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Do Labradors Get Along with Cats?

Labrador Retrievers are some of the most loving, kind, patient, and easy to get along with breeds of dogs that exist. 

Do Labradors get along with cats?  Labradors are some of the kindest and most patient dog breed that exists.  Even though some Labradors do not get along with cats, most Labrador Retrievers are playful and accepting to other animals, including cats.

Labradors make great friendships with other pets and might even end up being best friends with your cat. 

Finding the perfect match does not follow any specific rules but a great rule of thumb if getting a new Labrador to add to your cat family, an older cat might have a harder time accepting a new puppy since Labrador puppies are very hyper and excitable.

If adding a Labrador puppy with a kitten, the kitten might be nosier and might be interested in checking out the new puppy. Still, your kitten might get your Labrador running around and being crazier than he or she already is.

It is essential to check to see if you think that your Labrador and your kitten or cat will get along with each other and if their personalities will work together.  Try to find a Labrador puppy that matches your kitten.  If your kitten is high strung, try to find a Labrador puppy that is calmer and less excitable.  If your kitten is easy going and fun, it is a good idea to find a puppy that has a fun personality.

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How Can I Get My Labrador Puppy and My Cat or Kitten to Get Along?

It is crucial to notice how your Labrador and your kitten or cat get along with each other from the beginning.  Some cats are not very accepting of new pets and might have a hard time allowing a new animal, especially a hyper puppy, into their home.

Labradors can be hyper and excitable, and sometimes they do not even realize how strong and how big they are. When this happens, your Labrador might be a little too rough with your cat, and even when they are playful, the cat might not appreciate the actions of the Labrador.

It is important to make sure that your dog or your cat is not afraid of each other, and if you see that there are anxious feelings between the two pets to separate them at once and then try again later.

If it is at all possible, try to bring in both the puppy and the cat at the same time.  If you get a Labrador puppy and you think that you might want a cat later, the best thing to do would be to try and get a kitten right away so that they can grow up together and learn to socialize together.

You will still have to take the time to make sure that they do not hurt each other at first because a puppy is always going to be a bit bigger than the kitten and so he or she will need some time in order to make sure that they are not too rough and that your dog does not get too harsh.

Remember that a Labrador is still going to be a hunting dog and a retriever, and even as a puppy, it will be something that he or she enjoys doing. When you decide to get a kitten, just make sure that there is a way to keep an eye on them and to supervise them for the first few weeks that they are together to make sure that they are not bullying each other and that they are genuinely able to get along.

When and How Do I Introduce My Cat to My New Labrador Puppy?

If you already have your Labrador at home and you decide to bring in a new cat, it might be harder for your Labrador to adjust compared to if it was the other way around, and you already had a cat at home.

Make sure that your Labrador does not see the new cat as a toy because, with their size and strength, it would take little energy for your Labrador to injure a small cat. 

Most Labradors love their families, and they trust the people that they live with, and because of this, if you show love for the new cat and gentleness, then you might have a dog that will do the same. 

Make sure before you bring home a new cat or a new dog that you prepare your home for the new arrival.  Make sure that you have a place to allow one of the animals to get away if the situation becomes too stressful. Find a location or place a divider around the home to make sure that each animal has its area in case they feel the need to retreat.

Always make sure that your dog is trained and can do things on command, such as to sit or to stay.  These commands can make introducing a new pet much easier.

Make sure that you have all of the stuff that the new pet needs and put it all in one area so that the safe haven has everything that they need before their day even begins in their new home.

How Do I Know if My Labrador Will Fit with My Cat?

If you have a Labrador that is used to being a working dog, the chances are that your dog is prone to hunting and to playing active games such as Frisbee and fetch. Your dog might even think that playing fetch or chase with your cat is fun, and it can cause your cat to be fearful and to shy away from your Labrador.

If your Labrador has an intelligent personality, it is important that you try to teach your Lab to be gentle and that your cat is not a toy. 

Use treats to motivate your Labrador to be gentle and to ignore the cat so that they do not end up with scratches or even worse bites.

How Can I Help My Cat Adjust with My New Labrador?

If you have a cat and you feel that your cat is nervous around your Labrador or that your cat feels like his or her space is being invaded by your new dog, make sure that you have places that your cat can go when she or he feels nervous or needs to getaway.

Put areas around the house with boundaries that your Labrador cannot visit, such as the place with the litter box and places where your cat’s food and water are.  If you need to use a divider, a gate can work wonders in keeping your dog out of your cat’s spacing, making him or her feel more secure.

Always make sure that your cat has a place to go to the bathroom that is away from the new dog because they might get scared if the dog is running free, and they have to use the bathroom.  This could cause them to use the bathroom in places that he or she should not be using the bathroom. 

Try to make sure that all safe boundaries are put in place prior to getting a new animal, regardless if it is the cat first or if it is the dog first.  Just make sure that these boundaries create a safe area for your animals so that they can adjust accordingly.

Make sure that you stay patient with your Labrador and with your cat and give them time to adjust to each other.  The chances are that later, they will become the best of buds.

What Methods Can I Use to Introduce New Pets?

There are many different methods that people use when trying to introduce new pets.  Some people believe that if you introduce a new cat, do it by first putting your Labrador in a crate.  When you put him or her in the crate, make sure that they know that they have done nothing wrong and even give them a treat.

After your Labrador is crated, bring the cat in and place the cat on something high up where the cat can look down at the dog. If the cat stays on the table, then they are scared, but if the cat gets off the table and gets closer to the crate, this means that your new cat is interested in this new pet, and they might begin to be best friends right from the beginning.

Make sure that you reward both of the pets for being nice to each other right from the beginning.  This will give your pets a reason to want to be nice to each other and will help them to know that they can earn more treats for their kind actions.

If your cat or your Labrador seems to be nervous or aggressive, do not do anything else in a matter of introduction.  Just allow the animals to be away from each other for a period of time and then try the introduction phase again at a later date.

If you see that your cat and dog seem like they can get along, try the next step.  Next, bring the cat back in and let him or her get on a high piece of furniture and then bring your Labrador in just on a leash.  Use commands such as “sit” and “stay.” Allow the Labrador to move closer to the table, and if the cat does not respond with aggression, keep moving the Labrador closer and closer and let them get used to each other.

When you get to the point where this stage is safe, and your cat and dog seem to be adjusting to each other, try something a little more.  Once again, allow your cat to get up on a high piece of furniture, and this time bring your Labrador in without a leash.  If your Labrador gets overly excited, make sure that your cat has a place to go to get away in this situation. 

If the past meetings go well between your cat and your dog, do this a few more times until you are able to allow your cat and your dog to meet without you being a mediator between the two.  Make sure that you allow your dog and cat to the only visit for short amounts of time until they are completely used to each other.

Method Two

If you feel like the above method would not work for your cat and dog, try a different method called the “Food Method.”

The food method has to do with treats because we all know that Labradors love to eat.  You can give your Labrador treats as rewards to be nice to your cat, and if your Labrador associates treat with your cat, the chances are that your Labrador will love having the new cat in the home.

In order to get this to work, you must have a closed door.  Put the cat’s dish on one side of the door and the dog’s dish on the other side of the door.  The smell of the food will evoke happy feelings between both the cat and the Labrador. 

If your Labrador goes straight to his food bowl and decides to eat, you can move further, but if your Labrador gets too excited as to what is happening behind the door, you must scold your dog and move his or her food further away from the door. Try this a couple of times until your Labrador pays more attention to his or her food over what is behind the door.

Once your cat and dog can eat without disturbance, get your cat to get into a crate.  Once your cat is in the crate, allow your dog to come into the room and sniff around the crate, but only on a leash. 

If your dog begins to act crazy or agitated, or if your cat gets aggressive, move them away from each other and try another day again.

If your dog and cat respond with curiosity, allow them to continue meeting with each other.  If your cat and dog can get along for 20 minutes or more, they are able to have more freedom around each other.

After this stage, allow your dog to be on a leash and allow the cat to be loose.  If your cat and your dog seem interested in each other, this is a good sign.  Try to make sure that your Labrador stays calm and that your cat is not scared or nervous. 

If this works, continue doing it for the next couple weeks.  Once they get used to each other, allow both the cat and the dog to roam free.  If you see aggression, it is best to separate them.  The chances are that they will ignore each other and possibly even be playful with each other.

It is a good idea to not leave them alone overnight or when you are not there to supervise for the next couple of months.  Once a couple of months have passed, the chances are that your Labrador and your cat will be best friends.  If you see any actions that look like your cat and dog are regressing back to their original ways, then make sure that you start over and that you try to get things back on track before it becomes a problem.

Is it Different to Bring a New Labrador to a Home with a Cat?

