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Dog person getting a cat what do I need to know?

(26 Posts)
Justme1981 Wed 12-Dec-18 18:38:10

Hi All
I'm definitley a dog person, i have 2 ddogs who due to my marriage breakdown now only spend 2 & 1/2 days per week with me. I miss them greatly, due to my working hours it would not be fair for me to get another dog.
My friend has a cat & im suprised by how much i enjoy his company. So I'm researching getting a cat, it would be a rescue rather than a kitten.
What do i need to know? How do i introduce ddogs & cat? How do i ensure its safe in day - do i let it out or keep it in the house?
Any words of wisedom would be very much appreciated
Thank you

RandomLetters Wed 12-Dec-18 19:24:24

I don't know about the dog side of things, (how to introduce etc) but cats are very low maintenance and great pets! If you lived on a busy road though, not sure a cat is the best idea.

I think they should be allowed outdoors and keeping them as indoor pets isn't fair (I'll probably get shot down for that). My cat will often spend 80% of the day outside and sometimes 80% inside! He has a microchip and we have a cat flap which will only let him in (reads his microchip) - expensive but would definitely recommend to stop other cats getting in.

Hope that helps a bit

Justme1981 Wed 12-Dec-18 19:30:13

Thank you, yes that does help a bit. I live in a rural area, so less risk re roads. I guess I worry as you wouldn't leave a dog out all day! I'll look into that cat flap - sounds a good idea thank you

Atleastihavethecat Wed 12-Dec-18 19:40:12

You won't own the cat. The cat will own you. I'm pretty much just a butler at this point - four cats.

General advice is food is important. Stick with what the rescue center is feeding it. If you need to change it do it gradually.

I don't find a lot of difference between having dogs and having cats to be honest in terms of care. They all have very different personalities. Big cat is quite dog like - likes to be brushed, petted and hugged a lot. Littlest cat is very vocal and wants to tell me everything, including leading me to his litter tray after he's used it. Middle cat 1 is pretty chilled, but middle cat 2 is a hunting machine.

When introducing the dogs make sure the cat has a safe space to go to, preferably somewhere the dogs don't go. Take it slowly, let the cat smell their blankets or something, and work up from there.

Be prepared for toileting accidents, as he adjusts to life outside the rescue.

Good luck!

Feckitall Wed 12-Dec-18 19:43:07

Dogs have family, cats have staff... wink we had dogs..then cars and cats...although thinking of getting a dog again...

Feckitall Wed 12-Dec-18 19:44:21

Cars?? Cats!!!

ragged Wed 12-Dec-18 19:46:52

Cat will rule the roost. You are offering yourself up to be a slave. You have been warned.

SoupDragon Wed 12-Dec-18 19:53:57

I've introduced my dog to existing cats as a puppy and, just now, as a 9 year old dog I've introduced him to kittens. For the first few days I kept them apart and then let them spend time together with me there. It was about a fortnight before I left them alone together.

Make sure there's somewhere for the cat to escape to. Try to find a way to stop the dog eating the cat food and vice versa... I've not managed it completely yet!

AnnaMagnani Wed 12-Dec-18 19:55:46

Cat will make it's own decisions.

You can be a catflap household or a non-catflap household. Personally I have always opted for no catflap as 1. I do not like presents, especially live ones in the house and 2. My cats are outdoor but stay in at night.

They can be chucked out in the morning and brought back in when you get home, but some cats will be equally happy as a house cat. Most fights, injuries and killing of small creatures happens at night so I keep mine in then. They rapidly get used to it.

Be prepared to be their slave. They train you, you don't train them.

Justme1981 Wed 12-Dec-18 21:04:21

Thank you so much for all the replies & insights into being owned by a cat! To those who throw the cat out at day & in at night how do you do that? Do you build up to it or just do it? What about water? (Still thinking like a dog owner)

AnnaMagnani Wed 12-Dec-18 21:18:39

Cat doesn't need water provided outside - you can if you want but it will prefer a revolting puddle.

Mine queue up to go out, except on a cold day when they get booted out. I do have sympathy when it's raining/really cold and then stay in. Old lady also now barely goes out at all. They then are generally hanging about when I get home or I can call them in.

Easiest way is to keep them in a few weeks when they first arrive. Call their name every time you feed them. Then when you first let cat out, let it out hungry - and call it in for food. Do this a few times and you will be set. Be prepared for cat to go missing/stay out longer than you had intended a few times until routine is underway.

However I've now had 4 cats all on the staying in at night routine.

