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Introducing a cat. Would you?
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AintNobodyHereButUsReindeer · 29/12/2018 21:52

We have a dog, we've had her for 3 years and we got her from a rescue. According to the rescue she's always lived happily with cats (she grew up at the rescue place so her backstory is known). However whenever she sees a cat in our garden she gets a bit irate, starts growling and pacing in front of the french doors watching for another glimpse of the cat.

I've heard of a lot of dogs that live perfectly happily with their own cats, yet chase strange cats. And my dog happily lived with them for 4yrs. I'm wondering if we introduced a cat and with a lot of careful management, would she accept it as family?

We'd love a kitten but I think that's too risky, I can't imagine a kitten would be able to stand up for itself very well, so we'd look at rescues for a dog-savvy cat.

Side note- if you're wondering how/why she grew up at the rescue, the people that run the place run a boarding kennels and they also breed and show a couple of different breeds. My dog was bred by these people, she was kept as a worker (she's a terrier) but was terrible at pest control so they rehomed her via their own rescue which I think is a bit Hmm

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AintNobodyHereButUsReindeer · 29/12/2018 22:12

I should add that the dog is crated overnight and when we go out so she would never be totally alone with the (potential) cat.

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Whoseranium · 29/12/2018 23:10

I wouldn't risk it, not with a terrier who is already reacting like that to cats she sees outside.

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Wolfiefan · 29/12/2018 23:10

Why another thread? This is a very bad idea.

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Doggydoggydoggy · 30/12/2018 00:11

Maybe it’s not the cat per se and the dog is agitated because she is territorial and reacting to a strange animal in her territory?

That said, I wouldn’t.
Not if she has shown agitated, aggressive behaviour.

Also, you say they will never be left alone together.
Well, chances are sooner or later they will be for a few minutes at least.
If she is sufficiently predatory motivated a few seconds is all she needs

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Scattyhattie · 30/12/2018 00:35

My foster dog wanted to chase cats outdoors but unlike my others was fairly easy to distract, so we had him cat tested. Indoors he tried to investigate, got bopped on the nose & then kept his distance, he was curious when cat moved but quickly forgot all about cat & relaxed playing with toys etc.
That would never happen with the non cat safe dogs (hearts pounding, drooling/panting and very focused) they'd be wound up looking for the cat for ages, on walks they remember places they've seen cats for a long time.

Its probably harder when the cats not the established resident as may not be feeling as confident. Would be good idea to get your dogs reaction to cats indoors re-tested before before taking risk adopting.

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Doggydoggydoggy · 30/12/2018 00:58

scattiehattie talks a lot of sense.
Have you tested her reaction to cats outside?
Would indeed be a good way of differisntiating between genuine cat aggression and territorial behaviour.

Also, just because your dog got on okay with cats at the rescue does not mean she is cat safe.

My dog gets on okay with my cat, a rescue could easily say ‘this dog has lived peacefully for 4 years with a cat - maybe could live with a cat with careful inteoduction’ but that would be a lie, she is definitely not cat safe!

When my kitten was introduced we had full on trembles, drooling, fixation, lunging, stalking.
Scary stuff.

And when I stayed over at my mums with her i was very careful to supervise closely as my mum has two cats.

As they are quite old and spend much of the day asleep we had no problems.
The livelier one came up and sniffed my dog, who was tense but peaceable.
Then, for no apparent reason later in the day my dog walked past and the cat decided to swipe her one.
So many people say ‘the cat will be the boss’ ‘after a bop the dog will have respect’.
That only applies to submissive, not particularly prey driven dogs.
My dog was having none of it and immediately lunged forward teeth bared, tail up and bristled.
It happened so amazingly fast no one could stop it.
We were lucky that she decided to warn and not bite because as I say, it happens so fast.
They only need a few seconds to cause serious damage.

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Doggydoggydoggy · 30/12/2018 00:59

By outside I mean on walks/on neutral territory

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AintNobodyHereButUsReindeer · 30/12/2018 06:17

Whenever we see a cat on walks she'll have a good look, but she won't be frantic and lunging trying to get at it. There's definitely no panting, drooling or growling.

I took her to the woods earlier this year and I have never seen so many squirrels, they were everywhere. It was a dogs paradise basically. My dog didn't even seem to notice them, and the one she did spot she started slowing trotting towards it with her head cocked on one side as if to say "What the hell is that thing?" But she didn't even get close to it before she got distracted by some interesting smells and forgot about the squirrel.

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