German Shepherd killed cat- need input.
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  1. #41
    Member Bextastic's Avatar
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    Re: German Shepherd killed cat- need input.

    I'm sorry if anything I said came off as "lashing out" or picking on you at all. It was meant to be a sharing of my personal experience with GSD's and cats, and with cats living behind washing machines. If you re-read it you will see it was mostly a narrative of what I've seen/experienced with nothing really directed towards you, but I'm sorry if you took it harshly.

    On the topic of giving GSD's jobs, if you don't have time for Obedience or Agility training right now you can get him a backpack and have him carry something on his walks, like water and a little collapsable for himself. It takes up more energy to walk that way and gives him a mini-mission. You could also find a herding facility in your area and have him learn to herd sheep. Thats very fufilling for them (of course) and doesn't take up as much time to train for as obedience as its mostly instinct and a good instructor at the facility should know how to bring it out of them with a little work. Even training them to catch a frisbee is a job. Bex will try to catch frisbees until he collapses, apparently its 10x better than fetching a ball to him, even though he jumps and misses like... 90% of the time. Maybe that makes the catches more satisfying? Fetch is too easy I guess

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  3. #42
    Senior Member 4dogs3cats's Avatar
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    Re: German Shepherd killed cat- need input.

    Quote Originally Posted by whimsy View Post
    Just finished reading all the posts....wow is all I can say. Why would anybody think that Chance would kill another cat? Dogs and cats live together harmoniously all the time. This is is simply a case of a horrid tragedy happening for no reason. Things happen that can't always be accounted for, period. As for rehoming Chance, I wouldn't do it 4 cats. Keep your cats and Chance. the way I look at it the cat was mostly to blame for this accident. A feral cat has different scents than ordinairy housecats and they do act like prey where you would see a normal cat hiss and claw and usually scare the dog away. My friend keers feral cats and has all kinds of other critters...he also works in a pet shop and knows a lot about animals. His housecats display no fear towards his dogs but the ferals have a loft to call their own and never come down except to go outside. Did someone not think that maybe Miss Kitty had some disease that wasn't identified and she acted weird to the point of leaving a scared sick smell in the house. Chance probably happened to come up on her by chance and the cat acting like prey drove him to chase and it ended badly. If Chance did have his shots within 2 weeks of this happening you can also blame the shots. Some dogs have terrible reactions to shots. I have 3 shepherds and 4 cats and they all live peacefully. Do they tease, put up mock attacks, or aggravate each other at times? Of course, this is only natural, but never has any one of them been hurt. My shepherds will tree a stray cat but they would never kill it. Dogs were born to chase and cats were born to tease.
    Keep your pets 4Dogs and don't crucify yourself over this. No one is to blame, it just happened. You were the only one that tried to give Miss Kitty a chance at life, without you she probably would have met a worse fate. She'll be waiting for Chance at the Rainbow bridge. Sorry you had to go through all this.
    This made me cry. Thank you for your post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bextastic View Post
    I'm sorry if anything I said came off as "lashing out" or picking on you at all. It was meant to be a sharing of my personal experience with GSD's and cats, and with cats living behind washing machines. If you re-read it you will see it was mostly a narrative of what I've seen/experienced with nothing really directed towards you, but I'm sorry if you took it harshly.

    On the topic of giving GSD's jobs, if you don't have time for Obedience or Agility training right now you can get him a backpack and have him carry something on his walks, like water and a little collapsable for himself. It takes up more energy to walk that way and gives him a mini-mission. You could also find a herding facility in your area and have him learn to herd sheep. Thats very fufilling for them (of course) and doesn't take up as much time to train for as obedience as its mostly instinct and a good instructor at the facility should know how to bring it out of them with a little work. Even training them to catch a frisbee is a job. Bex will try to catch frisbees until he collapses, apparently its 10x better than fetching a ball to him, even though he jumps and misses like... 90% of the time. Maybe that makes the catches more satisfying? Fetch is too easy I guess
    We play with frisbees all the time, and I have a jump set up in my backyard that we work with. I will just be more religious with it. I slacked a little. With them getting used to the new house, and always running around, theyve been tired, but I forget that Chance isnt getting enough mental stimulation. Thanks.
    ~Jennifer

    Rest in Peace MK, Mittens, and Toby.. mommy misses all of you<3
    "I've been dating since I was fifteen. I'm exhausted. Where is he?"- Charlotte York

  4. #43
    Senior Member borzoimom's Avatar
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    Re: German Shepherd killed cat- need input.

