kitty death due to pets misbehaving. Just what works for us and our household.
  • Yeah, I totally wish that were possible with us.

    I keep saying our cat doesn't seem to have much interest in self-preservation. He continues to come around where the dog can get at him, and worse of all, he doesn't even fight back. You can imagine the frustration in all of this.

    I fear at this point our dog has entered a predatory mode, and sees the cat as easy meat, which to be honest he is. So that's where I'm left scratching my head.
  • Um, if the dog is in predatory mode and you see that, then you need to keep them separated. Don't let the dog drag the cat around unless you want a dead or injured cat. Especially if the cat doesn't fight back at all. It is your responsibility to your cat, whose life you are responsible for, to keep him safe from your dog.

    This seems like an obvious point to me.

    Just like the title of this thread makes me scratch my head everytime I see it. Should I let the dog chase the cat? Well, no.
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    I agree my three cats and dogs are not "friends". My cats have a space only they can access by going under a baby gate that we put high enough off the floor that they can go under but the dogs can't go under or over.

    It is not fair to the cat to not give them a safe private area and it is not fair to the cat to let your dogs chase it. That behavior needs to be corrected each and everytime you even believe the dog is ready to.

    I agree allowing the dog to drag the cat around is 1) extremely unfair to the cat and 2) setting your household up to be short one cat soon.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8584

    Yeah, I totally wish that were possible with us.

    I keep saying our cat doesn't seem to have much interest in self-preservation. He continues to come around where the dog can get at him, and worse of all, he doesn't even fight back. You can imagine the frustration in all of this.

    I fear at this point our dog has entered a predatory mode, and sees the cat as easy meat, which to be honest he is. So that's where I'm left scratching my head.

    What do you wish were possible with you? And why are you scratching your head? The concept of cat and dog not getting along is not that difficult to comprehend. Shibas are dogs with insanely high prey drive. Cats are small animals that act very much like prey to an excited Shiba.

    Why are you not keeping your dog and cat separate? Are you wanting your dog to kill the cat?! This is not that difficult to do. Baby gates, ex-pens, crates, etc. are fairly cheap and easy to set up. Utilize these tools to keep the cat and dog separate unless you are 100% supervising their interactions in a controlled and safe manner.

    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Does the cat have a cat room so it has a place to go when it wants to be away from the dog?

    Probably be best do make one so it can have place to eat and potty in peace plus keeps dog out of litter box..

    I'd stop interactions before the dog has chance to drag the cat by it's head. Seems dangerous especially if the dog goes further and tries a shake on it which can hurt prey or kill.

    maybe keep them separate and allow interactions in more controlled way on leash till the dog learns to not chase and hurt the cat.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • O....kay.

    I guess I should make things clear. The cat has the entire upstairs to himself. I put a baby gate against the bottom of the stairs so our Shiba can't get up there.

    What causes me to scratch my head (really, I'm coming here for help and guidance, not criticism on how I'm raising either of my animals) is that I have literally seen the dog waiting in full sight, just below the babygate, waiting for the cat to come down, and sure enough, the cat comes down, and immediately gets mauled.

    So, to now calm down the bleeding hearts, let me assure you, I immediately separate the two, and try to calm the situation down to the best of my abilities. Keep in mind I work full time, so does my wife, and we're not around all day. Our shiba has the run of the main floor, and the cat has everything he needs upstairs.

    Long term though, I'm trying to find a solution that appeases all parties. I'm trying to find out if, through long term interaction and us *clearly* working on fixing this behavior, will things change?

    Thanks for everything, and please, don't make assumptions (ie: that I LET the dog drag the cat around by the head. I don't. I love that cat. I have literally walked into a room and seen it. It's not like I'm sitting there encouraging it.)
  • I really don't appreciate your tone, nor understand the point of calling us "bleeding hearts" because we make the obvious point that you shouldn't let your dog attack your cat.* And like others, I have no idea what it is that you're asking here, because, no, your point is still not clear. What is that you want to achieve here? Are you asking if they will ever get along? Are you asking for ways to help them coexist? I'm glad to hear that the animals are kept separate, but obviously, they are not kept separate enough, or the "attacks" (your word) will continue. At the moment, I don't see what is being done to work on the situation other than a partial attempt at keeping them separated...

