Has anyone successfully introduced a dog into a cat household?

(29 Posts)
ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Sun 11-Aug-19 08:56:35

We have 2 rescue cats aged around 6 years, we've had them for 2 1/2 years. Love them to bits and they have a pretty much perfect cat life.
I would love to get a dog, I have the time to give one and I think it would be a great addition to our family. Not a puppy, way too stressful for all concerned, it would need to be an older dog from a rescue who can be around cats.
However, my cats were here first and I am not going to do anything to make their lives worse. We have a large house and garden so plenty of room for the cats to escape.
Has anyone one done this successfully or is it a complete non starter?
(Will re post in the litter tray)

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Branleuse Sun 11-Aug-19 09:05:28

Yes. I found a local rescue that had a selection of dogs that had been cat tested. Ive now got a little 7 year old spanish dog who is gentle and calm and has ignored all the cats. None of them particularly mind the dog. Even the two that are most skittish only took about a week to be in the room with her.
Choose your dog carefully and wait for the right one. Youll know.

Shittiestdayinalongtime Sun 11-Aug-19 09:10:24

I guess it depends on the cats..but I'll always remember when we bought one of our dogs home. We had just walked him through the front door, the middle aged cat walked right upto the dog and scratched his nose! They were fine after that.

ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Sun 11-Aug-19 09:11:17

Oh this is encouraging grin

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joystir59 Sun 11-Aug-19 09:13:09

Ironically a young puppy would probably be accepted. My cat mothered the puppy.

Branleuse Sun 11-Aug-19 09:23:21

Really? I can only imagine one of my cats tolerating a puppy. The one that will stand up to any dog. It would totally depend on the cat, but please dont rely on that

ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Sun 11-Aug-19 09:29:17

I think that a puppy would be too much of a gamble. Would rather an older dog who has been proven to be ok around cats. Very sweet though joystirsmile

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StillMedusa Sun 11-Aug-19 09:33:17

We are 4 weeks in with our puppy.... and the cats are NOT amused.

To be fair our girl cat is basically Mariah Carey in a fur coat (she's a Maine Coon so very large and very fluffy!)so we knew she would not go 'ooh a lovely puppy' and the other cat is unfaithful and spends 80% of his day at the neighbours (so no change there)

We have stairgated the living room, and the upstairs is cat only. She comes in through the bedroom window and shouts for our immediate attention...we run up with cat food , dreamies and beg forgiveness :D

This week she is now coming down to the kitchen and is sleeping on my bed but I think it will a long time before she comes into the living room. She has been very clear in telling us that we have ruined her life and that the dog is stupid grin BUT she is adjusting very slowly...we knew she would not take it casually as she hates her brother too!

The first week she barely came in. Second week she came in..ate in the bedroom and dashed out. Third week she started staying in upstairs and now she is sitting on the stairs 5th step up and glaring through the stairgate.... progress.

I think you have to be prepared for cats not to be happy about it at first.. we thought long and hard but in the end decided our (adult) autistic son's desperate wish for a doggy companion overided Mariah Carey's attitude and in time she will be ok... in fact she has been better than we anticipated but we have got through a lot of Dreamies!!!

Just be prepared as while some cats are cool about it...others like mine, will take a LONG time!

lazylinguist Sun 11-Aug-19 09:35:22

Yes. We introduced a large, bouncy puppy to our 10yo cat. She was a very placid cat and would just calmly stand her ground when the puppy bounced around. If he hassled her too much, she'd bop him on the nose and he'd back off! They were never mates - dog liked cat, cat tolerated but was indifferent to the dog!

Dcat died a couple of years ago and we are now doing the introductions the other way around- new kitten to now 5yo ddog, who is being surprisingly gentle and cautious. I think they'll be friends.

beccarocksbaby Sun 11-Aug-19 09:39:10

Yes, our Lhasa wants to play with the cats and knows that she is below them in the pecking order, she lies down with them tail wagging furiously and they ignore her 😂 it took time but harmony came eventually

BertrandRussell Sun 11-Aug-19 09:44:28

We did- but she was an adult dog who had lived with cats so already knew that she was lower down the pecking order than a worm and had to apologize for her existence on an hourly basis or get her ears boxed......

