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152660 tn?1291755571

Cats and dogs

I'm in a big quandary. My 75 year old father is losing his drivers license so he is going to be stuck at home all day mostly alone.  I thinking about getting him a dog to keep him company.  The problem will be the cats.  They don't like dogs or don't like those that they have been exposed to.  Does anyone have any suggestions on breeds better with cats, how to introduce them or any other suggestions for me.  I am going to make the basement a dog free zone by putting up a baby gate that is up high enough for the cats to get under but the dog not to. I have some conditions if it helps: no small dogs- have to be able to let the cats have their area. Has to be a rescue, trained, exposed to cats, no pitbulls, boxers or anything that is really strong- the big barrel chested breeds, labs- they stay puppies and are very excitable. I'm leaning towards a retired racing greyhound but need other suggestions too.
4 Responses
Avatar universal

Hi there,

Okay, I have  a few questions to ask you. How many cats do you have ?
How old are they? How long have you had them? We have a cat too who is very good at climbing. You mentioned putting up a baby gate to keep your cats and the dog you're thinking of getting apart. If your cats are as good as my cat as climbing, this won't work. Cats can climb baby gates. We have tried putting a baby gate up at the foot of the stairs. We live in a townhouse.
Bottom line is the baby gate didn't work. Our cat was able to climb over the baby gate with no problem at all.  Dogs are a lot of work. Would your dad be able to walk a dog at least three maybe more times a day including winter.
How long have you had your cats ?  Here's an idea. Your cats could keep your dad company. I know you want to adopt a dog to keep your dad company, but why don't you let your cats keep him company. Most dogs and cats in my experience don't get along. There are exceptions but as a rule cats and dogs don't usually get along , so it wouldn't be fair to any dog you adopted and you wouldn't necessarily get a dog who was rescued that has been trained and exposed to cats. That's just my opinion. Other people may probably have other opinions.  I wish you well.    Eve
152660 tn?1291755571
Answers away.  :)  first- we live together so anything he can't handle would come to me.  We have 3 cats who are 12, 12 and 15.  We've had all 3 since about 6 weeks old.  

My thought on the baby gate is to keep the dog upstairs and let the cats- who don't jump well- go down if they would like. I can put up an actual door and cut off the bottom if needed.   The basement is an apartment that I use so it wouldn't be a place they would be stuck alone.  

The cats don't really keep him company.  They are either in bed sleeping or on the front porch sleeping.  The thought on the dog is so he would have to get out and walk and can go play in the fenced in backyard with it.  Something to get him active.  We have a cat/dog door so it can go play and run.  My nephew has a new puppy and only lives 2 blocks away so they can have playdates.  My brothers and sister all have dogs who we can go visit.  

It would be a trial, if it doesn't work on both sides we would have to move on.  The dog will still have a home- he wouldn't go back to the shelter or be abandoned.  (I just had to throw it out there)  :)
Avatar universal

Hello again,
Thanks for answering my questions. It makes a difference that you live with your dad. I see now why you want to add a dog to your family. We have an elderly neighbor who has a dog and every day we see our neighbor take his dog out for walks. I think it's good you're considering adopting a dog from a shelter. I have adopted two of the cats I've had from an animal shelter. If you explain that you have cats, a person at the shelter could probably recommend what they think would be a good match for your situation. I don't think a puppy would be a good idea. Puppies are a lot of work. I know because when I was a child we bought a puppy from a breeder. It was actually a Pekingnese puppy. She was really sweet, but she was a handful.   Hopefully there will be a dog at your nearby animal shelter that will fit in well with the rest of your fur babies. I wish you well and good luck in finding a dog in the animal shelter who has been exposed to cats and gets along with them. That dog will have a new home with you too so it sounds like it is a win - win.    Eve ( mother of Sammy the cat )
587315 tn?1333552783
Hi!!  Eve gave you some great advice.  I worked for a dog rescue and we actually "cat tested" the dogs, so we knew who was great with cats and who wasn't.  I'm sure that if you contact some rescue organizations, they will be able to tell you who's been cat tested.

BTW, I think it's awesome that you're going to rescue a dog from a shelter.  The dog is a great idea for your dad.  It will get him exercising and out of the house.  And, don't worry about the cats, eventually they will get used to the dog and may become friends with the dog.  That's what happened with an elderly pitbull my mom rescued.  She's got 5 cats.  They were terrified at first, then 2 of the cats got to be buddy buddy with the pit.  

I'm sure everything will work out!  The gate is a great idea to get the cats used to the dog.

Please, keep us posted.
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