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Introducing a Dog to My Cats

January 24th, 2009, 02:55 PM
Hi everyone! I am a cat lover, but would love to try having a dog. However, I don't know if this is an achieveable reality. I have had cats all my life, and would like to consider myself pretty well informed about them. I have never owned a dog, and know pretty much nothing about them. I have children that are scared of big dogs, even the most friendly ones, so I would have to get a smaller dog.

Here's my question:
I have three cats that have NEVER been around a dog before. One cat is almost seventeen. He's mellowed out over the years, and I think that if the dog was not aggressive he might do okay. Another cat is five, and is terrified when a tiny kitten hisses at her. The third cat is very high strung and likes to be in charge. On top of this, we recently started fostering cats(about 6 months ago). This has added stress to our cats' lives. They have finally started to accept this. Is it too soon to introduce a dog? Or will we never be able to have a dog with these cats? Would it be better to introduce a dog or a puppy? What breeds would do well with cats and are on the small side? What breeds should we stay away from?

January 24th, 2009, 04:43 PM
IMHO - right now would not be the best time to add a dog to the mix. From what you have described you have special needs kitties who really do not need the extra stress. They already are experiencing it with the cats/kittens you are fostering.
Kudos to you for fostering. It is a tough job but one that is badly needed. :highfive:
If you decide to get a dog I would go with a smallish dog so as not to scare the cats more than necessary.

January 24th, 2009, 05:15 PM
Along with 14+kitties excellent advice, if you do get a dog, I would suggest getting an adult dog from a foster situation where the dog has been evaluated for compatibility with cats. Puppies can really be too rambunctious for timid or older cats and their level of obedience is minimal, which is going to make it that much harder for you. But do think this over thoroughly because your priority should be for the well-being of your current furry family.

Otherwise, here is a good article on how to introduce dogs and cats, should you go down that route: