10 Things You Should Know About Labradors and Cats

Fortunately, many Labrador Retrievers are well-behaved around cats and are friendly toward cats.

However, the truth is that not all dog breeds are good with cats. By the way, not all cats are good with dogs either! Don’t forget that either.

However, there are measures and steps you can take to ensure that cats and Labs get used to each other well.

There are good and bad friendships between Labradors and cats. We see them every day in pictures and videos. There are snuggling cats and labradors who sweetly share the sleeping space. But there are just as wild hunting scenes between the two.

Why is that? Why do some dogs get along well with cats and others don’t?

Intelligence, breed, and socialization all play important roles in whether your dog will tolerate a cat as a roommate.

#1 Intelligence

Just as humans can have different types of intelligence, so can dogs.

Some dog breeds, like Labrador, consistently score high on a type of intelligence that can be described as working intelligence. You could also say it is a human-related intelligence because Labradors like to “work” for humans.

So the challenge in getting used to the cat is that your Labrador at least accepts and ideally learns to love the new family cat as a member of its pack.

#2 Breeds

The breed is another important factor in predicting how well a dog and cat may (or may not) get along.

Labradors have been bred as retriever dogs for generations.

They generally do not hunt alone, but instead, accompany a human hunter and assist in locating the downed prey. They are now mainly house and family dogs. Their hunting instinct is relatively low.

Labs have also been selectively bred and trained not to bite too hard. They hold objects, be it a prey animal, a ball, or a playmate, "gently in their mouths." So they don't bite into objects like some other races.

Well-bred, well-trained Labradors also tend to be laid-back, family-oriented, and playful. This can work great if your new cat is a social type who likes to play along.

#3 Training and socialization

Even considering your Labrador's native intelligence, the most important aspect of canine-feline family harmony is socialization from an early age.

Many experts say the best time to socialize a cat and dog is when they are both young.

This way they both go through similar growth phases and training phases at the same time. Dogs and cats are both known to go through an imprinting phase when they are young. And if they spend them together, they will be friends for life.

However, if you can't do this because both or one of them is elderly, then there is another important factor: how well-behaved is your Labrador?

If you haven't raised your Lab well and allowed him to chase and chew on anything, then mating with a cat will be difficult. Your dog should learn basic commands before introducing him to a cat.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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