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Will My Best Buddy Cat Get Jealous If I Get A Dog?

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by myfamily, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. myfamily

    myfamily Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Feb 12, 2017
    My cat is 11 years old, and he is my sun and stars? I am his sun and stars, as well.
    I also have an 8 year old female cat. We are a tight threesome. I thought today about going to the shelter and adopting a senior dog. My cats are not unaccustomed to dogs. We have always lived in apartments, and the neighbors have always had dogs in the yard. But first and foremost I don't want my boy to feel jealous. I know if I brought home another cat he would be jealous. But I'm not so sure if he would feel jealous about a dog. What do you think? Thank you.
     
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  2. FeebysOwner

    FeebysOwner TCS Member Top Cat

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    Hi. That's a tough one - both of your cats aren't exactly young. And, the older they are, the harder it is sometimes. It isn't just about jealousy, it is about acclimation and whether or not you think your 'sun and stars' guy has the personality (and, your girl as well) to adapt to such a change.

    Not helping much, but here is a TCS article on the subject just in case it helps you with your decision.

    How To Safely Introduce A Cat And A Dog

    Btw, do you know if the senior dog is used to cats? That is a factor as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  3. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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  4. Animal Freak

    Animal Freak TCS Member Super Cat

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    That's tough. I think it's wonderful that you want to help a senior dog, but there's a lot of factors to consider and, honestly, I don't think jealousy is the biggest one. If you did get a dog and it did work out pretty much as well as it could then your cat would probably just walk right over the dog to get to you. That's how it is in my household.

    If your cats were young then I'd say go for it, but I'd hesitate to bring any new animal into the house with an eleven year old cat. It was a very difficult time when I brought my dog into the house. It took a year for my youngest to stop attacking her. It's potentially a lot of stress to put on an elderly cat. But it depends. There's a lot to consider. What are your cats like? Do they adapt well? Have they ever had contact with a dog before, even briefly? How did it go if they did? Do you have room to give them plenty of places to get away from the dog? Can you keep the dog out of certain rooms? Can the cats get up high? Do they have health issues? Anything that could be triggered by stress? How big is the dog? How does it act around cats? Does it have basic training? Do you have time to give all the animals plenty of individual attention? Do you have somewhere you can put the dog so that way the cats can have the house sometimes? Or at the very least have a space you can go and hang out with them without the dog?

    I was very lucky in my situation. My dog is small, around the same size as my biggest cat. She grew up with cats and loved them. She had basic training and was already bonded with me. I hardly had to worry about her going off and stirring up trouble because she was glued to my hip. Or, more accurately, my feet. And it still took over a year for the cats to adjust. Although, the worst one was my young female who doesn't take well to change, so if your cats can handle change then they may accept a dog. If you do decide to try it, perhaps you could ask about a foster-to-adopt program?
     

  5. myfamily

    myfamily Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Feb 12, 2017
    Thank you, I don't want to cause my cat stress. He already has a reoccurring cough, and is often stressed about the stray cats that come and go from my living room via a pet door (there are 3 strays who come in on a regular basis). It's just a thought because I recently put to sleep a very senior cat who was sleeping in my garage, also a stray and I want something to take my mind off of him. I am going to go to the shelter right now just to browse and see if anything stirs inside me.
     
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  6. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    :vibes::redheartpump:
     

  7. neely

    neely May the purr be with you Staff Member Forum Helper

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    I'm going to play devil's advocate here but politely so bear with me. :) Please reread your above paragraph. You mentioned one of your cats has a recurring cough and is easily stressed out. No one knows the pet family dynamics in your house like you but perhaps right now is not the best time to introduce a strange dog. Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying it can't work. We had two cats with a dog, one cat who was younger did extremely well and the other cat who was older did not. However, the older cat did learn to coexist with the dog and that is my hope for you if you would like to adopt a senior dog. :bluepaw:

    One positive is that a senior dog will not be as rambunctious. Therefore, hopefully not chase the cat(s) but you never know. @Animal Freak had a great idea about inquiring if the shelter has a foster-to-adopt program and he/she raised a lot of pertinent questions.

    The other comment you made was that you need something to take your mind off a senior stray cat that you recently had to put down. I think it is very admirable of you to care for the strays. You obviously have a lot of love and compassion for animals. :hugs: Give yourself time to grieve. Perhaps for the time being you could volunteer at a shelter to interact and help the animals. Then you could make the decision whether or not to bring a dog into your home.

    I sincerely wish you the best of luck. I hope I have not deterred you in any way as that was not my intention but merely wanted to help you consider all the possibilities. :goodluck:
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  8. Animal Freak

    Animal Freak TCS Member Super Cat

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    I know how tough it is to go through the loss of an animal, but I have to agree that I'd be cautious about bringing in a dog when your cat has a health issue and is stressed out by other cats coming along. A very small, very calm dog may work out.

