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Advice on dog living with cat

StiltonFreak

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Hi everybody

I have a 13-year-old cat , he is quite a tough guy. The thing is I am desperate to get a dog but I have held back because of the cat , as I don’t want to either of them ,particularly the cat, to feel stressed out.

Are there any particular dog breeds that might minimise any problems? I prefer non-small dog breeds.

Thank you in anticipation :)
 
Hi everybody

I have a 13-year-old cat , he is quite a tough guy. The thing is I am desperate to get a dog but I have held back because of the cat , as I don’t want to either of them ,particularly the cat, to feel stressed out.

Are there any particular dog breeds that might minimise any problems? I prefer non-small dog breeds.

Thank you in anticipation :)
What ever you choose, go for nature and take note of thee innate characterisitics of the breed. Any introduction will be down to you!! It is NEVER about the animals. If you have everything undercontrol a situation where things CANNOT go wrong, that is a good start! I might suggest that if you have help (which I would!) at the first introduction at least, make it calm, controlled and mater of fact. NEVER make them stay, never make them face or sniff, in fact, never make them do anything. Anyway, those are my thoughts, but there are other, VERY WISE and capable folks on this forum, they will give you great advise! Above all have fun and all stay safe! :)
 
Have you any friends with dogs that currently live with a cat? if so maybe get them to visit to see what your cats reaction is to a dog, in a controlled situation, before contemplating going further..
 
Flobo I am not sure that would help, I had two cats when I got Folly, they lived quite well together, but if Folly ever saw another cat she wanted to chase it.
 
True, my Jake was similar in that he was fine with my cat or any other cat if indoors with them( at friends houses), he had a healthy respect for them.. but outside they were fair game to him!!.. that was what I was wondering if indoors a dog already used to a cat could be used to see how the cat would respond maybe? If the dog is calm, on a lead in the house and has no bother with a cat but the cat totally freaks, would that not give a fair indicator of whether the cat would accept any dog in to the household?
 
Some rescues 'cat test' their dogs, so you could look for a rescue that does this. Again, you can't assume that just because a dog is OK with a particular cat in one set of circumstances, it will be OK with a different cat elsewhere.

I have a cautionary tale. Knowing that plenty of lurchers happily cohabit with cats, we got a lurcher pup when our cat was 12. From the moment the pup (J) clapped eyes on M (the cat), he was besotted. But he wanted to play, play rough, play chase. M was horrified. We tried to control interactions, but it was very difficult as he was a wild pup by any standards and I couldn't confine J 24/7. And M simply wouldn't stand up to him, he just ran.

We ended up with M more or less living in the bathroom and walk-in airing cupboard, with a stairgate to stop J getting to him. As J matured he became a lot calmer and interacted much better, but as M aged, he equally became less happy with even these interactions - J would, say, plonk a paw on M's back in the hope that he would accept the invitation to play, but M would simply fall over... He didn't appreciate it if J wrapped his huge jaws gently round him as an invitation to play, either. In the end M simply stopped coming downstairs :(

M died last year, aged 21. He had plenty of cuddles and attention, every time anyone went to the loo. I feel really guilty about upsetting his life in this way, but had tried my best. Maybe I'd have done better with more experience of pups, or maybe M would never have been happy with a dog in the house.

Take from this what you will. Plenty of people make it work, even with lurchers. Maybe I was just unlucky with the conbination of personalities of my two.
 
the first part of this is really being brutally honest with your self about the possible impact of adding a dog to the house on your cat.

At 13 the cat is getting older, may not be able to move as fast, may have less tolerance for young energetic dog. what about any health issues going on with the cat? So you need to factor in and balance these kinds of things. A 13 year old cat might live several more years, which might put off getting a dog longer than you would like. BUT it is something you need to be looking at and being prepared to accept.

Do you have any idea how your cat is with dogs? have you had friends or family with a dog over? how did that go?

What is the lay out of your current home? is there a way to for your cat to get away from the dog? or is it a completely open plan without door ways/rooms etc that could be blocked off with baby gates. Even if you have the more open floor plan, is there ways to change up how furniture is arranged or get several cat trees type additions so you can have a place to go away from the dog.

Basically my 2 cents...before you even worry about what breed or how to introduce your cat and a new dog, you need to be really thinking and looking at these and possible other factors.

only then would I be looking into breed and how to introduce them. But remember, and never forget. At the end of the day, we can do all the prep work, check all the boxes, and have the worlds best plan.... the dog will be who he/she is and the cat will be who he/she is and there is always the chance you can never achieved a relaxed all is well co-existence between the too. you must be ready for that. Even if it does work out, it will not be overnight. it will most likely take time and some dedicated training. So the last piece is how much dog training experience do you have. this is a bit more than sit/down type training. how much do you enjoy dog training, because the less you enjoy it, the less likely you will do the work, the less likely a desired outcome.

So defiantly some things to think about. I can't tell you how many times I get this and the people involved are sad after the fact that their relationship with their cat changes and the cat ends up living in a room etc. they become torn between their love and responsibility to the cat and the dog. it can be very stressful.

I bring all these "negatives" and "downer" questions up because it is easy to get caught up in the desire and excitement of getting a new dog or flip it around adding a cat to the house with a dog. In the process, loose sight of the existing animals well being. it is possible for a dog and cat to live together successful, it happens. But unsuccessful coexistence happens a lot too.
 
For what it’s worth. Before we adopted our whippet our neighbour brought over to our house for us to see our cat’s reaction. Our neighbour’s dog is very laid back and ignored George (the cat). George, although wary, didn’t react but walked around the room ‘carefully’. We approached a whippet rescue charity and specified that we had a cat. I think they must have taken us seriously as George and Mabel (sounds like a camp vaudeville act) get on really well. If you approach a rescue charity and emphasise that you have a cat you should be able to mix the two. Best of luck.
 

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Be careful about what 'cat tested' actually means. For some Rescues, it simply means showing a cat to the dog and if the dog doesn't try to get hold of the cat, they think it'll be fine. But dogs in rescue situations are often very shut down, which is way different from how they'll be once settled in a new home. So ask the Rescues how they tested the dog. Some dogs may well have come from a home where there was a resident cat, and one would hope they'd be a better bet, but people aren't always honest about why they have given up a dog, and many people simply think the dog and cat are "friends" when they live in a state of armed truce.
It can work - but more often it doesn't.
 
Have you thought about volunteering for a rescue. ..dogwalking so you get your dog fix but it doesnt affect your cats life ;);)
 

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