My parents had cats for about 25 years. Last January, the cat passed away, and about a month later, my mom adopted what she's wanted all her life: a dog. I'm not a fan of canines myself, but Roxy is cute and funny and makes my parents happy, so that's good.
Now, since they've had her a year, Mom and Dad are considering getting a cat. Roxy was fostered with cats (7 of them!) and seems to respect the neighbor's cat if they encounter her on a walk. What they're worried about is the dog getting into the litterbox, or being a pest.
Some info on Roxy: she's 3, weighs about 11 lbs, and appears to be a mix of Westie, Poodle, and Bichon. She definitely has the terrier traits, and can leap up onto a 4' high table from a standstill.
So, what are things to keep in mind? Would a kitten be better, or an adult cat that has lived with dogs previously? My parents are totally open to visiting shelters, word of mouth, referred by the vet, whatever.
You generally have to prevent access to the litter box or the dog will get into it. A baby gate is generally enough. Cats are individuals so whether to get a cat or kitten depends upon the individual. An adult that is used to dogs might be a better bet but a kitten can learn to tolerate just about anything.
In my experience, Maine Coon cats are very dog-like and seem to adopt dogs as their family, or at the very least they seem to not have much fear of dogs. My MC will "cheek" on whatever dogs are nearby, including my parents' pit mix (who curls her lip at the cat the whole time he's doing it)... He also sits at the door and cries whenever the dogs go outside; my friend's MC does this also. (Mine was adopted as an adult; my friend's was a kitten.)
*friend of bar.ka
"Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"
Sixteen years ago I got a cat (Cowboy) for my corgi (Snaffles). Both were about the same age (9-10 weeks) and it worked like a charm! However, Snaffles' rough play started to irritate Cowboy when he was about 10 months old, and they grew a little apart. So, of course I HAD to get a second corgi!
Lost both corgis last year to age-related issues, but Cowboy's still going strong!
"Dogs give and give and give. Cats are the gift that keeps on grifting." –Bradley Trevor Greive
I already had cats when I got my dog so I'm not sure what to tell you there. I think I'd talk to a local shelter/rescue and see if they have a cat that gets along well with dogs. Regarding the litter box, I have to have one upstairs for my elderly cat and the dogs can get to it. What worked for me was to get a litter box that not only has a lid but has the little staircase inside. It has solved my problem. Now I imagine if the dog were determined it could get the lid off but I haven't had that problem.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Goethe