Are Labrador retrievers good with cats? Step by Step Guide

Are Labrador retrievers good with cats

Are Labrador Retrievers good with cats?” is a question to ask while before bringing a Labrador into the family. Yes because Labs are: Sociable as well as naturally friendly, not territorial, easily trainable, and not aggressive. As cats and dogs have long been observed as natural opponents, it isn’t astonishing that several people are afraid that their cohabitation could cause potential disaster. Although Labs are usually known for their amicable behavior, it may look like they could be a great fit in a cat lover’s household.

The important thing to a smooth friendship knowing how to approach their living situation from their initial introduction to living together permanent. In this latest article, you will explain how to make the relationship among your Labrador Retriever as well as cat work from their first introduction.

We will explain how to introduce their affiliation depending at which phase of their life each of your companions are at. You will also get knowledge about some tips that can help make the procedure smoother and let you to enjoy a pet-happy family. 

Research shows that Labrador Retrievers’ personality traits are more influenced by their working status, with gundogs showing higher scores for fetching tendency and trainability than showdogs or pets.

Are Labrador Retrievers Good With Cats?

When we talk about the cohabitation of dogs and cats, the situation and nature of the animals can play an important factor, so can the dog breed too. Although there are some canines that will be aggressive towards felines, Labrador Retrievers can do well with cats. 

When the situation is handled in the right way, you will be able to have your Labrador and cat to form a loving bond or peaceful understanding, at least. 

Additionally, as of 2021, the AKC rated Labrador as the most popular dog. Labradors are recognized for their sweet as well as gentle nature, these dogs like making new friends and live splendidly with other animals.

Why Labradors Get Along With Cats?

Why Labradors Get Along With Cats

Are Labradors good with cats? Although you know the answer is yes, but you may be thinking why. The reason that these dogs can easily get along with cats has to do with the particular traits related to the breed.

These features can decrease the chance of issues and also help to make the change more smoothly. Let’s have a look at some common traits associated with Labradors that can make them an excellent breed to live with felines.

1.      They are friendly

Labradors are recognized one of the friendliest dogs. They like to get attention from both people and other animals. The majority of Labs will approach other pets with interest instead of fear. Furthermore, they like to make a new friend when they can.

2.      Labradors are not territorial

Another characteristic of Labradors that can make it stress-free to introduce them to felines is the fact that they are not territorial.  They do not get jealous and are glad to share the space in the home with cats.

In numerous cases, they are not even defensive over their food, which can be great if your feline decides they need to try something new.

3.      You can train them easily

Labs love to entertain their owners, which makes training easier compared to other breeds. Meanwhile, they can be efficiently trained, they can dominate over their chase instinct, which can occasionally be caused by a running feline.

Getting impulse control can make the introduction more relaxed for the cat, which can create a peaceful existence.

4.      Labradors are not aggressive

Although any dog can be trained to be violent, Labs by nature are not. They can occasionally be high-strung, but infrequently will attack unprovoked. In several cases, they won’t even attack if aggravated and often can differentiate the difference between play fighting as well as an attack. This makes it a safer condition if you take home a playful cat.

When to Introduce a Labrador to a Cat?

Labradors With Cats

When it comes time to appropriately introduce your Labrador to a cat, timing is the whole thing. Although it is possible to introduce any age Labrador to any age cat, you will have great achievement by introducing an older Labrador retriever to kittens or your older feline to a Lab pup.

You may be pondering, are Labrador pups good with cats? It may look weird if you have an older cat and a high-strung Lab pup, but the truth is they can live together rather well.  While Lab puppies have a lot of energy, and it might seem to stress the feline out in the beginning, their young age makes it simple for them to adapt to the condition.

Why Do Labrador Pups Get Along With older cats?

Younger dogs are easier to train as they have to be set in their ways. If your older feline is dominant, a Labrador retriever puppy will pick up quickly the fact that they are not at their best of the food chain in that family. They can learn how to provide the cat with space, what it likes as well as dislikes, and how to cohabit with them in the family.

Labrador retriever puppies will also be more receptive to your supervision, not only through particular training but also through your activities. They will observe that you love and admire the cat and will do the same to gain your favor.

Along with the ability to better learn and adjust to the situation, an older feline might be less frightened by the Lab puppy than they would of an adult Labrador.

Why Do Older Labrador Retrievers good with kittens?

You can also discover that introductions can become easier on the contradictory end of the spectrum too, by introducing an older Labrador to young kittens. As discussed before, Labradors are not territorial animals when we talk about other pets; thus, although they are established in the family already, they will not consider the addition as much of a intimidation.

Besides, the size of kittens rather than the size of an adult Labrador will take any nervousness out of the condition on the part of the Labrador retriever. One more reason Labradors are good with kittens is that they are full of fun even once they are older.

