Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Cat & dog

(35 Posts)
Nannymags27 Tue 18-Dec-18 21:26:48

We’ve got an 18 year old cat which is fit & active (for an old moggie!). Husband has always wanted a dog and I’m ok with that, too. But we’re not getting one....because we don’t want to upset the cat! Hub is 70 so it’s getting a bit “now or never”. I think the dog would do him good by getting him out of the house. It’s a bit of a dilemma. What do you think?

dustyangel Tue 18-Dec-18 21:49:00

When I fostered Guide Dog puppies, it was encouraged that they went to households that already had a cat so that the dogs got used to them and learnt to respect them, equally children! You could always ask GDBA or RSBA for their opinion.

dustyangel Tue 18-Dec-18 22:02:09

RSBA? ...I meant th RSPCA of course.

sodapop Wed 19-Dec-18 09:06:25

We have three dogs and a cat also a neighbour's cat which comes in every day. They exist harmoniously together in the main just the odd spat over food. Usually rescue centres are able to tell you if their dogs can live with a cat. Your cat has been used to being an 'only' though and may not be keen on a new addition.

Anja Wed 19-Dec-18 09:34:51

Get a young rescue dog that is ‘good with cats’. If you wait until after Christmas, about Easter time, there will be plenty to choose from as people realise the reality of keeping a dog and they get dumped.

The spring is a good time anyway with warmer days for walks and getting into the garden.

agnurse Wed 19-Dec-18 13:36:41

Some cats and dogs do well together, some don't. Our Jayda is afraid of dogs, but Gatsby was around a dog (black lab) when he was a kitten, and Biggie tried to make friends with a dog once. (We suspect he thinks he IS a dog. The dog appeared not to know quite what to make of him.)

mabon1 Wed 19-Dec-18 14:00:13

Go ahead a have one by all means, they bring one into contact with lots of people whom you would never have met previously and get you walking which does you good.

tubbygran Wed 19-Dec-18 15:39:18

We are the same age as your husband and we would recommend you home a cat-friendly dog from a rescue centre. In May we rehomed a six year old Chocolate Labrador from Lab Rescue, in Eccleston, Chorley.
She is an absolute delight and is wonderful company. We call her ‘our personal trainer’ as we have to go out on walks, whether we want to or not! She is also ‘in-house comedian ‘ and ‘a big hug when you need one’ 😍. Good luck!

tubbygran Wed 19-Dec-18 15:42:57

PS I would recommend you don’t buy a puppy. A dog can easily live until it is at least twelve years old and will need exercise etc for all of that time. Also, they are much harder work than you might think!

agnurse Wed 19-Dec-18 16:16:42

Some animal rescue organizations don't have an actual "shelter" but rather a list of foster families who will provide temporary care. Sometimes these foster homes may include cats. You might see if there is such an organization in your area, and then contact them, explain your situation, and ask if they currently have any dogs that are good with cats.

MrsJamJam Wed 19-Dec-18 16:37:45

We bought a lovely golden retriever puppy into the family six years ago and already had an old and grumpy Burmese cat. Always made sure that cat had plenty of spaces to escape to if he felt the need. First time puppy tried to play a puppy bouncing game with the cat he got a firm buff on the nose and much hissing! That established the pecking order and they were fine together. Even when dog was full size he knew where the boundaries lay!

And a dog is the most perfect excuse for getting out and about in the fresh air every day, so don't hesitate.

Chucky Wed 19-Dec-18 17:23:20

Please do not introduce a dog into your household whilst you still have your cat. It would be very unfair to him, especially at this age. He deserves to live out the rest of his life happily and without the stress a dog may put him under. He is, and should be, your number one at this stage of his life.

midgey Wed 19-Dec-18 17:32:23

I think your cat will cope fine, they are very superior beings and the dog will learn he/she is a lower creaturegrin

