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We've had Mei for six weeks now. The first week our two cats only came out at night, if at all. I see videos and pictures of cats and dogs getting along and I really want that as well!

I've pretty much let nature run its course with introducing Mei into the house for the cats. Never placed them face to face just to see what happens. Day one the cats figured it out though.

Anyways, after a couple weeks the cats have shown themselves again. My personal one started sleeping on our bed again. We even have Mei's kennel in our room, so cat back on bed is good improvement on the cats part.

We keep Mei on the leash in the house and keep an eye on her pretty constantly when she's hanging out with us on the main floor. She's like velcro, always wanting to see what we're up to lol.

Back on topic...Any time the cats and Mei get within a good distance of each other Mei just sits and stairs. The cat slowly walks closer then hisses which gets Mei excited thinking its play time and tries to get closer at which point cat starts swatting. Then Mei thinks it's full on playtime and tries going paws on, then cat runs and we're stopping Mei from following at that point.

What I've noticed and think is that Mei is trying to get along and be friends but the cats aren't having it yet still. Has anyone ever had same experience?? Will the cats ever lay with her on the floor? Will they ever get along
 

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Wish I could tell you and hope to read so.
My dog is 14 months and while he means no harm my cats are not to happy. I've worked hard but I guess not effectively he has managed to get some chases which the cats remember. I have 4 cats. They coexist it's just when they move to fast Apex goes without thinking. It has gotten much better with time, but the cats are still very cautious. Apex REALLY wants them to like him lol.
My husband will sometimes let Apex on our bed. The other night cat on bed Apex very carefully jumped on the bed laid at the far corner he was really trying cat gave him the finger and left poor pup.
My cats don't really stand their ground more runners to the many safe places.
It's weird because my mom had a dog and my oldest cat and him would team up on loose dogs that would bug the cats.
Another of my cats played and cuddled with him.
Apex is still so young that I think with time and continued effort as his energy comes down it will get better.
I'm tempted to leash Apex in the house again I think it might help. I've never had a dog before so not sure.
 

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Our cat has not "liked" any of our dogs. She has known 4 dogs (we currently have 3) in our home. Occasionally the dogs will give chase, but for the most part they have learned that after a drive by slobbering the cat is not very happy with them.

She is vocal with them when they get close and does NOT like it when they come into her space, which seems to be the area in a 6 foot radius around her. HOWEVER, she has no problem at all coming up to them and licking them while they sleep. Or laying near them while they sleep. But the second they wake up and acknowledge the cat's presence, game over.
 

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The cat seems to challenge the dog. She is fully aware that Mei is leashed and limited. This looks like it won't resolve that way so you have to come up with another strategy. How about having Mei on a long line so she has more freedom while you still have control. This is what I would do to test the intentions of both: hold the long line about four feet from the dog's collar to fool the cat in thinking that Mei is still on a normal leash. Then when kitty comes over to taunt her, let go of the length of the line. I would ignore what happens unless it goes out of control. If it doesn't resolve then don't continue with this way. In all the years that I helped people in their homes with their dogs, the cats always, meaning 100%, sabotaged the training session. It often was hilariously funny. Check out the Disney movie "The Lady and the Tramp" where the Siamese (they are the worse!) cats get the dogs in trouble. Does the cat have all her nails still? Sometimes a good swat with a claw is all they need but you have to watch the eyes of the dog however. If Mei gets scratched and comes back to you, reward her big time.
Another strategy could be that as soon as you see Mei stare at the cats, to call her to you and work a bit with her. But then she can use 'staring at the cats' to get your attention. Are both cats behaving similarly?
You also have to reward all three for good behavior in each others presence and you could feed them in each others presence. Do the cats have high escape routes or a gate to keep the dog away from the cats? It's going to take some time. Is the dog being crated? If so, what do the cats to entertain themselves? And just when everything seems to go well, the cats will come up with something else for you to think about! Keep us posted on how things go.
Maybe others will chime in who lived this scenario.
 

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I agree with Wolfy that cats usually try to sabotage the training. Generally the cat is the problem and not the dog. Work on the cats confidence and level of comfort and work on a place command with the dog and things will fall into place. I won't talk about my other methods on here since I tend to get angry responses but I'll let you know it is very possible. My high drive dog and kitty. We have worked to make her in control of the situation, she can take the dogs food, and get him to back off with a simple stare, he respects her. The cats personalities also have a lot to do with it, you can shape their behavior. Start with your confident cat.
 

