Whippets and lurchers with cats

(23 Posts)
Cryifiwantto Wed 16-Nov-16 19:55:55

Seriously considering a whippet - haven't had a dog of own before but grew up with Setter and Labs. Both too big and food fixated for me, oh and labaradors and poo eating fixation not for me ;-)

DCs are 10, 8 and 8, and we have a very intelligent, sparky and fearless alpha male Abyssinian cat (think chasing foxes, catching magpies, generally ruling the street). We're urban but have fenced garden and park nearby. I work at home or 3 mins away. We have a parrot but he doesn't come out often, cat has known him since a kitten and doesn't view the bird as 'dinner'

The story on whippets and cats seems conflicting -any people saying they are ok with 'their' cat if known from a puppy - but elsewhere I see that they will chase and kill on instinct if the same cat is running outside as they are sighthounds.

Can anyone tell me their thoughts? Other than that they seem a good fit- right size, friendly, sparky, no great breed health issues, would get on ok with kids...

Frouby Wed 16-Nov-16 20:01:19

I have a whippet. She has food issues and eats poo. Sorry.

She leaves our guinea pigs alone in their cage now. But would definitely kill them if they were lose.

And my step dad's greyhound killed our family cat when I was a kid.

My sister has a whippet though and she is completely devoid of the prey/chase instinct. She mothers kittens, baby rabbits and adopted the turkey chicks they bought to fatten up for Christmas.

So on a scientific survey of 2 I would say it would depend on the individual dog.

My whippet is from a long line of show stock and has a pedigree as long as your arm. Sisters whippet was bought to rabbit and rat and came from working parents.

Both smashing stereotypes in style lol.

TrionicLettuce Wed 16-Nov-16 20:26:22

Sighthounds and cats can be kept successfully together but you do need to be realistic and prepared for some level of management to keep the cat safe. It's a good start that your cat is confident, far better for living with a sighthound than a skittish cat who is likely to bolt.

Are you thinking of buying a puppy or would you consider an adult rescue? The latter is often a safer bet when you have existing cats as rescues will cat test dogs they have in so you'd be getting much more of a known quantity. Prey drive doesn't always fully kick in until maturity so with a puppy you could end up with an absolutely ferocious hunter who needs more managing around the cat than you were hoping. My youngest whippet has just turned three years old and it's only really in the last year that his prey drive has really developed.

oh and labaradors and poo eating fixation not for me

Hate to tell you but all three of my whippets eat (and roll in) cow/horse/rabbit/sheep poo at every opportunity and two of them will occasionally eat their own/each others' poo [boak]

SisterViktorine Wed 16-Nov-16 20:34:32

My greyhound and lurcher lived very happily alongside our two cats indoors. In fact I have a picture of all four of them eating out of the same bowl.

However, the dogs would very definitely have chased and killed their own cat friends if they have met outdoors off lead. Once the prey drive kicks in they are just machines- your dog is gone and you just have a locked-on missile.

IEatCannibals Wed 16-Nov-16 20:37:02

My rescue greyhound was fine with our cats and our cats weren't even used to dogs when we got the dog. Dog would have killed any cat seen outside though I reckon.

SuffolkBumkin Wed 16-Nov-16 20:42:51

We have a whippet. She is amazing with out guinnea pigs, chickens, kittens,other dogs and my two children,the kittens actually try to suckle from her.
My brother used to take her ferreting. But she always differentiated between them. While out walking we can call her off any rabbits we see along the way. All dogs are very much individual.

SuffolkBumkin Wed 16-Nov-16 20:43:35

With *our

IEatCannibals Wed 16-Nov-16 20:46:25

Sorry, should be clearer. She would have killed any strange cat outside. She was fine with ours in the garden.

Cryifiwantto Wed 16-Nov-16 20:49:38

Oh dear.

I was thinking that a puppy would be the thing as would them be imprinted on the cat?

Are there dogs that don't eat poo? Our lab was really awful for it -'used to eat her on ifnlwft on the lawn and own puke

Having looked on here I was planning on going to a breeder from one of the breed clubs so as to avoid genetic/behaviour traits (having bred cats I know about choosing a family bred animal etc). I just don't think I'd trust an adult dog, even if it was cat proven.

Back to drawing board. I think they're gorgeous though.

What about bedlington or bedlington lurcher?

P1nkP0ppy Wed 16-Nov-16 20:52:56

I had lurchers, cats and kittens and never had any problems whatsoever. One of my lurchers would even carry the kittens around.
Rabbits (wild) were another story.

hillyhilly Wed 16-Nov-16 20:55:36

We have a bedlington lurcher, who we adopted two months ago at 15 months. He was in the rescue with his brother and was advertised as cat friendly, whereas his brother wasn't.
He was absolutely fabulous with our cat, would sniff her bum and finish her dinner but totally tolerant indoors and out. We also have a Guinea pig to whom he doesn't pay much attention.
He does like to chase squirrels though! and is a bit too interested in any visible sheep even in the distance for my liking.
So I think it really does depend on the dog and I'm not sure that a puppy would work.
Ps my kids are the same age as yours and the dog is utterly fabulous, just the love of our lives,

TrionicLettuce Wed 16-Nov-16 21:01:17

You don't need to abandon the idea completely, plenty of people do keep cats and sighthounds together with no problems at all. As long as you're prepared to keep an eye on dog-cat interactions and manage the dog should it become necessary then there's no reason you shouldn't go ahead with getting a puppy.