    I had GSD's for over 20 years. This type of thing is rare-. As I said- if the cat was acting afraid of the dog, a prey drive will kick in. Plus- it only takes a little bit to hurt an animal with the size difference we are talking about. There was a problem with the cat before, and opportunity knocked, dog reacted.. I have had shepherds with parrots, other birds, guinea pigs, cats, small dogs- you name it- ... and I am not talking about a few dogs at a time either- I mean many! And just like currently- if I had a cat, and the cat is in charge so to speak, does that mean I would trust my sighthounds with a neighbors cat.. uhhhhhhhh no..

  5. #44
    Senior Member 4dogs3cats's Avatar
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    Re: German Shepherd killed cat- need input.

    Quote Originally Posted by borzoimom View Post
    I had GSD's for over 20 years. This type of thing is rare-. As I said- if the cat was acting afraid of the dog, a prey drive will kick in. Plus- it only takes a little bit to hurt an animal with the size difference we are talking about. There was a problem with the cat before, and opportunity knocked, dog reacted.. I have had shepherds with parrots, other birds, guinea pigs, cats, small dogs- you name it- ... and I am not talking about a few dogs at a time either- I mean many! And just like currently- if I had a cat, and the cat is in charge so to speak, does that mean I would trust my sighthounds with a neighbors cat.. uhhhhhhhh no..
    Yeah exactly. I should also say that what I perceived to be a "struggle" may have been play in Chances eyes. He may have been playing with her how he plays with Kody. I dont know if you all remember, but he once ran after a little pom barking and nipping, trying to play. If he was playing and he nipped her, pissed her off, and she swatted him, pissed him off, you never know.

    From what I was told, a gauge to her neck was all the damage done. He left her alone once she died. I just hate to image what she looked like, laying there, bleeding, on the floor.
    ~Jennifer

    Rest in Peace MK, Mittens, and Toby.. mommy misses all of you<3
    "I've been dating since I was fifteen. I'm exhausted. Where is he?"- Charlotte York

  6. #45
    Senior Member borzoimom's Avatar
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    Re: German Shepherd killed cat- need input.

    Honey- it doesnt take much.. This is a huge size difference. But let me toss something out to you already mentioned.. Dogs know when an animal is not right- its not just " fear smell"- they know. I am not dismissing this, but in knowing your posts etc I know you take animal ownership seriously. I know you know your pets, and tragic as this is- it happened... I wish I had more words to say...

  7. #46
    Senior Member 4dogs3cats's Avatar
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    Re: German Shepherd killed cat- need input.

    Quote Originally Posted by borzoimom View Post
    Honey- it doesnt take much.. This is a huge size difference. But let me toss something out to you already mentioned.. Dogs know when an animal is not right- its not just " fear smell"- they know. I am not dismissing this, but in knowing your posts etc I know you take animal ownership seriously. I know you know your pets, and tragic as this is- it happened... I wish I had more words to say...
    It's okay. I feel a little better. I still feel terrible that it happened, but I feel like I have a better understanding on WHY it happened, and that gives me that much more power to not let it happen again.
    ~Jennifer

    Rest in Peace MK, Mittens, and Toby.. mommy misses all of you<3
    "I've been dating since I was fifteen. I'm exhausted. Where is he?"- Charlotte York

  8. #47
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    Re: German Shepherd killed cat- need input.

    Im sorry you lost Miss Kitty. A fearful cat is what brought this event to happen.

    When I was 14 I got a pair of kittens even though my stepmom had a confirmed cat killing dog. Turns out Le Mutt was not only fine with the kittens he was protective of them, they grew up not fearing dogs and would stand their ground with other dogs. Heck they even chased the horses with the dogs. Le Mutt only gave me 1 scare the entire time on the farm. I wont say for certain you will have further problems but I highly dout it.

