- Miss Apricot
- 8 years ago
- Wedding: May 2009
One thing I haven’t seen mentioned, OP, is what breed is the dog in question? Or is she a mutt, and if so, any idea what breeds she may be? You keep saying she’s a “big dog” or a “huge” dog, but that can mean different things to different people. I have a 70 pound lab/golden retriever mix. To me, he’s not a big dog, he’s just a normal sized dog, (though a mix of breeds that fall into the “large breed” catergory), but to someone used to smaller dogs, they might use the terms “big” or “huge” to describe him.
I ask the question because there are some breeds that CANNOT get along with cats, regardless of any training or being raised with the cat, etc. I have a Facebook friend who has a German Wirehaird Pointer/Lab mix. Labs IN GENERAL get along with cats, but GWPs are notorious for having a very high prey drive and chasing and sometimes killing cats. They’ve had the dog since he was eight weeks old and he’s killed three cats. I told her the dog needed to be in a cat-free home, either with her or with someone willing to live without cats, because no amount of training or abuse (several people responded that if she just “beat the shit” out of the dog that it would teach him, but that’s another topic entirely), was likely to change this. She never responded, even after I offered to share with her several local rescues who could either take the dog or help her rehome him, but hopefully she will at least stop getting cats, because it’s cruel to the cats and cruel to her children who have to deal with losing a pet every time he kills one.
ANYWAY, my point isn’t to scare you. Most of the time, dogs and cats can get along enough that they can coexist, even if they aren’t buddies. But do some research on the breed(s) your dog is, because that can definitely factor into how you should be proceeding. If you have a breed that has a high prey drive and/or is known to not get along with cats, (GWPs, for example, or Huskies – they CAN get along with cats, but many rescues will not place Huskies with homes with cats because it’s often a recipe for disaster), you may want to reconsider bringing the cat to your place.
And just so you don’t think I am all doom and gloom…We had two outside dogs (long time ago, I now believe both dogs and cats need to be inside pets, with the exception of working animals, but again, that’s another post), and two inside cats. The winter after one of the dogs died was really bad, and even with heaters in the garage, we could’t keep the remaining dog warm enough. So at age…12, I think it was, she became an inside dog. The cats weren’t PLEASED about it, but they got over it. They pretty much ignored her, but weren’t afraid to growl/hiss if she got too close for their comfort, and she learned to just avoid them, (if the dog was 12, the cats would have been about 13 and 11 years old at the time).
Currently, DH and I have a dog (the lab mix mentioned above) who loves EVERYBODY. We also have a cat who spent some time as a stray, and was scared of him when we first brought her home to foster. Gradually, she has gotten more and more comfortable with him. I don’t see them ever being best friends, (which sucks, because I love all those cute pictures of dogs and cats cuddling together), but she tolerates him, is no longer afraid of him, and now and then will even lay near him on the floor, (and occasionally sniff him when he’s asleep or not paying attention).
Oh, and one thing I would recommend if you do bring her home, is a large cat tower, (they have large towers at a reasonable price on Overstock.com). Cats generally feel safer when they are higher up, and if need be, she can climb the tower to get away from the dog.