My Smart Puppy

with Dog Expert, Sarah Wilson

Cat Stalks Dog

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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.

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