New cat hisses and attacks my dog

by Erica
(Portugal)

My cat hisses and attacks my dog with no reason or provocation. I found a kitten probably around six months old on top of a tree and brought him in. He seemed very calm and social.


I have a small dog. The first two days, I introduced them very slowly and for short periods of time so that both wouldn't stress out.

I now let them be in the same room a little longer with my supervision always. But even if I tell my dog to just stay, sit, or lie down, the cat will slowly approach him, hissing with a low meow, then will strike once or twice with his paw.

Why? And what can I do to get them to get along? Please, I need help.

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It Takes Patience
by: Anonymous

If you bring an animal into a home, especially in a mixed animal meeting the kitten will hiss at the dog and will probably do so for some time. It takes patience and love, mostly a hell of a lot of patience. They will believe me get on together and pobably do as animals are prone to doing when they get used to one another. They will defend one another and that is one certain thing about having pets who have been given time to get to know each other.

The other main thing is pay attention to both of the pets. Let both of them see they are staying together, but make sure your dog knows it is the top animal with you as cats will always be the top animal in a dog-cat household. I have a dog who adores all my 6 cats and will defend them to the hilt if anything goes to harm them. In turn, the cats also stick up for the dog, especially if one of the cats gets a bit over the top with the dog, then the others go and give the offending cat a clip and it backs off.

DO NOT THOUGH AT ANY POINT HIT EITHER ANIMAL UNLESS THERE IS A DANGER OF THE CAT BEING BITTEN. A cat can defend itself up to a point, however, as it is a stranger in a new environment then it will most certainly hiss like crazy for a while, but once it senses it is not going to be harmed at all it will settle down and become a great friend. By the way, one thing a cat will do as it has a sixth sense is let you know by its actions if anything is wrong. Take care of your 4 legged friends.

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Slow things down
by: Kurt (Admin)

I'm sorry to hear your cat and dog are having problems getting along. I would let the cat set the pace of the relationship.

Dogs and cats have different body language, and sometimes from the cat's perspective, it seems like the dog is being aggressive. So your cat may have a reason lash out.

From what I can gather, when you bring them together, the cat doesn't like whatever the dog is doing. It's possible your dog might be interested in play, but to your cat, it doesn't look like that, so your cat defends itself.

I would slow things down. Try separating them and put the cat in a safe room. With the cat on one side of the door, and the dog on the other, have them experience happy and pleasurable activities, like feeding time and treats, or play time.

Try that for a day or so and then try it without the door. Feed some treats to your dog and some treats to your cat with them both in the same room. Then, do some more supervised face-to-face visits.

You may have some success in calming your cat by using Feliway, so there's the option to add that to the method I've described as well.

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