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I notice Gandalf is laying down in all those pictures. Is that something trained? Apex when laying down(calm behavior) is when my cats are most comfortable I have one cat who wants to get close to him, but she gets closer than 4 feet he gets up and moves towards her which makes the cat leave. I don't think he intends to make the cat leave....but maybe he does since he does it over and over again lol
 

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I notice Gandalf is laying down in all those pictures. Is that something trained? Apex when laying down(calm behavior) is when my cats are most comfortable I have one cat who wants to get close to him, but she gets closer than 4 feet he gets up and moves towards her which makes the cat leave. I don't think he intends to make the cat leave....but maybe he does since he does it over and over again lol
Not directly trained, no. We did teach him a place command when he was a puppy, it was useful because in the mornings after breakfast the senior kitty gets her zoomies and races around the house and Gandalf wanted to chase and instead of chasing we taught him to lay down on his place. Now when kitty gets the zoomies he races back to his bed and jumps straight on it like his butt is on fire without a single command given from us LOL. Shepherds are so smart, he blows me away every day... he has taken that skill and learned on his own that when he is down lower the cat responds to him better vs. hovering over her (she feels less threatened since he is so big). He does sometimes play bow the kitty, but our kitty is so old she usually wants nothing to do with it and will just walk away leaving him sad lol. He does sometimes hover over the kitty and groom her and she lets him do that. We got Gandalf at 8 weeks old and he has interacted with our 20+ year old kitty and two other seniors, they have all managed to get along well.

The fact that Mei is acting in a playful manner towards kitties makes me believe there is a lot of hope for them getting along. I have worked with a cat friendly dog like Gandalf who wants to just play and a real down to earth prey driven want to eat cats german shepherd. Obviously the want to eat cats dog was harder to train and took many years but it was possible!

Attached is Gandalf trying to play with kitty, and the same kitty pictured with our old sable who wanted to eat her and was not cat friendly.

Teaching these two to co exist has been so rewarding, when I am not home we tune into our security cameras and watch to see what happens... Gandalf and kitty cuddle up on the couch and keep each other company. Kitty used to get so lonely when she was home alone, she had severe anxiety and now that she has Gandalfs comfort she's no longer stressed.
 

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Inga has never even seen a cat. Thats fine by me.
 

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I have 2 cats, 1 is fine with Rebel, they hang out (but never cuddle I'm so jealous of Gandalf!!) and the other wants no part except to hiss as she goes by. Rebel tries so hard to win grumpy cat over by giving her dog toys, breaks my heart lol.
I did teach Rebel not to chase them by using place which lowered the stress of the cats a great deal, you're on the right track :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Does the cat have all her nails still?
Are both cats behaving similarly?
Do the cats have high escape routes or a gate to keep the dog away from the cats? It's going to take some time. Is the dog being crated? If so, what do the cats to entertain themselves?
Thanks for a lot of advice!


Yes, the cats have all their nails and Mei has been swatted on the nose, drew some blood, but didn't phase her lol. But, the cat just ran off after the swat. The cats maintain all the high ground and have good escape routes. Mei is not crated on the main level, but always being monitored. I would say the cats entertain themselves by taunting the dog now lol.


I'm going to try seeing if the cats will eat their wet cat food next to the dog when she eats this evening! Great idea.
 

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Does the cat have all her nails still?
Are both cats behaving similarly?
Do the cats have high escape routes or a gate to keep the dog away from the cats? It's going to take some time. Is the dog being crated? If so, what do the cats to entertain themselves?
Thanks for a lot of advice!


Yes, the cats have all their nails and Mei has been swatted on the nose, drew some blood, but didn't phase her lol. But, the cat just ran off after the swat. The cats maintain all the high ground and have good escape routes. Mei is not crated on the main level, but always being monitored. I would say the cats entertain themselves by taunting the dog now lol.


