QUANDARY..... Hmm...Puppy or Adult

What do you think…

Here is the setting:
An elderly-ish teenage cat who is used to always living with a dog in her home (throughout her life) has sadly lost her canine friend last year :frowning: and she has not been the same since :frowning:

The quandary is whether to welcome a puppy or an adult dog into the home to live with the cat.

Where better than to ask than from the helpful folks at the forum! Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

I have no experience of cat/dog ownership so can only offer a loose opinion. I imagine that it might not be easy to source an older dog that is known to be ok with cats. From speaking to friends, some cats are alright with their companion dog but not all dogs, and vice versa. If true, a new pairing might be difficult. Possibly a puppy would be ok because it would grow up with familiarity and respect for the cat. All that being said, IMHO, the main thing is that the cat owner wants a dog them self rather than having one for the sake of the cat because they are going to have the expense and the work.

Edit: just seen this in the news which might be helpful - Here are the 10 breeds of adorable dog that get on best with cats - including the feline friendly Pug.

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Thanks Dottie, your sound advice as always is welcome, and useful.

Hi Meg! Very exciting that you’re considering getting a new dog or puppy! In general puppies are much easier to acclimatise to novel environmental conditions than older dogs. Most eight week old puppies, for example, would take no time at all to get used to sharing their home with a cat while a rehomed or rescued older dog may take much longer, especially if they have have not lived with cats previously. What do you think you’ll do?

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Thanks David.

That has been my experience too inasmuch as molding the social behaviour of pups has been generally easier (provided they are ‘moldable’ even as their puppylike antics and ‘boundaries pushing’ get the better of them :wink: ) than helping adults; particularly noticably with those who have higher prey drives and the aim is to try to help them cope calmly around cats!

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Further to the Quandary… I’ve now been asked my thoughts on the following and where better than to ask for the advice from the forum:-

Does anyone have any knowledge or indeed any thoughts regarding a dog (puppy or adult) living with a cat, and that dog being re-homed to live with an elderly cat that had always previously lived with a dog ?

I guess this could be asked as:
Do you know if the dog will need ‘reminding’ that the elderly cat is off-limits :wink: ?
Is it likely the elderly cat will leave home :-\ ?
How long until a degree of acceptance (peace reigns 8)) between the elderly cat and the newly rehomed dog?!

I think it’s impossible to say as it will all come down to the individuals. Sure, the fact that they each have experience of sharing their home with the other species will likely help but until you get them together it will be impossible to gauge how well the two individuals get on. Perhaps your friend could organise a few mini trial sessions before making the leap?

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Why don’t you get a new doggie? It doesn’t have to be an older one, because it’s easier to train your younger friend when he’s young, and I think your cat will be happy. I can’t imagine my life without my little friend because he is my emotional friend. I even came across ESA Harness Online where I bought him a handy accessory. That he would be happy and comfortable.

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David, yes thank you, what you say sounds like an option to me.

To try the 2 animals together and to give them a fair chance to interact … with patience and careful introduction … then hopefully it should be fine.

As may rightly be assumed I have been rather hesitant to pass on my lone experiences… I’d hate for any dog to be put through this situation and then ‘promptly’ returned back to rescue/breeder or worse still abandoned!

Hopefully, as this topic is added to, and of course it would be wonderful if anyone who has experience of this situation might share how they progressed, it could really help others finding themselves in a similar situation, who are seeking help to make their decision.

Helen09, thank you and it is lovely to hear how your dog is your emotional friend.

We are so fortunate to be able to build up wonderful companionships with our dogs as the rapport grows (however long that takes) between human and pooch.