    There may be ways to train the dog not to go after the cat. Someone suggested a strong "leave it" command. However, if you are not there to supervise, then you need to make sure the dog and cat cannot get together. It's not enough to have a gate that the cat can get over. If the dog is in predatory mode--and yes, this is the norm for Shibas--then they need to not have ANY unsupervised interactions.

    People here obviously have had Shibas get used to resident cats. It is possible. But it is not actually that easy, with a dog with a high prey drive, nor is it going to happen on it's own. And it may never happen, depending on the individual dog.

    *I said this as an individual forum member, but now that I think of it is, it is a good moderator comment too, so I'll also say it as a moderator: it is not ok to insult people and be rude on this forum.
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2013-04-26 18:01:18
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    @CGallinger - What do you do after you separate them? Do you give any sort of correction or punishment, or have you tried working on teaching appropriate behavior?

    When we had brought in a second cat, our pups wanted nothing more than to practically eat him. What we did was to introduce them to each other through a baby gate, and the second one of the pups had shown any inappropriate behavior they were taken away and given a time out. Through repetition, they learned to remain calm around the cat for the most part. That didn't stop my shiba from grabbing tails from time to time and needing refreshers on cat etiquette.

    Though, when my older cat started to fall ill, the dogs were relentless in bugging her so I had to resort to keeping her in her own room that the dogs were not allowed in at all. In the end, you really can't break a dog of their predatory instincts 100% especially after they've been rewarded (ie, the joy of hunting and grabbing the cat) for the unwanted behavior.
  • @Calia - I have been using a VERY strong "leave it" command as a form of correction when the incidents occur. We have even tried tiring the dog out through long walks, etc. and then having the cat brought over so they can sniff each other out. Unfortunately, the dog immediately starts trying to bite the cat. Thank you very much though for providing me with actual behavior tips and advice, rather than immediately jump to conclusions like the rest of this group. I will try your advice of having them come near one another with a baby gate and see if that helps.

    @Shibamistress - I am calling you, and everyone else that has berated me so far "bleeding hearts" because rather than get to the core of what I'm trying to correct (the cat/dog behavior) you'd rather, as aforementioned, jump to the conclusion that I am not, or have not been trying to the best of my abilities to correct it. I have been. And since I know you are all experts in the field of Shibas, through owning them, training them, etc. I thought I'd find some answers and help around here. Instead, I feel attacked. So that's fine, don't appreciate my tone, it won't change my life in the slightest bit. I will take the advice actual HELPFUL people like Calia have given me, and work at correcting this behavior as best I can.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    Using 'leave it' as a correction is in a sense not the proper way of executing that command. If the dog doesn't listen when you use it, you need to practice it more with less desired "items" (not saying the cat is an item just can't think of a better word) and/or follow through more consistently with a correction. Correction here is referring to such means as time outs or even just giving the dog a different distraction than the cat.

    I'm not sure if you utilized time outs at all, but they really can be helpful. Let dog see cat, remove dog from area for about 10 seconds if they do unwanted behavior, and repeat. Using some sort of fence or barrier could help keep the cat protected at first but may also increase the frustration in the dog since they can't reach their target as easily. Like others have said, you should also try to prevent the cat and shiba from interacting when you aren't around to intervene, the more your shiba practices unwanted behavior the harder it will be to break them of it.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    Now to put my Admin cap on. I would like to ask everyone to just take a step back and take a deep breath. We are all here because we all do care about the well being of both shiba and cat. Even if it may sound like people are jumping to conclusions or that some of what's said is misinterpreted, I ask for everyone to please keep calm and refrain from bickering.
  • knnwangknnwang
    Posts: 645
    I dare you to pinch his ears with your fingers and take a walk with it off lease the next time that happens...
    Post edited by knnwang at 2013-04-27 01:55:34
  • @CGalliger I believe you're somewhat misapprehending the meaning of a very strong leave it. The "very strong" refers to how well the dog responds to the command. If your "leave it" command were as strong as people were suggesting for it to be a solution, you would never need to separate them. You would simply be able to see the dog begin to focus on the cat, tell him to leave it, and the dog would.

