Hi there ladies! I needed to ask a non-biased group of folks this question, and thought you guys may be my best bet!
Put yourself in my shoes for a minute. You had one dog, two cats. They got along ok enough, however one cat was pretty timid around dog. He would interact with the dog, and come out to get attention/play with us humans as he saw fit. We adopted dog #2 in June, and he has a pretty big prey drive. He chased the timid cat once, and now timid cat is even more timid! He never (neverrrr) comes out of his safe space voluntarily (safe space being the basement - baby gate at the top of the stairs so the dogs can't get down). He doesn't even come up the steps at all. He's scared to death. This hasn't improved at all since adopting new dog.
They animals are supervised whenever they are together. When we are unable to supervise them 100% - the cats go to the basement (finished) with door shut, and the dogs stay upstairs. So...when we're at work, sleeping, or busy doing work somewhere in the house - the cats are in the basement/dogs upstairs.
DH wants me to get rid of the cats, or put them outside. I'm working hard to avoid that situation, but part of me does think timid cat would be sooooo much happier in a different environment.
The cats have been together for 3 years - I'd feel terrible separating them (although they don't seem all that bonded, really). The other cat is more outgoing, and is fine with the dogs, and is not scared.
Should we keep doing what we're doing...? Or should we start to think about other living arrangements for the cat(s)?
DH thinks it's "cruel" to keep the cats in the basement. But I think it'd be more cruel if our new dog killed one of the cats when we weren't watching. I also think it'd be cruel to "rehome" a cat, and possibly have it end up at a shelter and euthanized.
So...what I really want to know...do you think its cruel to keep a cat safe, if that means confined to a certain area of your house?
The cats currently do not get out of the basement every day. On days I work 16 hours, they're in there all day. DH is not on board with helping at all, and to be honest - I wouldn't trust him to supervise dogs/cats together, anyway. To him the cat/dog problems are my problems.
Give me your thoughts, ladies!!