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Question
Hi, so my story is complicated. I'm graduating soon and moving to Mississippi, where my father lives, and I have to bring my cat (Doug) with me. If I didn't my mom would probably abandon him somewhere. Everything would be fine if my Dad did not own two German Shepherds. They have never been around cats and have a history of not liking other animals.  So I'm afraid one day i would come home to find Doug dead on the ground. My dad's dogs have always been very trainable and obedient animals but I'm sure if my dad and I left the house they would use the time to strike.
I was thinking that i could keep Doug upstairs with me (since the dogs aren't aloud upstairs) but my dad says "Doug would wander around at some point (maybe at night) and they would get a hold of him." which I have to admit sounds true.
So my dad suggested making him an outside cat. The only problem is he NEVER goes outside, he has always been an inside cat. Plus, this would be a completely new area to him, I imagine he would never come back if his scent wasn't on the house long enough. So, once again,my dad suggested making him something in the garage for awhile giving him a small space where he can stay until we think he's ready to go outside. I have issues with this solution.

- Would his personality change? He has always been a silly loving cat to me and most other people, but I'm afraid by taking him away from his home, our other cat (his sister), and putting him outside, he would change and he wouldn't be the cat i love.

-Do you think keeping him in the garage would be okay? my dad keeps his car in there and its loud and he could run over him one day.

- Do you think the dogs could ever get use to Doug? They are older around 7 and 9, but are obedient and smart. I think in a few months they could get use to the presents. I personally think it would be a good idea to have him inside when I'm around to train the dogs to tolerate him, and maybe put him outside or in my room when I'm away.

- I really want Doug to sleep in my bed with me. I know it sounds selfish because he could be in danger, it's just that I've always had him near me.

-Can you think of any other solution to my problem?

Some extra Info you might need:

-I can't find anyone I trust to take him. My mom wont care for him because she has never been a cat person.
- Doug is going to be four years old in October and is very healthy.
- the only thing keeping the Dogs from going upstairs is a weak fence that could be easily knocked over. But they never go because they know they aren't allowed to.

I would really appreciate your input.

Answer
Caitlyn, you are faced with a dilemma that many people face when their needs and that of their animals seems at odds.

Because I am a holistic vet I can tell you that there are a lot of resources you can use to help Doug be able to live with you, to help the German Shepherds no attack him, and to build health in general. I cannot tell you if Doug will adapt to living in your room, or if the gate will keep the dogs from coming upstairs or if Doug would like to live outdoors or if the dogs could get used to Doug, etc.  there is no way to predict what could happen.

You are approaching this in the right way - looking for multiple possible solutions.  When you get there, you will need to start trying one after the other. My professional suggestion is to begin with Doug living in your bedroom and not allow him out until the dogs are used to you having his scent on you. Then see how they react if you take him near them (not close enough to bite).

Several suggestions: Anitra Frazier wrote The Natural Cat. She has a lot of suggestions about moving cats into new environments. She also does telephone consultations (say Hi from me). www.thenaturalcat.net/consultations.htm.  Her book also has lots of holistic approaches to health for Doug.

If you have time to take a Reiki class and get attuned (see below), you can sit for 10 minutes a day on the steps between the dogs and your cat and offer Reiki. After weeks or months of this, they may get along fine.

Buy a flower essence - they are totally safe and can be used as long and as frequently as they seem to help. they are particularly for emotional issues. Remember that using a journal (my site has mine to buy or you can make your own) will help you figure out what is helping the most.  Rescue remedy is readily available from the health food store. Buy the people one, not the pet one. Put one drop in a separate water bowl in your bedroom and one downstairs for the dogs. Put 4 drops in an ounce of water in a jar and give a few drops in every meal and every few hours in between to everyone. You cannot use it too often. It is totally safe. It is great for people too - for anxiety, stress, shock, grief and more. www.SpiritEssences.com has specific combinations for all types of moving and introducing new animals. Other flower essence companies have combinations as well: Anaflora.com; GreenHopeEssences.com; petessence.com. Many other companies with single remedies can help you select essences. They are totally safe.

Tellington TTouch is available to learn from books, videos, on;line, youtube, classes and can work miracles with behavior issues.

Now this may be a bit far out for you, but working with an animal intuitive may be the very very best thing you can do. www.animaltalk.net has referral lists or email me for ones I have used.

