My Smart Puppy

with Dog Expert, Sarah Wilson

Cat Stalks Dog

| 2 Comments

Some cats, for whatever reason, will stalk your dog. Unless this is 100% in fun and the dog enjoys it as much as the cat, it needs to stop. Here’s how:

First, increase your cat’s play so she can release any stress or energy she may be building up. Use a “thing on a string” so she can chase, bounce, bite and kick at it. Many an indoor cat is a terribly bored cat and bored cats make up cat games. Cat games almost always involve hunting behavior because, well, that’s what cats do.

Do not leave your dog and cat alone unsupervised. Confine them separately. Merely crating the dog doesn’t count (although your dog can be crated when you leave) because the cat can still stalk the dog if she has access to the dog’s crate. You need the cat behind a separate door. Be sure, wherever you put your cat that she has everything she needs in that location – a litterbox, food, water and a cozy place to catnap.

Put a bell on your cat so you can hear her around the house.

Only have her out when you can supervise her. Keep a behavior interrupter nearby– a water pistol or plant sprayer filled with plain water. Don’t use a sound correction in this case, since it may serve to correct/stress the dog, who is doing nothing wrong.

When you see the cat focus on your dog and crouch down – say nothing but squirt her with the water. Try to be as sneaky about this as possible. We want her to link her behavior, not your presence, to the water.

Stop squirting the INSTANT the cat withdraws so she knows that when she stops, the water stops.

For serous cases, consider an indoor electronic fencing system – for the cat. By “fencing” a cat out of a room or an area you can guarantee your dog has some peace.

Giving her treats and attention when your dog is around can help replace the stalking with a more friendly reaction to your dog.

2 Comments

  1. Newly adopted Siamese/male/nuetered/8months is stalking my 4b female chihuahua and “mouthing her behind”. I am afraid to leave w/o putting kitty in the bathroom. My chihuahua is scared of him and nervous being 1/2 his size. I love the kitty but…am devoted to the dog: re-homing him is a consideration if this doesn’t stop. Not a peaceful situation. Also, cannot let kitty sleep with us so he stays in the other room all night. I will be heart broken to re-home kitty. Any advice?

    • You are right to be concerned. How about a spray bottle of water set on stream. That can quietly correct your cat without scaring your Chihuahua the way a loud noise would. And yes, separate them when you are not around. Smart thing to do!

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