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In The Process Of Adopting A Greyhound. Live With 2 Cats.


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Hello. I'm currently in the process of adopting a greyhound with GRI. They still need to contact my references and make a house visit. Hopefully, the process will be finalized in the beginning of August. I currently reside in a 600 sq ft, 1 bedroom condominium, with 2 cats (Obsidian is 6 years and skittish, Onyx is 3 years and outgoing/playful). I have already managed to get 2 telework days to make the pup's transition smoother (may be able to fully tekework in October). I plan on providing 4 walks a day, 1 sprint on the weekend (in addition to walks), and general care of course. This is absolutely doable. However, what I'm worried about are the beginning stages with my cats. Are there any suggestions to helping the 3 get along/literally live with one another. I've done some research on the muzzle/leash combo for the first few weeks (or even months) at home, in combination with cat desensitization. Additionally, Basalt (pup's future name) will be crated when I'm at work and whenever I'm not around to supervise him/her and the cats. I'm curious if you think there are any other steps I should be taking, especially provided the small space I'm working with. This will be my first dog and I want all the information I can get.

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I think you've made a great start in your preparations and research! I have four cats myself, but everybody did great in introductions--the girls didn't even much care, the boys were a little skittish, but came around. However, they were already dog-acclimated in that they lived with my Lab for almost nine years. We did have a few almost chases, but a sharp "NO CAT" and Johnny would stop.

 

Make sure your cats have retreats that the dog can't access, such as behind the couch, tall cat trees, or even under the kitchen table.

 

Also, don't count on the crate being a permanent thing--Johnny refused to go in after a few weeks, luckily I have two bedrooms, so I baby-gated him in one with his muzzle on.

Current Crew: Gino-Gene-Eugene! (Eastnor Rebel: Makeshift x Celtic Dream); Fuzzy the Goo-Goo Girl (BGR Fuzzy Navel: Boc's Blast Off x Superior Peace); Roman the Giant Galoot! (Imark Roman: Crossfire Clyde x Shana Wookie); Kitties Archie and Dixie

Forever Missed: K9 Sasha (2001-2015); Johnny (John Reese--Gable Dodge x O'Jays) (2011-19); the kitties Terry and Bibbi; and all the others I've had the privilege to know

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Guest xengab

One thing we had suggested to us is high shelves that the dog can't get to but the cats can. If possible have several of them spaced up a wall so they can choose to be higher or lower as they get more comfortable with the dog. (if you get a chance look up Jackson Galaxy the cat whisperer dude, he has some great ideas for kitty/dog furniture)

 

Cat tree with higher up wall shelves are a good idea too. Make sure the food bowls are up high too and start feeding the cats up there NOW. So its routine for them.

 

My cat was 16 when we got our greyboy. She was a super confident cat, walked all over the grey (literally at times) and he knew from day one that she was family. Did he try to play, yes and we firmly told him NO CAT! Only took three times and never again. Sadly she passed away and my grey missed her..we got a new kitty who was an adult stray maine coon and very confident too. Had him since Feb 15th only twice has his swatted the dog on the nose for sniffing his butt..LOL They enjoy being near each other, and also enjoy watching the other play. my kitty plays with the dogs toys too and my grey knows to not join in.

 

I'd also advise no squeaker cat toys if your grey is attracted to that sound (lots are).

Muzzle, it not only helps the cats, it can save a dogs nose from kitty claws. A running kitty is more of a target, reward the cat being calm and staying still.

If possible have your group bring in their lowest prey drive dog to see how your cats react. (mine didn't do much but watch and like being talked to by a new person.LOL)

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I am assuming your group is giving you a cat tolerant grey, so hopefully things will go smoothly. Make sure the cats have a safe place they can get to away from the dog. Even if the dog shows zero interest in the cats, it will make them feel safer in the beginning. Don't leave them together unsupervised until you are sure things are ok between them. The timeline will vary depending on the dog, and how the cats react. Don't panic if they are not instant BFFs :lol. It can take cats awhile to adjust, but most dogs can learn to live with indoor cats. Outdoor cats may (or may not) be another matter.

