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Thread: Minding a cat obsessed JRTx in a house with 3 cats

  1. #1
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    Default Minding a cat obsessed JRTx in a house with 3 cats

    I know, I'm crazy, I should've said no. But I'm minding my friends' JRTx for the weekend. Last time he was here I realised he is cat obsessed. I tried some desensitisation sessions but could not get his attention at all. He just stared at where he had last seen the cat. And we only had one then! And she could go outside and taunt him from up on the garage roof. This time I have 3 indoor cats and it's a potential nightmare. Even more so because I don't feel well at all today.

    Sooo, any tips on how to handle this? I can chuck him outside during the day when it isn't raining, but looks like I might be out of luck there. And I could probably lock him in a separate room by himself at night if I had to.

    But what can I do to make him calm down those times when he is inside with all of us? I considered just letting him loose on the big cat who is probably bigger than the dog and would be perfectly capable of showing the little terror that cats are not helpless toys to chase. But obviously it would be better to come up with a method that gives me more control over how it pans out.

  2. #2
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    Crate.......in a no-cat zone. It otherwise could be detrimental to your cats.

    If you think there is no real aggression, your plan with the larger cat might work.

    Also on lead, when you have the time and the "who's that"/"Look at that" system....lots of click and treat if you can get him to look at you.........But sometimes with the terrier breeds and you only having a short time to train. Management is best.

    If he had to live there permanently you would set yourself up for long training sessions with the umbilical system
    Pets are forever

  3. #3
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    Beloz

    I would not let a cat obsessed JRT and a cat sort it out. A JRT can kill an adult snake no problem, I have no doubt it could and would take on a cat, but it may lose an eye in the process.

    As far as counter conditioning or desensitising goes, you need distance to make that work and I'm not sure you can get that inside a house. Ie you need to get far enough away from the point of the dog's fixation that it can now pay attention to you when you ask. Then you work on that edge/limit and feed heaps of treats, closer, further, closer, further, varying approach and retreats until you can gradually get close to the distraction and the dog still pay attention to you. I think it would take a truckload of chicken and more than the weekend to achieve this.

    Your friend should not have asked you to take the dog, and you should not have said yes. But you've done it now, and all I can think is to keep them all separate for the duration. A crate for the dog that is covered, and protected from prodding cats would be good and the ability to cover the front of it if he fixates on the cats, and raise the cover if he relaxes ie kind of like peekaboo, if he can be calm when you raise the cover, it can stay raised but if he starts fixating, then lower it again.

    It wouldn't be safe for cat or dog to let them interact in my opinion based on your description.

  4. #4
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    Took me a long time to get to the point that I can say no now when asked to do something etc and also not offer any reasons to justify the no. I can just say sorry but I can't.

    I think I was a pleaser and felt I had to do stuff to help others out. Life is too short to be doing things that you really don't want to do but feel you have to to help someone else out even though it impacts on our own circumstances.
    Last edited by Di_dee1; 05-25-2012 at 11:12 AM.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  5. #5
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    No real aggression. I observed him with our previous foster. Foster cats are usually quite bomb proof too. Most of them were raised with a whole pack of dogs - with some coming and going - from when they were tiny. And I'm sure they could take a dog's eye out but they'd really have to feel like they were in mortal danger to do that. And a JRT - no matter how tenacious - is hardly worth more than a hiss and a quick, single swipe as far as they're concerned.

    So I let the JRT in to see what would happen. I should have checked where the cats all were first because he did catch one of the kittens off guard and chased her up the blinds. She was fine and those blinds have seen better days anyway. Within 2 minutes the big cat was chasing him around the house. Well, more like stalking really. That's when you really have to admire cats. They can stay incredibly calm and collected in situations where most other animals would just panic or at least look nervous. It was a joy to watch this cat's face as he tested how the dog reacted to his movements. But eventually all he had to do was look at the dog to make him jump back. I must admit that it made me laugh. I've seen it before. That look on a dog's face when they suddenly realise that cats are not at all like bunnies and in fact a force to be reckoned with.

    When all the cats seemed calm and settled, I started putting the JRT in time-out every time he stood and "pointed" at one. And for the first time I managed to get his attention after that. Not quite enough to be able to do a LAT session, but the last time he was here I didn't manage to make him look at me even once when the cat was anywhere near.

    Only then did I put up the baby gate in the second bedroom doorway and now all the cats are chilling in there. I think I did that last time too, but the JRT just stood and whined at the gate most of the time. But after only 3 hours of being here, he was actually playing with a dog toy in the corridor within plain view of the cats!

    I know taking it slow is always the best way to go, but this actually worked better than I expected. The JRT and Banjo are playing together now. It was hilarious when the JRT was walking around with his lead on (so I could swiftly take him to time-out if needed) and Banjo grabbed his lead and walked him round the loungeroom.

    If he continues to be this good, I might actually try do a few training sessions with him. He's a pretty smart dog and although his owner has fairly good control over him, he never got any "formal" training. I'd love to see how he goes. I've known this dog since he was a pup and even though he is way too hyper and pig-headed to really like him, he's like extended family.

  6. #6
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    I wish my brother's cat was more like your big cat. She's a big cat but she failed to live up to my brother's promises that she wouldn't run. After about 30 seconds of my dog barking at her from a safe distance... she decided the nearest tree was a good option. Much to Frosty's delight...

  7. #7
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    There are cats who can stand their ground against dogs if they need to. And then there are boss cats.

    We're still having the occasional kerfuffle here, but the JRT has actually settled on my bed now. I'm hoping for a relatively peaceful night.

  8. #8
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    Ok, I really have to learn to say no. Things got too hectic in the evening when I didn't have the energy to do anything constructive about it. So I locked the JRT in the second bedroom where he is now trying to break down the door and whining. I feel unwell and really didn't need this hassle today... I need sleep. At least the cats are happy now, all on the bed with me.

  9. #9
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    ear plugs?

    You might want to advise his owners to check for abscesses over the next couple of weeks. If he has been hooked by one of the cats, it's almost certain to get infected. And explode if not treated. Or worse - implode...

    Hope the spare bedroom is otherwise intact in the morning.

  10. #10
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    I think the big cat made contact once, but I couldn't see any holes.

    And I think you jinxed us, Hya. The JRT did get his eye damaged. But not by a cat, it happened on our walk! I didn't see what happened, just heard him yelp. His eye was wet and he was rubbing it. I first thought that he had just gotten splashed by Banjo jumping in a puddle. But then I noticed Banjo kept wanting to sniff the eye and it was bleeding! Can't see anything stuck in there and it doesn't seem to bother him. So I decided to wait and see for now. Even though I risk having to find a vet on a Sunday if it gets worse.

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