Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Most Cat people are comfortable (on their terms obviously) with one on one interactions.  With enough time and space a Cat person can actually become semi-comfortable (and I stress the word - SEMI) around a Dog (and notice the word "a" - meaning ONE DOG).   I illustrated this in the first blog with Nellie (our black lab) and Freckles (our Calico Cat).  Even this one on one interaction is "Cat driven" - meaning ... WHEN ... the Cat person feels "in cat-control", THEN (and only then) will there be an interaction.

The problem multiplies exponentially when additional dogs are added to the picture. So how does a Cat person deal with situations with a multiple Dogs? 
How can the Cat person maintain ...... "Cat-control"!

Multiple Dog people could potentially surround the Cat which would provide no path of escape.  Add to that stress, the rapid movement, loud nature, and over excitement of Dog to Dog interaction and you have a formula for Cat "stressure" (that is my word for Cat hair raising pressure).  One of the key's to "Cat-control" is to show NO cat "stressure".

So let's set up a scenario with three couples out to dinner together (this is the toughest of all Cat "stressure" environments because of the amount of time and fixed seating arrangements).  You are the Cat person with four other Dogs and one other Cat (but the other Cat might be a Lion).  What should you do?
First  (and foremost) recognize that the Cat's are outnumbered (but at least you have some alliance with the Lion).  Second, visualize the Dogs as "dumb (and cute) puppies instead of attack Dogs (or even think of them as other Cats).  Third, establish your location (and timing expectations) and always have a contingency exit strategy.

These three fundamentals will help (but not solve) the initial dinner "preliminary pleasantries". But there are other techniques to lower the "stressure":
(1) Avoid too many conversations that involve all the Dogs simultaneously.  Remember they get excited easily, and will raise the conversational levels several decibels.
(2) Sit next to a favorite Dog (the calmest Dog) or the Lion (for protection)
(3) Practice an exit strategy (leave the table for some brief period)
(4) If you have the ability to choose a location - choose your most comfortable setting and preferably a quiet one
(5) Maintain a quiet and consistent "purr" (more about this later)

 A Cat person can survive in a group of Dogs.  It just takes continuous Cat-control.  Remember a Cat person can look like a Lion to a Dog person. :)

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