 

oh yes, feed the cats somewhere away from the dog (dogs love cat food) and be sure the dog has no access to the litter box (another thing many dogs love :sick )

Edited by Remolacha
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my first grey, Queen came home to 3 cats, she kinda ignored them and one cat did the same to her, the youngest was friendly and the male was a total wimp. BUT every time he walked by a dog bed without a dog he would roll around all over the bed rubbing his scent on it... :hehe

 

When she went to the bridge, Conrad arrived and we were at two cats, both female. since they did not get along with each other, Conrad spends his time with the younger cat who LOVES kissing Conrad on the face {yeah I know, gotta get a picture of that} and sleeps in the same room with him every night Oh and after a couple of months the boy got tired of the crate and my DW gave up and threw him and a bed into the bedroom :yikes

 

YOUR mileage may vary, some settling of contents may occur, colors may vary, If they cannot take a joke, nuke'em till they glow so it is easier to shoot them after dark...just sayin'

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Thanks for all your helpful responses. I just hope I don't stress the kitties out too much. I feel slightly selfish bringing a dog into their home (cause let's be honest, they really have the deed to this place), but the dog needs a home and resources that I can provide. Also, I'm really sorry for the losses.

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If you use a baby gate to separate your pup and cats you can put it in the doorway a few inches off the floor so that the cats can scoot underneath it to get to their safe spot.

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

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Please don't adopt a greyhound because you feel sorry for them an it "needs a home." There are hundreds of thousands of dogs in shelters that also need homes. Adopt a greyhound if their personality meshes with what you're looking for in a companion animal.

 

You need a plan for what happens if your dog doesn't like being crated.

 

My first greyhound (I had three cats, and also lived in a 1 bedroom condo) hated his crate with every fiber of his being. Fortunately, he truly was "cat safe," as that was my ONLY requirement when I applied to adopt a greyhound.

 

What I did when I realized the crate was not going to work was to put up a baby gate on the bedroom door, set a few inches off the ground. That way if the cats felt they needed to get away, they had a safe space to go where he couldn't get (turns out he COULD, but never did).

 

He was so throughly and totally uninterested in the cats that I dispensed with the muzzle after a couple of days.

 

I am on my second hound now. Slightly larger condo, only two cats. But this greyhound was also cat tested before I got him. He literally didn't even LOOK at the cats the day he came home. He has never shown even a passing interest in doing them harm.

 

That's the kind of greyhound you need to ask for!

 

Please read "I'll Be Home Soon" by Patricia McConnell for how to do "alone training." The desire to spend as much time as you can with the dog at first is understandable, but actually possibly counterproductive.

 

Good luck!!


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

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He literally didn't even LOOK at the cats the day he came home. He has never shown even a passing interest in doing them harm.

That's the kind of greyhound you need to ask for!

 

For your situation--small space, 2 cats in residence, first Greyhound--I think this is the most important thing you can do to ensure smooth sailing from the start and and nice easy homecoming. My first attempt to adopt a Greyhound ended in fear and frustration. The hound I adopted had been pronounced "cat safe" by the adoption group but she was way too aggressively interested in my cat and I ended up feeling like I needed to return her within 3 weeks of the adoption. I HATED doing that and I know the group was annoyed with me for returning her, but I was absolutely not willing to risk my cat. I almost gave up on adopting a Greyhound at that point, but several months later I ran into a different group doing a meet & greet and they were very reassuring about being able to find the right hound for me. I adopted my beloved Piper "The Perfect" in large part because the group told me that when he'd had his neuter surgery there had been a litter of kittens running around in the vet's office and Piper was absolutely rock solidly uninterested in those kittens. That is the kind of hound you need to bring home. :nod

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Lucy with Greyhound Nate and OSH Tinker. With loving memories of MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, Miles the slinky kitty (OSH), Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin), Winston, Yoda, Hector, and Claire.

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Guest xengab

YES. What you need to do is find the RIGHT hound for you and your kitties.

 

We got our grey AS a companion to our very depressed cat of 16 years. We were upfront about our needs and wants in a dog. HAD to be cat safe was about our only set in stone need. size, sex, looks, age were all open to us. the adoption group I used chooses the dog for you, based on their many years of dog experience, cat testing and ours was fostered for a week, also in a home with cats with experienced hound people. Does he show interest in the cat, yes. He enjoys watching the cat play with toys, tail wags but he doesnt move a paw towards the cat. With one look the cat could get him on his bed and in the down position. Cats depression also went away pretty much instantly (I hope you never hear a cat scream due to depression).

 

If the dog isnt working, how far is it on the dog? Its not. If the dog doesn't fit your lift its stressful for BOTH involved. remember a dog chasing a cat can get both really hurt. IF the group your adopting from wont accommodate you on this, find another group. Safety is a must for both cat and dog.

