This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Could I get a sighthound if my neighbour has cats?(42 Posts)
I have been researching the best breed fir our family for months. Having debated at length I think a sighthound would suit us perfectly. Probably w retired greyhound but I also love Lurchers and whippets.
The only thing is our new neighbours have cats. We do have a high fat hedge of about 6 feet tall but the cat still often comes in. Obviously I’m worried that this could be an issue . Most of the dogs I’ve seen are either not cat friendly or not tested.
I have a lurcher and he is NOT safe around cats - we have to keep him right next to us when walking through residential streets in case we see one because he will try and bolt at it, and we have to either pull (drag!) him away or pick him up and carry him past. We also know where the local cats tend to be, and avoid those streets on our walks. He's a 7yo rescue and was previously used for badger-baiting though, so it's very ingrained behaviour for him.
Our neighbours also have a cat - he once jumped up our ~6ft garden wall to try and get over there based on smell alone, and he would have hauled himself over had I not pulled him down. We ended up putting trellises on top of the garden wall on our side - two trellises fixed in an L-shape, so they come up and then in towards our garden, so there's no way he can get over there now! He's also supervised at all times in the garden.
However... Please don't let that put you off. I'm sure not all sighthounds are as cat-crazy as mine, and he's absolutely worth it; he's perfect in every other way.
I have two whippets - the only times they’ve encountered cats, they’ve ran away from them
We live in a road with lots of cats so maybe I do need to rethink
I think a whippet would be fine op and much more manageable than a lurcher, we've got an 8 month old lurch and she's a handful to say the least 😂. I would not advise them as a first time dog! Whippets are lovely little things, funny and intelligent as well as sensitive and loving!
My dm has two lurchers and also has my two cats living with her. Her dogs are terrified of the cats 😂. Although the cats were adult (large domestic cats) when she got both her dogs as puppies and the cats were then bigger than the dogs. One of the lurchers does chase other cats though, just not mine. I wouldn't let it put you off. The cats will just have to learn not to go in your garden 🤷🏻♀️
We've got a greyhound who chases the cats out of the garden. No poo in our flower beds since we got him.
I love whippets but I’m keen to rescue an adult dog and there aren’t many whippets .
You will e able to find a retired greyhound that isn't reactive to cats, I have a few friends with greyhounds and cats that live happily together.
However you do need to be patient, they aren't that common, go and see a rehoming centre and talk to them.
We have 2 Lurchers and 2 dcats. One was a working ddog and doesn't bother them at all.
A dcat in the street is a different matter. Maybe invest in a water pistol and start trying to deter the dcats for a while.
Our ddog from a puppy loves the dcats.
Unless what I am witnessing is her just tasting them!!
I would imagine once your garden starts to smell of ddog they will swerve you anyway!!
Not suggesting you won't clean up but you get me I hope!!
Pic incase you need a shove....
Quick check of the garden before you let the dog out?
Had a rescue lurcher a long time ago. Never again. She had a real ingrained kill instinct and was tremendously fast. Could never let her off lead, ever and anything in our garden was fair game. She killed anything from hedgehogs to a wild rabbit and fence height never bothered her as she was unbelievably agile.
I love animals so the kills were incredibly distressing for me. None of this did I know when we got her, otherwise I never would have. She was great around humans but dangerous around any small animals. She went to my farmer friend eventually as it made me very ill with stress. Do consider carefully your lifestyle/garden/fence height etc.
That said, you might get lucky with a lazy gentle sighthound but be very careful would be my advice. Good luck, hope that helps.
We have to keep our rescue greyhound in a muzzle in our garden as he sadly had one of our neighbours cats. He was deemed cat safe as he'd lived with a cat in his Foster home. He's fine out and about on the lead bit otherwise can't be trusted.
Can't fault him in any other way though, he's a great dog.
My lurcher is cat friendly. And a bit cat scared.
A friends greyhound killed a cat in her garden.
The greyhound rescue do cat test when possible so it’s not like they’re not out there! Often the younger greyhound who never got the chance to race are cat friendly, because they had no desire to chase.
Good choice OP!
The neighbours cats don't come in our garden anymore...
We do a quick check before letting ours out. He can pogo jump upwards but can't jump over things which is helpful.
I don't doubt they'd meet a horrid end if he got hold of one so you're right to be thinking about it, neighbourly relations are important
I have two lurchers and 3 cats, so its not always that lurchers will go for cats. Either way, a quick check in the garden before you let them out in the early days before you know your dog is always good.