Female Labradors particularly will accept mothering roles with young pets and might see young kittens as a puppy. As for the kittens, they have not learned to make dogs panic by this point; therefore, the size of an adult dog will not scare them.

They are also likely to return to the Labrador’s friendly nature and since kittens tend to be social.

How to Introduce a Labrador to a Cat?

dog and cat

There are some best approaches that are not exceptional to Labradors, or even puppies for that matter. What might be different for you is if you did not introduce two into your household, and only have familiarity with other animals.

Depending upon what I found, I was able to combine this down to 6 practices. Those are given below:

1.      Always Be Present

In the start, it is extremely significant that you are present for each collaboration. This is important emotionally for the Labrador in this interaction. As listed earlier, they aim to entertain. Knowing that you are there and admire the cat’s existence in the home is important to keep them at comfort.

If there is any situation that might have a bad interaction, it would be the possibility a new animal in the home without the existence of her Master.

2.      Neutral Location

Selecting a neutral spot at the house is also vital. This decreases the chances for any territorial drives to take over. Although some of that will still be existing, it would be keen if you selected a room where a pet crate is kept.

Usually, a kitchen or large bathroom can be a good space given that you open the doors!

3.      Don’t Grasp the Cat!

I believe this one is noticeable, but cats can be the more nervous of the two throughout these interactions. Unluckily, many owners have specified the roles contrary to the long run, though!

So, holding the cat would not be suitable as it can result in injury via very sharp claws!

4.      Utilize a Leash

It does look a little biased to say to not hold the feline, but to set a leash on the dog. But, the leash should only be considered if a suggestion is given that things can get out of hand. Best approach would be to let the leash to be a bit loose.

Although your Labrador is likely numerous times bigger than a feline, it is significant that they don’t feel worried or trapped and not capable to defend if they feel the need.

5.      Give a Cat Room to Escape

If you are bringing a cat to the home first time, it would be perfect to give a cat a chance to discover the place first. We need him to feel relaxed with the surroundings and to know that protection is within reach. When frightened, cats can go high. If there are stages or counters that are within space this would help. While doing this in an isolated room, the door should remain open.

Should this cause the feline leaving before the introduction occur- so be it. It will not be a good experience if he is forced in contradiction of his will.

6.      Allow Them Both to Defend

This might be the most interesting part of the whole introduction. You will have to keep an attention on them during the whole time, and this will test your deciding skills! Similar to a referee in a fight, you might have to know when it is suitable to let them to cross the limits, and when to call it.

In case of cat, you will see some whacking. If he has been declawed, at that time the worry of scratched eyes must be minimal and it is perhaps okay to allow it. This obviously depends on your Labrador’s reaction. Labrador’s typically tolerate this, though it might startle them.

With your Labrador retriever, sniffing their snout out against a feline should be predictable. This can be met with some whacking. Again, you will have to control this cautiously. Any roaring or hissing are normally signs that things are heading south, and you must be ready to take a break and return to it later.

What Precautions To Consider While Introducing Your Labrador to a Cat?

lab with cat

Keep in mind, even the sweetest pets can act aggressively once they feel helpless, and it can be difficult to govern what they might consider a intimidating act. Due to this, it is significant to always take safety measures while introducing your Labrador to a cat.

Always begin with having one of the pets controlled and have the ability to lock up at least one of them if the requirement arises until they have had appropriate time to form a relationship with one another.

Ensure your cat is always happy

It is also essential that your cat always holds an escape route. Even the least discomfort can make a cat wary, and they can try to flee. If they do this, then don’t chase them and bring them back. Otherwise, wait for them to relax to try one more session.

If your cat needs to leave and can’t, it might begin to attack. Don’t be deceived by their small size. A feline can claw at your Labrador’s eyes, leaving them forever damaged.

Avoid introductions nearby children

Another safety measure to take is to never do the introduction procedure with young children around. Kids can add to the nervousness of the condition and make it distressing for the pets. There is also an opportunity that one of the pets could become aggressive with the child, possibly causing an injury.


Can Labrador retrievers chase cats?

Usually, Labs are not a high prey drive dogs, but they can still chase cats or small animals. Some labs have more prey drive compared to others. So, it is quite significant to introduce your Labrador to cats at an early stage.

Do Labs like kittens?

Normally speaking, Labradors are friendly and have a great personality. And that makes them more expected to behave well around felines, even forming a close connection. But to support a friendly atmosphere, pet owners should plan their new animal’s arrival into the home carefully.

Final Verdict

Labrador Retrievers are the perfect breed if you plan to bring a cat too. Their disposition and characteristics make them good mates for other pets, and their friendly nature makes them want to look for new friends.

Always start slow, and don’t give up. Although some Labradors and cats will become fast friends, for others, it might become longer. Be persistent and take the appropriate steps to make sure a successful as well as happy family.

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