Getting a puppy and cat together
So within the span of a couple months I decided to rescue my cat, Moo, and fly home a puppy- Whiskey. I went from never having pets to being surrounded by fur. We purposefully picked up a cat-like dog (Vizslas are supposed to be cat-like) and dog-like cat (Moo was advertised as very dog-like in personality). Here are my personal perspectives on owning a dog vs a cat
-both are equally trainable to DO something. Moo is crazy for food, just as much as Whiskey is so training them both was pretty easy. Both have great recall, sit, lie down, paw, roll over, and go where I point (up, down, etc). I just spend more time training Whiskey because it’s more useful and she doesn’t make you bleed when she is frustrated.
-it seems impossible to train my cat NOT to do something. With a dog, it’s still difficult because you may not always be able to control the situation (ie, Whiskey barks when she is playing with other dogs) but Vizslas generally want to please you. On the other hand, my cat completely understands she’s not allowed to do something, but doesn’t really care about what you’d like. You need a strong enough incentive for her not to do something bad at ALL times, and we’ve so far not found that incentive yet (water spray, loud noises, scruffing, bitter taste, double sided tape, etc).
|try to train a cat not to escape….|
|training recall on the long line|
Ease of Toilet
-Cats are so much easier to potty train and you don’t need to walk them outside in the middle of the night, in the pouring rain when they need to do their business. In most cases, cats come trained and kittens learn by copying mom. Of course, you still need to buy and clean litter in most cases (we are trying to train Moo to use the human toilet so we are past the litter stage), but it’s generally easier than picking up dog poop and carrying it around until you see a garbage.
-It took about 3 months to fully housebreak Whiskey and we’ve trained her now to ring a bell, but when she needs to go in new situations or if we leave her for long periods of time, it’s still sometimes tricky.
|Moo using her toilet|
-Whiskey is actually easier to board, surprisingly. She’s really sweet and will listen to others, recalling without issues and doesn’t tend to rummage through and eat everything in sight
-Moo is only trained to me and people she knows (her recall is usually only to me) and she’s so sneaky she’s able to get everywhere she’s not supposed to go (eg: the windowsills 30 floors up). She’s also harder to deal with in terms of her getting into food on the counter and getting into drawers and shelves (so far the dog hasn’t learned to open drawers yet). Also moving her to another location is more of a problem since cats are generally territorial, and won’t immediately get along with other household pets like Whiskey does. Luckily we have amazing friends that will cat-sit Moo at our apartment and have learned to cat-proof any food.
|She’s been so easy to board|
-Because Moo is an indoor cat, there are much less vet visits or digestion problems from eating stuff on the ground. Dogs get into everything, everywhere, so more vet bills but both have been really healthy so far.
-It is far easier to inspect and handle Whiskey.
|An outdoor dog has more health problems|
-We are getting better at trimming the nails of both animals as we do it weekly with really good snacks. Only Moo will draw blood and bite but we are making progress!
-Both Whiskey and Moo love their food though Moo is less picky (she will happily eat anything from dog kibble, butter, raw anything, to slices of bread and chips). They will enthusiastically help clean pans and dishes and Moo regularly jumps into the fridge to approve of our groceries. Moo eats daintily while Whiskey inhales her food. Moo also steals Whiskey’s Kongs and enjoys them just as much.
|We trained Moo to tolerate Whiskey with lots of treats around the puppy|
|Moo stealing Whiskey’s Kong|
-Strangely my velcro dog doesn’t normally cuddle unless we’re in bed (prefers cave bed to couch) but if we force her to cuddle, she’ll tolerate us
-Moo only cuddles on her time, when she wants, where she wants (even if you are sitting on the toilet, you may be informed it’s cuddle time) though she also has the softest fur ever and never smells bad.
|both are great sleeping buddies|
|it can be slightly more uncomfortable with the dog on top|
-Whiskey is pretty clean for a dog but extremely smelly and dirty when compared to a cat
-Both will groom themselves but Moo has never had a bath (god help us if we need to), Whiskey gets a bath once a month when she starts to smell or has rolled in something foul
|Moo is twice as soft|
-Contrary to what you may think, cats need you to exercise them too! Moo needs about 15mins daily compared to 2+ hours Whiskey needs. On the plus side, we can hike with Whiskey but Moo refuses to wear a collar or a leash so we can’t take her outside.
-You can exercise Whiskey whenever is convenient, though Moo has her own schedule and may decide that midnight is time for Kung Fu practice.
|playing together (ie, Whiskey trying to avoid getting hit)|
-Whiskey plays with both cat and dog toys and regularly destroys them
-Moo will only play with feathers, string, boxes, and your newest package of food on the counter. She will also destroy them
Destruction level of home
-So far my socks and sheepskin slippers are now dog toys. Whereas all my wicker baskets, my cloth hampers, my bedframe, my blankets, my bathrug are all Moo’s. All the curtains (bath and windows) as well as the leather couch have little claw marks from climbing training.
-Whiskey will relocate items around the home, while Moo just shreds them in displeasure
-Knitting is difficult!
|both love to chase yarn|
|our bed is now theirs and require lots of washing|
-Both will meet me at the door, but whereas Moo sees it as a chance to escape, Whiskey will give me a welcome like she’s just won the lottery. There’s really nothing like coming home to a Vizsla
-I think my cat just stays with me because I have the best treats. Whiskey actually likes me (and the treats).
|Both rock our world!|
-If a poor neighbour happens to have their door open at the moment we have our door open, both pets are likely to rush into their home and immediately start exploring. Both are quite fearless and love checking out what is going on in our bags but overall I would say Moo is more curious and thorough
|And what is for dinner tonight?|
In conclusion, Whiskey is like my human daughter with floppy ears, a sweet personality, loves you to death, and totally dependent, while Moo is like a cranky elderly roomate who yells at you to feed her, has a taste of everything you eat, is totally up in your business, but is also really sweet once in awhile.