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Westies and Cats

Westies are terriers, bred to hunt small mammals and rodents. A cat qualifies as prey. When a Westie sees a cat, he is inclined to chase it and try seize and shake it.

A Westie who was raised since puppyhood in a home with a cat may see it as a companion animal. That does not mean that the Westie will recognize all cats as pets. Although "his" cat may be safe, he may see all other cats as prey.

We have received less than a handful of Westies in a year that are good with cats. The small number of our initial placements that have not worked, all have had conflicts with current cat residents. Most of the Westies we receive are older and already have an established history or reaction to cats.

Rescue Westies who have not previously lived successfully with a cat generally do not get along with a cat, particularly because of their breeding as hunting dogs. In some instances, we have also found that a dog who previously lived with a cat offers no guarantee of a successful placement, since the Westie may react positively only with its cat companion alone. Although we are aware that many dogs and cats live happily together, because of the problems we have experienced, all Westies are placed in homes with cats infrequently and then only with extreme caution in order to protect the safety of the cat companion.

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