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Hello From Normandy, And A Question About Cats


TrishD
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Hello folks. I'm Trish, I live in rural France, and next week I'm picking up my husky crossbreed puppy, aged 11 weeks, called Cézanne.

 

He is one quarter each of Husky, Malamute, Belgian shepherd and Pyrenean sheepdog (though the grandparents might also be crossbreeds, so there could be more breeds in there). I have bought him as a companion animal to my Breton spaniel/Gordon setter cross, Zola, who is now 13. He will be crated in our living room, where we spend most of our time (we work from home and are not out much). 

 

However, I also have three adult cats - one aged nearly 20 - and would appreciate any advice on handling introductions, etc. Is the prey drive is equally strong in crossbreeds? Do I need to keep him crated or on a lead at ALL times when the cats are around? I can supervise encounters in the house but are the cats more at risk in the garden? Or do I just need to suck it and see? I've heard such horror stories about Huskies and cats that it is making me a bit apprehensive, as I love my cats very much. 

 

FYI, we have one hectare of (near as dammit) unfenced orchard, surrounded by mostly arable farmland (but also a chicken farm!), the garden is full of rabbits, and I usually walk my dog for 3km each morning either on-road or round the local lake. Is this enough for now, or will I need to add an afternoon walk to take the bounce out of Cézanne? My spaniel is old, so 3km is all he can take now in one go, though he spends most of it off-lead, quartering, so he goes a fair way, and he also runs round the garden all day.

 

I don't plan to take Cézanne off lead until he learns to come back (or possibly never...). I have bought a Halti harness for him (the type that goes round the nose), and a backpack, plus a training lead, standard collar, standard harness and a 10m tie-down tether.

 

Any advice greatly appreciated.

 

:) T

 

 

 

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Hi, it's a bit of a tricky one, as technically you can't really ever be sure that things will be ok.    Being a cross, doesn't mean that they won't inherit the prey drive so the safest thing is going to be to keep a good eye on them and don't leave them unattended together. 

We have got cats and that's part of the reason for the dog crate and stairgates scattered around the house.    There are dogs who have been raised from a pup with a cat and generally they do seem to be more tolerant of the cat they were raised with but again it's all a bit hit and miss, 99% of the time they could be fine but then in one moment the cat could get the wind up it's tail and run off, and boom husky prey drive ignited, there really aren't any guarantees I'm afraid.

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Hi and welcome to H-O . Cezanne certainly sounds like a bundle of fun :)  As for cats? I can only say that my girl and I walked by 2 cats the other day, and although they had their ears flat and hackles up ...My girl never batted an Eyelid. I was so proud of her.. but, living together ? I wouldn't like to say. We do have owners here like Emma  who have cats  and would be much better qualified to answer you ... Welcome again, to the  forum :) . Pictures please when you get Cezanne :)

Edited by Mike101
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Hi Trish and welcome to the pack :)

 

Congrats on your new addition!

 

2 of my boys were brought up with my cat and had a fair few swipes off her!  They learnt to stay away and she was most definitely top "dog".  Then we got Koda our rehome and his prey drive was / is through the roof - so different to Kimba and Kaiser - we had to watch him so much, we couldn't even go to the toilet if they were both downstairs, he did learn though after a few knocks from her and they settled into a routine - we were still so vigilant though.

 

One day things went bad and they got her :(  i sat with her as she passed away and that was heartbreaking.  I'd say never trust them, no matter how good they seem with your cats - and make sure your cats have a safe place where they can retire to xx

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Hello Trish,

I too am in France though further south than you. We have a 2 year old husky and an 8 month GSD x husky, we rescued both from the UK.

 

I can't comment on how your little one will react with cats and we don't have any but as far as the walking goes, I would strongly suggest you keep on lead and remember the little one shouldn't walk too far whilst he's young, it's to do with the strain on the joints and could cause problems later on. The rule is 5 mins walk for each month, so a 12 week old puppy is 15 mins per walk. You shouldn't 'run' him until he is much older, about 18 months plus I think, so you have lots of time to work out what type of breed he will most likely lean towards.

 

My cross is lovely, we seem to have the best of both, though the prey drive is enormous with him, more so than my pure bred husky.  I guess it's better to expect the worse and everything positive from that is a bonus. :)

 

Oh and welcome :)

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Hi Trish and welcome to the pack :)

 

Congrats on your new addition!

 

2 of my boys were brought up with my cat and had a fair few swipes off her!  They learnt to stay away and she was most definitely top "dog".  Then we got Koda our rehome and his prey drive was / is through the roof - so different to Kimba and Kaiser - we had to watch him so much, we couldn't even go to the toilet if they were both downstairs, he did learn though after a few knocks from her and they settled into a routine - we were still so vigilant though.

 

One day things went bad and they got her :(  i sat with her as she passed away and that was heartbreaking.  I'd say never trust them, no matter how good they seem with your cats - and make sure your cats have a safe place where they can retire to xx

 

Oh Sarah that's made me feel really sad :(  so sorry for you and kitty :(

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Welcome to the forum, as others have pointed out prey drive in huskies is a thing to be aware of...Champ absolutely hates cats for some reason that I can't seem to figure out, he will show interest in other small animals and pull towards them but with cats he goes crazy.  One of the reasons the rescue thought we were a perfect pair is because I'm highly allergic to cats so can't have them (I can't be in the same room with them if I haven't taken allergy meds)...but I've heard of and seen huskies who live just fine with cats, it all depends on the dog...but as the others have stated keep a close eye on them

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Thank you so much for all your replies. I feel, with great regret, that the risks outweigh the benefits. We love our cats, and we want to be able to replace our existing cats when they go. Such a shame - he is a beautiful creature - but I'm sure that someone else will want him, as all of his five siblings have been found homes. 

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My puppy is 4 months now and we have 2 older cats one runs and hides always the other stands grounds and swats at the puppy, It seems Hailey wants to just see a reaction and not so much the thought of lunch but she is young things may change

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Hi Folks. Yes, we decided against it, late last night.

 

I'm absolutely gutted, but we decided it was a risk we weren't willing to take on behalf of our cats, and that the stress of being constantly watchful would outweigh the benefits of ownership.

 

Thanks to all of you for such honest answers - as enthusiasts it would have been easy for you to defend the breed unrealistically. They are such beautiful dogs and have a lovely temperament, but we are 'cat people' of long standing - sometimes owning as many as nine at a time - and their safety has to come first. We will look instead for a spaniel cross, as our current mutt has been just perfect with the cats, and we'll feel on much safer ground. Thanks to all of you once again, and good luck to all of your animals. I envy you. :(

 

Trish 

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