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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16316
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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We have two cats that we adore. My kids begged me for a dog.

Customer Question

Hi there. We have two cats that we adore. My kids begged me for a dog. So, now I have a dog and two very stressed cats. I keep them separated. However, now my cars are peeing and pooping in my sons bed and that is a behavior I cannot tolerate. Help???? I don't know what to do but, it seems like I can't have all three animals in the house.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: Two cats, owl and sparky. They are 3.
JA: What is the cat's name?
Customer: There is a cat named owl and a cat named sparky.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about There?
Customer: Not that I can think of.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Now Owl and Sparky’s reaction to the dog isn’t an uncommon one. Their behavior is a territorial one driven by their being unhappy but also feeling threatened by this dog that they have perceived to have invaded their territory. And they may be focusing their behavior on your son’s bed if the pup has had access to it or if they can smell the dog on the bed from your son’s contact with it.

In this situation, keeping them apart can help (and restricting their access to rooms the pup has access to as well as this room) but if both cats are this severely stressed and acting out, then I do have to say that it would be ideal for the dog to be rehomed. Removing that stressful trigger at this point would give us the best chance of settling the cats and avoiding this being an unpleasant habit for either of them.

Otherwise, further to separation and keeping them from spaces they can smell the dog, you can try them with an OTC de-stressing treatment. These can reduce feline stress and help them cope with less then ideal situations. Treatment options include Feliway, also known as Comfort Zone in the US pet stores, which is a synthetic cat pheromone that helps to relieve stress. This can be used as a spray or a plug-in diffuser. There is also a diet on the market called Calm by Royal Canin. This contains a number of supplements that have been found to provide stress relief to cats. As well, there are nutritional supplements like Kalmaid or Zylkene , that we often use to soothe anxious cats Some people have even found treats like Composure or Bach Flower Remedy to be helpful for settling kitty tension. And as these are not 'drugs', you can use any of these together to help settle their anxiety and reduce her need to mark and claim their home.

Overall, this is quite a common situation as established cats do not tolerate change well and dogs notoriously can be a stressor that sets off this behavior. Therefore, we may need to block their access to the room, make sure to clean anywhere they go with an enzymatic cleaner (ie Natures Miracle, Fizzion) so they cannot smell their wastes nor the pup, And while doing so, we’d want to try some of the above treatments to see if we can help them cope. If they cannot, then there are medications you can speak to your vet about to reduce the behavior but otherwise the dog may need to be relocated if Owl and Sparky both cannot cope with it in their territory.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 months ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. B.