    My current cat Erp, was here before there where any dogs. Blue and my roommates dog Bailey came here as puppies and Erp learned to be very addept at avoiding them or smacking them around. The biggest problem I have with her is she taunts other dogs when she goes outside, she will go to the neighbors house and sit outside their fence.

  9. #48
    Senior Member 4dogs3cats's Avatar
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    Re: German Shepherd killed cat- need input.

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedawg View Post
    Im sorry you lost Miss Kitty. A fearful cat is what brought this event to happen.

    When I was 14 I got a pair of kittens even though my stepmom had a confirmed cat killing dog. Turns out Le Mutt was not only fine with the kittens he was protective of them, they grew up not fearing dogs and would stand their ground with other dogs. Heck they even chased the horses with the dogs. Le Mutt only gave me 1 scare the entire time on the farm. I wont say for certain you will have further problems but I highly dout it.

    My current cat Erp, was here before there where any dogs. Blue and my roommates dog Bailey came here as puppies and Erp learned to be very addept at avoiding them or smacking them around. The biggest problem I have with her is she taunts other dogs when she goes outside, she will go to the neighbors house and sit outside their fence.
    Had Miss Kitty stood her ground and not been so afraid of him, I have no doubts in my mind they would have become the best of friends. It was very unforutnate and thank you for your kind words. I am keeping an eye on my other cats, and while they are sad, they arent acting any different towards Chance. Still keeping fingers cross though.
    ~Jennifer

    Rest in Peace MK, Mittens, and Toby.. mommy misses all of you<3
    "I've been dating since I was fifteen. I'm exhausted. Where is he?"- Charlotte York

  10. #49
    Senior Member melgrj7's Avatar
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    Re: German Shepherd killed cat- need input.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bextastic View Post
    As for closed off "cat rooms", my mom has a feral cat in her house that lives in the laundry room behind the washing machine, just as you described yours doing. It breaks my heart. It is terrified of people, just as yours was terrified of dogs. It doesn't come out from behind the washing machine except to eat, quickly, when no one is looking. I told my mom to seriously consider the cats quality of life with her. If my mom had dogs and they were the problem, trust me that cat would be rehomed in a heartbeat. But when its that scared of people in general a solution is even tougher. But when a cat is living in a six inch space pressed between loud machinery and a wall, theres a huge problem.

    My parents cat was feral. My mom hit him with the car one year on Halloween. After a week at the vet he came home, and spent a month and a half behind appliances. We borrowed a very large dog crate from one of my uncles (mastiff sized crate), put some boxes in it with holes (so the cat could hide, but see out of them like these: cat boxes) and of course food, water and a litter box. We put the crate into the corner of our living room, where it was off to the side, so we weren't walking past it often or looking at it when we were sitting. But, we were in the room often (every day, watching TV and hanging out). After a few months we were able to pet the cat and pick him up. It just took him being able to watch us for a while from a safe spot and being forced to be around us, but where he felt safe. He isn't the most outgoing and friendly cat, but we can at least pet him and pick him up if we need to, he is only afraid of strangers now and feels confident enough to walk around the house as long as no one is over.

  11. #50
    Senior Member wvasko's Avatar
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    Re: German Shepherd killed cat- need input.

    Melgrj7
    An excellent common sense answer to your cat's problem. You got the program setup so he actually had to be there and with good care and your help he desensitized himself. The cat boxes in crate absolutely was a stunning idea. Will this work with all cats? I don't know, but it worked with yours and it's another option out there for others to try.
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    Re: German Shepherd killed cat- need input.

    From EVERYTHING you have told on these forums, Chance is not unstable. He may be unsocialized due to the parvo but he IS NOT UNSTABLE.

    HE IS UNTRAINED. This means he is inconsistant and/or not instantaneous in his response to commands (like the recall when he chased the little girl.. and that too could have escalated to biting). He did come to you, but he chased her first. Even tho he slipped his collar he should not ahve left you. Fact is, he should not even have attempted to slip his collar and the presence of the leash should make no difference. That is where you need to go with this dog.

