does anyone have advice for introducing dogs to anxious cats?

izzy

New member
Joined
May 29, 2020
hi :) i have two 7 year old tortoise shell cats, one is very confident and easy going, the other is kinda anxious and mostly just feels comfy with myself, she is quite jumpy however she's been getting less timid over the last couple of years. i have wanted a dog for a long time and due to some health reasons my family is considering getting a dog so it will help me. however, clearly i love both of my cats and although i think the confident one wouldn't really care if we got a dog, i'm scared for our shy cat.
i've read in some places that dogs can help not just with mental health for humans but can also calm other animals, in which that would be really great. the best outcome would be that all the animals get on well and it could really help my shy cat if they became friends, which i think if we do it right, could be possible. obviously we wont look further if its likely that our cats wont adjust ,but if anyone has any similar experiences or advice of how to welcome a dog to our cats that would be really great :), thanku
 

CatMom1994

Rest in peace Daisy
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Location
Florida
Welcome to the forum Izzy! Thank you for posting. What are the names of your cats?

More background information will help. Where did the cats come from? Do you live with your parents? What is the mental health stuff you refer to. if you don't mind disclosing?

You need to be careful about dog breeds. Forget about terriers and dogs with a high prey drive. They would do a lot of damage to cats.
 

mechi2

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2013
Location
Canada
Could you perhaps invite someone with a dog to your house to see how the cats will react? I should also add someone with a dog that's friendly towards cats.
 

izzy

New member
Joined
May 29, 2020
Original Poster
Welcome to the forum Izzy! Thank you for posting. What are the names of your cats?

More background information will help. Where did the cats come from? Do you live with your parents? What is the mental health stuff you refer to. if you don't mind disclosing?

You need to be careful about dog breeds. Forget about terriers and dogs with a high prey drive. They would do a lot of damage to cats.
hi thankyou so much for replying :) we bought them from a friend whose cat had 2 kittens when they were about 2 months old. Mollie is the shy cat and lola is the cat who probably wouldnt care haha :)
i live with my parents and because of quarantine they will be working from home for almost a year, meaning there is a lot of time to train a puppy. I have anxiety and ocd which means i don't attend school anymore and struggle going out , which is why my parents think a dog would help me go out more and have more motivation to go outside :) i've always wanted a dog and my parents have both owned dogs before, so we're able to take care of one, the only issue is how our cats would react.
we haven't discussed the breeds too much recently but in the past we've suggested border collies (which my dad used to have when he was my age :) ) because of how well they get on with other animals and also with being calm and quite easy to train it seems like a good idea.
 

izzy

New member
Joined
May 29, 2020
Original Poster
Could you perhaps invite someone with a dog to your house to see how the cats will react? I should also add someone with a dog that's friendly towards cats.
thankyou yes that's a really good idea, after quarantine i'll see if someone's willing to let us borrow their dog😂
 

CatMom1994

Rest in peace Daisy
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Location
Florida
You will need to work with an organization that trains and certifies dogs for mental health purposes. Just buying dog training books and a "service dog" vest are not enough to qualify it as one. You can certainly train a dog to help yourself in outdoor group settings or wherever pets are allowed, but it is useless for going back to school without proof of purpose.

I think training a puppy by itself would do your mental health a lot of good. It will force you to think about something fun "right now" instead of the unlikely possibility of a negative future event. Walking and playing with a dog are not only good for the body, but also your brain. Puppies may not be very easy for a lazy cat to get along with though, so you need to make sure Mollie has her own comfortable space.
 

izzy

New member
Joined
May 29, 2020
Original Poster
You will need to work with an organization that trains and certifies dogs for mental health purposes. Just buying dog training books and a "service dog" vest are not enough to qualify it as one. You can certainly train a dog to help yourself in outdoor group settings or wherever pets are allowed, but it is useless for going back to school without proof of purpose.

I think training a puppy by itself would do your mental health a lot of good. It will force you to think about something fun "right now" instead of the unlikely possibility of a negative future event. Walking and playing with a dog are not only good for the body, but also your brain. Puppies may not be very easy for a lazy cat to get along with though, so you need to make sure Mollie has her own comfortable space.
thankyou :) we were thinking more of just getting a pet dog instead of a service dog because i think the benefits of a regular dog (daily walks, training and also the social aspect of owning a dog ) would help a lot with my mental health so the idea of getting a puppy to help me is mainly just to get help me go outside more and enjoy little things like you said :)
i've been looking into those cute cat shelves that you can put around the walls and i think it would be a good way for mollie to have her own space even if her and a dog became friendly with eachother. she climbs all around my furniture anyway so she'd probably love it 😂 thankyou for the advice, i'll update on here if we decide to get one ☺
 

mechi2

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2013
Location
Canada
thankyou yes that's a really good idea, after quarantine i'll see if someone's willing to let us borrow their dog😂
oops, I've gotten so used to the new "normal" I forgot about the keeping your distance rule
 

mechi2

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2013
Location
Canada
Yes it is. Slowly more businesses are being allowed to open but people still have to keep their distance. Lineups are long to get into stores because of the limited amount of people allowed in.
 

izzy

New member
Joined
May 29, 2020
Original Poster
hi thankyou for your help, we've decided against getting a dog, i'm a bit upset because i really want a dog but with my cats it could go either way, they could get along really well and be friends or mollie could get really scared. thankyou for helping
 

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