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Expecting a 3yo Don Sphynx Girl and currently own a dog #prayforme

alandsim

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People always say have 1 more litter box than the number of cats you have. I don’t think that’s necessarily necessary when there’s only 1 cat. I only keep a single box and my cat does great with that. I think there is the occasional cat that doesn’t like to poop and pee in the same box though. Maybe then you would need 2.


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Yea, she really doesn't seem to be picky thank goodness! One box has been plenty so far. Especially because most of her life is currently spent in the one room and bathroom. She'll use it even if I put off cleaning it till late morning and it gets kind of full.

I think if we get to the point where she sleeps in our room with us we will throw a litter box in our storage closet off the bedroom just because we like to shut and lock the bedroom door while we sleep. We have a healthy fear of home intruders and ghosts :p

Having a spare will definitely help me transition her to pine pellets someday too!
 

naomi

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Sounds like things are going great.
I would keep the second litter box until you are confident that the dog and cat get along well. The reason to have extra when a second animal is in the house is so they always have a place that they feel comfortable going to the bathroom without someone else being nosey. I commend you for really sticking to your plan. Although I don’t always stick to recommendations of timelines I suggest this is always the expectation because it is important to make sure the interactions stay positive. You are doing great!

I love the pics of her lil head peaking through the curtains. Lol , the ear being weighed down. So cute


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alandsim

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Here’s the deal. I’m feeling a little discouraged. On one hand, Jo has demonstrated that he can focus on other things both during down time and when we are actively working with him whether playing or practicing commands to distract or get him away from the cat’s room. Especially if we’re rewarding him with food. On the other hand, he is getting a little amped and I think it’s really frustrating for him that we’re keeping them apart.

He still goes and stares at her door often. Sometimes he’ll stand and look, sometimes he’ll lay down and look, and sometimes he’ll just chill out and lay near the door, without looking directly at it or with his back to it. When the humans make a move toward the door though, he snaps to attention. When one of us is in there or the cat’s actively meowing at the door or coming up to him, he does start whining after a while and has pawed at the door. We redirect when this happens and try not to scold. This morning I had to physically pull him away from her door to get him to go upstairs to my bedroom where he’s confined while we’re at work.

AA75BA19-DA2D-4EDD-9AA4-7521F185FBFA.jpeg

This picture is from the other night when we had him crated and were letting her wander. I would guesstimate that the exposure lasted around 20 minutes. In the beginning we just put him in, opened her door and continued to watch TV. When she sauntered in, I grabbed the boiled chicken and took turns feeding them both small pieces with my fingers. Then I put it away and went back to sitting where I was. Sim continued to wander and eventually went back over to his cage on her own. He watched her and sniffed her but was quiet. My partner went over and was sitting by the cage which is when this picture was taken. She was rubbing on his cage, sniffing him and sticking her paws into the cage. He was (calmly? Who knows?) sniffing her back. He was licking her tail through the bars and he didn’t make a sound or any sudden movements. I don’t THINK he looked like he wanted to eat her, I just figure he appreciates her smelly butt.

Then a few minutes after this picture was taken he began whining, pawed at the cage and barked at her.

Sim just moved away from his cage and went into my partner’s lap, she was just to the left of his cage supervising.

We calmly waited a few seconds and tried to use soothing tones of voice for both of them. Jo just laid down did a high pitched vocalization (not like a whine, whimper or howl... like a sad little humm. Maybe husky owners wound understand?)

Then we calmly put her back in the room, let him out and took him outside.

I’m kind of at a loss. I don’t know if this is to be expected along the way and we should continue to do what we’re doing, or if we’re teasing him in a way, especially with the crate thing and he's going to escalate.

We’re no where NEAR the point of them physically being around each other without a barrier, but I’ve decided to use a wire basket muzzle when we are as an added safety measure.

Somewhat related- I also purchased a prong collar which I’ll begin using with him on our morning walks to work on pulling and impulse control in general. He’s been a big puller since we’ve gotten him and he does move to chase small animals. I’m hoping disciplining him more in this area will improve our communication and help me deal with the other area.

I’d love opinions. Sim is still not scared, but I am!

(I edited some typos a few seconds after posting!)
 