I'm going to try seeing if the cats will eat their wet cat food next to the dog when she eats this evening! Great idea.
Mei, high ground is good but some cats just need a place of their own to relax, and it's nice to have their own space so the dog doesn't get into their litter boxes and food. If you have a spare closet or guest room, etc. that would be great, just put up a shorter fence that a cat can easily hop but the pup can't. The cats will come out to investigate the puppy on their own when they feel confident enough. Rule #1 is NO CHASING CATS, ever. Some dogs take a swat as play and they just don't get intimidated. If Mei already has a No or Uh uh command I would accompany that when she pushes the cat over threshold and then redirect Mei to her place. Reward her when she gets on her place. Does Mei have a bed or cot? Even a mat would do. Start off teaching place without the distractions and cats, reward her for remaining on place and then bring in your most confident kitty. Don't command place unless Mei is being too nosy and pushing the cat over threshold, if you see good interactions reward both. A way to boost cats confidence is put Mei on her place and take out a toy your cat really likes to play with, something like a feather on a string is best and play with the cat near Mei. Make sure at that stage Mei has enough self restraint to not break the place command. Mei will get to see the cat interacting near her which is good too. If Mei breaks the command then go one step back and start over training place. Eventually Mei will learn to read the cats behavior (hiss, scratch, ears back , etc.) and when she is about to push the cat over threshold she will run to place on her own (after many times practicing). Over time she will learn to not push cat over the threshold and the cat may even become confident enough to investigate on their own when she is calm and relaxed on her place. The skill of reading the cats body language and self control will translate over from the place to every day life, at least that is what happened with ours. I think feeding together can be a good idea, but it might also stress the cats out if they are terrified of Mei, or if Mei finishes fast and cats eat slow(which all my GSD have!) she might try to eat the cats food too so just watch them. I'm not a fan of leashing young puppies around cat just because it builds up tension... cat is associated with this novel experience and attention. It just feels weird and builds up an expectation. I prefer the cat to just exist in the house and the dog learns to ignore it, and cat has her space if she gets fed up that the dog can't bug her. If you can get some videos of them interacting we might be able to help out more but from your description if Mei is just trying to play with them I think there is real potential they will get along and be good friends one day.
 

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Mei got rewarded big time for this. This is one of our cats, the more brave "owner of the house" one Tiger. Tiger eventually ran off and Mei didn't chase, which is great.

This will take some time. I did the feeding at same time, but only worked with the cats eating up on the counter directly above Mei. Worked out well I suppose. Progress eating in proximity I'd say.
 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yq8Foxu_5rs

Mei got rewarded big time for this. This is one of our cats, the more brave "owner of the house" one Tiger. Tiger eventually ran off and Mei didn't chase, which is great.

This will take some time. I did the feeding at same time, but only worked with the cats eating up on the counter directly above Mei. Worked out well I suppose. Progress eating in proximity I'd say.
Wow okay now we can see what we're dealing with here! This is just my opinion on what I saw.. Mei is doing PERFECT. I see no problem with her behavior, she just seems curious and surprisingly calm. She doesn't seem overall that pushy either. She isn't barking, she isn't anxious to get to the cat, she seems friendly (very different from my high prey drive sable). The cat on the other hand, is a major problem. I would seriously be worried about that cat hurting Mei, its in full blown attack mode the entire video. Don't take this lightly, cats can take on dogs no problem. My 20 year old kitty managed somehow to fight off two pitbulls attacking her, cats fight dirty and will go for the eyes. Since Mei looks like she is handling herself just fine I would be focusing more on the cat. This cat is not confident or brave, he is scared. Get a treat he really enjoys, maybe a little canned salmon or something really tasty and reward him for just hanging out near Mei, try to intervene and help him settle down. I like those plug in scent relaxers for cats too and catnip will help him chill out a little. Is there any kind of toy he really likes? Take that toy and play with him in the presence of Mei (make sure Mei is contained so she can't surprise him) it will have to be a two person effort. Or if he likes being brushed brush him with her nearby. This cat needs a lot of work and time to come out of his shell. I'd rather see him dealing with his discomfort in other ways than scratching, and hissing, for instance my cat when Gandalf used to be a little pushy she would let out a meow that kind of said Back off, and G would get the hint and back off.. or she would use her body language (ears back, etc. stare into his eyes) to get him to back off... occasionally she would swat but most the times you could tell her claws weren't out and her intent wasn't to fight. She was confident that she was in control of the situation and didn't truly feel threatened. She wouldn't escalate to full blown attack like your cat is doing. Has this cat ever seen a dog or grew up with a dog before? Make sure all your cats nails are cut short so they can't do more damage. Do short play/treat/brush sessions with the kitty a few times a day in the presence and only in the presence of Mei, hopefully he will learn to associate her with good things over time. Make sure that Mei gets attention though too, if Mei always sees the kitty being pampered and babied it could cause issues. I would have another person rewarding her for her great behavior as well and lots of praise. She is doing really well.