    Also, and I know this goes back to your very first post, but I would caution against thinking that Appa "knows" he's not to be going after the cat as he's showing no signs of knowing it, at least based on your descriptions. It's always more helpful not to overdo things in terms of what you think your dog knows, because, frankly, if they're not behaving as you want, they almost certainly don't know and you're only doing yourself a disservice by missing that critical step of making sure the lesson is well-learned.

    Finally, I'll just reiterate what some have already suggested. You need to make sure you are watching every single interaction between the animals if you're to make progress in fixing this. One of them should always be either in your sight or completely confined (as in no way to get to the other) whether you're at home or away. That way you can always intervene and the dog can't practice and reinforce the undesirable behavior (going after the cat). You need to completely prevent all future incidents and make sure that all their interactions are controlled.
  • @cgalliger - out of curiosity, is there a reason the pup gets full run of the downstairs? Even for dogs that are very trustworthy, it's early in the sense that he's still a puppy. Have you gone through the rebellious phase yet?

    The reason I ask is because I think you probably shold scale back his freedom if you and your wife work full time and the cat is bad about staying strictly in his safe zone and the pup lies in wait. I think consistency plays a bigger part in training than we always remember. It would probably be helpful to put him in an expen or crate while you're at work. Everytime he's allowed to stalk the cat (simply by him waiting and the cat coming down) it reinforces the opposite of what you want. The boundaries that you're trying to communicate to him are blurred, so the first step is to supervise every meeting, which means not making allowing him any freedom to reinforce his drive while you guys are at work. Even if the cat doesn't come down, he probably finds the act of waiting pleasurable and every time it happens, it will make retraining that much more difficult.

    One other thing, since there's little detail on the training background of your pup. It's helpful to remember when training that a no coupled with a yes is more effective than a no alone. If you aren't already, when you're asking him to leave the cat alone, you should not only be giving positive enforcement, but redirecting that drive in a way you find appropriate, but that your dog also enjoys. If your dog is play driven, a redirection to play that still exercises that hunting instinct safely might be the way to go. Have you done flirt poles, or other skittering of plush toys? Just a thought.
  • ceziegcezieg
    Posts: 107
    @CGallinger It's less of a case of assumption making, and more of a case of trying to pull away the blinders. Dragging the cat around by it's head after intentionally stalking it is very serious (which, to be clear, you state understanding of) and yet still have a situation that allows it to happen. There have been Shibas before that will escalate this behavior, and all it takes is a quick two second shake to snap the cat's neck. Even just the dragging can cause damage from pressure exerted in concentrated areas of the head/neck. So having been through threads like this before and hearing the first hand experiences of situations like this (last year someone's Shiba did in fact snap a household cat's neck), it's a bit understandable for people to be like "Why are you still allowing them to interact in the first place?". COMPLETE separation of them needs to happen as the very first step of fixing this issue, then you can attempt to quell the prey drive.

    The Shiba I fostered had an intense prey drive and little tolerance of other dogs invading his space. The one thing that worked was taking him out of the situation to a time out whenever he did something I didn't like. Starting to snarl at another dog? Instant walk away in the other direction to be isolated from the other dogs, go back once he's calmed down, repeat until he gets the idea. The same concept works for just about anything, since isolation is the ultimate punishment for a social animal like the dog.

    To be completely hones though, from my experience with strong prey drive dogs, you may just need to rehome the cat or somehow permanently isolate him to the upstairs only, or work out a situation where Appa is on a leash (long or short) when the cat is roaming the house. For the safety of your cat that's what has to happen as step 1.

