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Would really love a rescue greyhound, but have 2 cats - is this impossible?

(12 Posts)
peggotty Tue 22-Sep-09 19:53:07

We're thinking of getting a dog after Christmas and I have been researching greyhounds - they sound perfect! But I have 2 cats. A lot of the websites say that they are like any other dog in that some will get on with cats but others won't. Is this really true of greyhounds? Has anyone had any experience of introducing a greyhound into a house with resident cats?

notnowbernard Tue 22-Sep-09 19:55:34

I have no idea but just wanted to say that I love greyhounds too smile

Just the most placid of dogs... if any dog were to get on with a cat, surely it'd be a greyhound?

peggotty Tue 22-Sep-09 20:27:39

Just worried about the chase/prey instinct they have which is possibly more developed than other dogs? Yes, they are lovely creatures, aren't they? smile

moosemama Tue 22-Sep-09 20:37:25

Yes it is possible. There are rescue groups that cat test their greyhounds and there are some greyhounds that are being rehomed because their prey drive isn't good enough, so they wouldn't chase the hare.

I have a gorgeous lurcher he is saluki/greyhound x deerhound/greyhound and he is totally daft, not at all interested in cats, even when they run. (Now throw a frisbee for him and that's a different story!)

Lurcher Link is a great forum. They rehome lurchers and greyhounds and I think I'm right in saying they always cat test and state whether or not their dogs are cat safe.

If you google greyhound rescue there are a lot of regional rescue groups and any one of them should be able to advise you.

Marne Tue 22-Sep-09 20:42:48

The add in our local paper states that some are ok with cats. TBH i wouldn't trust a greyhound with a cat after seeing the greyhound at work with a kitten in its mouth sad.

Hobnobfanatic Tue 22-Sep-09 20:43:04

Just be really, really careful. I had a Lurcher from a reputable Greyhound/Lurcher rescue, and they cat-tested him. They said he was safe with cats, but within a week he'd grabbed one of my mogs and was shaking her. He almost killed her and had to go back!

I suspect the cat they use for cat-testing at the charity was so used to big dogs, it didn't behave as most cats do! It probably just walked around, instead of running at the sight of a new dog – so the chase instinct wasn't stirred!

I know some Greyhounds that have lived happily with cats - just do your research carefully and check, check and double-check!

moosemama Tue 22-Sep-09 20:47:04

Perhaps you could ask to see how any potential dogs behave around cats for yourself before actually rehoming one.

peggotty Tue 22-Sep-09 21:19:29

Thanks for the replies. Hobnob, that was a horrible experience for you. I will be very very careful as I will absoutely not put my cats at risk. One of my cats would probably stand his ground but I'm pretty sure that my female cat would intially just bolt at being confronted with a large dog! i don't have a large house and my cats have free range within it, so am wondering about them being able to have their own space...

purpleduck Tue 22-Sep-09 21:31:11

peggotty do you need a rescue one, or could you get a puppy?
We got ours as a pup from the Dog's Trust. She is beautiful, but she does go for cats even though as a pup she got batted accrss the nose by a big fat cat. I was hoping she would,'t go for cats, but once she got older, she got over her fear sad . We would love a cat, but the dog was here first

valhala Tue 22-Sep-09 23:58:54

Sound advice all round here. I fostered an ex racing Grey a little over a year ago and I managed to get him to leave my cats alone when I was in the room but would never have left them unattended. His forever owner reports though that he is a buggar for chasing local cats.

Most rescues that I know of cat test using various suppporters cats so I would doubt the one from which Hobnobfanatic adopted her Grey is any different tbh. I think that your awful experience, Hobnobfanatic, was probably just plain damn bad luck and you adopted a Grey with an attitude like my ex-foster boy.

To confirm another poster's thoughts, yes, LurcherLink do cat test and if adopting from them of course will ask if you have cats so they can assess the situation accordingly. They are very good and the owner, Kaye, is a very dedicated and helpful lady.

Greys DO have a greater prey drive than most dogs in the main of course but not all are like that - I have had a couple of ex racers in my home from time to time who have been just fine with my cats. As has been said, check, check and check again. Matching the right dog to the right home is an essential part of rescue although I know that there are some out there who aren't as responsible as they should be and some who are over-zealous in their requirements. The answer is to approach a few rescues, not just one, and make an informed decision. Remember too that Greys are so often abandoned that it is not only breed specific rescues who will have them in their kennels, most all-breed rescues will do too.

For possible matches and advice as to where the independent rescues are in your area, your best bet is LurcherLink's forum. Often, when I mention the independent rescue I volunteer for locals say, "Who? Where?" yet it is only a few miles away. There may be one or two out there you have yet to become aware of.

People tend to be unaware too that Greys are lovely, gentle pets and do not require hours of walks a day, far preferring a couple or 3 or shorter chances to run like idiots and then to put their feet up and snooze. You clearly know this, but as a rescue volunteer ay I say - Please spread the word!

valhala Wed 23-Sep-09 00:09:46

PS You may have good reason to want to put your plan to adopt a dog off until after Christmas but if you haven't may I add that contrary to popular belief it isn't AFTER Xmas that rescue has the most dogs, its BEFORE.

I am a "network volunteer" - I take up appeals about dogs in pounds or with unwanted owners nationwide and find them rescue places before they are PTS. A stray has just 7 days in a pound before he may be killed by law, a dog surrendered to the pound by an owner may be killed immediately and so often they are. Last Xmas, the financial climate made the task of people like me the most difficult and heartbreaking I have ever known - so many times I was up until 4 or 5am to find a resue place for a dog due to die when the pound opened that morning. The problem is that although there is always room in the heart of rescue, the kennels were full.

So if you can adopt before Christmas this would be the time to do it. The choice of dogs will be greater for you and you will, by freeing up a rescue space, be giving another dog the chance to live.

The rescue for whom I volunteer is Poplar Farm Rescue Kennels, a no-kill all-breed independent rescue. If you would like to join our friendly forum I will gladly see if I can help you and suggest rescues in your home area, as will the owners and other members of the forum.

jumble Wed 23-Sep-09 19:12:01

Our greyhound is fine with cats. My M&D have two cats and happily accommodate our greyhound for a 2 week summer holiday every year, as well as odd weekend/overnight stays. With neighbourhood cats she will sometimes run towards them (if she can be bothered) and if they hiss at her she backs off, if they run off she doesn't chase them, just sniffs at and wees on the spot where they had been sitting. We were told she was not good with cats by the rescue centre! She was also a successful racing dog, so must have had a strong chase instinct, just took retirement seriously!

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