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Are you planning on getting another fur baby into your family? If you have a cat and want to get a dog like a Labrador retriever, you need to make sure they get along. It makes you think, “Are Labrador retrievers good with cats”?
There are many types of dogs, and they have various temperaments. You can find dogs that love being with other animals, while there are others who want to be alone.
Do you want to make sure you’re getting the right breed of dog for your family and your other pets? It’s also best to know if a Labrador retriever is compatible with other family pets you have.
Read on to see what Labrador retrievers are like. Are they the perfect fit for your growing family?
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Labrador Retrievers Are Friendly, but Are They Okay with Cats?
Labrador retrievers are best known to be very friendly. But it also depends on the pets themselves if they want to get along. Dogs also respond to cats’ behaviors and will chase them around if the cats act scared.
The great thing about Labrador retrievers is that they can learn over time. The longer they live with the cat, the more they realize that it isn’t prey.
There may be cases where Labradors chase smaller animals, but they are not prey-driven. The urge to hunt for prey also differs in every dog.
If you feel like your Labrador is preying on the cat in an unnecessary manner, dog training is needed.
A proper introduction is a key to both animals meeting each other for the first time. The earlier you let them meet each other, the better. It’s important that you give both animals space to adjust themselves to.
Monitoring Early Interactions between Your Pets
As the owner, you are responsible for standing between your pets. You have to make sure that they don’t harm each other. Your pets shouldn’t feel stressed or intimidated with the new fur member of the family.
Pay attention to how both animals act around each other. A cat’s usual reaction to seeing someone new in their territory is to hiss at them. In some cases, cats may also smack and run away from bigger dogs.
These interactions are unavoidable since dogs tend to step over or irritate cats. Labradors themselves are unaware of how big they are in comparison to felines. Adult Labradors can stand at two feet at the shoulder. They can also weigh about 55 to 80 pounds.
In case you see signs of tension, separate the pets. It’s not good to aggravate either pet as they will only resent each other. You don’t want a stressed cat or dog howling all throughout the night because it’s anxious.
Should You Train Your Cat to Get Along with the Labrador First?
Sometimes the answers to the hardest problems are simple. In this case, you can begin with making sure that your cat gets used to the Labrador.
Cats want freedom and safe spaces. This is why you should prepare safety places for your cat if it wants to run or hide from the dog. Cats love observing from afar and determining if the situation is safe for them to come out.
Give your cat a low and hidden spot in the house where they can sneak under. In other cases, you can also give them a higher hiding spot where they can observe the dog. If you have an extra room at home, make it dog-free for the moment.
Make sure that your cat has its essentials nearby. Things like its food, water, and litter box have to be in places they can access in safety. If you have baby gates, you can use them to separate the cat’s space in a temporary manner from the Labrador.
Preparing Your Labrador Retriever to Meet the Cat
The first meetings are always the toughest. But you can avoid problems when you prepare both your pets from both sides. There are things that you can do to help your Labrador become more understanding with the cat.
- Get them leashes to help control their urges on pouncing on the cat.
- If you still have a puppy that’s too small for leashes, get a harness.
- Introduce the Labrador to your cat while it’s on the leash. The leash is there to control the puppy and not scare the cat.
- If it helps, enroll your Labrador into obedience training. Make sure they learn simple commands. This is so that you can stop them from making sudden gestures towards the cat.
There are also other simple things you can do, such as making the pets familiarize each other. Sometimes there are pets that bond with the food they eat. There are others that love sharing beds and napping together. You might even find a playtime activity that both your cat and dog could enjoy.
Things Take Time but It’s Worth It
It’s normal for things to take time to settle down. The important thing is you have the patience in introducing your pets to each other. There will always be stubborn cats and dogs, but there are also loving ones.
You might find yourself surprised one day to see them start to get along. There are countless Labradors and cats that become best friends, and yours can too!
So are Labrador retrievers good with cats? Yes, they are, and they are among the best dog breeds that get along with cats.