Here is a link to the diffuser plug in
https://www.amazon.com/CEVA-Animal-Health-D89420B-MultiCat/dp/B01AVI1I06/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1524941061&sr=8-4&keywords=cat+diffuser+plug+in&dpID=518K4aZmQsL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch
 

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@GandalfTheShepherd

Thanks for all the great advice! The cats have never been around dogs until we got Mei. I got a flirt pole the other day that she loves playing with, and great exercise. I've tried getting the cats to play with it as well, with no luck so far. I bet they're smelling the dog all over it so don't want anything to do with it.

What is kinda cool before I started recording, is Mei was laying down staring at the cat, who was laying on a chair just a few feet away. It wasn't until Mei got up and started approaching is when I began recording. I'll have to get video of the other cat, because he doesn't get like Tiger. The other cat, Olaf, has touched his nose on Mei so that is good!

Catnip is a great idea!
 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yq8Foxu_5rs

Mei got rewarded big time for this. This is one of our cats, the more brave "owner of the house" one Tiger. Tiger eventually ran off and Mei didn't chase, which is great.

This will take some time. I did the feeding at same time, but only worked with the cats eating up on the counter directly above Mei. Worked out well I suppose. Progress eating in proximity I'd say.
Letting this go on is far from helping anything. The cat clearly does not want to be bothered. Your cat is depending on you to stop this. The cat should not be forced into a position of stopping this himself. You are damaging your relationship and trust with your cat while permitting your puppy to practice bad behavior.
 

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@GandalfTheShepherd

Thanks for all the great advice! The cats have never been around dogs until we got Mei. I got a flirt pole the other day that she loves playing with, and great exercise. I've tried getting the cats to play with it as well, with no luck so far. I bet they're smelling the dog all over it so don't want anything to do with it.

What is kinda cool before I started recording, is Mei was laying down staring at the cat, who was laying on a chair just a few feet away. It wasn't until Mei got up and started approaching is when I began recording. I'll have to get video of the other cat, because he doesn't get like Tiger. The other cat, Olaf, has touched his nose on Mei so that is good!

Catnip is a great idea!
Gotcha, since the cat has never been around dogs it might take some extra time and work. If the toy on your flirt pole is dog sized it might be too big for the cat and the smell lol, just get a little stick with a string and feather for the kitty and roll it in catnip (just don't leave it out because cats can eat string and wrap around their intestines). I'd probably not let Mei interact with Tiger too much until he is more confident, keep working on Tigers behavior first until hes comfortable. Since Olaf seems more relaxed let him interact with Mei more and reward both for good behavior. Since this is an impressionable time for Mei I would be careful exposing her to an unstable cat and just focus on positive interactions with well behaved cats like Olaf. Those plug in diffusers can make a HUGE difference, it emits a relaxing smell to cats and can help calm them down and lower stress levels. We plugged ours in when Gandalf came home and helped our kitty a lot.
 

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Olaf has seemed to warm up to Mei past month. Mei is still trying really hard to be friends with both cats. Olaf allows Mei to come close to him, even lick now! Tiger is still not allowing Mei to come near him.

Watch with sound on because Olaf does a purr/moew as he runs past Mei.

The other evening on a walk we stopped when we saw a cat just chillin in a yard. I made a meow sound then the cat got up and came right towards Mei, licked her then proceeded to rub on her. Mei was petrified, lookin all confused because I think she was shocked a cat was being nice to her. Mei has been nothing but nice and trying to get close to the cats in the house. I'm glad Olaf allows her to approach and lick him. Now for them to lay together and hopefully Olaf will convince Tiger that Mei is not a threat lol.
 

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I know this is a bit of an older thread but since there is an update I thought I would add this incase it helps anyone in the future looking though this for help with their shepherd and cat

two people I know, one with a high drive shepherd and one with a lurcher, used ideas from this podcast to train the dog to step out of the prey drive and learn to start ignoring the presence of the cat and learning to live around one safely

Episode 22: Greyhound Vs Cat - The Canine Paradigm
 
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