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Preparing For "cat Workable"


Guest agreytday
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Guest agreytday

Hello everyone. We are counting down the days until we get our first greyhound. We have a cat and the adoption group found a dog who has been cat tested. They felt he would be a good fit and is "cat workable."

 

I have researched this as much as I can and have found out that there is a lot of leeway in what "cat workable" could mean. We have purchased baby gates and I do think that we are prepared for a possible long road of muzzles, leashes, and supervision. I just wondered if anyone has any suggestions on what to expect. Our adoption group is exceptional and I have faith in them. They will help us but any other help is always appreciated.

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Guest Scouts_mom

"Cat workable" can cover a wide range of behaviors. My Greyhound group stopped using "cat safe" and switched those dogs to the "cat workable" category as they learned that there was no way to guarantee that a dog that seemed safe with cats would be the same in a different situation with different cats. So your new dog may be perfectly fine with cats from day one or may need to learn that cats are family members too. My only advice is that you can't be too careful when introducing the dog and the cat. Don't be in a hurry to let them have free access to each other.

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Guest agreytday

Thanks so much. I was wondering if that was possibly the reason I didn't see much about "cat safe" or "cat friendly" and instead see more about "cat workable." It gives me hope that it might not be as scary as I am mentally prepared for it to be :-) I also found a great post on here with a step by step approach to incorporate the dog into the cat's world (and vice versa). I am going to be erring on the side of caution, so there is no worry about is rushing this process.

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"Cat workable" can cover a wide range of behaviors. My Greyhound group stopped using "cat safe" and switched those dogs to the "cat workable" category as they learned that there was no way to guarantee that a dog that seemed safe with cats would be the same in a different situation with different cats. So your new dog may be perfectly fine with cats from day one or may need to learn that cats are family members too. My only advice is that you can't be too careful when introducing the dog and the cat. Don't be in a hurry to let them have free access to each other.

:nod I prompted our group to change our terminology from cat-safe to cat-trainable. I'm big on words having meaning and just felt cat-safe didn't convey the right meaning. There are greyhounds that walk in the door and never look twice at the cat, but most require some training to learn that cats should be left alone. And some require quite a bit. I have seen a good number, although they are certainly in the minority who needed a LOT of work over the first few weeks, but then were perfectly fine after that. My female greys, Neyla and now Violet were both like that. I would not however trust them in a new house iwth a new cat without some training again despite them living perfectly safely with my cat for years.

 

Anyway, I wouldn't stress too much. Good management right off the bat is key and lots of reward based training. I would have your cat somewhere out of sight when you bring the new dog in and give her some time to acclimate without seeing him first. Then you could have him slowly walk around at a distance while she's crated and you are feeding her for looking at you (make kissy noises or say her name if she will respond to it to get her to look at you if needed). After she's pretty consistently ignoring the cat while crated, you can move to having her leashed and muzzled and doing the same exercises. As you progress, the important thing to remember is not to become overly confident until you feel your cat has displayed it's full range of behaviors - including racing through the room at top speed and vomiting. ;)

Thanks so much. I was wondering if that was possibly the reason I didn't see much about "cat safe" or "cat friendly" and instead see more about "cat workable." It gives me hope that it might not be as scary as I am mentally prepared for it to be :-) I also found a great post on here with a step by step approach to incorporate the dog into the cat's world (and vice versa). I am going to be erring on the side of caution, so there is no worry about is rushing this process.

If it was Greyt_dog_lovers (I think I have the right username) then it's a good one to follow. Errs on teh side of caution, but I think that's wise when you're dealing with predatory animals and prey. ;)

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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I kept my cat - safe - dog - who - really - wasn't - cat - safe tethered to my waist with a long leash. That allowed me to keep my eyes on her, praise her when she ignored said cat and avoid cat being eaten. It took 1.5 months, but it eventually irked and they became friends.

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Xavi the galgo and Allen the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09.

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And a reminder: No matter how good, or not, your houndie is with your cat, all bets might be off when outside. A small animal, even your own cat, in the backyard is often looked at differently by a Greyhound when it's "in the wild."

 

I wonder how many Greyhounds are good with cats. I wonder if it's a majority, meaning at least 51%. My girl is fine with my cat and was from day 1. After almost 4 years, she's still reluctant to get near the cat, even when said cat is laying on said Greyhound's bed. My Annie is also fine with anything outdoors, so much so that even the rabbits in the yard are safe. I think that's unusual, but ya never know what you're going to end up, and I'm aware that one day Annie might decide that all the small things need to be tasted.