But any dog can go after things in their garden. I remember a MNetter whose toy poodles killed a cat in their garden unfortunatly, so its not just sighthounds
A younger ex-racing Greyhound who has retired early because they don't race well may be suited to you. I'd suggest going to a breed specific rescue rather than Battersea or the like. Mine wouldn't race, trialled well so could run but wasn't cut out for racing. We have a cat, they were separated with dog muzzled at all times when they weren't 100% shut off from each other (Racing Greyhounds are very used to this) and it's all gone very well. We do still have to be a bit careful in the garden because sometimes something takes over and the dog will try to 'play' chase the cat but has never hurt him. Other cats on the street are fair game like squirrels and she'll be very very interested in them but with training mostly has a little look and walks on. If I had her off lead she'd be after them like a shot but obviously as with most Greyhounds she never is. If your neighbours have cats but you are well fenced to stop the Grey getting over you could muzzle the dog in the garden, take out on lead at first (this will help with training the dog not to go in the garden too if you want to move on to that). The cats will soon realise your garden isn't a place to go and will avoid. Always, always muzzled though until you are 100% sure, Greyhounds will lure you into a false sense of security on a lead, take it off and all bets are off and it's off like a bloody rocket with no idea who you are or why you might be trying to call it.
Oh I hadn’t thought about squirrels we have loads in our garden. We have trees and bushes so I couldn’t guarantee not to miss a cat.
Thanks all a specific greyhound rescue or whippet sounds like a good idea. I want to get this right!
The dogs up thread are gorgeous just what I want!
We have a rescue lurcher and she cannot be trusted around cats, squirrels or any other small furries. She's not quite as reactive as she used to be (she's pretty old) but most of the local cats avoid our garden. Thankfully she's never managed to catch anything other than making a hedgehog very disgruntled one evening!
I have a colleague who had a lurcher and cat living in the same house from when dog was a puppy. Everything was fine for several years until one day the cat startled the dog in the garden, dog chased the cat, caught it and it wasn't a good outcome. Just don't assume they can ever be 100% trusted!
We have a retired greyhound, had her for 6 years and got her when she was 4. I always do a cat scan before letting her out in the garden. I honestly don't know what she would do if one came in the garden when she was there but she isn't really left alone outside.
I have noticed she doesn't seem as interested in squirrels as she used to be when out walking. I don't let her off the lead in public area's as personally I could never 100% trust her recall but I do hire a field once a week and take her there, not that she bothers running!
I can't stress enough what an amazing pet she is... Lazy, calm and so loving and gentle. I think my children would like a more playful dog but I think she is perfect for young, family life.
They do vary with cats. My dog is a different breed admittedly but is scared of cats! However never trust fences to contain any of these slightly built dogs, they climb over, mine has gone over 7ft!
My neighbours cats live in my garden, and I still got a lurcher.
The cats terrorise her.
If my lurcher would have gone for the cats, that would also have been possible....
Not my outlook that my neighbours chose to have cats (who live in my garden and kill lots of birds, frogs and catch my goldfish)
I guess you feel more warmly towards your neighbours cats than I do
Oh yes, like other PP, our boy is never off lead. With his prey drive he just cannot be trusted.
I've had 3 greyhounds & a lurcher, 2 very high prey drive and other 2 would take chase as its fun but were more distractable. Most of neighbours surrounding us & on the street had cats and a few would come in the garden.
If garden is secure its fairly easily managed if a bit of a pain, just take dog out on lead into the garden and check its clear of cats before letting dog loose. I realised looking g out window wasn't sufficient when the cat is behind the door
Some cats did get used to the sound of door to make a run for it , but a few will then sit just out of reach to taunt, which then can over arouse hound & practicing the behaviour you don't want.
My greyhounds didn't spend long enough outside (5 min run & back to bed) to keep the cats out of the garden, it was only when mutt hound arrived who liked to be out hours & regularly patrol they gave it more of a wide berth.
Never really had an issue walking in the neighborhood, used to take 3 out together.
When high drive girl was new she'd rear, spin & try to grab the lead to get to a cat casually sat on a drive not giving 2 fucks while I wished it would just move out of sight. Over time it just became an excited dance as realized it was pointless.
Best to make use of a muzzle early on while learning their reactions, you can usually tell by the ears when interest is piqued or spot something before them, they aren't always that observant unless its moving. A muzzle will make you transfer less anxiety along the lead & usually already trained. If associate it with nice things like walks & treats its just like wearing a collar or harness to them, its useful in many occasions so I trained our mutt early on to happily wear one. Mine didn't go off lead in public but were easy to tire out with sniffy walks & are lots of secure fields/indoor schools can hire if need somewhere safe to run. Even when racing they have trot paced walks daily for maintaining condition.
I actually stayed in a b&b for a weekend with the 3, (2 high prey drive girls) that the owner assured me could separate from their cats from so be fine.. Only they didn't bother, luckily only soft boy who discovered a hissing cat & the girls were blissfully unaware of its existence. After that we checked hall was cat free before going out with the muzzled hounds.
Please login first.