It seems they can be if the cats run from them. Jonny has been around a cat and the cat did not run so they were fine together, keep in mind it was a visit, not living together. I have read from others, that they can live well together. Go to the BRAT site, and if you read the biographies of each dog, it states if they are cat friendly or not. The basenjis on that site live with the foster parents and are tested for various behaviors, if possible. Not all of them are, but it states if they are or not. It is very informative. Check it out and that might help.
Hi Amy. It's great that your looking to adopt a basenji who needs a home. Since basenjis are sighthounds they tend to chase anything that's small and darts out in front of them…kinda like my cats do when they are playing. I have a three year old who came from a breeder as a puppy who is fine with my three cats but he has always lived with them. On the other hand, I've had several fosters come through and they haven't had any problems with the cats although I would have only trusted one of the fosters at home alone with the cats. The other two have had a tendency to want to chase them. You can find a basenji through BRAt that has lived with cats but the other poster is right...just be patient because not all b's that are being fostered play nice with kitties :D.
Good luck with your search. BRAT is a great organization with lots of great volunteers who can help you find a basenji...that will also get along with your cats.
Hi Amy, thanks for doing research prior to getting a dog!
I have 2 cats but one is very basenji savvy and ignores them most of the time. My second will not leave the basement for fear of the dogs and that is after a year. Some have success, some do not.
We gate our cats so they can get away from the dogs if they are too much for them. If you do look at BRAT, they specifically ask how the dog is with cats. If the foster has cats, they can evaluate them.
Breeders sometimes also have adult dogs in need of homes. I am sure some have been raised with cats and are probably the best suited for your home.
Either way, I am pretty sure your cats will not be thrilled at the intruder for a while.
Good luck in your search. The more requirements you have the more patient you will need to be in your search. How well basenjis do with cats depends both on the basenji and the cat. I have 4 basenjis and 2 cats. All of basenjis get along fairly well with my eldest cat, though 1 of the basenjis is not his biggest fan, but they all do well. My other cat doesn't care for the dogs, he is not comfortable around them and opts to spend his time in the dog free areas of our home. When I had 2 foster cats staying here, they both got along great with 3 of my basenjis but the 4th thought we were at our cat limit and we didn't need anymore. We have always been able to arrange our house so that cats and basenjis are happy and safe but it does take some management.
Amy - I am not sure where folks get the idea that Breeders don't have dogs in need. Many breeders have animals whose owner has died, animals that for whatever reason didn't work out in their first home, rather than ending up in a rescue organization, those of us who are committed to the breed - take them back and try to find new homes for them.
Getting a dog from a breeder is not a bad thing - you would still be helping a dog AND as an added bonus will have some knowledge of the history of the dog from a basenji savy person.
So expand your search a little and I think that you will find the perfect companion waiting for you!
I have a 4 month old Basenji puppy - she tries to play with my cat - the cat really hates the dog, and hisses, growls, spits, and generally claws her every time the dog gets close enough - I don't think my dog wants to hurt the cat, but she certainly views it as a plaything, and so far hasn't gotten smart enough to stay away from it even though she has gotten the bad end of every encounter. Of course, she's 15, and perhaps that's the reason she isn't giving the dog a chance - I cannot see this situation changing, so be careful - maybe an older dog with less puppy antics would be better for your cats to accept.