CazB Wed 19-Dec-18 18:02:17

I totally agree with Chucky. We made the mistake of getting a puppy when our cat was nine. He used to bark at her and chase her, and the result was that she took to living upstairs in the spare bedroom. She would never come down or go out into the garden when he was around, and we had to leave the bedroom window open for her and use a litter tray. The dog is now six and she's fifteen, and now they are fine together though she still stays mainly upstairs. I feel sad that the cat's life was disrupted so much, she was fine with our previous dogs and used to sleep curled up with them. She was very stressed for some time after we got the pup, and I never would make this mistake again.

newnanny Wed 19-Dec-18 19:27:10

Or old beloved cat died in February. We were all upset. We had wanted a dog for a long time but I felt it was unfair on the cat. To be honest I was worried the stress of a puppy might finish the cat off. At the end of June we got 2 puppies from the same litter and they bring us so much joy. My son also got a kitten as he missed his old cat so much. They get on OK but in the beginning the cat ruled the roost as but as the puppies have grown and there are two of them, they are now the bosses. This time we had a female cat and i think she is more loving and stays closer to home, than our old cat who was male and went out a lot. Anyway we would not be without any of them. They are adorable and bring us so much joy.

newnanny Wed 19-Dec-18 19:33:32

We got Lhasa Apso dogs as they are good with children, do not malt as both asthmatic, loving and affectionate and don't grow too big so will never need 5 mile walks like a large dog may well do. We walk ours 1 1/2 miles first thing in morning, 1 km mid morning, and 1 mile evenings. At weekends we go a bit further but the dogs seem happy with that. We also have a large garden they can run around in if is not wet.

Iam64 Wed 19-Dec-18 19:46:08

My dogs and cats have always tolerated or even got on with each other. The cats are always the victor in any of the early skirmishes, so the dogs soon learn not to chase them.

Sorry to inflict a note of caution. Please don't chose a breed because it's said "not to moult" - many of the allegedly non moulting breeds do indeed moult. I have one who doesn't moult but is a mud magnet who will leap into any water given the opportunity. His coat needs grooming six weekly.

Dogs are 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They're expensive, they need training, two walks a day and visits to the vet are very expensive. Kennels are hugely expensive.

I love my dogs. Can't imagine life without them.

moggie57 Wed 19-Dec-18 20:50:09

get an older dog...from a proper dog trust home. or maybe you could foster a dog till it gets a new home.being a foster carer means you get vets bills paid for by the trust....just an idea ?

notentirelyallhere Wed 19-Dec-18 21:15:02

We've kept several cat and dog pairs and never had a problem. In fact, we also have an elderly but fit cat and are looking for a rescue dog to adopt in the spring.

Cats are usually more than capable of asserting themselves over dogs but they may need help in the first few weeks. Dogs can be taught to respect a cat relatively easily and once the dog understands the pecking order in the house, the cat will always be top dog! Some cats and dogs come to be friends and will play together but that might be a bit much for an elderly cat.

Most rescue centres assess dogs for rehoming as being suitable or not for living with cats.

lemongrove Wed 19-Dec-18 21:30:47

At that age (18) your cat is very old to get used to a dog entering the household.Why not wait, she won’t live forever and it would be a shame to make her old age an unhappy time.

notentirelyallhere Wed 19-Dec-18 22:42:19

A well looked after cat can live into their 20s. We had a cat who lived to 22. The OPs husband will be 74 by then. Just saying..

notentirelyallhere Wed 19-Dec-18 22:45:34

Actually the arithmetic doesn't quite work in the post I've added above (always use preview!) but I do think that with the vet's help and a comfortable life, an 18 year old cat might easily have another another 4 or even 6 years ahead.

dogsmother Wed 19-Dec-18 23:06:54

I agree with Anja, go for it but a young rescue already good with cats.
Less stress all around and the bonus of a lovely dog to enrich your lives.

MissAdventure Wed 19-Dec-18 23:38:27

I would let the cat live its life out stress free.
Even if you got a dog that's good with cats, that wouldn't necessarily mean your cat is good with dogs.

David1968 Thu 20-Dec-18 09:31:39

I agree with Chucky. I think that an old cat is unlikely to adjust. Given that the cat is 18, (a marvellous age for a cat!) I'd wait until it died, before thinking about taking on a dog. (A dog might adjust to your cat, but I doubt that the cat would adjust to a dog!)