Basenjis and cats

Does anyone know how to intoduce an older basenji to a home with established cats, or should one just not try?
Sharron who used to have kittys, before she discovered the joys of b's.

Hi Sharron,
I got Stormie when he was a year old, and he had never been exposed to cats before. My cats were older when I got Stormie, and they hadn't been around a dog before. I was really nervous how it was going to work out. Luckily, my cats are grouchy, and know their spot in the household - a couple quick swats on the nose from the cats was all it took for Storm to become "respectful" of the cats. I recently adopted a feral, stray kitten that was hanging around my house, and Storm gave the kitty a lesson in basenji pouncing, but has since dropped his attitude, and I've even seen them nap together. 🙂 Nikki was around 2 yrs. old when I adopted her, and she had no cat experience either - she didn't have any issues with them, she treated them like her "babies" from the get-go. I really think it's all up to the individual cat and dog - and a high range water squirt bottle doesn't hurt, either! 😉
Hope you're having a fabulous week-end and I'm waiting on the cool PNW breeze! 😉
Lorraine

Cats. Yeah. That's the one thing we have NOT been able to stop Jazzy from doing. We have two cats, one is older and is not afraid of Jazzy – doesn't like her, but doesn't {usually} run either. He has proven to be not as much fun, so Jazzy usually leaves him alone. But the younger cat -- is stupid as can be. Starts growing as soon as she sees the dog, which ensures that Jazzy sees her. And then the cat RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNS.
Well, come ON! How can Jazzy resist that? So, it is a constant battle.
We have a gate up at a hallway that leads to some bedrooms, and that is the "cat safe"area. Jazzy can't get to them there. S-l-o-w-l-y the younger cat is learning to stay in the safe zone when Jazzy is around. Honestly, if just once the stupid cat would stand her ground, or at the very least not take off as if she were prey, I think we'd make faster progress.
So, yeah, a lot depends on the individual dogs, but also on the individual cats too.
Both cats love our older dog.

Hi Sharron,

I think it can be done, but it really depends on the individuals. As Jazzysmom mentioned…if the cat is a runner, and the dog is has a high prey drive, it most likely won't work. If the cat is a stand and fight kinda guy, there is a chance. I would try it out with the basenji on a leash...you will probably have a good idea whether or not the dog is going to go to "another place" in their brain right away.

We have had as many as three cats with two basenjis at one time. But the basenjis came into the house as puppies....and the cats all had their claws. It didn't take long for the one cat (stand and fight) to teach the puppies some respect. We have only had one basenji, and one cat that could not be trusted together...the dog would be completely non-responsive to us when she saw the cat (running cat) ...she was definitely in her own primative world; we think she may have hurt him if she caught him. But he has passed on now (not because of the basenji;) )...and are left with only one cat (stand and fight). All the dogs can be around him, since he doesn't arouse their chase instinct...he is actually so old and fat now that he hasn't the desire to run...and he doesn't fight much anymore, he just sits their like a bump as the dogs check him out.

Andrea Walters
Quercus Basenjis

Thank you. This is helpful.

I had my cat before I had Talker. Talker arrived at 6 months. Although we did have some dominance issues with Talker, all in all, he left Casey alone. He was still a puppy and she is an aggressive cat even without claws. So he learned his placed. He's okay with her now and will bother her if he's bored. He just learned to get along with her because he was young and impressionable.

I agree that it really depends on the personality of the cat. My basenjis have done quite well with my cat Spot who has always acted like he owns the place. He walks confidently around the house and when the dogs are in his opinion out of line he gives them a nice big hug and then slowly extends his claws until they understand he is not pleased with them. Sparky was a runner but learned to enjoy the game of chase with Nicky once he learned Nicky intended no harm just wanted to play with him. When we got Rally things were a little different because she feels she ranks higher than the cats and is annoyed that Spot doesn't recognize her authority. They have come to a mutual agreement but there is less interaction between the basenjis and the cats now. Rally demands more of Nicky's attention. When we added our third cat Nu, who was supposed to be great with dogs, we found not only was he a runner but he totally lacked confidence and trust in the dogs. He has several "cat only" zones and completely avoids the dogs at all costs.

Lisa Voss

I have cats as well. I was very cautiious introducing Kiora to them because I did not know how she would be. I made sure there were plenty of places for the cats to escape to and kept Kiora on the lead. Turns out she is fine with the cats…but the cats are not comfortable with her yet. I'm confident that in time they'll get along great together.

😞 My cats are chased daily, and guarded from the pet door. Sahara tries to keep the cats out of the house at all costs, she is particularly hard on my 17 year old cat who is too old to move fast. Even my 7 yr. old cat who usually has attitude and is afraid of no one is chased by my Sahara. It is a constant daily battle as I have to step in and keep Sahara from hurting my 17 year old cat, it is not fair to her, she is old, does not see well, I wish they could be buddies but I don't think that is going to happen. I love my Basenji, but I love my cat also, she was here first and deserves to be left alone. If anyone has any suggestions I will surely listen and try them. Thanks so much.:D

youngandtired… does Sahara know LEAVE IT? I trained my dog that our cats are off limits by constantly enforcing LEAVE IT (rewarding when he did), and the occassional use of a squirt bottle. a very light spritz reminded Tucker that I meant business. our cats are not to be chased, pawed, cornered, or pounced on. however, if a strange cat wanders into the yard, all bets are off - and that cat is fair game. but he still respects "his" cats when outside, they are always OFF LIMITS.

