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My Pet World: Out of sight, out of mind best for pets who don’t get along

Cathy M. Rosenthal, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Cathy,

My three sons are visiting this October and will be staying with us. They all have dogs. Please advise how to acclimate my cat. She hates all furry beings but accepts our own dog who was here before she was adopted. My sister came with her dog to visit and was immediately met with aggression. We moved her dog to the porch but even through the screen my cat was in attack mode. Two of my sons will be staying with us. Help! – Regina, Northampton, Pennsylvania

Dear Regina,

Introductions between animals are usually done over time, so trying to get everyone acclimated in a day or two for a week or two visit is highly unlikely. My recommendation is rotate them into different parts of the house during the visit so they can’t see each other. For example, place a baby gate a few inches off the ground (so the cat can get under it) across a hallway and then again across a bedroom doorway to give your cat a place to get away from the dogs. The first gate keeps the dogs from coming down the hallway.

If she is antisocial, she will likely stay in the bedroom during the visit so make sure her litter box and food are in those areas as well. Visit and play with her throughout the day so she is not isolated and reassure her those dogs will be gone very soon.

Dear Cathy,


We adopted our miniature schnauzer Buddy a few years ago. He is eight-years-old. He has the run of (most of) the house and is a loving and beloved pet. About six months ago, he started to urinate on a chair and love seat in the living room. We put up barriers to keep him out of the room. Each time we took down the barriers, he returned to urinate there. We had him tested for a urinary tract infection (UTI), and it was positive. He took antibiotics but tested positive again and took more antibiotics for an additional month.

He is now negative for a UTI, but he still urinates on the chairs. Each time, we have cleaned the chairs thoroughly. The professional cleaners gave us a repellent to spray on the chairs, but it seems ineffective. Is there a repellent you recommend? Is there a way to end this? – Beth, Muttontown, New York

Dear Beth,

Basic cleaners don’t work in removing all biologicals (urine and poop) left behind and therefore, can easily attract your dog back to the same spot. Get an enzymatic cleaner (available online and at pet stores) to remove the biologicals likely still remaining on the furniture. Then, spray the furniture with Grannick’s Bitter Apple Spray or some other “keep off” repellant to discourage him from peeing there.


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