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Dogs and Cats- any stories with a happy ending?

(14 Posts)
mymumdom Sat 23-Jul-11 19:35:27

We have had 2-4 cats for years and they co existed very happily with our old collie/retriever cross. They would come up for a head but and a lick then off they'd go again. He did chase them if they ran, but mainly they stood their ground.
Then we got The Lurcher. She was about 10 weeks old when we got her, so the same size as the two cats, hugely excitable and chased them. If they had stood their ground and swiped her, I'm sure she would have settled down but because they ran, it set a pattern and they gradually stopped coming in the house.
Luckily they can get into the utility from for shelter, water and food without coming in the house, so we'd see them now and then. But now they have both moved in with a neighbour each.
FF 18 months and The Lurcher is hugely interested in chasing things. She met a cat the other day that refused to move and she poked it with her nose and barked a few times and ran away when it hissed and stuck it's fur on end. But she followed as it walked back to it's fence and watched it as it went over the wall.
We are toying with the idea of getting another cat but I'm not sure it's going to work.
Has anyone managed to introduce a cat to a very prey driven dog? A friend has two dog-aware siamese kittens she is trying to get me to take, and says if it doesn't work out they can go back to her. They can live in DH's study during the day and will only be let out with The Lurcher on a lead in the same room as her, or be in a dog crate with the dog free, so they don't have a chance to run.
Or would we better to go for a rough and tough adult rescue cat that has a proven track record of beating up dogs?

DooinMeCleanin Sat 23-Jul-11 19:38:13

I taughht my dog not to eat the cat. Still working on the chasing bit, but the cat rarely runs, he just gives the dog a WTF look grin

Can you bring the kittens round for a trial week before you commit?

mymumdom Sat 23-Jul-11 19:40:12

Yes, they've suggested a trial week but is that fair on the kitties? They are so cute and Siamese are quite dog like.
What kind of dog do you have and how did you teach him not to eat the cat?

mycatsaysach Sat 23-Jul-11 19:44:03

i would say no hope tbh - not really fair on the cats. i have a lab (not a chaser) one cat loves him.my siamese thinks he is a dog too and loves him and the other moggie hates him.
i have seen lurchers round the woods by me and have been warned by their owners that once they get on the chase they are unstoppable.

DooinMeCleanin Sat 23-Jul-11 19:44:31

A Terrier cross. The cat, at this point had only ever known one pain in the arse terrier, so moved upstairs, when we brought Devil Dog home, who we had been assured was cat friendly hmm (by a pound, not a rescue)

I'd put a lead on the dog and call the cat down, so the dog couldn't chase. Get the dogs focus on you with treats, everytime the dog looks at you, not the cat treat him, everytime he looks at the cat, call his name or look at me, if he knows it and treat him.

Do not remove the lead untill the dog is completely ignoring the cat, allowing the dog to chase will set you back to square one.

The urge to chase still takes over my terrier at times, but he can never catch the cat. A Lurcher would be quick enough, so you need to really, vigilantly train this and make sure they are never left unattended together.

Happymm Sat 23-Jul-11 20:17:29

Trying to train our pup with the rabbit-interesting! Sometimes just gives her a lick, but sometimes a nibble whilst I hold rabbit and DH holds pup. Though in day when rabbit in her outside run, pup will go and lie next to her, so we may get there! grin

Scuttlebutter Sat 23-Jul-11 21:03:15

With a high prey drive lurcher, I wouldn't dream of it. I think it will end badly. Lurchers, greyhounds and sighthounds generally don't necessarily always have higher prey drives than other dogs, but the crucial difference is that once they chase they are quick enough to catch. You've already identified that this dog has a high prey drive, so even with training, you will never be able to relax 100%.

DogsBestFriend Sat 23-Jul-11 23:00:49

What ScuttleButter said (and please remember she is our resident Sighthound expert). smile

I trained an ex-racing foster Grey out of cat chasing - he lived peaceably with my own mogs whilst with me for about 3 months or so (and ScuttleButter knows him, but that's by the by!) BUT I would never have left them unsupervised, not for a minute and I had by that time owned dogs for about 20 years, cat trained a few and fostered several too (and can be a harridan with a loud, domineering voice towards naughty dogs when needed!).

I'm still in touch with that ex-racer's forever owner and am told that he (dog that is, not owner!) now chases cats again so clearly my "success" was only temporary and therefore unreliable.

I really, really wouldn't risk it.... one mistake, one person accidentally leaving a door open and you will end up with dead cats. sad

Scuttlebutter Sat 23-Jul-11 23:26:19

What's also priceless is the sense of being able to relax with your dog. I don't thing I could ever relax with a high prey drive pointy and cats around - I'd end up drinking even more gin than I do now.

Am loving the idea of greyhound owner chasing cats - we could have speed trials at our next charity event. A sprint version of Cani X?

DogsBestFriend Sat 23-Jul-11 23:44:11

You know that owner, ScuttleButter... can't imagine him chasing anything much, can you?! grin

<<visions of garden gnome-like man chasing cats>> grin

Lizcat Sun 24-Jul-11 12:17:12

It is possible for lurchers/sighthounds to live with cats, but it helps to have a rock hard cat. I had beautiful moggy girl and toff on the street when I got my border collie lurcher as a 16 week old pup plucked off the streets by the dog warden. BCL thought all cats were for chasing fortunately toff on the street was rock hard and stood up to her, there was a lot of blood over the first six months from BCL's nose, but they did learn to live together.
Move on 11 years and unfortunately BCL has gone to chase things in the sky as has toff on the street. I still have beautiful moggy girl though she is an elderly lady now, I have acquired arrogant posh boy cat 4 years ago and then mobile mop the pup arrived last year. Change in breed, but still we had the same - fortunately arrogant posh boy clearly inherited toff on the street's attitude.
I now come home to find the sofa in the kitchen with a cat at either end and a dog in the middle.

emptyshell Sun 24-Jul-11 12:42:37

I've just tried to do the first cat-introductions with our new greyhound... she had one sniff and fell asleep on the rug! She really really really is NOT at all bothered about moggies at all!

mymumdom Sun 24-Jul-11 14:21:52

Liz, I think you are right. I need something rock hard. The Lurcher loves to chase but she doesn't know what to do if they don't run.
We came across a rabbit with Myxomatosis the other day and my old collie/retriever cross dived in for the kill and while The Lurcher was clearly interested, she was poised ready for it to run.
She didn't touch it and it was much harder to call my other dog off.

emptyshell Sun 24-Jul-11 14:58:20

My cat is a toughie (3 legs and 8 lives remaining) - a few paws belted around the nose and the older dog took the hint to the point where he's, if not scared of her, slightly in awe of her - she wants his spot, she hisses, he moves and rolls his eyes. He does have a very high response to movement - but not to cats as a species as such and he's sussed out that this furry thing is really NOT worth the bother of trying to play with. Will trust them in the room together when I go to the loo now - but would not trust them if I went out or anything (cos the cat would terrorise the dog).

The hound so far seems completely not bothered by it all - like I say, her response when cat testing in the kennels was to give the cat a good lick and her response to the three legged lunatic in the basket this morning was to look, look at me for a bit of chicken, roll over and go to sleep.

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