BTN 500



We are stronger together than we are alone!

  • Register

chiyochanCHRISYHEATON So you’re looking to adopt a dog, but you have one small, but often very opinionated creature in your way…..your cat.  As a volunteer for Alabama Boston Terrier Rescue, I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with many Boston Terrier fosters and help them adjust to life with a cat.

Chiyo is a 6 year old calico cat. She is pretty and she knows it. Chiyo is the boss in our house and she has lived with dogs since she was about 10 weeks old. She is 9 pounds of sass and she will always tell you, and our Bostons what she thinks. Chiyo has helped dozens of foster Boston Terriers learn to live with a cat. Chiyo is dog savvy, which not all cats will be. The benefit of Chiyo is that she probably does not remember life before dogs. Not all cats are the same just as not all dogs are the same.If your cat has never been exposed to dogs before, the adjustment period will be much different. Check out these tips for introducing dogs and cats:

*Please note, just because it works for one cat, does not mean it will work for every cat.

chiyo oncrateChristy


1. Know your cat: Is your cat already skittish? Is your cat social? It is important to know your cat’s personality. The last thing you want to do is have your cat feel uncomfortable in his/her environment. If you don’t think your cat is ready, then maybe it is not the right time to adopt a dog. There are plenty of other ways to support rescue: donate, sponsor, transport, and spreading awareness.










 2. Give your cat extra attention: Just because you are bringing a new member of your family home, does not mean you should ignore the current members. Your cat may need extra attention. Spend some extra time playing with her, or extra back scratches (if he/she likes that).






    clydeand chiyoChristy

3. Give treats!: When introducing a new dog to your cat, give them both treats! When our new fosters see the cat, I will give the new foster a treat, so that he/she associates the cat with something positive. I do the same for our cat. When a new foster comes home, Chiyo gets wet food….yum!






 i see youChristy

 4. Monitor playtime: Some of our foster dogs want absolutely nothing to do with Chiyo. Maybe it is her self-confidence that they find intimidating, or maybe her long deep stares just don’t sit well with them. However, other fosters have been drawn to her because she is new and fluffy, and fun to chase. Either way, it is important to monitor playtime. While Chiyo is a tough cat, she is also fairly small for a full grown cat. A new foster will not understand this new creature and may play too rough. Cats will inevitably defend themselves, so it is important to also watch out for your new foster dog. One quick swat by a cat when a dog is not expecting it, can do damage to a dog’s eye…..especially our squishy faced friends whose eyes are extra exposed.




 5. Be REALISTIC: If the addition of a new dog is too much stress, then it may just not be a good fit. If it is possible to have a meet and greet before adopting, then do it! Also, search for dogs that are already in a foster home with a cat. This way, you will already know how that dog does with cats.



Rescuing, fostering, and adopting are wonderful ways to help dogs in need, but remember, take care of the animals you already have and be sure to meet their needs too.