    The breed is very intelligent and mischievious, especially when in that young "teen" stage. So the second your attention is diverted and the cat is around, that may be Appa's ticket to "play" with the cat even more intensely, and the only one happy about that situation is going to be Appa. Even if the cat didn't die from a shake, just the momentum of a single shake in one direction is going to cause massive nerve damage (including partial paralysis, seizures). The Shiba prey drive is a very deeply ingrained instinct and is already very difficult to redirect from a Shiba who has a mild prey drive.

    So what you may be seeing as being berated is actually people responding to *yet another thread*, yes we've seen this before, where the full precautions aren't instituted and, in several previous cases, ended up with severely injured cats. Sorry if caring about your cat's well being qualifies as being a "bleeding heart" :)
  • For what it is worth. I have 2 dogs with a high prey drive and only one is a shiba. I found that if I give positive rewards, or lots of treats, any time I see the dogs start to chase the cat, then sometimes that prey drive isn't as high or the chase isn't as intense or last nearly as long. I also have a baby gate and allow the cat to safely roam the second floor and the dogs will wait at the bottom of the steps for her to come down. I've also tried to redirect their attention by having them practice tricks with me standing as a barrier between the dogs and the steps to redirect or correct them when they decide to chase the cat. I'm by no means an expert in training dogs and most of what I have found works for me just through trial and error. I hope that some of these might work for you or help you discover what works for your dog. Just remember that no matter how tough your cat seems, the dogs prey drive is stronger and could lead to negative consequence. So again good luck!!
  • RyanRyan
    Posts: 293
    I integrated a 6 month shiba with my 12yo family cat. The cat had a "Safe" room it had access to, and I mostly let them sort it out under supervision. Bella adored the cat, and would sleep wherever the cat did, so I guess the age was critical. The cat would put on a show when it decided it no-longer wanted to play and Bella would respect that. Suki on the other hand cannot be trusted around cats even though Bella tells him off and protects the cats.

    I have also had bell playing with a 14wo kitten and she crawled up to it with it's toys trying to make friends. Such a beautiful experience.
    Bella (Sherae Aka Akicho) | F | Born 27/1/2012
    Suki (Aust. Ch. Betlin Takaisuki) | M | Born 03/02/2005, adopted 10/09/2012
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    My cat from hell is a show on animal planet I've been watching kinda fun and neat..

    One episode had issue with cat trying to hurt dog. kinda the opposite. hehe

    The dog is a chihuahua so small dog..

    Not that it helps, but who knows maybe it might give some idea.

    I'm not expert on cats as mine were dog savvy and were calm with them or fought back which a cat swat usually gave dog the idea. Saya getting swatter made her dodge and bark and yodel at the cat which makes the cat run which Saya chased, but stopped when I told her to leave it and come.

    My cats are now dead due to old age. I still have to deal with neighbor cats. Saya will leave them alone, but the cats don't seem to be afraid to run off so She just watches and whines some.
    I found this on youtube.. never saw this episode maybe finding the full episode online somewhere might help some.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • GrayJJGrayJJ
    Posts: 67
    Your shiba is still young, could explain his persistence and high prey drive/ignoring your commands. I have two older cats when I brought a shiba home, it does indeed take time and perseverance on your part...keep at it!

    I would step up "leave it" training, practice repeatedly with items beyond just when your shiba goes for the cat. In terms of a barrier - if your cat is escaping, you need to step up the separation method to protect both animals if you aren't home/supervising. I.e. keep your cat's food and litter upstairs, add an extra gate at the top of the stairs or keep your cat in a room. It may feel like a hassle but is better than coming home to one or both wounded pets. Thirdly, I'd only let your pup interact with the cat while leashed and supervised, until he listens more to "leave it".
  • teddyjamesteddyjames
    Posts: 124
    I'm sort of having a reverse issue with this! Apollo is about 11 weeks now, and my brother has a 4 year old cat. The cat has never been around dogs before, and has had free roam of the house for years. After getting Apollo, he spends most of his time in my room, and the cat gets free reign still. We set up brief encounters between the two, keeping Apollo on-leash and when he's not excited. They'll go nose to nose to smell, and I immediately praise and treat, and bring him back to my room. The cat is INTENSELY curious about the dog. Won't stop staring or following (not stalking though). If we're all on the couch, she'll slowly walk up to him and bitch-slap him multiple times (no claws, no hiss). She gets a quick no and walks away. Apollo just sort of looks at me, unsure of what to do. I can't tell if this is playful cat stuff, or the start of something bad. Any hiss from the cat or attempts to chase/play on the dogs part gets an immediate no and removal from the situation.

