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problem with cats
  • RachelRachel
    Posts: 8
    Hello fellow shiba owners!
    i've got a bad problem. I have a 7 month old, un-neutered, male shiba.
    he was brought up with cats since 8 weeks.
    He would always chase and play fight with my one cat, I discouraged it and crated him as a punishment.
    Lately he's gotten very aggressive towards the cat, i'm afraid the leave them togther! She snaps at the cats face. Bites if he thinks the cat has found food.
    Yesterday the cat was sleeping on the top on my sofa, and my shiba jumped up to bite her...
    I have to keep them separate now, but naturally I like to sit in the living room with both pets. My shiba won't keep his eyes off the cat...
    I tried to move my shiba away from the cat today and he tried to bite me instead!

    I really don't know what to do, it's stressing me out!
    Post edited by sunyata at 2011-09-21 10:42:08
  • JessJess
    Posts: 70
    We have this exact same problem every time we visit Ben's mom's house.... She has a 15 year old kitty named Bob and even though Kuma grew up around Bob (Ben and Kuma lived there during the summer when we first got Kuma because Ben was working there) Kuma has this.... obsession with the cat. ESPECIALLY around food.

    It's hard because we don't get to socialize him with other cats often, unless we go there..... Kuma sometimes has to be like.. held back while bob is getting food or attention. :(

    IF anyone has tips on how to train a Shiba to love cats again I'd LOVE to hear them too!
  • I think it depends on the cat. We have two female cats about 3-4 years old- Null and Void plus Zume. At first the cats were curious when she was a puppy, but as she grows one cat (Void) will just refuse to be anywhere near the dog because she'll get chased and she knows it. Null will tolerate Zume for a while, even taking some licks to the face as graciously as a cat can, but knows when to tell the dog to back off when Zume gets too nippy. Puppy is barely 18 weeks old so I'm hoping this is something that will end somewhat in adulthood, but who knows.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
    Post edited by sunyata at 2011-01-28 15:58:38
  • RachelRachel
    Posts: 8
    Thank you for the advice.
    Keeping the 2 separate isn't an easy task. Mostly because my cat is quite the adventurer. So she'll crawl through an open window at any time, day or night after doing whatever cats do all day... I can't really shut any doors to prevent access to certain rooms (i have archways and sliding doors).
    Plus I don't know what I can do during the summer when both pets will be spending most of the time outside in the garden together...

    I have tried intervening, my shiba tries to attack my cat while i'm not around. When I do see this happening i'll shout 'NO!' and either crate him or give him a smack on the bum.
    I've been using the method since he was 8 weeks. The best it's done is made him be more sly about it.
    It's not the cat food he gets aggresive about either. It's things like; if the cat starts sniffing by a bin or if the cat sits in the kitchen while i'm cooking (I've never feed either pets while cooking)

    How would you recommend I 're-direct' my shiba? it kinda feels like i'd be rewarding him with toys for being aggressive...

    Thanks again
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8589
    Post edited by sunyata at 2011-01-28 19:30:02
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    Post edited by Calia at 2011-01-28 19:36:47
  • We have three cats and two shibas. Everyone gets along fairly well, though most of the cats will steer clear of Lia, since she likes to play referee when they are playing and if she catches them when she is really hyper will mount them.

    When we got Annie we had two cats. Those two cats had been raised around dogs and had helped "raise" a lab puppy. So they were fairly confident around dogs, and weren't afraid to whack her if she got too mouthy or whatever. When Annie was a puppy all she really wanted to do was play with the cats, but they mostly were having none of that, though sometimes they would all chase each other around the house. When we brought Lia home when Annie was seven months old that all changed. For a few months both dogs only had eyes for each other and us, but eventually they started wanting to play with the cats again. Annie was always very gentle since she remember that a growling and hissing cat usually meant a hit with claws. Lia, since she hadn't really bothered the cats as a really little puppy didn't catch on as fast. Eventually we started leashing her for a bit, using a halti (no pull collar like a gentle leader) to get her to calm down. She hated the halti so she would pout. For a few years all we had to do was bring out the halti when she was misbehaving and she would stop chasing the cats.

    We eventually got two more cats (and one of the original cats was rehomed to live in an only cat home...but that is another story) as kittens. At first I didn't allow the kitten (we got the kittens two years apart) have access to the entire house while we weren't home, and thankfully the first kitten we brought home, Charlie, was a spitfire who while he liked playing with the dogs, he only really liked it on his terms. Doug was another story, but since he is now bigger than Lia we don't really worry too much about him. He may be dumb and a little skittish, but Lia actually has some respect for him for some reason (probably because he is so big, 26 pounds!).

