(Closed) My cat may end up homeless and DH isn't being very sensitive about it

posted 8 years ago in Pets
Post # 62
Member
2606 posts
Sugar bee
  • 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.   

Post # 63
Member
2606 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

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@Pamelor55:  My hubby and I had our first fight over the living situation and getting a cat…..for which there is no easy solution and my feeling that I don’t come first. He wants to make everyone happy and I feel like it’s at my expense sometimes.

Sorry to threadjack, but wanted to comment on this situation!

First, is there any chance he just doesn’t like/want a cat and is just using DIL as an excuse?  I know when the girl I babysat for wanted a cat, her mom used the fact that the girl’s aunt was allergic to cats as the reason the couldn’t get one…the aunt that was over a handful of times a year.  
 
Also, there are breeds that tend to be better for those with allergies, such as Siberians.     If you are interested, do some research on the various breeds and find some reputable breeders to help you, (because of the allergy-thing, Siberians are increasing a bit in popularity, which means bad breeders start popping up all over the place).

Post # 64
Member
1975 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

keep us updated OP

Post # 66
Member
2606 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Chows and German Shepherds can really go either way with cats.  Hopefully since your dog is a bit of a “fraidy cat” (ha ha) she’ll be fine with the dogs.  Our dogs never seemed to understand that the cat was a lot smaller than them, and when the cat would hiss or bat at them, they would back off.

It sounds like your DH just doesn’t understand that you feel the same way about your cat that he does about the dog.  I really think you need to spend some time bonding with the dog and he needs to spend some time bonding with the cat.  I find it interesting that you always refer to it as “his” dog and “your” cat.  Both of these pets need to be BOTH of yours.

Also, I would NEVER suggest actually getting a new puppy, but to get your point across, you may want to say, “How would you feel if I suggested we get rid of (dog’s name) so (cat’s name) could live with us, and we could just get a puppy to replace (dog)?”  

He’s not against the idea of having a cat just bring an adult cat into the home is what bothers him.

I have introuduced FIVE adult cats to a life with dogs, (my family’s two cats when we made the outside dog an inside dog, DH’s two cats when he moved in with my family, and now our current cat as well), and every one of them was fine.  None of them became best buddies wth the dog, but they at least got comfortable enough with each other that neither the felines nor the canines were scared of each other.  

Are they going to be snuggling on the couch together?  Probably not.  But there is no reason that with a little time and patience they can’t comfortably coexist.  Oh!  Don’t know if you crate the dog or not, but if you don’t, I would suggest somehow separating them when you are not there to supervise until you know if you can trust them or not.  A cat who is scared and runs from a dog can trigger the prey drive of even a normally mellow dog, for example.  If you can keep one in the bedroom or something while you’re away from the home for a while, it would probably be in both animals’ best interest.

Post # 67
Member
2065 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

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@kryssbride:  Aw, I have a shepherd/chow mix just about that size and she is seriously the biggest scaredy cat I’ve ever seen in my life. She’s fine around cats and any other type of animal once she realizes they aren’t going to kill her (seriously, she was terrified of our 10lb chiweenie for months). Just keep an eye on both animals during the introduction period. Your husband just needs to wrap his head around the fact that you aren’t just going to give up your cat so easily.

Post # 69
Member
2606 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

Hey, just found an article on this topic on Jackson Galaxy’s website (jacksongalaxy.com) and thought it might help you: Introudcing Dogs and Cats

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