Sheldon13

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That has to be frustrating. You can’t really be confident in how he would behave unrestricted. It’s difficult to know. I think the muzzle is a good idea.


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Yoda mom

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@alandsim Hugs ! You are making progress ! Your post sounds just like what I did with my big boys with socialization - amd with training Jo

Huge thsat Sim went up to initiate contact and paw touch

I tend to go very sloooow at intros with dogs- like all training so,e days are better than others -
They are creatures of routine - after a while dogs were sued to hanging out in crate while kitty explored - then Rotated like you do -

I am a big fan of using muzzles - I like to get dog used to a muzzle amd keep one I’m my supply kit so in case of an emergency or injury it’s safe for all involved ... large or small dogs.

I am also an advocate of prong collars and their proper sizing. Fitting and use -
** I will only use Herm sprenger brand prong collars amd never ever leave on unattended -

The Herm prong collars have nice smooth round edges - the China made are often blunt sharp cut off flat edges

My neigh recently got rescued a cute pitty - we trained together with the “Maigic collar “
she is like a new dog within a few training sessions and can be on a flat collar

**** from experience always always use a regular collar along with the prong collar !
Am will open and you can be stuck holding a lead in hand while dog is off!
I now use a leather lead that has one brass coupling for the regular collar one coupling for the prong collar -


Keep up the good work ! pM me anytime ;)

Head smooches sent !
 

Yoda mom

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@alandsim here is a great site for prong info amd a pic of the leash I use

(I use my lupine martingale collar as the “ dominant “back up collar in the video.
I actually slip on the martingale first since it had no buckle - then the prong collar above it higher up towards the neck - I keep it on the leash together - reverse order taking it off -
Takes all of about 5 seconds to get on and off )


I have to share my all time favorite regular lead !
I have severely of these - they are incredible quality , soft broken in and ....
have never broke or frayed - I have been through a zillion leads -
the prong double leash (no extra handle ) and these Amish made leads are the best , double braided and snap bolted on each end - perfect for large dogs
My leads are 6 plus years old amd like new amd soft as butter ! Best $25 bucks spent
Had sooo many that would open thread pull apart
 
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Toa and Ross

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Earlier you said you trust him not to hurt any cat. Hold on to that trust. Maybe keep him on a leash while having them both in the same room? If that goes well let him walk around free with one person next/close to him. You trust him and he listens to you. So try not to be too afraid!
 

alandsim

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Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words always!

@Yoda mom Herm was actually recommended to me as well so that's the kind I got (I ordered from chewy.com because on amazon they were complaining that some people were getting counterfeits? Weird) but I did NOT know you needed to use a back up collar with it! That is handy info! Now I know to get a good lead to use in conjunction with them when it arrives.

@Toa and Ross That is eventually the plan. While I still believe he's a lover not a fighter, I think for both my partner and me it is easier to remain calm and confident (so that the animals pick up on these vibes) in exposure situations when we know there's no margin for error or danger to Sim. Especially as he's been surprising us with barks and pawing. I just hope this level of exposure gets easier instead of harder so that we can see measurable improvement at this stage and then move on to the next.
 

alandsim

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We've had a good couple days!

Jo has been less focused overall on Sim's door Wednesday night and last night. We've still been practicing having him in the crate and letting her wander and he's done really well with that compared to what I was writing about above. It may have just happened with time but...Here's what we're doing differently :

I’ve been trying to give Jo less unstructured/down time so going outside & exercise, plus working on tricks a lot and during the “transition” parts of his daily routine such as when I put him upstairs in the bedroom before I go to work, let him out to go outside at lunch, and then bring him back up there with his daily ice cube,* I’ve been carrying treats with me and ...harping on him basically. I make him SIT, STAY, I walk a couple paces ahead of him, COME, SIT, repeat on the way to whatever we’re doing and I reward him with a treat after a series of commands. He gets mad that he’s having to work for treats he's used to just getting and looks at me and goes "ROOOO!" but he does follow the commands even if he's complaining. I've also started using the command WATCH ME when he's been distracted, to make him look at me and listen to what I'm about to say. The closer we are in relation to the cat's room, the less effective WATCH ME is :0 but with time hopefully it will come in handy. I think with a higher amount of treats available he's more interested in what we're doing than the cat.