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Guest jetska

I'd say, from the hounds I have tested that 51% are cat-tolerant, in fact my current success rate would be running higher than this but we do selectively test - not every dog who walks in to the door is going to get a cat test - it's a lot of work for our cats and if they have adopters who don't have cats then it's not really a necessary step.

 

The tip about the cat displaying it's full range of behaviours is a good one. Had a dog at my place who was actually quite cool with the cat just sitting in the corner but he got too interested when she started grooming (who knows why).

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest bubbagumpshrimp

We (AGreytday and I) got the "cat workable" Flying Carp/Barnaby on Friday evening. He is a very mellow boy. He seems to sleep as much as the cat.

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For the first evening and first half of the following day...we kept him leashed and muzzled in the house. The second half of the first day...we took him off his leash to allow him to roam around and explore (supervised). We then removed his muzzle so that he could play with his toys. He showed some interest in the cat (seemed like he was just wanting to say hi), but he backed off when the cat made it clear that she needed some space.

 

When it became clear that he had no interest in making his feline roommate a meal...we let them interact freely (supervised). To say that we're pleased with his progress in just ~36 hours would be an understatement. He's able to veg out on his bed and just relax. He and the cat seem to get along well. Here they are supervising the installation of some blinds.

 

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That's great! I'd still carefully supervise as Barnaby acclimates to your home...some of them are on their best behavior at first and then as they get more comfortable, they get a little more naughty :lol

 

My cats are a good indicator of a dog's prey drive though. I have one who normally will hide when a new dog is here. If she's willing to come out and meet the dog, I know we're going to be fine :)

 

Most of the dogs I've brought home have been very easy, but I had one who needed some intensive training. It's definitely not a project for the impatient :lol

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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  • 8 months later...
Guest bubbagumpshrimp

I thought that I would post an update on this. I couldn't get over how well Barnaby settled in. He's done very well dealing with Sophie (the cat). Sophie is a butt. She lays on the table and counter and swats at Barnaby when he trots by. It doesn't seem to bug him. He seems to think that she's playing with him...and tries to play with her. In reality, I think that she's just probing his defenses and plotting his demise, lol.

 

Cats are supposed to be smart. To quote Dirty Harry..."A man's got to know his limitations." Substitute "cat" for "man" and we have a deficiency of Sophie's. She just doesn't grasp that a ~90 lb Greyhound could gobble up a ~10 lb cat if she made that thought appealing enough for him. The best example of this so far...she was pushing her limits one day and decided it would be a good idea to get on his bed and taunt him. In the small amount of time (at most a couple seconds) that she spaced out and looked at something else (while still on his bed), he crossed a ~15' room and was standing directly over her...as if to say "I could :chow you if I wanted to," LOL.

 

We recently went up to visit my parents, who have a male cat. Within a few hours...Barnaby and their cat were buddy's. If we had stayed a few extra days, I think they might have curled up and enjoyed the heat of the wood stove together. And I think it is this relationship (going to anthropomorphize for a bit, lol) that he would like to have with Sophie. Alas, his kind advances (attempting to nicely touch noses) and good nature are held at bay by the frigid beast that is Sophie.

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Good news!

 

Just a tip--I see in the photo you have the tag collar above the martingale. The martingale should be on top. And really, if he's wearing a tag collar, you can just take the martingale off in the house. The martingale is intended to be worn high up on the neck. The tag collar can be loser, and just sort of ride down near where the neck turns into shoulders.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Guest bubbagumpshrimp

Good news!

 

Just a tip--I see in the photo you have the tag collar above the martingale. The martingale should be on top. And really, if he's wearing a tag collar, you can just take the martingale off in the house. The martingale is intended to be worn high up on the neck. The tag collar can be loser, and just sort of ride down near where the neck turns into shoulders.

 

Thanks. You're observant. The first few days (when that photo was taken) there was a bit of a learning curve. We loosened his separate tag/name collar up so that it would ride lower soon after that picture.

 

At that point (the first few days) we had the martingale on him (the leash just wasn't on him at that moment) to keep him corralled/within reach until we were sure that he'd be fine with the cat.

Edited by bubbagumpshrimp
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