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maggiesmommy

Border collies and cats, anyone?

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My baby lives with a four-year-old male cat and they get along surprisingly well. She used to drive him nuts with herding behavior, but eventually he caught onto the "game" and started participating in it. He will run in front of her to provoke herding and then will let her herd him to his bed or to the windowsill. I couldn't tell that he was doing it on purpose until I was close enough to hear that he was purring while running away from her (and he's not normally the kind of cat to purr when stressed). They even sometimes snuggle together, which is pretty shocking considering that neither cats nor BCs are usually too enthusiastic about cuddling.

 

I've got a cat tree out of my BC's reach that my kitty can retreat to when he's had enough play time, and he treats it as his safe zone. I think cat trees are a must-have for anyone who has cats and dogs living together. I also use "that'll do" when I think she's over-herding the cat, or "leave it" when he seems like he wants to be left alone. She always stops when I tell her to.

 

I'm glad I worked out a healthy dynamic between the two of them, because my cat is prone to stress-related health problems because he has feline herpes (which is a chronic disease that comes out when cats are stressed or sick, like cold sores) and often gets cystitis when he's sick. He actually hasn't gotten outbreaks of either condition since I adopted my dog, which surprised me!


Does anyone else have both cats and BCs, and do you have any tips or experiences to share?

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Yes, I have 2 border collies, 1 cat of my own, 2 permanent fosters and my mom's cat. I do not let my dogs chase my cats. My dogs have better games to play, and it's not fair for the cat (the dog is bigger) or the dog (the cat has claws). They happily cuddle and co-exist, but in play, I believe the participants should be evenly matched - dogs with dogs and well, my cats seem to prefer to sleep. IMO, your chasing game is bad news bears.

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I have 2 BCs and 4 cats. When the BCs were puppies I let the cats intimidate them a little, so they know the cats aren't afraid of them and have weapons at their disposal. One of my cats is very doggie and initiates play often with the dogs, 2 of the cats just walk straight through and expect that the dogs will get out of the way, the last one doesn't seem to know that dogs exist. How that is possible, I don't know, but there you go. The doggie cat hunts my JRT and the JRT is afraid, very afraid.

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It depends a great deal on the dog's prey drive, I think. I had one who tolerated kittens to the point where my little orphan Tiger Lily would curl up in his tail and they'd both take a snooze. As an adult cat, Tiger Lily teased the pups when they came but as they grew she started to recognize them as potential pals. Imagine my Robin's surprise when she tried curling up in his tail while he was sleeping! He didn't hurt her but he about hit the ceiling in surprise. Brodie has been pretty tolerant as well. I think the boys would have left Tiger Lily completely alone if she had not taunted them into chasing her when they were pups. She'd smack them then take off across the yard for one of the fence posts, scramble up and laugh at them jumping about her. She stopped doing it when she realized they were no longer fat little puppies and could outrun her. Now she is very careful to not trigger a chase response when she slides by them. She and Robin occasionally snooze near each other but not on top of each other.

 

Ladybug had obviously been taught to not chase cats before we got her. Now at 14, she sometimes forgets and starts to stalk Tiger Lily but she never harms her, though I get the feeling she would have been a devil with cats if not for her training as she is a grizzly bear when it comes to small - and not so small furry critters such as squirrels and bunnies. In her salad days she even caught an adult turkey by snapping its legs when it rose up in front of her to try to fly away. She shook the daylights out of a baby woodchuck earlier this year and yesterday she tried digging her way through the car floor board yesterday when she saw another woodchuck by the roadside. If only I dared let her have a real go at them I might have a garden! We've had BCs who would "stalk the wild woodchuck" but they can really hurt a dog and Ladybug is an old girl now, though she's in pretty good shape.

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Most BC owners also have cats.

 

In my case, 2 dogs and 2 cats. The older male cat ignores the dog, and they ignore him. The younger (4 years old) female cat will sometimes run in front of the BC to initiate a chase response. When I see that going on, the dog will get an "Ah, Ah" if he decides to chase. Other times, the cat is very sweet and will try to rub up against the BC. He doesn't like and will move away.

 

I did have a short-term (thankfully) foster who was on a mission to kill cats. After a couple of weeks, I was able to call his attention away from the cats if they were far enough away, but I never trusted him (after the first 2 times when he tried to get them), and he and I lived tethered together.

 

Jovi

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I have 9 border collies and five cats (sigh). The dogs are taught that they mustn't chase the cats, but I do allow play if the cat intiates it. Calvin, who is going on 3, used to play with Kes and then also started playing with Birdie. The others more or less tolerate Birdie, and if she's being obnoxious to them I just correct her. The cats have a tree (which isn't real protection from a determined dog because it's not that tall); their main escape is the guest room, which is baby gated to keep the dogs out. I find it interesting that the cats will choose to stay around Birdie and let her hassle them some when they could so easily remove themselves from her presence. But then again, maybe they also know I won't let it go but so far.

 

At any rate, I pay attention and judge the behavior of individual dogs and cats and manage appropriately. (When the 19 year old cat was still alive, no dog was allowed to invade her space--she just didn't need to be bothered by anyone bigger than her.)

 

And although I discourage chasing, I have watched Calvin on many occasions walk up to Birdie or Kestrel outside, rub up against them and then run, as if inviting them to play. He doesn't run far before stopping and rolling over to bat at them or chasing them back....

 

J.

