dog jealous of cat

pegasus

New member
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
We got a male Silkie a couple of years ago from a relative who wanted to get rid of him but didn't want to send him to the pound. No known behavioral issues, she had multiple animals and had to get rid of some of them. Anyway we hadn't had any animals since 2014 when our last animal passed away (a cat) so we agreed to take the dog in. When I say "we" I mean my wife agreed and I went along with it despite reservations.
We got a male Silkie a couple of years ago from a relative who wanted to get rid of him but didn't want to send him to the pound. No known behavioral issues, she had multiple animals and had to get rid of some of them. Anyway we hadn't had any animals since 2014 when our last animal passed away (a cat) so we agreed to take the dog in. When I say "we" I mean my wife agreed and I went along with it despite reservations. We've not had any behavioral issues from the dog until last October, when a cat was waiting at our back door when we got back from a trip. We think the cat was possibly abandoned by someone (we live in the country and some people go to a rural area to abandon animals) The cat definitely acts like it's used to being an indoor cat and around people, not a feral cat. We put up notices at the nearest stores, contacted the local shelter and animal control, etc. to try to find if anyone had lost a cat. He didn't have a collar, and eventually we decided that since he wouldn't leave anyway and was very friendly decided to keep him. We took him to the vet, the vet checked for a microchip (none) and except for being a little underweight was otherwise healthy. The cat is using a litter box, not scratching furniture, not marking territory and not running off for a female cat (he's been fixed) The cat is not the problem, which is why I'm posting this question in the dog forum.

The dog has no problem with the cat merely being in the house but is insanely jealous of the cat getting any attention from either one of us. If the dog is playing with my wife and the cat comes over to me, the dog will leave my wife to growl and bark at the cat. Same thing if I'm petting the dog and the cat is by my wife. He doesn't get up in the cat's face after the first time he tried that and the cat hit him, but he still barks and is clearly upset. If I yell loud enough at him to stop barking he then starts whining. The cat probably sleeps 20 hrs a day (sarcasm) and doesn't even try to get human attn. all the time when he is awake, but the few times he does try, if the dog see's it the dog can't stand it. If one of us is playing fetch with the dog and his ball, the cat doesn't seem to care, but if we throw the cat toy for the cat to fetch and the dog sees this the dog interferes or tries to. Sometimes if we're on the couch watching TV, if we pile stuff up high between us and the dog is with my wife or I, the other person can pet the cat without the dog seeing it and going crazy. We had hoped after 4 months the dog would get over it and it has gotten a little better, but the problem still exists. Anyone got any suggestions?
 

vetsbendor

Veterinarian Bend OR
Joined
Feb 22, 2021
Location
Bend OR
How much old both cat and dog are ? In several cases we seen that dog and cats are very good friends and they live easily in the same house, Cats and dogs are not enemies of each other, they need obedience training to behave good with each other. Try to allow interaction of both cat and dog in front of you and see what's the result. You should prepare few safe spots for your cat so that she get hide under it when he feels threaten from the dog. You have to keep patience during training and the whole process it will take time but definitely one day they both will be good pals. All the best !
 

pegasus

New member
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Original Poster
The dog is approx 7-8 years old, only been here permanently for the last 2 yrs. The cat is estimated to be approx. 5 years old at least, maybe slightly older, but has only been a resident here since October of 2020. He's a black cat and I guess he was our Halloween visitor who showed up and never left. As far as interaction in front of us as long as the cat isn't receiving some kind of attention from one of us the dog and cat social distance each other, and no conflict. There were a few times in the beginning when they stared each other down from about 6 ft away like 2 gunslingers getting ready to duel, but then ended up casually walking around each other.

The cat doesn't need a safe space to get away from the dog. The dog is not much bigger than the cat, and back when the dog got up in the cat's face the cat hissed and hit the dog hard with his paw. Now the dog doesn't do that any more, he just growls and barks or whines from a short distance. The dog only does this behavior if he see's the cat is getting attention from one of us. When he's whining he acts like he's physically getting hurt simply because one of us is petting the cat instead of him. It doesn't even matter if one of us is petting him, he will leave that person and to the other person with the cat. :rolleyes: One day we gave attention to the dog a lot and only gave the cat a few minutes each of attention but if the dog see's it he goes nuts with jealousy. The barking and whining gets very annoying. :( The cat did get more attention later after the dog went to bed for the night. The dog sleeps all night long but the cat is up part of the night. Sometimes I can get the dog to shut up if I use one hand to pet the dog sitting to one side of me while the other hand is petting the cat who is laying on the other side and not let either one of them directly on my lap. :rolleyes:

When we go outside (like to get the mail) both the dog and cat want to walk with us, neither require a leash, they always stay within 6 feet of us or closer. The dog usually walks on one side the cat usually walks on the opposite side, no fighting.
 

Alpha1

Pack Leader and Lover
Joined
Mar 28, 2012
Location
USA
@pegasus, it doesn't sound like the problem is too bad, the dog is definitely spoiled and jealous. In cases where he's actually barking and making a fuss, you could use a little water spray bottle, on medium stream. Have it handy and as soon as the barking starts, give him a squirt and simultaneously say something like "Quiet!", you don't have to raise your voice, just make it firm, like a command,use the same word every time. He should stop immediately, after a few successful times, you can calmly say 'good boy' after he quiets down.

Whining can be very annoying, I would just try to ignore him completely and go about your business with the cat. When you give into his whining or barking and adjust what you are doing, it feeds into that bad behavior. He sees a change when he acts up, and will continue to do so. If you want to have the cat on your lap, keep a squirt bottle handy and put a stop to the nonsense. Hope I understood the problem, good luck. :)
 

pegasus

New member
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Original Poster
I tried a squirt bottle and he just whines from a distance, or goes over to my wife and whines. We did have a reprieve this weekend though. The great grandkids stayed over and the dog bonded with the boy, the cat bonded with one of the older girls. No jealousy from the dog. The boy fell asleep at night with the dog by his side, and the same for the girl with the cat. The wife and I were mostly ignored but it's okay. :)
 

pegasus

New member
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Original Poster
Is the cat male or female? What are their names?

Never yell at your dog.
https://www.petforums.com/threads/hi-from-the-midwest-us.15357/

The cat (Shadow) and the dog (Timmy) are both male, both have been fixed. I haven't exactly yelled but I do tell him no and stop in a firm voice. Telling him to stop stops the barking but not the whining or the jealousy. Having the grandkids over this weekend was great, no jealousy from the dog, but we can't have the grandkids live here. Sometimes I get the feeling the grandkids are happier to see the dog and cat than their grandparents, LOL. At the moment both animals are resting quietly, but then neither of them are getting played with or petted either. Timmy is laying to my side and Shadow is on top of the couch behind my head, purring. I guess Timmy will eventually quit being so jealous but it seems like it's taking a long time.

https://www.petforums.com/threads/hi-from-the-midwest-us.15357/
 

wanderinglia

A backpacker...
Joined
Apr 2, 2021
Location
San Francisco
I think so far Timmy was only used to being the center of attention in the house, and now he has to share it with Shadow. It's just like the kids do when getting a younger sibling in the house. I've noticed various situations like this where two pets are hard to co-exist but one day it gets clicked and they will behave like unseparated ones. I hope your "One Day" comes soon and it'll sure go well for you too.
 


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