Also we've continued putting him in the crate to let her wander but we just try to end the session before he gets to the point of whining and use lots of positive reinforcement.

The prong collar also arrived yesterday after just ordering it Wednesday morning... Go chewy! We've tried it out and have only had to really correct in the presence of squirrels and bunnies. He did attempt to bite his lead in protest but we'll get there.

We ordered a basket muzzle from amazon that will take a little longer to arrive, but I almost feel like if we continue at this pace, as soon as the muzzle arrives they'll be ready to meet with him on a leash!

*The reason our spoiled boy gets an ice cube every afternoon is because he struggles with boredom. A while ago he used to chew up our stuff and we thought it was separation anxiety only to find out he was just bored, so we now rotate toys and use lots of treat dispensing toys and frozen treats. The ice cubes are chicken broth and occupy him for a good amount of time. He also likes staring out the window, and weirdly, confining him to one room while we're gone seems to help with this vs when we used to let him roam the whole house. Can you blame him for being so focused on Sim when she's so interesting?
 

alandsim

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Sim and I survived her first bath and nail cleaning/clipping at my house! I did cut the quick accidentally on one, but we have the antiseptic first aid powder stuff for that so I knew to just use that. My mistake was not bringing that up to the bathroom, so I had to speedwalk through the house with my angry-cat-swaddled-in-beach-towel to get it.

And, we got Jo’s muzzle Saturday and did our first exposure with him on a leash!! It went about as well as can be expected and we have room to improve.

My partner used the waist leash with Jo on a harness & he had his muzzle on, and she just sat on the couch with him in front of her on the floor.

I let the cat out and she went to her usual places. She likes to stroll through the kitchen, hop up on the kitchen table to look at us (until I shoo her off) and park herself on top of a heating vent that is conveniently out of Jo’s line of vision. She didn’t attempt to come closer to him.

We tried luring her with dry treats and distracting him with dry treats, but neither animal was having it. I had to break out the container of boiled ground turkey and then take turns feeding them pieces with my hands (groooss) and for Jo I had to feed him them through his muzzle (double gross).

I was trying WATCH ME and to get him to obey commands but he was just too distracted by the cat. When Sim did get close to get the treats she was wary of him, and he was obviously excited but didn't lunge at her or paw at her or anything.

The second time we did this, Sunday, same deal except even after treats were gone Sim would come close to the dog to climb on the humans (who were by the dog). He was SO good in that instead of standing over her he was laying down on his side and let her come closer, and a little bit after that he reached over to sniff her side. We could tell that he was being gentle and kind of testing the waters, he wasn't making sudden movements looking like he wanted to eat her. When he actually touched her side with the muzzle Sim wasn't paying attention and then when she felt it she recoiled and hissed, but moved only a little bit away. So apparently her stance is: I can be near you but do NOT interact.

We are really happy and will continue doing this kind of exposure in conjunction with continuing to crate Jo in hopes of continuing to see progress. Actually, lately I think Jo goes into his crate on purpose in the hopes that we'll bring her out. He likes his "room" and knows that it's his safe space, but rarely goes in unprompted to just hang out or nap until recently! He also hardly whines in the crate anymore when she's out, but sometimes will stand up and stare at her like a creep.

We need to take pictures or video but we're both so preoccupied when we're doing this so I haven't gotten any. Jo looks so cute in his blue muzzle though!!
 

Sheldon13

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So glad rob be reading this update!


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Yoda mom

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@alandsim soooo happy to read this great update! Kudos to you and your partner !
Extra treats all around from me!

Lol I Remember doing all those things - lol my abstract pic shows my first girl hogging the dog bed ! I used wore crates amd after two weeks the cst decided to explore her big new friend by touching him through the crate! Then decided to make a game of walking on top of it !
The “watch me “ command amd “ahhhh leave it “ worked great

Glad jo is doing well with the muzzle - keeping them safe is our job - and you two are doing marvelous taking time and devotion to training & exercise - lol a tired dog is a good dog :)

Be proud ! Keep up the plan! Look forward to more police updates!

