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My husband loves our labs very much and also does like cats. I wouldn't mind another pet but wonder if this would work out with the dementia setting here. You would think we should simplify but I am undecided what to do. One breath he says yes, a kitty would be nice and also follows up with we have 2 dogs we love. I am starting to think he has a sounder mind than I do. I could use some advice from those of us who live in a similar situation. Thanks.

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Personally, I wouldn't do it. You already have 2 large dogs and as hubby's dementia starts to advance, you will find yourself devoting more time to him... thus not being able to give the time to the Labs. Depending on the dog's ages, you will also be dealing with their age related declines, too.

Last weekend I found a lost cat, who was about a year old. Thank goodness I found his owner, as I was thinking if this cat didn't have a home would I adopt him. Then common sense set in... cats can live to be 20 years old, so that would mean I would be 90. The cat could outlive me, then what? I have no children, nor siblings. It wouldn't be fair to the cat. Plus I already have 3 cats, all of whom are considered elderly seniors, except for one who is 15 years old going on 2.... he still has a lot of kitten in him, thus a handful to deal with.
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Pam - my neighbor across the street has three mini dachshund, I was talking to him about me wanting a third dog, to which he replied "be careful, three makes a pack". He said at three or more the pack mentality kicks and the personalities of previously sweet, gentel dogs can change. Hmmm, into cat bullys maybe?
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Who initiated the thought of another pet? If it was your husband..! Surely that speaks for itself? I'd guess in that case you can just confine the idea to 'wouldn't it be lovely' type conversations, which would at least give you something to talk about that you know he can relate to, without ever actually acting on it.

But if it was you, and you really really want a cat, then get a cat. The dogs will not kill it - tsk, Pam, you heartless woman! - provided they are properly brought up and you use some common sense about keeping the animals separate when unsupervised until the cat is well established in the household.

I'm not being funny: have you considered a canary? If your husband is yearning for something he can interact with close up, it could be an answer. You'd be amazed how much personality a creature that only weighs an ounce or two can contain. Minimal work, and not a long-term project, sadly, on account of their average life span. Make sure your husband can't open the cage unaided. He'll get more attention from it if you only keep one; though from a bird welfare point of view it would be preferable to get a pair. I'm not generally a fan of keeping birds in captivity, but these are bred to it and know no more of the wide open spaces than the typical inner city child does. Something to think about, anyway.
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No don't do this. My Dad has dementia that has slowly worsened over the past couple of years. Your husbands care needs are going to increase. Don't make more work for yourself. You need to start simplifying life and a house full of pets and dementia ain't gonna be simple.
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We have two small dogs that we adore and a cat that has decided she only wants my hubby for company and won't leave his man cave downstairs - she's 15 so maybe cat dementia? Anyhow - I totally understand the pull of wanting to add to your furry family - there's nothing like the complete unconditional love of a dog, in my opinion. Every now and then I find myself thinking "wouldn't it be nice to get a new puppy"? But thankfully common sense kicks in and I remember piddle puddles, chewed up furniture, walking, potty breaks, vet bills etc. and the urge leaves me. Like stated before- you probably don't need any new added responsibilities right now...unless you can train one of the labs to change a litter-box?
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When my aunt was a child, she hugged a kitten so hard that she choked it to death. From my experience with someone with Alzheimer's, I believe a person with dementia might have the same lack of understanding what could happen.
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Have you ever considered adopting a senior cat or dog? There are so many available. My beautiful maizey girl, a rottweiller/alaskan malamute cross came to me at the age of 15. She lived to 19 and was a wonderful dog. Senior animals are hard for shelters to place as everyone wants a puppy or kitten, but they can be just as or even more loving and fun. As a bonus, they often come already trained, and are usually more mellow and willing to hang out and chill with their owners rather than running you to death as puppies or kittens. Shelters usually consider pets "senior" over the age of 8...just a thought...


Angel
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The less pets, the better when it comes to dementia. Think fall risk.
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Excellent advice above. I would add that even though pets are wonderful and likely help many seniors and those who are disabled, you never know what behavior a person with dementia will develop as they progress that can cause a problem with the pet.

My cousin's dementia caused her to obsess about her cat, whom she loved dearly, to the point that it was unhealthy. Her obsession with the cat made the cat very agitated and unhappy. She began to spray all over the house and not use the littler box, which I think likely was due to stress of living with a person with dementia who was unpredictable and anxious. I had to return the cat to the no kill shelter where she had adopted it from.

I realize that not all dementia patients go through that stage, but it does happen.
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My Husband, who is 18 years older than me, has Dementia. I have a loving Cocker Spaniel whom my Husband and I are in love with. Lately I've found myself wanting a cat, but I know it isn't a good idea. I've come to realize it's not a cat I really want, what I want is to not be so lonely in my own home. I was thinking another thing to love would be the answer. I finally figured out what I really want is my sweet Husband "back". Once I figured this out I found I no longer needed a cat. Think about the real reason you want a kitten and you may find you want the same thing I do.
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