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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20294
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with 15 years experience.
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Hello, I have got a 13 year old male cat. He has got FIV but

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Hello, I have got a 13 year old male cat. He has got FIV but is otherwise healthy. My boyfriend and I want to move togehter but he has asthma and a strong allergy to cats. One of my friends who loves cats and who had cats in the past would take my cat. She has a big house and my cat would be well looked after. As she does not live far from me, I could still go and see my cat. So for me this would be an ideal solution. However, my friend has a 5 year old dog (King Charles Spaniel) who is not used to cats in the house. Do you think the cat and the dog could get used to each other or would it be dangorous to "arrange a meeting"? I have never had any other animals, so my cat has always been "the king of the house".

Welcome. I'm Dr. Bruce and I've been a small animal veterinarian for over 13 years. Thank you for your question about Igu. This is a situation where there are unknowns as far as how these two will interact. For certain dogs and cats, they can absolutely get used to the presence of the other and have a very peaceful and happy lives in the same household. I've seen many, many, many cases where scenarios similar to yours happen and the dog and the cat get along great. But on the flip side, I've seen a few scenarios where the two parties don't get along and potentially dangerous fights break out. But, in saying that, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a breed that is pretty easy going and wouldn't be one I'd put high on the risk list. What may be a very quick litmus test is that friend bringing the dog over to your house to let him / her see how he / she responds to seeing Igu / smelling Igu in your house. If that dog is very upset and aggressive on that first interaction, then the risk factor increases greatly. If that dog doesn't get that excited, then there is a high chance that the transition can be done with minimal risk - when the introductions are done properly. Here is a great link on how to introduce dogs and cats in the home.

I would again feel that the breed of the dog is one that should be very favorable for this situation as I've always felt this breed is very laid back, social and open to new friends. Please let me know what questions this brings up.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dear Dr Bruce, thank you very much for your quick reply. Your advice incl. the article you sent is very helpful! My friend's dog and Igu have only met once very briefly. My friend was in my hallway and Lev (her dog) was on a leash. Igu came running and hissed at Lev. And Lev was a bit scared. On the other hand Lev gets excited and barks when he sees a cat in the garden and chases after it. He does the same when he sees squirrels for example. Do you think this is a bad indication? Or do you still think that there is a chance that the two could get used to each other?


I don't think this is a bad indication overall. I would honestly not expect anything less than that reaction from Igu. It can take many days to months for a cat to stop hissing at the sight of a dog. Some never are keen on the viewing of the dog their entire lives, but they put up with it. I would hope that with slow introduction / acclimation, Lev will begin to be less stimulated and more at ease around Igu. Very, very, very few times does the first introduction have no hissing from the cat or the dog being somewhat excited to see a new friend.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you so much for your advice! I think we will arrange another meeting of the two then and try to get them used to each other!