    When a dog is given a command, the object is the dog is not to cease doing that command until you either give another command or release the dog. The minute the dog is released he should also turn and look at you not go willy nilly running off saying "wee wee I am freee."

    I am sorry this happened to you. I know you are raw from it.

    I have a few rooms in my house that are "dog free" too and the room you have for this purpose is fine. The barrier into it was insufficient and it would be an assumption at this point that this has already been replaced so the room is now Dog Proof.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4dogs3cats View Post
    It's okay. I feel a little better. I still feel terrible that it happened, but I feel like I have a better understanding on WHY it happened, and that gives me that much more power to not let it happen again.

    100% agree.

    Again, I am sorry it happened.

    Quote Originally Posted by wvasko View Post
    Melgrj7
    An excellent common sense answer to your cat's problem. You got the program setup so he actually had to be there and with good care and your help he desensitized himself. The cat boxes in crate absolutely was a stunning idea. Will this work with all cats? I don't know, but it worked with yours and it's another option out there for others to try.
    Yes. This is exactly how you "tame" a feral cat.. you use a cat cage and time.
    Last edited by Elana55; 05-25-2008 at 07:03 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  13. #52
    Senior Member Love's_Sophie's Avatar
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    Re: German Shepherd killed cat- need input.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4dogs3cats View Post
    I know. It's just like everyones immediate reaction was Oh get rid of the dog Oh get rid of the cats.

    Understand that I just lost a cat and I am not ready to even THINK about losing any other of my animals.

    Im sorry if I lashed out on anyone, Im still just very upset, and everyone seems fine, and I can only hope they stay that way.
    I don't think I ever mentioned you 'need' to 'get rid of dog or cats'...it IS ultimately your decision, not mine; would I rehome the dog? possibly...but that is me.

    And I agree with Chrissy...everyone is giving their opinions, but that doesn't mean they don't support you...it's just opinion based on experience with dogs and certain behaviors.

    Don't worry, things will be okay...just give yourself some time to heal!

  14. #53
    Member Bextastic's Avatar
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    Re: German Shepherd killed cat- need input.

    Yes, that is exactly what my mom needs to, and I told her so. I told her she needs time and patience. The problem with my moms cat is that my mom pretty much made him go back to being feral - my mom won't spend time with him. He actually stayed at my house for a month and a half as a baby and I had him stepping on me, sleeping on me, snuggling with my other cats, I have pictures of him as a baby playing and frolicking and being happy out in the open. When I went to visit her after a month she had him locked in the laundry room becacuse he would scratch her precious furniture and carpets. I couldn't even touch him anymore. Now when she tries to catch him he wails like he's dying and has scratched both my parents seriously. I told her to spend a minimum of 4 - 5 hours a day with him or she couldn't own him. She did, for about two days, then gave up because results weren't instant. Now my dad wants to put the cat down because she says he's dangerous. Sigh. I would take him but I can't have more than two cats here, condo rules, and besides - Bex is the LAST thing he needs.

  15. #54
    Senior Member wvasko's Avatar
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    Re: German Shepherd killed cat- need input.

    Isn't kind of wierd, I never could understand why people do that to dogs or cats, if I've heard it once I've heard it 1000 times about how they had to get a dog for the kids and then dog is chained up outside or the cat that's not allowed in the house, or the the dog has to be free outside. Is it some kind of wierd status symbol that I don't understand. To say nothing of the basement, garage only dogs. I just don't understand. Sorry for short vent.
    Dinosaur Dog Trainer


  16. #55
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    Re: German Shepherd killed cat- need input.

    Jen-

    I read most of this post although i'm at work so I skimmed through some of it but first off I want to say how sorry I am to hear that you had to walk into such a horrid scene. I can't imagine how that would feel and I hope you don't beat yourself up over it. Things like this DO happen and it is unfortunate.

    I will give my advice though, others have suggested finding a new home for Chance but from your posts since day 1 you seem to love him to pieces as though he's an extension of you, he's part of you and i'm sure that is not possible.

    I would consider starting completely over with training, act as though Chance knows NOTHING and go through everything. I would also suggest meeting with a very experienced animal behaviorist, they can pick up on things just by watching and being around the dog that you may not have even thought of.

