Adult Basenji and Adult Cats

  • Although I am new to the forum, several of you know I am looking for a new Basenji to add to our family after saying goodby to Snooper last month. (Many thanks to all who have offered their condolences!) However, I may have a complication I had not considered before. To tell you a little more about our family, we also have three adult stray cats who wandered into our lives at one point or another. We didn't have the heart to hand them over the the local humane society or to leave them outside during the winter months. So, they are now three very lazy house cats. (But, three cats do not equal one Basenji!) I was talking recently with a Basenji owner in Oregon who is trying to find a new home for one of her Basenjis, but felt our cats would be a problem. I also was about to drive to Waynesboro, PA to check on a Basenji at the humane league there. (My heart went out to little Roxy!) I planned to drive down to see her this past weekend, but found, when I called, she had already been placed. But, the conversation with the Oregon owner does give me pause. I decided I needed the advice of the forum before I go any further. Unfortunately, South-central PA seems to to have few options when it comes to Basenji puppies and I would love to help a dog who needs a new home. However, do I need to wait until I can locate a puppy in order to have things work with Mittens, Meeko and Meesha?

  • There are several Basenjis that I know of that do quite well with cats. It is something that you need to clarify first before adoption. With BRAT Basenjis that are avaiable, they know from their screening process if that Basenji is likely to get along with cats or has had "cat" experience.

    While you might not find a puppy exactly in South/Central PA, there are breeders on the East Coast states that you could try. Just go to and then seach breeder referral.

  • Good luck on finding another B companion for your home. I would just explain when you are looking at a B that you have cats and need to find a dog who has been raised with cats or is cat friendly. They should tell you if the dog has cat experience. Kind of just like looking for a B if you have kids.

    Here is a dog in New Jersey who likes cats from BRAT

  • I had a cat with my first two basenjis, and Trog was raised in a house with two cats and 3 basenjis. It depends on the dog, and the cats.

  • And my friend Jeff successfully introduced three adult Basenjis to 2 adult cats. It took lots of patience and time because the Basenjis were total cat chasers, but he did do it. Now the Basenjis and the cats all sleep in one pile, so it can be done.

  • My Basenjis both thought cats were for chasing when we moved to the farm. I had to convince them otherwise, but they did tone it down a lot. Since the cats I "inherited" came with the place, they were barn cats, so getting along in the house wasn't an issue until I had one inside because of illness, but by that time the girls had decided there was a difference between "our" cats and any strays that happened along. Agree, with time and patience it is usually possible…...or you can just dedicate different areas of the house for different species when you aren't around to supervise. My friend who has JRTs has no difficulty with a mixed cat/dog group when she is around, but one of her dogs killed a barn cat in her absence. She didn't make that mistake twice! Strict separation does the trick when she can't monitor the situation.....

  • There are also breeders in OH that have puppies this year. Check on the BCOA website for the list of breeders in each state.


  • Basenjis and cats CAN work, but it is something you have to work on. We only have one cat now, she is 18, and she spends most of her time on a 'cat tree' in the front window. When she does wander around the house, I do keep an eye out for her, just in case. But Kipawa just seems to want to lick her! I know that is his idea of bonding, because he licks my feet every night before we all go to bed (in the same bed!).

  • Becca is a licker too. Arms, legs, backs….whatever is exposed. Are all B's lickers?

  • @krunzer:

    Are all B's lickers?

    I would say yes, if you are wet. Haven't had one yet that didn't want to "help" dry me off when I get out of the shower. But none of mine have been kissers or face lickers. Hands and arms, yes. I taught a couple to "give a kiss" and they would, but reluctantly. However, my second bitch would get into a mood and proceed to "clean" me, and then the face…..eyes, ears, nose, anything where there might be lots of attention. My current boy will not lick on the face at all.

  • when suki was about 16 mos.,.

  • Thanks for the input everyone! I will keep my options open. Snooper and the cats were never a problem. But then, he grew up with Mittens, our six-toed gray. They would often sleep within a paw's length of each other. I will definitely keep adoption in mind as we search for the right addition to our family. Thanks again! Barb

  • I don't think all B's are lickers.. Oakley will help me dry off but hates affectionate kisses, he is obscenely attached tO me but kissing my feet, Arms, hands etc are out of the question! How dare me if I ask for a lick or a kiss…
    But he does accept love and rubs but only if they are for him, he is ALL for receiving love, just not giving it

  • Ayo grew up with my two cats I the apartment, but he has never really gotten along with them. I don't know, maybe I didn't do it right. But he has always been a chaser, and he would chase them all e time. the male cat Luca, is big and brave and always stands his ground and fights back, which scares me because he can hurt Ayos eyes!. The female is a Siamese, Frida, and she is very shy and always runs away, so Ayo gives her a really hard time. I have not been able to make it so that they are together and calm. my solution has been keeping the back, laundry area and service room off limits to Ayo, while I'm home during the day. The cats are back there sleeping all day anyway, and at night, Ayo is in the bedroom with me so the cats have the rest of the apartment for themselves. Which is when they are most active anyway. They also have the apartment when I am not home, because either Ayo is in a separate room, where his crate and things are, or he is away with me. I wish I could have made it work though..

    Oh and he is a licker.. Especially if my hands or feet are wet… Loves to lick my legs when I come out of the shower.

  • Both of our B's love to play 'chase' with our 2 cats, but as odd as it may seem it is the cats who will initiate the 'game'. Most of the time the four of them get along very amiably. Mr Baroo has been with us for a year now and has exibited a very strong prey drive when outside, he has caught and killed a large buck rabbit and a very big opossom, both of which were inside our fence. I'm not really sure why, or how, he is able to differentiate between our cats and the wild game that intrude in his space, except for the fact that the cats never go out into the yard. Nap time is a comical time, 3 dogs, 2 B's and a Shiba Inu, and 2 very independant cats all curled up on our bed.

  • Bitty, (Itty Bitty Basenji) has been a kissy girl from the first day we had her which has been a bit of a problem as Karin does not like to be kissed on the face and I on the other hand love it when she does it to me. Mr Baroo, on the other hand will not kiss either of us but loves to cuddle and sleep with his head on either of our knees.

  • Just adopted a two-year-old black/white basenji named Zimir. We just brought him home last night. So far, so good with the cats. Two of them are totally keeping their distance. However, Mittens, our oldest gray has already established himself as alpha. One swipe to the nose and Zimir is keeping a respectful distance…at least for now. He has not been through basic obedience training, so that is my first objective. Wish me luck! He seems to be a very sweet dog.

  • Congrats Bhundertmark! How is he settling in at his new home? He will eventually figure out that cat claws mean business. Good luck to you with your new B.

  • Zimir is more comfortable with the house. However, I was wrong when I said basic obedience training is the first objective. The first objective is housebreaking! He's okay with peeing outside, but has twice come inside from a walk and then pooped! Most of the housebreaking articles are all about puppies, but I suppose some information is better than none. I guess it will just take time and patience!

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