Purr-fect home needed for canine who likes company of cats
We’ve all heard of the saying ‘fight like cat and dogs’, but that’s not the case for one canine resident at Dogs Trust Kenilworth who enjoys the company of feline friends.
Staff at Dogs Trust Kenilworth are on the lookout for a ‘purr-fect’ home for six-year-old Rottweiler Finn who has lived with a cat before and spends his days in the offices at Dogs Trust Kenilworth where he occasionally spends time in the company of the centre’s two resident cats. He would prefer to be the only dog in an adult-only home, but he would be more than happy to share the limelight with a furry feline friend.
Claire Rowe, Rehoming Centre Deputy Manager at Dogs Trust Kenilworth, says:
“Often people think they can’t adopt a dog if they have a cat because they assume the fur will fly when they meet, but that definitely isn’t the case, and lots of our dogs are testament to that, having lived with cats in their previous homes.
“Dogs and cats certainly don’t naturally hate each other and can be the best of friends as long as they are introduced appropriately. Before bringing the dog home, the owner should swap the scent of each animal, and when introducing a cat for the first time it’s important that the dog is on the lead and kept calm using tasty treats. If possible, the dog be calm and quiet as that makes them less threatening to cats, especially on the first few meetings.
“The cat should never be forced into the same room as the dog and should have access to lots of shelves and escape routes in case he does feel threatened by the dog. Baby gates usually work well in allowing the cat to escape without the dog being able to follow. With proper introductions, cats and dogs can often go on to be the best of friends!”
Six-year-old Finn has successfully lived with a cat before and is un-phased by the cats who have taken up residency at the rehoming centre. He is now looking for a quiet home with patient new owners who can take things slowly with him whilst he settles.
Top tips for introducing a cat and dog:
- Always consider the cat that is already living in the home. If he has shown any fear of dogs in the past then he probably won’t like living with Finn, as sweet as he is!
- Be prepared! Ask to swap scents of the dog and cat with the current carer of the dog and rub the dog’s scent around your house. Look at your home’s layout and if there are areas of potential problems make the necessary changes before you bring the new family member home, for example make sure that your cat can access all of his resources without being followed by your dog and that he can always escape your dog if he does ever feel threatened.
- Ensure the dog is well exercised before potential meetings but avoid too much excitement and chase games around the time and location where he might be meeting the cat.
- Safety first! The use of a lead or preferably a house training line is advisable for initial meetings.
- Keep initial sessions for introducing your pets short and focus on the calm behaviour. Always let the cat initiate these meetings.
- Don’t go too fast and although you may feel they are going to be fine, an extra few sessions before allowing your dog more freedom around the house can be the difference between success and failure.
- Even if it goes well, don’t leave them together unsupervised.
- Just because they have met once or twice in the house doesn’t mean all is ok in the garden. You will need to follow the same advice in various locations around the house and garden to ensure there won’t be a problem.
If you have a cat who you think would welcome Finn into your home, visit Dogs Trust Kenilworth.