My new JRT and my cats!!

by Kim
(Manchester UK)

Hi, we have two cats who are almost two year old (boy and girl). My brother recently had to re home is puppy (JRT 10months old) so we took him in. Obviously the cats were put out by this and we have been working really hard to get them used to each other. We put George on his lead in the living room for a few hours everynight whilst the cats are there and everything seems ok but then we have little blips where george just growls really horrilby as if he would bite simba (boy cat)if he could get to him. We have been at this for 6 weeks now and nala (girl cat) is still scared stiff. I have had to stop her going out as I couldn't get her in for days at a time. she is still off her food even though she stays upstairs away from george and her voice is going - she does eat little bits of food tho. Simba is still trying to carry on as normal, bless him, he has scratched george on a few occassions as he does come through the window and generally try and walk around like normal and thats when these mishaps are sometimes occurring. Simba is very forgiving of George and often tries to come up to him meowing if I am holding him (george) and sometimes they are ok but other times george snaps. obviously i fear for the safety of my cats although i would never leave them alone with george. My question really is at what point do i give up? how long after trying should it start paying off? don't get me wrong simba and george have come a long long way but i feel really sorry for nala, she just can't adjust. Is this ever gonna work? We give them treats for being nice to each other and tap george on the nose if he goes for the cats - this has been a last resort as it is becoming a regular occurance. PLEASE HELP!

Comments for My new JRT and my cats!!

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 06, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
My jrt and my cats
by: Kim

Hi Robin, thanks for that advice it is very positive and constructive. I am going to continue with what I have been doing with the three animals as 6 weeks is nothing really so things could really improve over a longer period of time. Just for peice of mind, I never leave the cats and george in the house alone as I am too worried about them, as you say, I always put the cats out.
Thankyou so much.
Kim

Apr 06, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Cats & Jacks
by: Robbin's Rescued Russells

Kim,

That's a hard call to make. I appreciate the fact that you are concerned about George's Separation Anxiety. It can be stressful for a dog to be shuffled to several new homes. Jack Russells as a breed are pretty resilient, but they all are individuals and that is a call that you will have to make.

It sounds to me like the training methods you have been using are working. I would suggest that you continue, and although it may seem like you are only making "Baby Steps" success is success. I would like to reiterate that if you are unable to supervise the interaction between George, Simba, & Nala that you put George in his crate or put the cats outside. I wouldn't risk putting the cats in a room with a closed door because some Jacks would not think twice about chewing the carpet under the door or doing damage to the door itself. And if George was successful in breaking down the barrier between him and the cats it could result in serious wounds and possibly a fatality.

I respect you for reaching out for help with the issues you are having with George, instead of dropping him off at a shelter where it is more likely he would be PTS than adopted. I admire you for your willingness to continue training him in an effort to keep George as a member of your family. I have adopted Jacks into homes where there were cats living in the home. It is possible for a family to live in a home where they have a Jack Russell and cats that live amicably together under one roof. But again I would never trust the Jack 100% if left unsupervised.

I think if you will research the Jack Russell Terrier breed, you will begin to understand the reasons they do the things they do. For example people who don’t know the breed say that Jack Russells are Yappers. But instead this is considered a desirable trait to those who hunt with their Jack Russells. They are bred to bark continually, and loudly to alert the owner that the quarry has been located, and where underground it can be found. There are reasons for behaviors dogs exhibit. When we understand the “Why’s” I think it helps us be patient, consistent and diligent in training our Jack Russells. In closing I want to say that Jack Russell Terriers are a continual work in progress. And I wish you all the best.

Respectfully,
Robbin Grabowski
www.robbinsrescuedrussells.org
Second Chances Through Adoptions

Apr 05, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
My JRT and my cats!
by: Kim

Hi Robin, My mother in law took in a jrt cross scottish terrier at two years of age, he'd never lived with a cat before and she had a tom cat prior to his arrival. They didn't get on as such but they tolerated each other. The dog is still with us but the cat sadly passed away some years ago.

Would your advice be to rehome George? It's just that this is his third home since being born and he suffers a little from separation anxiety, I'd hate to have to put him through that again :(

Apr 05, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Cats & Jacks
by: Robbin's Rescued Russells

Kim,

My opinion is one that is based on my experience as a Jack Russell owner (twelve years) and from one who has been rescuing Jack Russells (seven years).

Sadly this is a recipe for disaster. If you research ANY dog breed you will find out why that breed came about. The Jack Russell is bred to be a hunting dog. This breed has a VERY high prey drive which comes from genetics. No amount of training can "train" the genetic makeup from (out of) a dog.

Even if you were willing and could continue training to the level that your Jack and the cats were "civil" to one another while they were under constant supervision, I would never trust your Jack with the cats unless you were in the room (even then it’s a gamble). If you leave the house I would put your Jack in his crate.

I love the breed and enjoy the "hunting instincts" they have. It's something I am aware of and accept.

Although my reply doesn't contain a training secret that would solve your dilemma, I hope this has helped in some way. Respectfully, Robbin

Robbin's Rescued Russells
www.robbinsrescuedrussells.org

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Jack Russell Questions and Answers Forum.