I keep baby gates up in my house, and have certain "zones" that are dog free, so if needed, my cats have a place to retreat.

Jazzy knows LEAVE IT, and listens very well for anything EXCEPT the cats.
You can leave a plate of meat on the coffee table, tell her "leave it" and she will leave it. The cats, however, are a different story. A year and a half of hard work, and she just has too strong a prey drive, I guess. She won't leave them alone. It's worse with the cat that runs, to be sure, but NOTHING we've tried has worked. It's like she goes into a "zone" and nothing registers when she's chasing.
We have a baby gate up in one area of our house, blocks a hallway and the kids bedrooms, so the cats have their own free zone.

Jessi, thanks so much for your suggestions. I will try the water bottle, I have gone after Sahara with the water hose when she is after my cats in the yard. It is frustrating to me, but funny at the same time, Sahara will fly to the dog door and go in the house, turn around and put her head out of the door to see when the coast is clear. I love this dog, but she does take patience. I will let you know what happens. Thanks again!:)

I use baby gates. The hallway has a tall baby gate and the guest bathroom is set up as a cat only zone. They have their litter box, food, scratching post, and a perch there and the dogs can't get to them. I also often use a gate between the living room and kitchen so the cats can go into the kitchen and perch on the washer and dryer in that corner to get away from the dogs if they desire. The cats always have the option to stay in the main area of the house where the dogs usually are or in either extremity to avoid the dogs. The gates may not be "pretty" but they are very functional.

Yes, that's what we do, too.

The gate blocks a hallway, large bathroom {where the food and litter boxes are}, and two large kids' bedrooms. The cats actually have quite a bit of space that is totally dog-free. And between the five kids a lot of time is spent in their rooms , so there is no lack of company
They do come out from time to time and take their chances. And at night once they know Jazz is kenneled, then the whole place is theirs for about 8 hours.

Well, it happened, Sahara went after my cat with attitude, (Pepper)and she got it right in the eye. I took her to the vet the next day, she was keeping it closed, and I had to get an antibotic eye drops and something to dilate her eye. The vet told me that a cat can cause a dog to lose their eye by a scratch that goes into the cornea. She said you should keep the tips of the cat's claws short, so they can not pierce the eye. It would be easier if Sahara would learn her lesson and stop messing with the cats. Basenjis are very strong willed and stubborn, just like my 23 yr. old son and his Dad, guess that is why Sahara fits into our family so well. In the mean time, I am going :eek: haha! I took her back to the vet today and she said that the eye has healed but she has a scar, so now I have to put drops in her eye 3 times a day for 2wks. to take care of that. It's like I have another child, but all the vets and helpers love my dog, and there are only 2 Basenjis in my town, so she is always noticed, and people want to know about her, it's neat:)

I read on some website…(wish I could remember the name) that B's should never be trusted with cats. Even if they were socialized with them they could turn at any given moment because they like to hunt.
Has anyone ever heard about this? It has me concerned. I know that B's naurally like to chase but if give the opportunity...can they kill??

Basenjis have very strong prey drive.
Cats can sometimes be considered part of the pack, or prey.
You never know until its often a major issue.
If your thinking of intoducing a basenji into your home with cats, be sure the kittys are safe.
Don't assume the cat friendly basenji will be ok with YOUR cat.
Given the chance, a basenji can very well kill a pet cat.
So, please, do be very smart and careful.
Some folks are very successful with this bonding.
But it takes a lot of time and safe areas for the cat.
Good luck.

any dog has a natural prey drive, some stronger than others. My dog respects our cats, because he's been raised with them since 8 wks old, and trained to treat them w/ respect. My cats are also "dog savvy" - they won't run to provoke the chase, instead they will stay still, hide, or fight. I trust my dog with my cats completely, however, if a strange cat wanders into his path… it's game on.

How do you keep a pup from wanting to chase cats. When I had my pup, he would always want to chase the cat. The cat loved the attention and they would roll around on the floor chewing on eachother until one would either get scratched or bitten. No matter how I tried to seperate the two it just kept happening. Its as though they started off playing but it got a little aggressive in the end. How do you get a puppy to stop this. Here in a few months I will be going through this again with another basenji but would like to nip this in the bud before I have an expensive vet bill.

In 8 years of living with basenjis and cats, I have never been able to stop my basenjis from chasing the cats if they run. That said, my dogs are not intent on catching my cats as much as they just enjoy the chase. Spot walks around my house and is left alone by the dogs for the most part except every time Rio comes in from a walk she feels the need to greet him as if she hasn't seen him in years nearly knocking him over with her enthusiastic sniffing. It is only if they run that the dogs take it as an invitation to play. I do provide my cats with safe areas that they can go where they do not have to worry about the dogs and frolic in proper cat style.

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