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Smidgeyy

Socialization with cats?

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So originally I joined this forum because a BC was a dog that I had wanted since I was a child. I grew up with a dog constantly in the house, usually GSDs and mixes. I'd put together makeshift agility courses for my GSD/BC mix. She wasn't fond of the idea so we didn't get far, she really had zero qualities of both breeds and was a character of her own. 

Fast forward several years... Currently I reside in a tiny apartment with two cats and a chinchilla. This is not the ideal place for any dog, so I'm continuing to wait until I relocate to a suitable home. That being said... I have concerns for my cats. I've researched the breed a lot and from people who own similar breeds - cats can sometimes be an issue. My younger guy is rather accepting of most things so I'm less concerned for him. My older guy is much more flighty... He will run if chased and prefers to be left alone. He has cardiomyopathy, so stress is a huge concern. He did tolerate dogs well when they don't bother him and he did allow some sniffs, but I just don't know if he can withstand the annoyance of a dog who is trying to herd him around the house.This cat is my first priority and I will wait as long as I have to for me to get a dog. As much as I want to add a BC to my family once I am settled, I'm a rational thinker.

Regarding the cats, I was mostly looking for first hand experience from those who have both at home. Obviously it is highly dependent on the personalities of the animals, but I'm interested in hearing all opinions. 

Thank you all in advance!

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Hi,

     I have two Border Collies and I've always had a house cat.  I had two Border Collies before these two and also had a house cat.  I've always picked a 6 month old kitten that had a strong "don't mess with me" personality.  A timid cat wouldn't work with them.  Just by circling and staring a timid cat would be put off. 

     I'll be honest, if I was in your shoes I think I'd wait to get a puppy until the flighty kitty with cardiomyopathy has passed.  If he had a "don't mess with me", personality I wouldn't be concerned.  But, being flighty combined with the heart issue I wouldn't want to risk it. 

     If you were looking for an adult Border from a rescue you could specify "must be great with cats" and possibly do ok.  Another option would be to have a house large enough for old kitty to live upstairs and puppy to live downstairs.

     I always have a spare room baby gated off that is "the cat's" room.  That way they can get away from the dogs, have their own space and I don't have to worry about the dogs getting in the litter pan or the cat food.

     Good luck with your decision

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Here are two funny pics, I refer to it as "some things never change" as the photos were probably taken about 10 years apart!

Cory and Piper 001.jpg

12-2012 018.JPG

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I have had many border collies come in and out of my home while fostering, and I always had a cat as well and only a couple of times was it a problem.

BUT having said that, my cats wouldn't run or get stressed out. If I had an older cat with heart issues who got stressed out and would run I would not even consider getting a dog of any kind until after that cat was no longer with me. It just isn't worth it.

You said it yourself right here:  I just don't know if he can withstand the annoyance of a dog who is trying to herd him around the house.This cat is my first priority and I will wait as long as I have to for me to get a dog.

Follow your own advice.

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I also have border collies and cats. I don’t let my dogs or puppies herd or pester or annoy my cat(s) from the moment I bring them home. 

Even when visiting friends and family houses with cats. They are NOT allowed to pester or herd cats even the ones who look fun to chase. 

They all get along just fine. My cat does have multiple safe rooms that dogs aren’t allowed in. She also has cat trees in every room and is allowed on counters. 

but if you’re gut is saying wait specially if he has heart issues... I would definitely wait. 

 

278DE524-F569-4B68-9C89-4CD178B3DDEF.jpeg

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I know BCs who totally ignore the cats, even when they run. If I’m lucky and can find a particular dog who will pretend he doesn’t exist, there wouldn’t be a problem.

I’ve also met ones who never leave the cat alone... So I was just looking for personal experiences in how you’ve all managed the two together. 

The cat is 9 years old, in early stages of HCM. Medication is not needed at this stage, and he’s getting annual echocardiograms to assess progression of his disease. Whether he’s going to be in heart failure next year or not, nobody knows. He might worsen quickly or he can stay how he is forever. I’m a veterinary technician and monitor his heart closely at home as well. 

He will be fine with a dog as long as it’s not chasing him around and annoying him to no end. The dogs he’s met have been okay, but they were lower energy. Like I said... I’m willing to wait. This cat comes first, and that’s why I was looking into what others have experienced. 

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If you look at rescue adults you would know if the dog is cat safe. 

Or if you are looking at breeder maybe find one who will also introduce the puppies to cats. And go with the puppy who just ignores the kitty?

I have had adults border collie introduced to a kitten(I made sure she had a strong leave it since she had a strong prey drive) and also had border collie puppies introduced to cats.

2 border collies were introduced as an adult to cats (1 from a breeder and another who was rehomed) 

2 border collies were introduced to cats as puppies. Those ones seem to adopt the cat as “one who must be protected”.

and have a terrier from rescue.

 

good luck. 

 

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We taught an adult dog who was fear aggressive to be fine around the cat. We kept her on a leash for the first few days tethered to the couch or to us when we weren't in the living room. When she was used to us humans we started to pet her and then pet the cat and switch hands so she could smell the cat on our hands. This worked very well. She understood that the cat was part of the family. Cats outside she still thought were scary.

It took my current dog a while to be relaxed around the cat, even though she grew up with cats. She just really really loves the cat and could be a bit "too close for comfort" for the cat. She didn't chase, but tried to lick the cat's face for instance. We kept a close eye on her, sending her away when she wanted to approach the cat and she eventually learned to ignore the cat, and let the cat come to her to make contact.

So I'd say it really depends on the dog and how you approach it. My current dog was (and still is ;)) a very bold pup, I know her much mellower sister never had any trouble leaving cats alone. I'd discuss your situation with the person you are going to buy the dog from, whether it is a breeder or the rescue, they can help you choose the right dog.
It is definitely possible :)

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