    Short version: My cat keeps punching my dog, is this play or something different?
  • @teddyjames That punching is also known as boxing. Those quick 1234's that they do without claws or real intent to hurt. Its often to warn or put in place someone. My Siamese cat does it to Kai whenever she walks over to her food bowl and tries to eat when he is there eating (he loves her raw food and tends to think her bowl is his bowl). He usually lets out a peeved "raaaarrrrahhh" when he does it. Its nothing harmful, and sometimes she takes the hint and other times she just stands her ground and he walks away a little bent out of shape. I wouldn't worry. Its actually good that your cat has enough confidence to stand up to the puppy. It will set the stage for mutual respect down the road.

    @CGallinger It is possible to have cats and shibas live together in at least coexistence. My four cats all have different relationships with my shiba and not one of them is of a violent nature. I agree with other members, isolation is key. Your cat doesn't sound like the brightest crayon in the box, so to speak. He seems to underestimate the damage your puppy can do. I think its safer to keep the two absolutely separate when you cannot be with them, and to make introductions in a very controlled way. You can try having the pup on a leash and meeting the cat slowly. Do it so every time the puppy looks away from the cat you give a treat. You can also put the puppy in a crate if you have one and have the cat in a carrier of some sort and place them close to each other (not too close) to get them used to eachother's presence without any contact. This doesn't have to be for very long, even if its just while you're making dinner. I'd also practice the "leave it" command with other objects. To have a strong command, you need to work your way up in difficulty. Work on leaving it with less tempting things like a toy, or a biscuit on the floor. Once you have a strong "leave it" with inanimate objects then you can move on to living things such as people, other dogs and obviously your cat. Training is a process. Its about working up to your goal. And if you are trying to use an underdeveloped command, and the puppy keeps messing it up, then you are not able to utilize it right and it will eventually lose its meaning. Don't expect your puppy to be able to "leave it" for something that's a level 9 exciting thing if you haven't mastered it perfectly around things that are a level 3 or 7 etc.

    I think what's most important to remember right now is:
    A) Complete separation of two animals. COMPLETE
    B) Controlled, safe, and positive interactions between puppy and cat
    C) Improving "leave it" command by working your way up from less exciting objects to living creatures. Don't bite off more than you can chew!
  • Hi all,

    I have appreciated the advice in this thread and others I've searched about Shibas and cats. Unfortunately, despite incorporating a lot of advice, most of what we've read isn't working very well. Winston is now a year old and has lived with our cat since we got him at eight weeks. He has always demonstrated a lot of interest in the cat ... to the point that he's downright obsessed with her 24/7. All our efforts to create safe spaces, teach him a command to leave the cat alone, reward good behavior, distract him, or use time-outs have just not led to any improvement, and we're pretty tired of constantly policing him.

    Winston is constantly following and stalking the cat around the house, watching her every move, and *extremely* fixated on her. He is not really aggressive, just refuses to leave her alone, tails/stalks her nonstop, nips the base of her tail to try and engage her, or rushes to his food and water bowl if she's anywhere near them. The cat rarely bats at him or puts him in his place, and when she does she's very gentle and he thinks it's a fun game. So far, he is mostly gentle with her (just annoying) but we've been trying to curb this behavior before it escalates, so he's not given the opportunity for it to turn into chasing or wrestling and physical harm.

    The cat has a designated room of her own, and we've been somewhat successful at teaching Winston to stay out, though this requires vigilance on our part. We also have a baby gate that separates our kitchen/dining room from the rest of our apartment, so the cat can escape him when she needs to. However, she's not the type to hide out to avoid the dog -- she is social and wants to be with her people, she is curious about Winston and seems to have some interest in being friends, and isn't happy confined to a particular space. So she walks around a lot and will sometimes be friendly with the dog, which I am sure is confusing and frustrating for him.

