Dogs and cats, your thoughts on my chances...(long)

CobaltBlu

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So....

I am thinking about getting a cat. Just thinking.

I live on 7 acres surrounded by wild land, and I get a lot of rodent visitors.

I have four dogs, and they do hunt, but they would frankly rather sleep. Not counting the wiener dog, of course, who is a ferocious killer.

I would like your thoughts.

Heres the situation:

My dogs used to live with two others for a total of 6. They have in the past formed a pack and taken down a goat, and several cats who came into my old yard (one acre). And some ducks who flew in, and a chicken. The goat was fine. The rest, not so much :sad:

I had cats at that time, over the years, but the dogs ran them off. They were indoor/outdoor cats, and eventually they just wandered off. I never found them dead but they did get chased. One moved across the street and the other went to live around the corner. I continued to buy their food and get their shots done.

So....fast forward to now.

The dogs are older, and I have been working with them with my chickens. I have four roosters and two hens who made a break from their pen and got into the yard a few weeks ago, and I was right there when the roosters flew into the yard.

My shepherd Gypsy was ready to take them out, but I called her off sharply, and the rest as well. I got them all on their dog beds, and they didnt budge. I was out with them all for a few hours. Even the wiener dog has learned that the chickens are off limits.

Now, several weeks later, the chickens can come and go as they please, and when they get near the house, the dogs either stay where they are or move to another spot. I have left them all alone during the day, and the chickens are fine.

I am not a fan of the chickens being so close to the house but thats another story.


Anyway, given all of that, do you think that because the dogs have gotten older and less prone to chasing, that it might be safe to get a cat again? I would probably get a kitten that is older, several months.

I need a mouser, I cant use poison because of the owls and hawks, and I know there are lots of kitties that need homes, too.

what do you think?
 

buzzytoes

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First I think it's very impressive that you have your dogs so well trained!

Second, if you are really just wanting a cat for rodent control, I would look into local shelters and see if they have any feral cat programs (trap, neuter, release). Those cats are typically already used to being outside and hunting for their meals so they might have a better success rate with rodent control. As for your dogs, you might have to do like you did with the chickens and work with them for a couple weeks but it sounds like they would pick up on the idea that a cat is off limits.
 

Sez

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I agree with buzzytoes...but one important question is how a cat would be with the chickens...you can't train a cat not to kill, and some of them aren't put off by size!
 

gazoo

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I haven't any advice but do want to tell you that I love how thoughtful you are about this process Cobalt. You're such a good pet-mommy!

p.s. My grandfather had roosters, chickens and cats. He had to keep the chickens penned up as the cats would try to eat them. The roosters defended themselves masterfully against the cats he had.
 

madamefifi

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We have trained our dogs not to chase the cats but sometimes they can't help themselves. Luckily we have a cat safety zone, a fenced-in patio the dogs can't get into. Also the trees around the house are high enough for escape but low enough that the cats can get down again on their own. Even though the cats have been indoors kitties for most of their lives they have taken to hunting small prey like the stone cold killers that they are. The field to the right of the house is all hay and is their preferred hunting ground, and the dogs can't get in there, either.

Adopting a feral or two is an excellent idea. Or, if your heart is set on a kitten, introduce the kitten to the dogs under controlled circumstances and teach them right from the beginning that the kitten is off limits. I can't speak to a cat"s chicken-killing desires or abilities, sorry.
 

littlerock

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My dad has dogs, cats, chickens, goats, horses and a llama. They all get along fine I think. It's more about the wild coyotes going after baby goats and stuff like that. It's hard to say but I think there is a way you can integrate them, especially if your dogs have mellowed out a bit.
 

CobaltBlu

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First I think it's very impressive that you have your dogs so well trained!