    When you are gone crate Chance, no exceptions to this rule. A crate is not a punishment, it's for safety for his safety, and the cats. It's not just safety because of that incident, i like keeping my animals crated in case of any sort of emergency, it's so easy for anything to happen when animals are not confined.

    I take Pandora out for a run before work, crate her, come home for lunch and play a game of fetch in the backyard, return to work for 3 more hours come home and then take her out to this fenced in school yard for her to run around in. I am 110% sure she would never hurt my cats or chew up anything or have an accident but she still stays in a crate when I can't be there.

    I don't think Chance is too much for you, but you might reconsider the training approach. It may very well be that you just need some more training which is never a bad thing. I am constantly trying to learn as much as I can from various forums, books, websites, etc... As a German Shepherd owner you never stop learning and neither does your dog. They are so intelligent and can pick up on anything, anytime you are around Chance you are teaching him SOMETHING.

    Again I am so sorry about Miss Kitty!

  17. #56
    Senior Member melgrj7's Avatar
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    Re: German Shepherd killed cat- need input.

    Thanks, we (I) was hoping it would make him get used to us, but in a way he felt safe. It worked for him. It took my awhile though to convince my parents to put a huge crate in their living room for a cat!

    Quote Originally Posted by wvasko View Post
    Melgrj7
    An excellent common sense answer to your cat's problem. You got the program setup so he actually had to be there and with good care and your help he desensitized himself. The cat boxes in crate absolutely was a stunning idea. Will this work with all cats? I don't know, but it worked with yours and it's another option out there for others to try.

  18. #57
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    Re: German Shepherd killed cat- need input.

    Oh no, I'm SO sorry about Miss Kitty! Poor thing put up a fight too!

    I have no advice for you, just wanted to jump in and say that I'm sorry you're in this situation.

    I don't know what I'd do if it were me and my animals. No one can say what they'd do unless they are in the same situation with the same animals.

    I hope you can figure it all out.
    Heidi: Feeding raw to the dogs since 12/07...

  19. #58
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    Re: German Shepherd killed cat- need input.

    I had to comment on the "cat room" thing.

    My cats live in a room when we are not home. They are troublemakers and it is really for their own safety (at least right now...I'm hoping that they will be able to have free roam of the house shortly). Isn't this like crating a dog when you aren't home? They have food, water, litter, toys, scratching posts, each other...and I know they are safe in there and can't get into trouble, and they are let out as soon as I get home from work.

  20. #59
    Member Bextastic's Avatar
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    Re: German Shepherd killed cat- need input.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scout View Post
    I had to comment on the "cat room" thing.

    My cats live in a room when we are not home. They are troublemakers and it is really for their own safety (at least right now...I'm hoping that they will be able to have free roam of the house shortly). Isn't this like crating a dog when you aren't home? They have food, water, litter, toys, scratching posts, each other...and I know they are safe in there and can't get into trouble, and they are let out as soon as I get home from work.
    Yes but if keeping them in a room while you are out is like crating a dog while you are out, then keeping them in a room full time is like keeping your dog in a crate full time. Would you do that?

  21. #60
    Senior Member 4dogs3cats's Avatar
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    Re: German Shepherd killed cat- need input.

    Quote Originally Posted by SMoore View Post
    I don't think Chance is too much for you, but you might reconsider the training approach. It may very well be that you just need some more training which is never a bad thing. I am constantly trying to learn as much as I can from various forums, books, websites, etc... As a German Shepherd owner you never stop learning and neither does your dog. They are so intelligent and can pick up on anything, anytime you are around Chance you are teaching him SOMETHING.

    Again I am so sorry about Miss Kitty!
    Thank you. I didn't quote all of your reply for space reasons, but I did read it all, and I think starting over with him and him being on a rigorous training schedule is best for him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Love's_Sophie View Post
    I don't think I ever mentioned you 'need' to 'get rid of dog or cats'...it IS ultimately your decision, not mine; would I rehome the dog? possibly...but that is me.

    And I agree with Chrissy...everyone is giving their opinions, but that doesn't mean they don't support you...it's just opinion based on experience with dogs and certain behaviors.

