Chows and cats

Training and behavior topics, guidelines, and tips for Chow Chows.

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Chows and cats

Postby Phaedra » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:47 am


I'm Pheadra and I'm from Greece. I adopted a chow chow about 6 months ago because the previous owner could not keep her any longer. Being a cat owner almost all my life (I currently have 14 cats) and totally ignorant on dog behaviour (let alone chow chows) I could really appreciate some piece of advise. To be honest my Leo (that's her name) is very sweet and extremely sociable. Generally, she's doing quite well with cats (they've all learned to keep safety distance) and especially with the young ones she plays all the time but I have some concerns:
1. Sometimes when she plays with the young ones she has the tendency to soflty and really gently bite them (some sort of affection or underlying aggressiveness???) and this sometimes scares me because I would hate to see the day that she "tastes blood", so most of the times I reprimand her.
2. When the time comes for a delicacy or dinner they all gother together and if a cat tries to snatch her food she then becomes very aggressive which I totally understand but most of the times I scold her althought deep down I know that she is right.
I love all my animals as if they're my children and my aim is to keep a balance but I don't know whether I'm in the right path with Leo.
Could someone advise me further?

Many thanks.

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Re: Chows and cats

Postby Ursa's daddy » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:16 pm

I don't know if I can help, but I have chows and cats. Ursa, my female is ~22.5 Kg and Malachi, my male is ~35Kg. When I first got Ursa, my Siamese kitten found the her to be interesting and they became friends. Waldo, my male cat, had no problem telling Ursa who ruled the house. When I got Malachi, he would carry China, the Siamese around in his mouth. She tolerated it, because she would definitely growl and scratch if she did not. Generally, I did not have a problem with the cats eating from the dog bowl. China would generally invite herself to dinner and the dogs did not mind. I lost Waldo due to an accident, and the chows knew I missed him, so they found a 4 week kitten and made a lot of noise trying to get my attention. They helped raise him, and I now have a cat that behaves like a chow. Ace, our Maine Coon cat, likes to sample the dog food in the evening. Ursa objected once, and Ace explained that he was not listening to a dog, and that was the end of that. Chelsea, our Persian, who we got from a pit bull rescue group, intimidates all the dogs and tries to intimidate the other cats. Malachi will not pass her on the stairs or in the hall. I cannot speak for all chows, but my two don't chase the cats, and usually ignore them. Some dogs will chase cats if the cats run, so this could be an issue. A lot depends on the cats and the dogs. Before I got the chows, we had a Siberian husky. We had found an abandoned kitten, and she helped raise it. The cat had a lot of dog behavior, and would walk along with the dog when we took her out. You have to work with the dog and the cats. My dogs understand "be nice to kitty". It is getting the dog to understand that the cats are part of the family (pack), and the cats to not run when they see the dog, which can cause the dog to chase. I think you are correct in scolding Leo when the cat tries to snatch her food, but you should also correct the cat. Ace knows he can only get two kibbles before he gets told to stop. You might consider making some adjustments to the feeding arrangements. We always feed our cats on a raised platform (the washing machine), to limit any temptation for the dogs. You will need to do a lot of observation of the behavior of the dog and the cat and determine what direction on your part is required to make things work. Several of the regulars here have cats and chows. Sharahloo and Rio to name two. There are probably many others.

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Re: Chows and cats

Postby Rio » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:52 pm

Hmmm, I am what you would probably call a crazy cat-lady!!! I mother my Ragdolls and they are spoilt rotten, so when I decided to let this big black ball of noise that can soak a cat in under 10 seconds come live with us I can honestly say my kitties were not happy bunnies!
Our oldest cat (Ramses) rules the house and he tolerates Rio to the extent he will happily sit on my knee for cuddles if Rio is in his pen, he does not hiss or snarl at him anymore just kinda ignores him.
Our other boy (Blueberry) is convinced he can 'tame' the big furry wet-tongued thing that insists on drowning him every time he gets close enough. Blueberry is a big softy and does try to play with Rio.
Abbi who is Xanders mummy (our two girls) has decided that the dog is most definitely not for her, I do however think she will come around in time as she cannot resist cleaning fur (she is a neurotic cleaner of everything)
Xander as I mentioned,who is also the baby of the cat family,is really not impressed with Rio and will sit just out of reach and hiss and growl if Rio goes within 10 feet of her!
As regards feeding, I have to agree with Ursas daddy, adjustments should be made if only to keep the peace.
Rio is always fed in his penned area, the cats have a seperate room where their food is down all day, Rio does not have access to this room as we have a safety gate up (it has a smaller gate at the bottom to allow cat access).
I am almost sure that in time the cats will accept the new member of the family, but to make the transition a stress-free one I would keep them apart at feeding times, just until you can properly teach your Chow and your cats that there are boundaries and etiquette at meal times.
The mouthing of the cats I do not believe is meant to be aggression, I have watched Rio (like a hawk) whenever he interacts with Blueberry, and I have noticed that Rio does not use excessive force when unceremoniously grabbing him by the head, Blueberry (like I said is a softy, and will howl if one of the other cats even looks like they are going to start a fight) has only ever once 'told' Rio to back off and that was because he had stupidly backed himself into a corner. I only have four cats but they all know if I am mad at them they will get a gentle tap on the bottom (this has not been done for many years as they all now know there are boundaries that they cannot cross)
I wish you all the luck in the world and in my opinion if properly managed I do believe cats and Chows can get along very well. (they have similar natures and attitudes)

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