    Our cats also have their own room that the dogs don't have access to. There is a little cat door in the wall to this room for their access, and their food and litter are set up in there (which helps keep the dogs from hunting for cat food and "tootsie rolls"). The dogs go through this room only when going out to the backyard and only supervised. So the cats have some control over a small area of the house. Currently Lia and Cole (the oldest cat) are curled up on the couch side by side sleeping.

    I really strongly suggest a space for your cat, if you have to use a baby gate to section off part of your house do it. It really helps with the chaos of owning both cats and dogs. Also, shibas (in my experience) do not respond well to punishment, especially physical punishment. We used the halti as a "punishment" and it worked well, but I wouldn't recommend it for every shiba, or every dog. It worked with Lia because she literally shuts down when we used it and we never used it longer than five or ten minutes at a time. I would never recommend hitting any dog.
    The picture is Annie as a baby and Cole sleeping together!
    Post edited by Morgaine at 2011-01-28 21:39:12
  • McYogiMcYogi
    Posts: 518
  • To give you some reassurance, my puppy was a little obsessed with my cat, too. I often thought about how horrible I had made my cat's life by bringing home this dog! If the cat walked through the room, the puppy would chase after her and nip at her until she reached her destination and could jump out of his way. I often worried about how aggressively he approached her.

    He is now a year and half old. The behavior has reduced quite dramatically (age has helped a lot), and I no longer worry about leaving them alone together. There interactions are now limited to only minimal cat tormenting by the dog. He will go to the chair where she is sitting and bark at her or put his paw on her until she hisses and bats at him - then I see his tail shake in delight! It still drives him crazy if I give him a treat while she is in the same room, if he thinks it is really delicious.

    Teaching him "leave it" helped me make big strides with the behavior, plus just him growing up, but I didn't start uncrating him when I was away until I could trust him completely. But, there are the occasional times when I tell him to leave the cat when he mouths on me instead because he is so wound up about playing. We usually go play for a bit, and he is over it. Getting your pup neutered and teaching him good bite inhibition might help, too.

    Its gotten so much better that I even find them sleeping on my over-stuffed chair together occasionally.
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    @Camilla281 Glad to hear it's something that can naturally decrease with age. Hammond loves my cat Zephyr, but he's terrible at understanding cat language.

    There've been a few times where she (the cat) has gotten so annoyed at him that she swatted him hard enough that he yelped/screamed. But he still goes right back at her.

    He's only 17 weeks and it's definitely not aggression, but I was hoping that by now they'd have started to work things out. I mean, they have a bit, the cat will let him sit on her and mouth her for a while before she gets fed up and runs. She's much more willing to enter rooms if he's already in it. Sometimes Hammond will ignore her, but for the most part he still gets really excited and has to chase/pounce her whenever he sees her.

    I'll have to work on Leave It more and start doing more re-directing. I haven't been doing much of that because I thought "eh, they'll figure their dynamic out eventually" (the cat had been raised and previously lived with dogs for like 6-7 years, but the past three years she's been the only pet - finally had an apartment that allowed pets and no roommates who were allergic so I moved her out of my parents house and in with me). When things get a little too rowdy or the cat gets very loudly annoyed (or Hammond yelps), I'll go break it up and redirect him, but I'll have to start it every time he looks at her, since he definitely STAAAAAARES sometimes. Really don't want it to turn into prey drive, though luckily the cat is pretty fat and thinks she's a dog, so she doesn't do much of that "slinky cat" movement.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
  • We had our cat, Violet, for one year before we got Ginger. Ginger desperately wants to play with Violet and sometimes the cat will chase her back but when Violet is done, she's DONE. It's been a 2 year process getting to the point where they can peacefully coexist and there are moments when Violet is in a mood and wants nothing to do with Ginger.

    We feed Violet high up on a table so Ginger can not bother her when she eats. We also live in a 3 level townhouse and leave the very top level gated off so Violet has an entire floor to herself with her litterpan and toys. I think that helped alot, since Violet always has a quiet place. Now that Ginger is 2, she has calmed down a bit, which also helped. Ginger will leave Violet alone unless she's bored and if Violet doesn't want to play, she knows to leave her alone. Again, it took a long time and was quite the process but it is possible.

    When Ginger was a puppy we used the 'leave it' command with treats. We never used her crate as punishment and when Ginger would very calmy sniff Violet or ignore her, she'd get lots of praise and treats! Now they are to the point where they can cause mischief together (usually Violet starts and Ginger finishes it!), nap together (never snuggling though- Ginger takes a sunny stair and Violet will take one above her to keep an eye out), but they definitely have their "moments." It's a work in progress and don't get frustrated, there is no quick fix in getting your Shiba and cat to coexist. It takes time, training, time and TIME!

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