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Cats/Help!!! Cat and dog not getting along

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Question
Hello,
My cat who has lived with us for 3 years is very shy and timid, she does not like to go out and does not like loud noises.  She will only let you stroke her and will run off if you try to pick her up but she is loving and affectionate.

4 Weeks ago we got a Japanese akita puppy who is now 18 weeks old.  The cat will not come downstairs at all and i have found cat wee and poo upsatirs! the only way we can get her downstairs is if we pick her up which she hates and take her down ourselves. As soon as she sees the dog she hisses constantly. The puppy gets excited and runs round and just wants to sniff her and see what she is all about but the cat runs away then the dog thinks she is playing and runs after her and before we know it the cat is frightened scratching out.  

We have started to bring her downstairs everynight and hold the dog collar so she cant get to the cat but the cat just hides under the table and as soon as the door is open bolts upstairs.  

The cat being upstairs means she has no food or litter tray! please help what can we do?

Answer
Oh dear it sounds like you do have a very shy and nervous cat there. I must assume that the cat was not brought up with other animals around when they were small kittens otherwise her reaction would not be so severe.
I'm afraid there is no magic wand that will garantee that your cat will change her behavior around the dog especially if she is a nervous cat generally anyway.
My only advice is for you to read my page about introducing animals togeather (link at bottom of page) and try the approach there, it talks about cats but the process is the same. It is a slow supervised approach that over a period of time might help your cat to accept the new dog.
Some animals are just better off in a single pet home i'm afraid and if over time you see no difference in your cats behavior and feel that she is becoming stressed about the situation (urinating and defecating everywhere, or not eating), you may have to consider re-homing one of your pets. But try my suggestions first and be patient and understanding and hopefully your cat will calm down and at the very least be not so afraid.

Kate
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Kate Tilmouth

Expertise

I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.

Experience

I run my own cat website at http://www.our-happy-cat.com and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

Publications
I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Education/Credentials
Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

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