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Sick cat with new dog?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ok, So here is a loaded question!! I have a cat who was found to have a heart murmur at the last vet visit. We are taking him to a cardiologist next week to find out if it is serious or not. His sister died recently of congestive heart failure. Apparently both of them were born with bad hearts. The surviving cat doesn't seem to have any symptoms yet of heart disease like the first one did other then the murmur but my question is, my husband and I are in the process of possibly adopting a doggie from a rescue clinic. We are taking extra extra care to find a dog that will not be agressive with my cat-preferrably a dog who has lived with cats before and has not bothered them. I don't want a dog that will chase or nip at our cat and cause him to have a heart attack! For those of you who have both cats and dogs, do the cats seem stressed by the dogs at all? I know the homecoming of the dog may cause some stress and we are going to take A LOT of time introducing them, but after that do you think it would be ok for us to have a dog in the house? We do plan to keep them on seperate floors of the house while we are away. I've always wanted a dog but I love my cat and i'm heartbroken by this entire situation! What is everyone's opinion on this??
post #2 of 8
I think it would be hard to find a mellow enough dog to live with a cat. Why not find out how bad the murmer might be before you deside. Labs are great with cats, but too high energy. I don't know of any really laid back dog that would work.

Perhaps someone else has suggestions.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice! We are taking our cat to see a cardiologist next week so we should find out just how bad his heart problem is or if its a problem at all. The thing about my cat that absolutely baffles me is how high energy he is for a cat who has a possible heart problem which sorta makes my worrying a little less. He darts around the house like a maniac at night and in the morning and i'm assuming while we are sleeping too and that is without any other animals around to chase him! That's sorta why I feel like if we got a puppy like a lab he would be ok. If anything I think he would be chasing the dog! I want to play it safe though!
post #4 of 8
I have a Lhasa Apso and he is great with my cats! he never bothers them, only when they're playing and get him with their claws on accident, he'll growl, but they just look at him like, Whatever! and continue playing. I think the cats think he is a very large, extra furry one of them Lhasas however, are generally not good with small children and can be a bit, ummm, cranky I love him though!
post #5 of 8
I would use caution on adopting a large breed puppy - they don't realize how big they are. If you like the lab, I'd go for one already grown and a little more settled down vs a lab puppy!
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well there are 2 dogs I am going to see this weekend. One is a lab mix who is already 7 months old and trained and the foster mom has 6 cats and 3 other dogs and the lab is very good with all of them! She said he is the best dog she's ever had and she would keep him but she has too many animals already. The other dog I am going to see is a mix and they aren't sure what it is but they are guessing lab/sheltie mix. The vet thinks it will only get to be 30lbs. This dog has also been around cats and the cats are constantly tugging on her tail and she just lets them. The foster said she is absolutely great with her cats. This dog is only 8 weeks old though and i'm afraid maybe she is just timid now but eventually when she comes out of her shell she might not be as good with cats! I've always heard that dogs who are raised along with cats usually get along good with them! I don't know what to do. I don't think i'll be able to tell how they are going to be with cats just by going to see them. It's so hard for me to tell which is the way to go!
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
If either is the way to go for that matter!
post #8 of 8
I'm dealing with the reverse problem that you have. My 11 year old dog, Stockey, has a murmur that progressed into congestive heart disease last February. I found my kitten, Lusa, about a month ago on the side of the road. Things are going well between them, but we've carefully and gradually introduced them without changing our dog's routine too much.

My advice would be to first go to the cardiologist and start whatever medical treatment your cat might need. Ask him/her specifically whether exercise (from being chased by or playing with a dog) or stress (from dealing with a dog) would aggravate the condition. Then, if your cat requires meds or special food, find out how much it costs. The reason I say this is that my dog gets two scripts, special food, etc. and the cost was a sticker shock at first. Also, make sure you have room in your budget if your other pets get sick or need toys, beds, etc.

If the cat won't get worse from the presence of a dog, and you can afford the cost of a sick animal plus a new dog, then start looking for the dog that's best for you and your lifestyle.

Many dog breed books and breed clubs discuss how well dogs get along with cats and other pets. There are many to choose from in a variety of sizes. Mixed breed dogs are a bit more of a gamble, but I'm sure you could find a great cat-friendly mix if you look some.

It might be worth your while to look into breed-specific rescues (in addition to your local shelter) that have already measured each dog's tolerance of cats.

Good luck! I hope things go as well as possible for your kitty at the cardiologist's.
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