    I think the idea of volunteering for the time being is a good idea to consider. That would keep you busy and help a lot of animals. It would also allow you to see how your cats react to you smelling like other animals and they can get used to a dog's scent. You could get to know the dogs and adopt one that fits the requirements too.

    I do understand how tough of a situation is and it's wonderful that you want to help. I've fallen in love with a Saint Bernard mix at the shelter myself, but there's no way I can have another dog right now, let alone one that big. I worry about her getting a home because of her size and the few minor behavioral issues she has. She was also apparently aggressive towards another dog, but there hasn't been any sign of that since she's been in the shelter.
     
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  9. myfamily

    myfamily Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Feb 12, 2017
    thank you for all your replies. I went to the shelter tonight and spent about 90 minutes talking to all the dogs. I tried to imagine each dog in my house, and only one of them seemed like a good fit. He was a chihuahua-type dog (but didn't look like your typical Taco Bell dog), but he was less than a year old and I had senior dog in my mind. I don't think a dog would stress me cat out. He seems to do well with the dogs in the yard, and I rescued a miniature pinscher once and we had it for 2 weeks til I found a home, and my cat slept on the bed with him. Sigh not sure what I'm going to do. Yes i do need time to grieve. But the past two weeks trying to save him have been so utterly exhausting.
     
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  10. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    :vibes: hang in there!
     

  11. Animal Freak

    Animal Freak TCS Member Super Cat

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    My dog is a not-so-typical Chihuahua as well. Lovely dog, but she can be a lot.

    There's no need to rush into anything though. Less than a year old is quite young and might be a handful, especially on top of having senior cats. However, if your cat was able to adapt to a dog in just two weeks, then I'd say that's a very good sign. I don't think my female cat came out of my room for two weeks.
     
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  12. Kflowers

    Kflowers TCS Member Top Cat

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    Chihuahuas are rather fragile. some have to have knee surgery - luxating petelas (expensive). In case it makes a difference, you might want to talk to your vet about how much they can cost. Decades ago my large dog tore a ligament on both back knees. It was $3K then - each. the advantage to a small dog is the cats are less likely to be intimidated and it's easier to pick one up when it can't walk.

    I always lead with either my heart or well, there's no one else to care for him/her, without a thought to 'can I afford to care for him/her'. There is a point where that's not as possible as it once was.

    I'm not saying you can't do it, I'm just saying, people don't always realize how the medical expenses can add up. My vet didn't think we should get a small dog. We now have a 76lb dog. Cat is not happy. But she was something of a stray, if you know what I mean. It was either us or the kill shelter.
     
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  13. jen

    jen TCS Member Top Cat

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    How about those strays that come into your house? Since you already got great advice on the dog idea, I would suggest putting some time into the strays that come and go. Sounds like a bit of an odd situation. Are they friendly strays I take it? Are they all fixed and tested and vaccinated? I would focus some money and effort on them (unless you have already, then forgive me for butting in). Just a thought though.
     
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  14. myfamily

    myfamily Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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  15. myfamily

    myfamily Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Feb 12, 2017
    Jen, does that sound like an odd situation? I am single and live in a townhouse that backs up to a natural area. I guess it is unusual in that nobody else around here does it. They ignore the strays. I feed them, and have gotten friendly enough with 3 of them that they live downstairs, and come and go via a pet door. I have gotten all of them fixed (2 males and 1 female), but none of them have received any types of shots. My own two cats frequently.. i.e., daily, interact with them. I worry sometimes for my own cats health. But I don't know if them getting their shots will make them any less risky for my own pets.

    It sounds odd, but I really want someone for my 11 year old boy to play with. He does not play with the strays, obviously. And my other cat (an 8 year old female) wants nothing to do with him in regards to play. He's tried, and she says NO. I have fostered kittens twice, and he only hissed at these kittens, never taking to any of them. Maybe a playful dog would be something he'd like? As you can see, I am wavering a bit on the senior dog idea, and now wonder if a younger playful dog might be something he'd like.
     

  16. Furensics

    Furensics TCS Member Kitten

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    The only way to guarantee a success is if your cats could help you choose a dog.
     
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  17. Furensics

    Furensics TCS Member Kitten

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    The only way to guarantee a success is if your cats could help you choose a dog.
     

  18. jen

    jen TCS Member Top Cat

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    All he did was hiss at the kittens? That is totally normal behavior. That is just him communicating with the kittens. I would not rule that out so fast. He would have taken to them eventually. Hardly any cats ever just get along without a peep all the time. Hissing, growling, etc are just how they communicate. No big deal. Give a kitten another go. Or foster again. But I would not do anything or let your cats interact with the strays unless they have had shots and been tested. What if they have FeLV or really anything else? They are putting your cats at risk everytime they interact. If they are friendly enough to come inside just take them to a vaccine clinic.
     
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  19. myfamily

    myfamily Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

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    Feb 12, 2017
    thanks, I never thought of that. My cats often eat out of the same dish as the strays.
     
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  20. jen

    jen TCS Member Top Cat

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    Yikes!
     
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