Whippets are absolutely brilliant little dogs, they make truly fabulous family pets.

CMOTDibbler Wed 16-Nov-16 21:01:47

We have two rescue lurchers, two cats and three chickens currently. One dog came at 6 months (failed hare courser), the other as a puppy since he was born in rescue. Neither of mine eat poo other than chicken, and no one has eaten anyone inside or out.
The pictured cat is very confident, and was in charge of the dog from day 1.

The rescue my dogs came from (EGLR) unfortunatly have puppies quite frequently, and all their dogs are fostered so they are very well known behaviour wise

Cryifiwantto Wed 16-Nov-16 21:11:56

Hmmm. See I think the cat would run rings around a puppy and basically rule it whilst it's young. If the cat was used to the dog he wouldn't run whilst in the garden - running is reserved for chasing squirrels and magpies on the street or up teees perhaps Abyssinians the cat equivalent of whippet or perhaps being chased by children, but the cat can basically fly - he jumps eight feet and over the fence like knife

Might go to a show to see them

GuinefortGrey Wed 16-Nov-16 21:12:02

Greyhound and Lurcher family here. Greyhound was the gentlest sweetheart ever, lived peacefully with 4 cats inside and outside the house. Sometimes would chase one if it irritated him (one cat in particular greatly enjoys sitting on countertop an and batting dogs on the head as they pass by) but there was never any aggression in it and he would certainly never have hurt one (he was too timid).

Lurcher is a rescued gypsy dog with an extremely high prey drive, he is unsafe with small furries and anything that runs. However, with careful management and boundaries he has learnt to co-exist with our cats in the house and now does not even prick his ears when they walk past him. Outside would be a different matter. I tend to supervise him in the garden just to make sure none of the cats is caught unawares.

Rooster44 Wed 16-Nov-16 21:23:16

Two lurchers here, plus two cats. Cats were here first, one cat is fazed by nothing, one cat very very timid. But neither run. Both dogs leave them both totally alone and never had any issue whatsoever in the garden, on the drive etc. However both dogs would kill any neighbours cat given half a chance.
Agree with PP sentiment that lurchers are fabulous family dogs.

Foxyspook Wed 16-Nov-16 22:23:28

I have always had sighthounds and cats. What you need is a brave cat. If your cat is cowardly and runs, then all hell let loose. If puppy meets cat and cat shows dog who is boss, they will be fine. Definitely puppy but you need a brave cat.

We have a somali and an abyssinian and italian greyhounds, but have had other sighthound combinations.

Foxyspook Wed 16-Nov-16 22:24:11

But yes, whippets have disgusting habits and Italian Greyhounds more disgusting still!

hillyhilly Wed 16-Nov-16 22:30:05

Forgot to say no poo eating or rolling here! Attached pic is the cat sitting on the dog's head - he beat her in the race to my lap so she climbed over him and sat there anyway

Nerve Wed 16-Nov-16 22:45:00

Every whippet and almost every lurcher I have ever met have been food obsessed dirtbags! For them, the tastiest snacks are poo (any kind), other dogs vomit, rotting sandwiches found in gutters and anything else vile and smelly. I've also found them to be excellent counter surfers, cupboard raiders and all bins are treasures troves of disgusting treats.

I have 2 rescue lurchers, both former working dogs, adopted when they 5-6 years old. With careful introductions, training and lots of micro-managing in the first few months they have learned to live with my cats with no issues, even outside. The cats will run about and the dogs don't even look at them. One dog proper tells them off if they start fighting though!

Strange cats are a big no-no though. Same with other small furries, especially rabbits. If they were over off-lead and spotted one they would chase and not come back until it was caught and killed.

MiaowTheCat Thu 17-Nov-16 14:58:48

Depends on the personalities concerned really - we had an ex-racing greyhound who was absolutely terrorised by a tiny 3 legged cat. Cat (who thought she was Rambo) would chase the greyhound around the house! If the cat had been a skitty one who ran away I think the dynamics would have been much different.

Greyhound liked to eat poo.

Our other dog views his own vomit as a chance to relive breakfast a second time. Basically dogs are disgusting buggers given the chance!

SuffolkBumkin Thu 17-Nov-16 16:22:35

Our whippet with cats. Luckily not a poo eater, yuk!

Cryifiwantto Thu 17-Nov-16 18:13:43

Ahhhh. Thanks for or your thoughts, encouraging. Poo eating really is ubiquitous in dog breeds then. Gack

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