    Don't worry, things will be okay...just give yourself some time to heal!
    I know, and I am sorry if I came off mean. I was soooo stressed, and I personally felt semi-attacked but I am sure it was just my emotions going haywire

    Quote Originally Posted by Elana55 View Post
    From EVERYTHING you have told on these forums, Chance is not unstable. He may be unsocialized due to the parvo but he IS NOT UNSTABLE.

    HE IS UNTRAINED. This means he is inconsistant and/or not instantaneous in his response to commands (like the recall when he chased the little girl.. and that too could have escalated to biting). He did come to you, but he chased her first. Even tho he slipped his collar he should not ahve left you. Fact is, he should not even have attempted to slip his collar and the presence of the leash should make no difference. That is where you need to go with this dog.

    When a dog is given a command, the object is the dog is not to cease doing that command until you either give another command or release the dog. The minute the dog is released he should also turn and look at you not go willy nilly running off saying "wee wee I am freee."

    I am sorry this happened to you. I know you are raw from it.

    I have a few rooms in my house that are "dog free" too and the room you have for this purpose is fine. The barrier into it was insufficient and it would be an assumption at this point that this has already been replaced so the room is now Dog Proof.




    100% agree.

    Again, I am sorry it happened.
    Yeah- we'll get there. I'm not giving him up, and my cats are staying too. We'll make it work. Hes going into training next month (when I can afford it)

    Quote Originally Posted by heidiann View Post
    Oh no, I'm SO sorry about Miss Kitty! Poor thing put up a fight too!

    I have no advice for you, just wanted to jump in and say that I'm sorry you're in this situation.

    I don't know what I'd do if it were me and my animals. No one can say what they'd do unless they are in the same situation with the same animals.

    I hope you can figure it all out.
    Thank you for your kind words

    Quote Originally Posted by Bextastic View Post
    Yes but if keeping them in a room while you are out is like crating a dog while you are out, then keeping them in a room full time is like keeping your dog in a crate full time. Would you do that?
    I think thats where people made the misconception. The room is a 12X12 bedroom that has toys litter, food, cat houses, and a table in front of the window that they sat by. She went from hiding in the closet all the time, where SHE felt safe, and I would go in there daily to play with her and love on her, to coming out of the closet and playing in the room, but hiding when she saw the dogs, to actually just hanging out in the room even if she did see the dogs. I was letting her get used to things. We got her in Sept of 07, then moved to an apartment in Feb 08, then moved to this house in May.... Thats a lot to adjust to. I was working with her the best way I knew how, and I thought I was seeing some improvements. Unfortunately, it seems as if I made her confidant in the room thinking the dogs couldnt get to her, and when Chance did get to her, her world fell apart.

    The other 2 cats come and go in the cat room at will. I have the baby gate elevated off the ground so the cats can walk right under, and I have done extensive work with Chance in the last few days to make sure he knows the room is off limits. I tested my work too, I took the gate down, and Kody and Chance sat in front of the open door, neither one of them budged. I turned my back and played with Mittens, and they both simply laid down by the door. Neither one came in the room. But the cats like going in there to play, and their food and water and litter is in there, along with cat houses for them. They are not at all scared to come out, and are out of the room most of the day, however, when they play with each OTHER, they usually go in there.

    Just so everyone knows too, I have kept an eye on Chance for the last few days, and he has been exactly the same with the cats, if not better. Like I mentioned before, I think that maybe now that she is gone he feels some peace from the constant wondering where she is. He licked the cats before, and when Mittens was sitting on my lap, Chance gently put his face near Mittens, and Mittens licked his nose. It was refreshing to see that even though he had a terrible relationship with Miss Kitty, his relationship with my other cats is strong.

    Thank you all so much for your kind words, it still hurts a lot when I look at pictures of her. But I know we will get through this, and it is a lesson learned. Sadly at her expense, but it is true, you really DO live and learn.
    ~Jennifer

    Rest in Peace MK, Mittens, and Toby.. mommy misses all of you<3
    "I've been dating since I was fifteen. I'm exhausted. Where is he?"- Charlotte York

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