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03 July 2011 @ 10:29 am
two cats, one dog  
hi all -

i'm new to this community and would like some help.

i have 2 8-year-old female cats (sisters, one tortie and one sealpoint mix). they are indoor and sadly declawed (front only). they are VERY spoiled (of course!) and have had minimal interaction with other animals.

i just moved in with my boyfriend, 2 bedroom 1 bath house. he's got a 5-year-old purebred dalmation, also very spoiled and sadly untrained. being a dal, she's super hyper and LOUD.

we have pretty much divided the house, the cats have the bedrooms and bathroom and the dog has the living room, kitchen and backyard. the divider is one of those tall babygate things that humans can walk through with a little latchable door at the bottom for the cats.

we removed the dog and moved the cats in, and they had free reign of the house for about a week (minus backyard), with the gate in place. then we moved the dog back in, it's been about 4 days.

of course the kitties have been hiding. the dog is curious. in their few interactions, the dog chases them into hiding, and the cats hiss at the dog through the door. they avoid passing by the gate because they know they will see said dog. they have gotten slowly better, venturing out from under the bed, etc.

soooooo i guess i'm wondering how the heck to get them socialized without permanent (mental and physical) damage.

we are going to try to crate the dog and let the cats sniff. since moving the dog back in, the cats have stopped using the little door in the gate because usually the dog is standing there whining. i think they're ready... what do i do? has anyone had experience with this? i'm tired of dividing my time between the halves of the house... and worrying that my cats think i betrayed them... and feeling bad for the dog... and obsessing on all of this!

thanks!!
 
 
 
opylopyl on July 3rd, 2011 07:41 pm (UTC)
You and your boyfriend are going to have to assert your dominance over the dog and make sure the dog understands that she is at the bottom of the chain of command. It has to be clear to the dog that the cats are higher up the chain than she is; otherwise, she will get the idea that it's okay to harass or possibly kill them.