Head smooches n Hugs
 

alandsim

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Here’s what the girl has been up to!
Smart Climber is mounted to the wall and I have plans to mount a corner shelf next to it for a perch but I need to get partner to help me!
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This is her in Jo’s favorite spot: our bed. We have to cover our pillows with this comforter during the day because that’s where he lays allllll day just watching out the window.
DF359D41-4B7F-48EC-91ED-F37F6ECCBA66.jpeg

This is her in our closet this morning! She was climbing on the hangers. Oh, to be only 7lbs!
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Not a lot to report with cat/dog exposure time. Since I need partner’s cooperation to get them together with him in a muzzle I haven't done it in a few days because either he seemed too hyper when we were planning on doing it, or partner didn’t have time to do it that evening.
But Jo continues to put himself in his crate so we can let her out! I swear it’s on purpose.
 

Yoda mom

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Awhhh adorable ! She is eyeing up that plastic bag ! She may have a plastic bag fetish
To kitty proof

Jo has a purrfect view!

Love the smart cat climber mounted on wall! Several members have done this
Lol I still have mine on a door with a towel behind it for the “bounce “

Head smooches!
 

Yoda mom

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@Bailey21 checkout the smart cat climber pics above !
@alandsim soo happy she is settling in so nicely ! She looks great !
 
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Bailey21

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I’m going to high jack and post my newly installed wall mounted cat scratcher! It’s not completely finished as I still have to wrap sisal around the wall clamps, but you get the idea! In case you wanted to do something similar to aid in getting on the climber :) I also find mine will climb the climber and then stretch on the scratcher to scratch it!



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Yoda mom

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@Bailey21
Perhaps you can start a smart cat climber mounting option thread with pics?
Yours looks like a lot of fun! Like the scratching post pic with purrfect model as well as showing type of mounting hardware

Perhaps USER=15187]@alandsim[/USER] and others who have mounted on wall can share pics
Soo cool mounted on wall with additional goodies and shelves

Would be helpful to all members :)
 

alandsim

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@Bailey21 I love that setup!!! The cushy cat shelf! The scratcher!

@Yoda mom Re the plastic bag: :0I know I was eyeing that today too and I actually thought of you in the moment when I saw her near it bc you are always there with the cat proofing reminders! I have no idea what is in the bag or why it is up there either, I'm 5'0" so I never would have noticed. But as soon as she goes somewhere messy, like our closet, internally I'm like "Oh boy..."
Whenever I open cupboard or closet doors I have to watch her or she wants to dart in!
 

alandsim

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Thank you @Yoda mom !

"Phase 3" of the plan is still going on! We get Jo all dressed up in his leash/harness/muzzle and let Sim out. It's to the point where he and I can practice commands (sit, stay, lay down, give me paw, watch me) with her just a few feet away and if I have a high enough value treat (cut up hard boiled egg lately) he will still focus on me.

Sim also sees those high value treats though and will come right up to us which is too much for Jo to handle. I have to leave a little piece for her out of the way (and remember where it is, because Sim just wants to smell it and will just leave it on the rug :rolleyes:).

If she gets close enough to us, he will quietly watch her, and then make a sudden movement toward her and fixate on where she runs to hide. When this happens we either redirect and go back to practicing commands or we decide it's a good time to go outside. Again, it's hard to say if he actually means harm, but I definitely don't like the behavior.

I go back and forth between thinking: "Jo is not actually acting predatory and Sim can get away/defend herself from him anyway so you're drawing this out unnecessarily," and "They will never learn to coexist, no matter how much you work with Jo he will never relax about it." It's a comfort knowing that my partner would never pressure me to rehome Sim. We've discussed it and we both feel like we would be willing separate them for the rest of their lives if that's the only solution to let them both stay. (if either animal was unhappy obviously we would do what we can to rectify that but both are doing well separately) We have been seeing small improvements though so for now we're just going to keep plugging along at a snail's pace.

So this "phase" might last much longer than we had planned, but we'll continue working on impulse control. Whenever I'm bored I watch dog training youtube videos and read about working on this so I'm continuing to learn strategies.

In general Sim is happy. She has her little routine and has been adjusting to the new feeding schedule. She might gain a little weight because of how much I give in and give her heaping scoops when she has her dry food, but if that happen's we'll cross that bridge. Usually by the time I shower at night Partner and Jo are in bed already so she gets to wander the house and she follows me to the bathroom. She likes to sit on the back of the toilet, press her paws up on the shower door and yell at me.
 
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