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have a cat and want also to get a dog, but concerned

ze_er
January 11th, 2006, 06:33 PM
Hi, I've had a fully grown cat for several years, and would like to now adopt a puppy. I've never had a dog of any kind before, so this'll be a learning experience for me. I am concerned however about how this dog might interact with my very passive, docile cat. I do want a dog, but not at the expense that I'll come home to find my cat injured. Besides the potential physical problems, I'm also concerned about my cat's emotional health if this is done. I do not want my cat to feel rejected, or bullied, or threatened in any way. Adopting the dog and just seeing how it goes isn't an option, because I believe that when you adopt an animal you make a commitment to them for the rest of their lives, and its not fair to give them away because they aren't really what you expected.
Any advice?


Thank you.

Lucky Rescue
January 11th, 2006, 07:02 PM
I believe that when you adopt an animal you make a commitment to them for the rest of their lives, and its not fair to give them away because they aren't really what you expected.



Very nicely said! I might add we can't always get exactly what we want and must consider what is best for our lifestyles and other pets in the home.

It's good that you're putting so much thought into this before getting a dog. This will make things so much easier!:)

Adult cats, especially docile ones like yours, do not appreciate having puppies around, barking and running and frightening them. Lots of people let the puppy bother the cat, or chase it. Many cats can become extremely stressed by this, to the point of illness or avoidance of the litterbox.

If you do it right, it should succeed. The best advice I can give is to do what I did and get an adult dog - at least 1 year old - who has been rescued and is living in a foster home with cats. That way, you can go and see how it behaves towards cats and make sure it doesn't chase or harass them in any way. What you really want is a dog who ignores cats. My dog is a dream with my cats - even with all my foster cats and kittens - and I trust her completely with them.

You can get a puppy, if you don't mind spending many months confining and training the puppy to leave the cat alone. The puppy will have to be behind a gate, in a crate or on leash at all times if the cat is around. Even then, just the sight of an energetic puppy trying to lunge at it can stress a cat. The puppy will only want to play, but few cats will understand or want to play even if they do understand.

To find dogs in your area who are good with cats, go to www.petfinder.org

amber416
January 11th, 2006, 07:44 PM
I definitely agree with getting an older dog-- at least a year old-- that is known to be good with cats. I adopted a puppy in October, and while I adore my puppy, i wish i would have gone with an older dog, both for my and my cats' sanity. I have to keep half of my place gated off with a baby gate all the time, which is a pain. I also try to keep my puppy on a leash when my only cat that is brave enough to come out around the puppy is around. Sometimes i think i shout "leave it!" in my sleep. I'm hoping once she gets a bit older and once she's completed her obedience training, things will get better, but i worry that some of my cats ( i have four) will always fear her, and live their entire lives in a seperate bedroom.

I'm glad you are giving this plenty of careful thought and trying to do what's best for your cat....my cat, Tink, is on my lap right now as i type this, watching the screen, and i'm thankful she can't read, otherwise i would be getting a very nasty look right about now ("there's an idea, mom, doing what's best for the CAT") :)

BMDLuver
January 11th, 2006, 08:22 PM
Some young dogs are excellent with cats... most that come in to me are... I think I've had 4 that are not but it was typical to that specific breed as high prey driven. If you go with a rescue that uses foster families then you will know exactly what you are getting with regards to manners around cats. Best of luck in your search and nice to see someone really thinking things through. Welcome to the board!

katy82
January 11th, 2006, 08:38 PM
We had a rough time with our American Eskimo puppy when we got her a year ago at 8 weeks. It took alot of work to have her leave the cats alone. She never actually wanted to hurt them, just play but she's a little rough sometimes. We've set our house up so that the cats have the furnished basement all to themselves all the time as well as having access to the upstairs. It probably would have helped if we had been able to do something like this when we first had her but we were in an apartment. The number one thing that Lucky pointed out when we first brought her up was to reinforce the "leave it" command all the time. As long as we're consistent she behaves.

If your not set on a getting a puppy I would also recommend getting an older dog that is good with cats. It saves a lot of trouble and stress for you and the cat!

SnowDancer
January 11th, 2006, 10:21 PM
I have an Eskimo pup as well and experienced same problem as Katy, except that my dog weighs 22 lbs. and so does the cat. Pup was 11 lbs. when he arrived and cat always threw the first punch and then tried to play innocent. Sorry, this cat has been around 15 years and recognizes no one's pain but his own. Same actually with Eskie (he recognizes my pain, just thinks someone else is clawing me as he gives me an Eskie hug). Many Eskie owners have cats that wanted to pack their bags on meeting new pup. Our Beagle loved our first cat - found her actually while we were walking, and our several Dachshunds all got along very well with the cats. Well my 2 special Dachshunds tolerated the cat since they recognized he was out to get me - but kitty new not to cross them as they were my protectors.

Prin
January 11th, 2006, 11:45 PM
I believe that when you adopt an animal you make a commitment to them for the rest of their lives, and its not fair to give them away because they aren't really what you expected. You're my favorite newbie ever! (I don't mean that condescendingly, it's just really nice that you have the same 'animally' values as we do. :)) That said, I think BMD said it best:
If you go with a rescue that uses foster families then you will know exactly what you are getting with regards to manners around cats
And Lucky told you about Petfinder...

Do you have any breeds you're leaning toward?