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We have 2 BCs (soon to be 3!) and 2 cats. They get along great for the most part. They only time Evie ever bothers the cats is when they get in to places they shouldn't be, and then she herds them out. Dexter plays great with the cats but we have to keep him away from the litter boxes or he will go digging for snacks... (Ewwww)

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We have 2 BCs and 6 cats. Some of the cats ignore the dogs, some love them and like to play with them, and 2 are quite intimidated by them. We do not tolerate any interaction with the 2 that are intimidated, we let the ones that like to play set the pace, but call a halt if it gets out of hand, the ones that ignore them are, quite frankly, ignored right back.

The cats have trees to get into, there are several gated rooms the cats can go to, and several other places high enough the cats can go to if they want to get away from the dogs.

Our cats and dogs have always played together. The cats always determine how much interaction they want.

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Funny story...a couple weeks ago I went to my grandma's house to pick up my cousins. I let the dogs out of the car when we pulled up and Meg went straight up to my aunt's little old black cat who was sitting in front of the house. This cat usually likes dogs. Meg and kitty touched noses in greeting and Meg turned to walk away. Well, the cat suddenly started running at both my dogs. The dogs, surprised, took off around the back of the house being chased by this little cat. Out of sight, I heard a yelp from Meg and then both dogs come running full speed back to the car and jump in. I couldn't get them out again for nothing. Not sure what was up with kitty, but she sure showed them. She strutted off to do whatever it is she does all day and left them hiding in the car.

 

Both of my dogs are cat friendly. Meg loves cats and seems much more comfortable meeting new cats than meeting new dogs. Bear was raised around a siamese that would swat him on the nose regularly...sometimes to keep him in line, sometimes for no reason at all. Bear generally gives cats a wide berth. He generally ignores them unless they initiate contact with him. Outside if they run he will chase, but not with the intent to harm. Once they stop running, he loses interest.

 

Our current cat, Anni, likes to walk under the dogs and rub on their belly. Bear isn't too fond of this but tolerates it. Meg loves it. Occasionally Anni will initiate play with Meg. Mostly though, the dogs have learned to give Anni her space...she'll swat at them as she see's fit, usually for no reason at all. If she's sitting at the top or bottom or the stairs, the dogs will no go past her.

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5 Borders, 4 cats. Some of the cats, particularly my little siamese female is very scared of the dogs. She sees a dog, she flees to the nearest high place. Most of the dogs now ignore the cats, except Meg, the eight month old. She is still obsessed with the cats and will try to herd them all the time. Our little ex-street kitty Lucky learned very quickly that as long as he doesn't run he's pretty safe. And as long as he isn't in my arms, Meg gets insanely jealous whenever I pick up a cat.

My grandparents used to have a little B&W farm cat that used to sleep curled up with the BC they had at that time. They blended so well together, you couldn't tell where cat ended and dog started.

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We had a BC who wasn't raised with cats. and she chased them just about every chance she got. Now we have a BC who was raised with cats and he loves them. He's always licking them, trying to get them to play ect. He and my cat like teasing each other and pretend to hate each other-the cat swats him and runs and the dog chases her barking his head off. The next second they are best buds-it is soooo funny to watch!

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2 border collies, 2 cats. (and 2 small dogs) No problems between the dogs and the cats. In fact, my male BC Jes entertains himself daily for hours just trotting circles around my black and white cat Ben, and staring at him. Ben likes it and interacts playfully with Jes. It gives Jes tons more exercise and mental stimulation than he would otherwise have, and I am convinced it will help him to live longer in good health. He is 12 now and has not slowed down noticeably.

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Keeping it sane - one dog and one cat. Would like another Border if the right one came along.

 

No issues to mention. The dog did corral the cat onto the coffee table once, and kept him pinned up there for a few minutes, until I made him stop. The hissing sounds seemed to indicate that the cat didn't appreciate being herded. :)

 

 

They get along fine now and can be left alone with no worries.

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My seven month old border collie, Mercury, and my cat, Kato, definitely have a bromance. I used to try an split them up when they wrestled, but I gave up a couple months ago. Every time I would get them separated, Kato would immediately initiate another match.

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At 13 weeks my puppy is full on into herding my three year old male cat. Laser beam stare, too. The dog is always leashed in the house (to my belt) and I keep him a safe distance away from the cat but last week I got distracted and the pup got a little too close and got a whack on the nose. My cat is a bit of an A'hole and doesn't like being touched at all so I foresee issues in the future. I don't mind the cat giving the dog a whack but I'm always afraid of the cat scratching an eye...yikes. It's too bad because the cat is black and white....... very BC looking. It would make a great picture of them together.

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At 13 weeks my puppy is full on into herding my three year old male cat. Laser beam stare, too. The dog is always leashed in the house (to my belt) and I keep him a safe distance away from the cat but last week I got distracted and the pup got a little too close and got a whack on the nose. My cat is a bit of an A'hole and doesn't like being touched at all so I foresee issues in the future. I don't mind the cat giving the dog a whack but I'm always afraid of the cat scratching an eye...yikes. It's too bad because the cat is black and white....... very BC looking. It would make a great picture of them together.

You need to be your cats advocate and not allow staring, it's only causing your pup to obsess and can quickly turn into a serious issue.

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Yes, I'm doing that now. I should have said...given the opportunity to stare..he will. Toys have a much higher value so it's pretty easy to get him onto something else.

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I have a big, male cat who's very calm and confident. The cat is mostly disinterested in Emmie, even when we first brought her home, though now he'll affectionately rub up against her when they greet. Emmie has, a couple of times, gone into stalk and chase mode with the cat, but now seems to respect him and will only sniff. The cat has smacked her a few times for being too nosy and made her yelp, that's probably why she respects him.

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