Personally, I think every person who lives with or works with animals must know at least Level I Reiki. The practitioner offers this energy and the animal comes over to get it (or places her hands upon the animal), or it can be done from a distance, even around the world with the intent for healing to occur. The energy flows through the healer into the animal. This is based on directly applying Chi (energy) to rebalance the energy field so it no longer needs to produce the physical symptoms. It is a very good adjunct to any healing modality, especially to relieve pain and inflammation. I have seen cats who began to eat again when their food was treated with Reiki. It also "takes the bad out of" things. By doing Reiki on smelly water in restaurants I have been able to drink sweet tasting and smelling water. Use Reiki anytime that you must give injections, vaccines, drugs, flea or heartworm drugs, or other substances with potential toxicity. Reiki is great to calm animals, relieve discomfort, and can deeply heal some problems in some animals.  

1. Great information on Reiki - http://www.reikicourse.org. Kathleen Prasad is a wonderful teacher and works with my favorite sanctuary and holistic education center, BrightHaven www.brighthaven.org. Kathleen leads a free monthly telechat for anyone trained in Reiki and using it with animals.
3. http://www.animalreikisource.com/. If you cannot find a Reiki Class near you (same class for people and animals as it connects you through an "attunement" to the healing energy of the universe, making you a channel of healing), the following groups offer long distance, free, attunements.

       a. http://theholisticcare.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=13,
       b. http://freereikiattunement.com/
       c. www.ReikiBlessings.com offers free Reiki attunements, classes and training on-line         and animal classes, too
       d. Long distance healing and training is at www.animalhealers.homestead.com/  
       e. Christine at cbearse@earthlink.net, www.awakeningrainbows.com. To receive free distance Reiki send her your first name only, city and state, and whether or not you have had any Reiki training.  She invites you to include your pets as well.  She uses a teddy bear and does a full body Reiki distance treatment for one hour each Sunday evening from 9 p.m. until 10 p.m. EST.
4. www.AnimalReikiAlliance.com has articles and Maryland holistic practitioners listed.
5. http://www.reiki.org  . http://www.ReikiTails.com  is a great practitioner in Maryland who knows a lot about cats.
6. Get a free treatment for yourself at www.interdimensionalhealing.com.

Another wonderful healer, Deena Spears works long distance with Sound Tuning. www.Singingwoods.com. I have seen many animals and the people in a home be healed by her work.

And a team of over 100 healers will send free healing energy until you say not to. Email Barbara at nancelot01@aol.com with your healing request, name of animal, species, color & age. In the subject say request through Dr. Chambreau

if you are interested in the best foods and treatments to keep Doug well for up to 34 years (www.Brighthaven.org had a cat live that long after adopting at 18 or so), check out my web site for lots of articles.
Good luck. Remember there is no right answer - just do your best.  

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Dr. Christina Chambreau

Expertise

I can give you the holistic approach to any problem, mostly for dogs and cats and some farm animals and horses. Depending on the condition and the type of animal, I will be able to give very specific treatment suggestions such as what flower essences, homeopathic remedies, nutritional supplements, diet changes, lifestyle changes or herbs that may be helpful - not drugs. I can also suggest where you can go for further education or to find a specialist in a specific holistic field. I can help you understand why your animal is ill and what improvements can be expected. I do not check messages more than every one to two days, so PLEASE DO NOT ask about EMERGENCIES - call your local veterinarian. I cannot diagnose your animal. I cannot prescribe specific treatments. I am no longer very current with conventional treatments, so cannot answer questions on those. I am not an expert on birds or small critters. I am not an expert in breeding, birthing or babies.

Experience

I graduated from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine in 1980 and began using homeopathy in my practice after a client introduced me to it. By 1988 I was using exclusively holistic treatments. I began lecturing in 1987 and have spoken at veterinary conferences, health food stores, people's homes, churches, veterinary college conferences - anywhere people want to learn more about keeping their animals healthy.

Organizations
Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy (I helped found this one) American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association National Center for Homeopathy American Veterinary Medical Association

Publications
I have written in many magazines, journals and newspapers. A few include Bark Magazine; Journal of the AHVMA; Baltimore Dog Magazine; Whole Dog Journal; Tiger Tribe; Wolf Clan. I have also been frequently interviewed on radio and TV. I am Associate Editor for the Integrative Veterinary Care Journal, so often have articles there.

Education/Credentials
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) Certified Veterinary Homeopath (CVH)

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