Cat behavior problem
Posted 18 July 2012 - 11:18 AM
Posted 18 July 2012 - 12:09 PM
If I accidentally step on a cat's tail, her shriek will send the other cat running, huffing and puffing and ready to murder. Our third cat is terrified of conflict and noise, and always goes running in the opposite direction The other two cats don't really like her (Buffy hates her, Willow doesn't care either way but Molly is so cowed by Buffy's abuse that she assumes Willow's the same way and don't even try to get close). But if I step on Molly's tail, again, both cats come running, puffed out and buggy-eyed, looking to kill. When this happened with Molly's tail the first time, I realized this reaction wasn't borne out of affection for the about-to-be-murdered cat (because they don't like her). I realized the other cats will jump in because if ANY member of the group is in danger, it means there's a threat to the whole group. The other cats jump in and fight to save themselves and the group, not the "dying" member. They probably wouldn't care if Molly really did get mauled to pieces by my fat foot, they're just worried about it happening on THEIR territory, lol.
Jake's always been pretty good about it. ("it" meaning "getting mauled") He always takes a moment to realize someone's tearing up his back end, and then he'll turn and fight back, but not in a fight-to-the-death way. We discovered a long time ago that Jake doesn't bite the cats. When we actually SEE him snapping at them, teeth flashing, we discovered that he's actually nipping the air next to the cat, not actually making contact. Of course, that doesn't mean he hasn't ever made contact. We've rescued spit-covered kitties. But for the most part, he's using his teeth as intimidation and his coconut to shove the cat. Stressful as heck for the cat, but not lethal. They never just give up and run, they've gotta fight back, which means we always have to separate them. The problem is that when one cat is screaming and shredding and Jake is snarling and thumping, we can IMMEDIATELY separate them, almost before the other cat has latched on and is sending fur flying. It becomes a cycle.
Jake's too old now to trigger any fear from the cats. Too deaf to notice something (like a doorbell), too arthritic to squeal and start thumping around in ecstasy when somebody shows up at the door. He's very quiet now, and the cats prefer it that way. Haven't had a brawl in at least a year, I think.
still can't help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs.
Posted 18 July 2012 - 01:09 PM
Posted 19 July 2012 - 06:34 AM
I have a cat who instigates the dog and I'll never be able to teach the cat to not meow in his face. Instead I just make sure that when my boy tells the cat off with a flash of the teeth that I am there to remove the cat so he never feels like he needs to react more than that. I think the cat is starting to catch on (after 2 years) that I don't want him in the dogs face but the cat clearly goes up to the dog just to be a brat.
Posted 19 July 2012 - 02:33 PM
Posted 19 July 2012 - 03:48 PM
Obviously you don't own a Pyr cross Romana is a recreational barker. DH and I were just commenting yesterday that it was easier to tech the kitten to come when called, than Romana - she still doesn't listen very well, and Ziggy comes every time. I think it will be more effective for us to discourage the cat. Romana comes with some baggage. she was obviously beaten for barking, so we tend to be indulgent up to a point.
I definitely know how barky a Pyrenees can be but also know how bratty and rude cats can be to dogs! There probably isn't an easy answer then. If you wanted you could always be ready with a spray bottle of water to spray the cats. I have never been a fan of using this method but if it keeps the dogs and the cats safe then it may be a helpful tool. What about a whistle? Are the cats at all spooked by any noises? In your case it may be easier to teach the cats that the whistle means stop or you could get creative and try to set the situation up and have something tasty for the cats. Dogs barking=tasty treat for cat. May be worth trying.
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