Lyingonthesofainthedark Sun 11-Aug-19 09:46:00

@StillMedusa that made me laugh out loud.

ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Sun 11-Aug-19 09:49:21

BertrandRussell aw blessgrin

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ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Sun 11-Aug-19 09:50:10

Thanks everyone. Off to stalk the dog rescue websites...

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fleshmarketclose Sun 11-Aug-19 09:51:43

My friend has always had a cat and one or two dogs. The cat invariably rules the roost no matter what size of dog. She currently has a St Bernard who the cat either sleeps on or uses as a platform when he wants to get higher.
My tiny Lhasa Apso will chase cats, she spotted my friend's cat and ran towards it, the cat didn't move, it was like a cartoon where my dogs legs were trying to do a u turn mid air before she made a retreat trying not to look as foolish as she obviously felt. My friend's cat sits on my doorstep now, in view of the dog, to add to the dog's humiliation.

ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Sun 11-Aug-19 09:53:47

Love these stories. Cats are awesome smile

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bodgeitandscarper Sun 11-Aug-19 09:55:28

I've done it successfully several times with six cats, including with a lurcher that we knew nothing about.
I always have a safe space where the cats can escape to if needed by using a stairgate, it's not needed now but we keep it to stop the dogs eating the cats food.
When first introducing I always keep the dog on a lead, if there's any attempt at chasing they are given a firm 'no' and then rewarded when they ignore the cat.
All my dogs know their place, and that the cats rule the roost!

Starlive23 Sun 11-Aug-19 09:57:46

Yes, we ended up having a puppy and kitten within 3 months of each other (not planned!) But it's worked out so much better than I could ever hope, they are the best of friends and sit together in the garden all day. They even play with each other. It's exceeded all my expectations but it did take a little time to get to where we are now!

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Sun 11-Aug-19 10:23:17

Yes. We introduced a terrier puppy to an ex-street cat who looked down her nose and proceeded to intermittently bully the terrier with the odd random ambush for the rest of her life. The terrier was a proper arsey little thing, but the cat ruled.

It's the same now. We get the occasional demand, inconveniently late at night, from our young dog to move the effing cat (another ex-street) who is hogging her bed. She can't move him: he'd clock her one.

Purplecatshopaholic Sun 11-Aug-19 12:43:10

I have always had rescue cats. I now also have a rescue dog. He was about 2 when I got him. They get on fine. Take the introductions gently - I had my boy round my house before I adopted him to see if he could deal with cats. The cats always rule the roost in any case!

minsmum Sun 11-Aug-19 12:50:37

We had two very nervous rescue cats and introduced a very large adult rescue Fox hound. On the advice of the behavourist we put the dog in one room, with a gate and the cats were left with the rest of the house as normal. They started to come to the gate to look at him, we then put him on lead and took him into other parts of the house s e. It took a couple of weeks but they curl up together happily

ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Sun 11-Aug-19 13:00:46

Great advice, thanks everyone smile

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CatkinToadflax Sun 11-Aug-19 21:29:02

grin at the PP’s cat being Mariah Carey!

Our rescue cat (who reminds me of the cat on the current advert that hands its owner a balloon with the words “you’re adequate”!) was 4 or 5 years old when our puppy arrived. Cat sat at the top of the stairs, glaring through the bannisters at us and pup, for 24 hours before cancelling her hunger strike and deigning to join the family again. 3 and a half years on, cat and dog mostly get on fine but do have stand-offs. Cat hisses at dog and dog stands barking in cat’s face. Dog hasn’t worked out yet that cat is stone deaf (white cat with blue eyes) so cat sits there, staring at dog whilst dog woofs and woofs at her and cat can’t hear it so doesn’t care. For the most part they ignore each other though.

SmiledWithTheRisingSun Sun 11-Aug-19 21:37:44

Watching. Planning to do the same soon with my cat who fights ANYTHING ( be that a fox twice her size)!) who comes into the garden 😬

Wolfiefan Sun 11-Aug-19 21:40:55

Good luck! We introduced a giant puppies to our two terrible tortie cats. The Blue Cross has great advice. A longline and stairgate are great. Never allow the dog to chase the cats. Don’t leave them unattended. Have places cats can go that dog can’t too.

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