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March 2024

Can You Foster Dogs and Cats Together?

Sunday, September 29, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

DOG AND CAT TOGETHERBringing a dog into the house when you already have a cat can be tricky but it can be done. Some dogs have a high prey drive and can pose as a real danger to cats. Some other dogs just can’t read a cats body language and could put themselves in danger of a swipe to the eye. If you’re careful and have a watchful eye, both dogs and cats can co exist together even if the cat has been there first.

Here are some simple guidelines that you should follow before bringing a dog home. Make sure that you know how the dog is with cats. What’s his temperament?  Ask yourself these questions.

  1. Has the dog ever lived with a cat?
  2. Has the dog been cat-tested (the shelter puts the dog near cats in a safe environment and watches how he reacts) and, if not, can he be?
  3. Does the dog chase squirrels, other cats or birds while on his walk?

Make sure that your cat can make a fast getaway. Make sure that he has several escape routes. Never lock the two up in the same room. Common sense right? Some people do it! Also if your cat is a senior cat, he may not be able to get away quickly. Lots of dogs like to play but remember in some cases, they can be much bigger and stronger than your cat.

Don’t take this decision for granted. Think it through and do your homework. Remember, your cat has been there first. I would always think of upsetting my cats “little” world.  Even though they may be fast and could escape quickly, would you want them to be frightened all the time? I know I wouldn’t. Seek advice from your vet, the shelter where you want to adopt the dog or an expert that knows the dogs temperament.

Remember, your pets count!

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