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Guest DarkHorse

We adopted from a group that didn't do fostering, so although they did cat-testing (and ferret-testing as well!), we couldn't be 100% sure they would get along with cats.

 

There was a little interest from Dexter when we first brought Amadeus home, but Amadeus is very good at finding safe places and sticking to them, so eventually Dexter realized that if he ran towards the cat at all, he wouldn't get to see it. After that, he was fine.

 

Cole was a bit more pushy in his interest. Tycho had become used to pushing both Araley and Dexter around, so he wasn't entirely sure about this new dog who didn't respect that he was the head of the household. There were a couple of instances where we had to tell Cole "No" because he wouldn't leave Tycho alone when he was up on the top of his cat tree. After about 2 weeks, it clicked and he was fine. They do occasionally "chase", but never with any intention of biting or grabbing, just butt-sniffing.

 

Honestly, I'm of the opinion that you'll know a not-safe dog when you see one. Our friends have one, and she will not stop trying to get at the cat until she's physically removed. Even treats won't get her to stop staring at a cat that she can see but not get to. Whenever they visit with her, we lock the cats up for their own safety.

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I've spoken with GRI about the cats. They organise the dogs into either cat trainable or non cat trainable. They've been trying to find one that suits my situation. However, they did say that SOMETIMES when the pup comes out of its shell in a few weeks, it's attitude may change.

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I've spoken with GRI about the cats. They organise the dogs into either cat trainable or non cat trainable. They've been trying to find one that suits my situation. However, they did say that SOMETIMES when the pup comes out of its shell in a few weeks, it's attitude may change.

it is true that sometimes they can change after a few weeks, once they get comfortable in the home. But, in my experience, you can tell pretty quickly if there is some interest or no interest, and even if there is interest, most dogs quickly learn "no kitty" unless they are high prey, and that will be obvious from the first :)

Edited by Remolacha
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Guest Scouts_mom

My first grey hated her crate and refused to get in it after the first day--so I have never used a crate for the other greys that have come to my family. I have always had 2 cats. When a new grey comes home, the cats are put in my 2nd bedroom with their food and litterbox, and the door is closed. The grey and the cats can sniff each other under the door and get used to each other. After they were ignoring each other, I put up a baby gate with a kitty door and a door for me. I tie the kitty door shut and let them get used to seeing each other. After they get used to each other, I tie the kitty door open when I am around and let the kitties come out. They were always able to retreat to either the kitchen counters or "their" bedroom. At first I keep the grey on his leash, attached to me. Gradually as he behaves he gets more freedom until he and the cats are both loose in the house. If you have a timid cat, it can take longer. If you have an assertive cat, the dog will learn soon to leave it alone. It sounds mean, but I am a big fan of a kitty swat to the nose letting the dog know the cat is in charge and is to be left alone.

 

One error some people make is mistaking a dog's interest in a cat with being "not cat safe". Remember that the dog may have only seen a cat up close when he was cat-tested so it is natural that they want to watch and investigate the cat. As long as you can break the dog's concentration easily, this is simply curiosity, not prey-drive, and should not be corrected. If the dog's investigation of the cat gets a little too close and personal, you should intervene but again it is not cause for concern.

Edited by Scouts_mom
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At your home visit, make sure to watch the dog's reaction carefully when they are introduced to your cats, especially to your more timid one. My first grey was cat-safe, and came from a foster home that had (confident) cats without issue, but my cats had never seen a dog much less had to live with one- they were terrified and would run, which led the dog to chase and view them as prey. I ended up sending him back because neither parties were happy and he wasn't showing signs of being easily trained out of it- and with a human toddler I didn't have the time to fairly dedicate to him. A month later we had a second home visit, and I knew that Brandy was the one since she refused to even look at the cats, and would flee the room as soon as she was allowed. Three months later, and the cats will walk right by and Brandy enjoys play-bowing at them. They aren't best friends and don't like being within a few feet of each other, but they co-exist happily. As long as there is no serious prey drive when you bring your grey home, give them a good month to adjust to each other. Your cats will be stressed and unsettled, but they will get over it eventually and go back to claiming their space as their own. As soon as Brandy got a poke to the nose from sniffing too close, she instantly learned that the cats were boss (which is hilarious since they are tiny).

 

Don't feel pressured to absolutely choose between the dogs at your home visit either! If you don't feel 100% sure, there is no shame in taking some time to chew on it or meet other hounds.

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