    Following some advice we read, we established the phrase "No Kitty". Winston definitely knows what it means at this point, but even though he's regularly rewarded with treats or a "Good boy!" for ignoring the cat, he frequently ignores the command, will only leave the cat for 30 seconds before being overcome by his drive to go investigate her, or will lie down but then keep laser beam surveillance on her and eventually start stalking again.

    Unless we get up to go fish something out of his treat bowl, he's not very distractible when he starts fixating on the cat. Turning his attention by calling his name, telling him to come, or throwing a toy maybe works 20% of the time -- the cat is far more interesting to him and he'll barely turn his head when we try to divert his focus. Physically blocking him from getting to her doesn't really work either; he's exceptionally persistent and will just keep trying to get around us.

    Time-outs do not really seem to put a dent in the behavior. We're to the point where he gets time-outs (escalating from crate to bathroom depending on seriousness of the infraction) for going after her or refusing to stop staring/stalking, but he's as intent on her as ever, even immediately after being released. If he's crated or even on the opposite side of a gate when she's out and about and he can't get to her, he will pitch a barking and whining fit.

    No matter how much exercise, play, and training Winston gets, the cat is capable of piquing his attention 100% of the time. Even when he's clearly exhausted from a day at doggy daycare or a big romp at the dog park (which he loves), he can. not. leave. the. cat. alone.

    My questions are (and sorry if these are repetitious despite an extensive search):

    - I do see potential for Winston and Maya to get along. Should we let them work it out more and not police him so much, or are we doing the right thing by trying to get him to stop this behavior altogether? Seems some people here say, "They learned to get along eventually," and others express more concern about keeping all dog-cat interaction to a minimum until Shiba learns to not harass the cat.

    - Am I just being too impatient about behavioral improvements with a one-year-old dog, or should we be doing something different than above, or is this potentially a scenario that's just never going to remedy itself? I have a hard time knowing what is a reasonable expectation given the lack of improvement.

    - Would a trainer help with this issue, or would they be likely to have us do what we're already doing?

    - Any other suggestions? We're really at our wits' end with this, and I feel badly for both him and the cat because I don't think it's pleasant for either of them.

    Thank you!
    Post edited by alishaarrr at 2015-11-28 21:19:20
  • @alishaarrr, oh how I hear you. You have described our predicament with our Shiba and our cat in total and accurate detail. We went through the exact same predicament you did. We got Dakota when she was 8 weeks old. Our cat (a senior at the time) wanted nothing to do with her. So, she basically hid and lived upstairs only coming down in the middle of the night for food, etc. As the time went on, and Dakota grew up, nothing really changed. Dakota became fixated on the cat -- much in the same way you describe -- not in an aggressive way, but a total obsession. We finally moved our cat to the upstairs of our house. Her litter box, all her food, etc. And we put a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs to keep Dakota downstairs. At night, Dakota slept in her crate and the cat was finally free to roam the house and sleep in the bed with us. We did try to let them work it out at some point, thinking Dakota saw the cat as forbidden fruit. Dakota just chased her under the bed or up on a window sill and barked. Our poor elderly cat just couldn't take it, so we decided to just keep them separated in the manner I previously described. It just wasn't worth the stress on both the elderly cat and us. Luckily we have a large house, so nobody was inconvenienced with the separation. Just made us sad that everyone couldn't get along and Dakota would never be one of those Shibas on Facebook constantly grooming and loving its little cat brother/sister.

    We tried it all, positive training, little time-outs, etc. etc. Nothing worked and when we finally realized that we would have to live in a dog downstairs and cat upstairs world, we just adjusted. I'm not saying you can't fix this problem, but we never could. Our dog and cat lived separately until she died of old age last Spring. It is nice not to have to step over a baby gate anymore to go upstairs, but we often think of getting a kitten and trying all over again. Our cat was just too old to tolerate a puppy -- let alone a Shiba puppy.

    Good luck with your issue!

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