How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. B. Your Own Question
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20609
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
60269376
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Dr. B. is online now

We have a cat Lulu (5) and a dog Oskar (4). They grew up together

Resolved Question:

We have a cat Lulu (5) and a dog Oskar (4). They grew up together and have lived in perfect harmony. Lulu is a house cat so they spend a lot of time together. On Friday morning Lulu suddenly looked at him, bushed up and howled and spat at him. Just as if we had brought a strange dog into the house. Oskar, puzzled, barked, but not aggressively. We separated them but every time Lulu saw him she did the same thing. Vet suggested Feliway and within a couple of hours all was fine. But this morning it happened again. They are much loved animals.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today. What did Oskar do before Lulu reacted?Did he come near her, bump her, or perhaps taken a spot she may have wanted?Are you using the Feliway collar or diffuser? If you are using the diffuser, is it in the room their spend the most time in or where these episodes are happening?How is Lulu otherwise? Has she been sleeping more, less active, or showing any changes? Any recent injuries or falls?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As far as we know Oskar did nothing. They were in a room together and she suddenly went ballistic! They weren't touching.We are using a Feliway spray. We've sprayed around where they spend time together. Lulu is fine - just eaten her breakfast.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you,Now if Oskar is innocent of bothering Lulu, then we'd be most suspicious that she is lashing our as part of a defense behavior. This is where a a cat that is feeling vulnerable (ie sore, under the weather, stressed about another issue like other cats outside etc), takes an aggressive stance to deter nearby animals from thinking they are vulnerable and an easy target. It is a instinct driven behavior, so she'd likely react to any animal this way and not just Oskar.I would note that if Lulu is hiding an underlying discomfort or is stressed and displacing that onto Oskar, then this does explain why the Feliway helped but didn't completely settle the behavior since the underlying cause is still ongoing. In this case, I'd note that she may benefit from a collar based de-stresser (which you can purchase over the counter or could spray her own collar with the Feliway regularly before putting it on her to allow her to carry the de-stresser with her). As well, if she hasn't been checked by her vet at this point, it would be ideal to do so to make sure there are no underlying health issues causing her stress that she isn't telling us about. Finally, we need to get down on Lulu's level to appreciate if something (other animals, smells, changes in routines at home, people in the house, renovations, etc) external to her is to blame. This can be tricky since she cannot tell us, but it is worth doing and worth trying to keep routines stable to see if that helps her to settle.Overall, it does sound like Lulu is lashing out because of an issue she is having as opposed to one that really involves Oskar. Therefore, we need to make sure there are no ongoing stresses that she may be displacing her anger onto Oskar for. As well, we'd want to ensure that no internal issues (ie metabolic disease, organ troubles,discomfort, urinary crystals, strains/sprains, etc) that may be putting her on edge to again focus her stress on poor Oskar.Please take care,Dr. B. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )
Dr. B. and 2 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
At the moment - some two hours after the last episode Lulu is calm. She can see Oskar but not reacting at all. Yesterday evening they were playing as normal and spent the night on our bed together. Weird! We will get her checked out medically......and get more Feliway. She has never worn a collar , so that may not go down well! Thank you so much.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi again,If she isn't a collar kitty, then we may just need to re-spray the Feliway at least daily to keep it fresh and active. Otherwise, I don't think that is weird. It tells us that even though she is targeting Oskar, it isn't him that is the problem. Its something external we haven't picked up on or something causing intermittent discomfort for her (possible sore joints, bladder, etc). So, a check up is perfect to try to rule out that health side for her while keeping an eye on things going on in and near the house around the time of her lashing out. Hopefully if we cover both sides, we can get to the root of this for Lulu and get them back to their peaceful relationship.Best wishes for Oskar and Lulu,Dr. B.