Second, if you are really just wanting a cat for rodent control, I would look into local shelters and see if they have any feral cat programs (trap, neuter, release). Those cats are typically already used to being outside and hunting for their meals so they might have a better success rate with rodent control. As for your dogs, you might have to do like you did with the chickens and work with them for a couple weeks but it sounds like they would pick up on the idea that a cat is off limits.
I will look into it. We dont have a program that I know of, but the Human Society is right near the transfer station, so maybe they do something like that. With a feral cat, I wont be able to socialize it in the house to train the dogs though. Maybe there is something in between totally wild and too domesticated to hunt...Thanks!!

I agree with buzzytoes...but one important question is how a cat would be with the chickens...you can't train a cat not to kill, and some of them aren't put off by size!
Hm....the chickens are pretty big, but if we let them breed some chicks....OY!!

I haven't any advice but do want to tell you that I love how thoughtful you are about this process Cobalt. You're such a good pet-mommy!
Thanks gazoo! :heart:

Never trust a Doxie my friend. :smile:
Never. And dont turn your back on them ever.

We have trained our dogs not to chase the cats but sometimes they can't help themselves. Luckily we have a cat safety zone, a fenced-in patio the dogs can't get into. Also the trees around the house are high enough for escape but low enough that the cats can get down again on their own. Even though the cats have been indoors kitties for most of their lives they have taken to hunting small prey like the stone cold killers that they are. The field to the right of the house is all hay and is their preferred hunting ground, and the dogs can't get in there, either.

Adopting a feral or two is an excellent idea. Or, if your heart is set on a kitten, introduce the kitten to the dogs under controlled circumstances and teach them right from the beginning that the kitten is off limits. I can't speak to a cat"s chicken-killing desires or abilities, sorry.
Yes, I have lots of places they could get away, including straight over the fence, and there are several. Good point.

My dad has dogs, cats, chickens, goats, horses and a llama. They all get along fine I think. It's more about the wild coyotes going after baby goats and stuff like that. It's hard to say but I think there is a way you can integrate them, especially if your dogs have mellowed out a bit.
Those coyotes are so scary! Luckily we dont have to worry about those!


Thanks for all the advice, I may do this in a month or two. We had a mouse in the hosue last night and the dogs were barking at the stove....no bueno .. :sad:
 

CobaltBlu

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You cant see in this picture but there is a dog sleeping on that dog bed...


I am working on training the chickens to stay away from the house.
 

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poopsie

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OMG! I love your chickens!


I have found that the female cats are the best hunters. My Tina Louise was abandoned by her 'people' when they moved on (they took their dogs and abandoned an unspayed female :cursing::censor:smile: I finally enticed her into the fold a few years up the road, but she had been surviving on her own for that time. I have caught her swallowing alligator lizards whole. The one time I saw her with a bird she ate the entire thing in seconds. KIKi is a terror on bugs----------she loves to do a catch and release in the house program. And my little outdoor feral Adrian is a great rodent trap. The boys are pretty much useless. ;)
 

CobaltBlu

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poopsie2 said:
OMG! I love your chickens!

I have found that the female cats are the best hunters. My Tina Louise was abandoned by her 'people' when they moved on (they took their dogs and abandoned an unspayed female :cursing::censor:smile: I finally enticed her into the fold a few years up the road, but she had been surviving on her own for that time. I have caught her swallowing alligator lizards whole. The one time I saw her with a bird she ate the entire thing in seconds. KIKi is a terror on bugs----------she loves to do a catch and release in the house program. And my little outdoor feral Adrian is a great rodent trap. The boys are pretty much useless. ;)
Ahh....I remember that about female cats. Thanks for the reminder.

If the cat and the dachshund team up, it will be amazing.

Yes, the chickens are nice looking. But we got 6 chicks and 4 turned out to be roosters. I can't bring myself to eat them, so we end up with ridiculous scenes like this.

image-2211856521.jpg

I totally freaked, but also wanted a picture. :P. I made a spray bottle with vinegar and water and set it on stream so I can spray them when they get too close to the house. They're a huge racket when I do; I think it's working...