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Introducing SPCA dog into a house with 2 cats?

somebodys_angel
September 27th, 2008, 03:44 PM
I am new to the board and have a question to start off with :)

I am finally at a point in my life where I can afford the time and money add a dog into the family. The family includes 2 indoor-only male cats (neutered of course) and me and my male roommate.

I am definitely looking into all our local SPCA/foster programs but rescues and fosters seem to be far and inbetween here in New Brunswick. I have a bit of apprehension about getting a dog straight from the SPCA due to the unknown history of most dogs as far as their reliability around cats. At least with a rescue or foster I have a chance at finding a dog that has been tested around cats.

My boys are first priorty and I don't want to make a mistake regarding the safety of my cats and the happiness of my future dog.

Does anyone have any tips on spotting a good/bad canine candidate in a short period of time? The cats are dog savvy and put up with the occaisional doggie visitor as long as they are non-threatening.

Thanks!
- Carole

kathryn
September 27th, 2008, 08:36 PM
If you go to a good shelter they will have done a personality test. My shelter does it. The one is designed by the ASPCA. Alot of dogs at the shelter will be owner surrenders which means their history is known. My shelter allows a dog to go on 'sleep overs' to make sure they fit in before the actual adoption. You really should just try calling around or emailing around to local shelters and rescues and just ask if they have any dogs that get along with cats. Should be a fairly easy thing to do. I would not recommend a puppy though of course. Probably a dog that's about a year old, small or medium sized and not too hyper. Probably a boxer or pit mix would be appropriate as I find them to be the most likely to get along with other critters as long as you find one that's more laid back and less in your face.

Here is something that might just give you an idea. Hopefully the page will load

http://www.awanj.org/site/PageServer?pagename=meet_your_match

It's the shelter I volunteer for but it's just something that might be interesting for you to read.

Frenchy
September 27th, 2008, 11:42 PM
I have a bit of apprehension about getting a dog straight from the SPCA due to the unknown history of most dogs as far as their reliability around cats.

Hi Carole , thank you for looking to adopt from a rescue or shelter :thumbs up

Even with the spca , you can ask them to test the dog with cats. And sometimes , for some dogs , they already know if they're good or bad with cats. :thumbs up

PwD-SD
September 28th, 2008, 12:14 AM
What you could do after evaluating the pup / dog in the kennel as to how he/she reacts when people walking up and down. If the dog/pup has any type of aggression or not. Then when you choose the pup or dog and you go into what they call a quiet room. So you could have a one on one basis. Making sure this is the one for you. Ask them if you could take the dog on the leash into the cat area. This way you could see the reaction of the dog.

I don't always trust what is written on the papers because although a dog or pup may have no issue with another animal there is always that one time they maybe. Especially in a stressful situation or surroundings. Being you are a stranger to the pup / dog that adds some stress. Even people surrendering the dog doesn't always put the facts down. I had two pups that were suppose to have great temperament only to find out from my evaluation with my other dog there that that was not the case.

Now I go a little further in this evaluation and usually ask if they would bring a cat out and into the quiet room as well. This way the cat may roam the area and the dog still on a leash (long line preferably) to see if there are different actions. As I walk the dog / pup near the cat and then away. Also I would have the volunteer hold the cat and let the dog come close as possible to see if there are any different actions especially aggressive actions.

When you take the dog home I would suggest you tether the dog to you. This way the dog or pup isn't just roaming and if any issues would start up you have control as it were. Then like before you just allow the pup or dog to go on his or her terms up to the cat. Of course being tethered to you, you are also able to see if the cat has an issue with the pup/dog. If so they because you have a control with the leash you could turn away from that situation.

sugarcatmom
September 28th, 2008, 12:15 PM
Also I would have the volunteer hold the cat and let the dog come close as possible to see if there are any different actions especially aggressive actions.


:eek: I would hope they use a very confident cat that is completely nonchalant around all dogs, or else you're going to have one helluva a scratched up volunteer and a totally stressed out cat.

PwD-SD
September 28th, 2008, 12:45 PM
:eek: I would hope they use a very confident cat that is completely nonchalant around all dogs, or else you're going to have one helluva a scratched up volunteer and a totally stressed out cat.

Oh I am sorry there. Sometimes I forget to add those important steps as I have been doing this for such a long time it's second nature for me to make sure about the cat as well. It just went without saying. Basically after going into their area you could tell which cats are comfortable and which are not. I am usually the one picking out which cat or kitten I like to use for these evaluation. But again I have been doing this for a long long time to be aware of what is or isn't a good situation.

ownedbycats
September 28th, 2008, 02:30 PM
Once you've follwed some of the excellent advice already given, see if you can find a book called Competability (yes, that is the correct spelling). It's an older book so try the library. It gives really good tips on actually introducing the animals