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Cat Attacking My (blind) Dog

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by thirdwave22, Oct 6, 2018.

  1. thirdwave22

    thirdwave22 Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

    Oct 6, 2018
    My fiance and I moved in together almost a year ago, and he brought with him two dogs, one of whom has gone from nearly blind to completely blind. My cat is almost two and had never been around other animals before these two dogs. Enzo, our blind dog, walks into everything and that includes Noa, my cat. I think she thinks he's aggressive towards her and so when he walks near her she started hissing and swatting him. Recently, she's taken to attacking him if he was just walking by, and this has happened twice when she was sitting on or near me. My fiance intervened by picking Enzo up and she redirected her aggression to him, meaning she seriously scratched his legs and bit him. This is very stressful for everyone and I'm worried she will hurt Enzo as she has her claws. I failed to get her spayed up until yesterday, and I'm hoping this helps with her aggression. In the meanwhile, we're keeping Noa and Enzo separate but this is not a great long term solution. I am getting caps put on her nails in a few days so she's less physically dangerous and I'm exploring anti anxiety meds for her. Does anyone have any other suggestions? I want them to be able to be in the same room together without her being constantly afraid of him and attacking him. Thanks!
    catsknowme purraised this.

  2. Kflowers

    Kflowers TCS Member Top Cat

    Jul 28, 2018
    the nail caps do work, except cat will continue to scratch furniture or scratching post to pull them off. So keep an eye on them. When we used them, I had the vet put them on each time. Had it redone every 28 days when she'd pulled several off.

    It works better with two people putting the nail caps on. With Sweet Gum, light sedation helped.
    catsknowme purraised this.

  3. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Top Cat

    Jun 13, 2018
    Central FL (Born in OH)
    Hi! And Wow! I hope what you are currently doing with Noa works! But, do you think putting a bell or something like that on either her or Enzo might help? If it is put on him, she will hear him coming, and maybe not feel as if she is being surprised/attacked? If put on her, maybe the noise of it will cause him to redirect himself away from her?

    You might also want to try to be prepared to give her a treat when Enzo is nearby - like a distraction of sorts. If she doesn't attack him she gets another treat. Little harder to do, but perhaps worth a try.

    Hopefully others will have better ideas for you!
    catsknowme, Jem, PushPurrCatPaws and 2 others purraised this.

  4. Columbine

    Columbine TCS Member Staff Member Advisor

    Feb 27, 2015
    The kitty playground
    Hi, and welcome to TCS :hithere::welcomesign:

    It seems like the root of the problem here is that Enzo can't tell where Noa is. Have you tried giving Noa a collar with a bell? If Enzo can 'see' where she is from a sound, it might well stop (or at least greatly reduce) this issue.

    Another tip would be to open up vertical space in the home, focusing on corners and corridors - basically anywhere where Noa can feel trapped by Enzo. Cats will usually avoid confrontation if they can, so giving Noa an alternative route out of Enzo's reach should encourage her to use that to 'escape' rather than feeling like she has to fight to defend herself. You and I know that Enzo isn't a threat, but it'll take a little time for Noa to learn this for herself.

    How is Noa with the dogs in other respects? Is her aggression towards Enzo a new thing, or has it always been an issue? Are there specific places, situations, or times of day that they have these misunderstandings?

    I've introduced cats to dogs a number of times over the years. Noa sounds like she's a little like my girl (who's a little high strung/temperamental, and quick to hit
    ...thankfully mostly without extended claws). Giving Asha plenty of high places and alternative/escape routes is what made the biggest difference. Over time, she's come to really like my dogs - she just needed to feel safe around them first (and let's face it, labs and greyhounds can be pretty intimidating for a little cat ;)).

    I certainly wouldn't be jumping to anxiety meds quite yet. Get Noa's claws clipped and capped (though clipped claws alone can be almost as effective, so long as you keep on top of it). Give her hormones a chance to settle down, and the reassess in maybe a couple of months.

    If you feel like Noa needs some extra help right now, talk to your vet about trying a food based calmer like Composure or Zylkene. They can make a big difference, so definitely worth trying before moving on to pharmaceutical meds :)
    How To Safely Introduce A Cat And A Dog
    Re-directed Aggression In Cats
    How To Make Your Home Bigger (at Least For Your Cats)
    Solving Cat Behavior Problems: The Key Ingredient
    Six Surefire Strategies To Reduce Stress In Cats
    Anti-anxiety Medication For Cats

  5. di and bob

    di and bob TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 12, 2012
    Nebraska, USA
    Even though it has been a year, when Enzo walks too near Noa she takes it as a threat. Females are very much personal space driven, and when other animals enter that personal space, when it is not initiated by her, they are very prone to teach the intruder manners. Cats are very quiet creatures, so I feel sorry for poor Enzo who most likely doesn't hear her or even know she is there. A muted bell would be good, something that won't drive YOU crazy. Getting her spayed is definitely a good idea, hormones can drive cats to excitability which in turn turns into irritation. It takes up to 6 weeks for the hormones to leave the body, and now she may be driven to attack because she is hurting/traumatized by the spay surgery. Try to redirect Enzo from her when he gets too near, do not try to physically pick Noa when she is intent on attacking, as you have found out. Tell her NO loudly and firmly and get a stiff piece of cardboard to place between them and to use to herd her away from him. If absolutely necessary grab her by the loose skin on the back of the neck and lift her front feet off the ground, this instinctively quiets them. Hissing and swatting, low growling, are not a 'bad' thing for Noa to do to teach Enzo not to come near, a full out attack should not be tolerated, and she should be herded into a quiet room for 5-10 minutes to calm down. I agree she should have a high up place to escape to so she can observe the dogs but be out of reach, that should help. Give both lots of love, they are both traumatized in their own way, but Enzo must be protected from injury. Good luck, keep us posted on what works!

  6. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

    Jan 9, 2018
    Colorado USA
    How are things going? Did a bell work? Did the spaying help?

  7. ArtNJ

    ArtNJ TCS Member Top Cat

    Jun 1, 2017
    I would invest in @Columbine 's idea of creating vertical space. If you watch episodes of "My Cat From Hell" Jackson Galaxy solves almost every problem by building vertical space, which is lol. However, while he takes it to crazy lengths, it does seem like a very logical solution to your specific problem. The Jackson Galaxy approach is to study where the incidents occur in your home...put some sort of marker down on the ground every time one happens for a week. The idea is that you'll find it isn't random, there are specific spots. Then think about whether you can add big cat trees or other structures there to give your cat a place to hang out in the same spot where the dog walking by won't bother him. Some people on the show build ramps and elevated shelves to form cat superhighways that actually look quite nice. Of course, money and carpentry skills are not distributed equally among us, so you can only do what you can do, but even a few cat trees in the problem spots might help a lot.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
    Columbine and Furballsmom purraised this.

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