Wolfiefan Wed 12-Dec-18 21:25:04

You do get kittens in rescue too! But an older cat is much better if you work. Plus it will be neutered etc already and thenrescue can match you to the best temperament.
A new cat will have to be confined for quite a few weeks. You won’t be able to let it out. You will need at least one litter tray. And how will you keep cat and dogs separate when you’re out.
The Blue Cross have a great leaflet you can find online about introducing cats to a dog. Are your dogs prey driven? Not a good idea if they are.

Ohyesiam Wed 12-Dec-18 21:27:08

My cats go out but in this house they can get through a smal window into the porch. In my last house I set up a little shelter in the garden for when it rained. They are always s in overnight.

WhipItGood Wed 12-Dec-18 21:36:06

I'm definitley a dog person, you’ll end up very much a cat person too 😸 😉 They’re brilliant.

Flashingbeacon Wed 12-Dec-18 21:43:46

Main difference between cats and dogs is sometimes the cat will pretend not to know you, even when you’re both in the living room. Sometimes you’ll pet them for hours and then they’ll look at you with disgust and disappear. You wouldn’t get that with a dog.
My cats are indoor cats, and perfectly healthy and happy.

Theonewiththecat Wed 12-Dec-18 21:44:01

A word of warning from a new cat owner
You will be woken up at all hours by being jumped on, or he wants to be in your bed, he wants you to turn the bathroom tap on so he can have a drink.
If he hasn't had dreamies by exactly 7.27am he turns into a moany arsehole.
He tries to eat the Christmas tree approximately 45683838 times a day.

I love being owned by a cat. 🐱🐱 he's awesome.

MrsMoastyToasty Wed 12-Dec-18 21:49:08

It will bring you "presents" ...

msnowtybach Wed 12-Dec-18 21:52:58

You definitely want a cat flap. You'll need to check with the rescue centre or foster family that the cat is comfortable/confident around dogs. Have your dogs been around cats before?

The cat will set the terms and conditions once you've brought it home. Usually they want to treat your house like a hotel, will demand affection on tap but protocol dictates that you must never approach them - they will let you know when you may lavish them in affection. The finest of foods will be preference, Cat food might be rejected if there is fresh crab or a roast chicken in the vicinity. You'll need to know who's boss and it won't be you!

mimibunz Wed 12-Dec-18 21:53:08

Cats are awesome! But don’t think for a moment that you will own them. As others have noted, you belong to them. In the most delightful way! Feed them well, talk to them and don’t force them to cuddle or alternatively don’t reject their affections. They are lovely companions.

Judashascomeintosomemoney Wed 12-Dec-18 21:54:46

Well, my parents dog used to greet them like his life depended on it if they’d only been out for a quick shopping trip. Their cat, however, in the same circumstances, makes it clear what absolute arses he considers them to be for daring to leave his domain without permission. It isn’t even like he acts like he cares when they are there grin

msnowtybach Wed 12-Dec-18 21:55:58

Of you do come across rescue kittens and you work - it might be fairer to get two. They do like company and siblings are often advertised in pairs.

Kool4katz Wed 12-Dec-18 21:58:35

Lucky you. I have a dog but will always be a cat person first and foremost.

TheBabyAteMyBrain Wed 12-Dec-18 21:58:46


Justme1981 Fri 14-Dec-18 18:15:53

Thank you all, sorry for the late reply i couldnt find my own thread confused
All your stories have made me laugh so much, unfortunately i think im going to have to give my exhusband full custody of our dogs, the older one is getting v stressed with the travelling & the younger has cried all the way here twice now :-( so im going to look for 2 cats/kittens so they have each others company when im at work. Is it ok to leave cats through the day? I wouldnt leave a dog that long (hence not getting another dog) All wisedom & funny cat stories v welcome, thank you all

TooManyPuppies Sat 29-Dec-18 19:32:47

I am personally an indoor cats only person. In our area there is roads and ticks. We used to have an indoor outdoor cat who was killed by a car on Christmas day one year and a other who was taken by a tick that had progressed too far by the time it was discovered. If you don't have either of those worries, other cats in the area where they can fight or care they're off killing wildlife then it is up to you.

I do now have ragdolls and they are fine inside 24/7. They don't even attempt to go out or show any interest in it. While I disagree with letting them out I also respect others do it differently but I hate seeing people say it's cruel to keep them in... When it's all they have ever known they honestly don't care. They get love and attention and don't go round killing wild life which has the right to be there more than my pet cat.

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