I have a calico cat (4f) and my roommate's golden lab dog (5m) in a townhome together. The cat has her own space for litter, food, and a bed. She also has toys in the main space. Generally the two ignore each other, but are not friends by any means.

The past day the cat has been hissing, growling, and fluffing her fur. If given the chance she attacks the dog at the face. The dog has done nothing to taunt the cat or bother her. It is all her going after the dog.

When this has happened in the past I separate the cat to a small bathroom for a short while, not knowing what else to do. This has not helped today.

I am at my wit's end. Are there any suggestions? Please, anything is appreciated.

1 Answer 1


The cat may think the dog doesn't smell like the one she knows. I have this problem with my two cats every time one or both of them come back from the vet, and the only good solution is to let them complain at each other until they work it out, which usually takes about a day.

There may be other causes, but I'm afraid the answer is the same. You can't reason with pets. You can separate them, you can try to train them to understand that "no" it "stop that" means whatever they are doing displeases you, but in the end they really have to work out their relationship for themselves.

  • I presume you meant insightful.... ;-) One of the important things to be aware of us that they do perceive the world differently than we do, and understanding why they do things may require understanding those differences.
    – keshlam
    Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 0:00
  • oh yes!! lolol well it's inciting thought lol Yes, I like it when people make me think. I swear the more time I spend online the worse my grammar is. :p
    – user6796
    Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 0:03
  • Thank you for your response, @keshlam. Nothing has changed about the dog's smell more than the usual every day walk, so I am not too convinced about that but it is very good to know! We've been separating the cat and dog after each of their spats for fear of one of them getting injured. Would it help if we let them go at it versus us interfering?
    – Alison
    Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 2:04
  • Nothing has changed that you can detect. My point is that the cat may be reacting to something you _can't _ detect, so trying to do one thing about it may be between guesswork and hopeless. Maybe the cat is just feeling achy or tired today and isn't up to being patient with the dog. Maybe the dog was annoying earlier in the day. If it's just a day or two, the best approach is usually to let them negotiate it, watch, and hope a pattern emerges that you can help with. Or just keep them separated for a while, as you would with squabbling toddlers, until they forget the argument.
    – keshlam
    Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 2:40

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