Even though the concept will most likely be the same, bringing in a dog on a cat is a little different than bringing a cat in on a dog. 

Cats are very territorial, and they enjoy having their own private space.  When a Labrador is new and going to a new place, he or she will not understand about following commands or about understanding how to sit or how to stay.

It is important that you make sure that your Labrador does not get into messes with your cat’s litter or in the cat’s toys.  Also, keep their feeding areas at different parts of the room so that your Labrador does not overtake your cat’s food.

Make sure, once again, that you have a separate place for your cat and dog to go until they are comfortable around one another.

There is a good chance that your cat will stay hidden for quite some time before making an appearance and taking a chance with your new Labrador. 

If you want the meeting to go smoothly with your cat and your new Labrador, give your Labrador a lot of exercise before the big meeting.  Exercising your dog can help to keep your Labrador calm and can help them to not be jumping or so hyper when they finally meet the cat. 

Even if your Labrador does not see the cat, they will already know that some type of animal, besides them, lives in the home because they are great at finding a scent. 

After your dog has had a chance to explore and roam around the house, take your dog for a walk and let the cat roam around and smell out the scent of the dog.  This will show the cat that there is another animal in the home.

When your cat and dog are ready to meet, make sure that your dog is leashed for the first time, because as we said, a new Labrador can be very hyper and might not be calm when the first meeting finally happens.

How Do I Keep My Cat Calm When Bringing In a New Labrador?

Many people still believe that cats and dogs are enemies, just like in movies or cartoons, but this is not really true.  The truth is that most cats and dogs can learn to get along as brothers and sisters in their new homes as long as they have the right type of socialization and as long as the owners are patient.

If you want to make sure that our cat will be calm, it is important that you make sure that you are providing your cat with a safe place where he or she knows that they can go if they get afraid or nervous.

In order to make things better and make things where the interaction can be peaceful, it is important to control the way that your dog is acting.  Most cats can tell if there is aggression in the dog and if the dog is acting as he or she might attack. 

If your dog is aggressive, though, it is important that dogs get certain training to help control this, or it might take a lot of time for your cat and dog to be able to be together. 

How Do I Stop My Labrador from Chasing Our Cat?

Dogs, especially Labradors, are full of energy and love to have fun, and they are natural chasers.  They have been bred to be hunters, so there is a chance that they have a natural thing in them that makes it just fun to chase cats.

The problem is, though, that there will be no peace if you have a dog that is constantly chasing your cat around the house, not to mention that your cat might end up with high-end nerve issues from always being chased.

It is important that there is peace in your home and that your cat feels safe when he or she is in the home, even when you have a dog too

One thing that is important is that you introduce your cat to your dog when they are young. Puppies that are younger than ten weeks of age will be more accepting of new animals, even ones that are small as a new kitten.  They will take them in as part of their family members, and this will make it to where they are less likely to chase them.

If you find that your Labrador is really chasing the cat, the chances are that he is just wanting to play and needs to have more outside time to exercise and get their excess energy out. Take them outside and let them run and chase a ball or a Frisbee instead to get them calmed down when they are in the house.

If your dog is continuously chasing the cat, you need to block them off in their own area so that the cat can have the freedom to roam around the house without having to deal with the added stress of the dog chasing them.

Eventually, hopefully, the cat and the dog will get to the point where they can play together, but this might take some time and patience from you and your cat and dog.

Is it Easier for a Kitten or a Cat to Cope with a New Labrador?

When you are bringing a new puppy into the house, the chances are that your adult cat is going to have a harder time adjusting than your kitten.  Since kittens are new, they will most likely be more accepting, and they will learn quickly to engage and get along with the cat.

An adult or older cat might have a harder time adjusting because they are used to being in their own home for all that time without introducing another pet.  It can be harder for them to adjust, but eventually, they will just get used to the idea and will eventually accept the new puppy as part of their home.

Bringing in a puppy is going to be much easier on a cat than bringing in an adult dog. The cat will have a hard time adjusting to a full-grown Labrador size and energy and might have a harder time adjusting to the excitement from an adult Labrador than being able to accept a puppy that is smaller than them.

Make sure that you always have an initial plan when you are purchasing a new dog or a new cat to bring into the home.


Mandy, our yellow labrador retriever, and Checkers, our cat relax in the morning in the shade of our deck. Summer flowers add bright colors to the scene.

Having a Labrador can be so much fun and so much excitement.  Even if you have cats or other pets, getting a dog is something that often times happens.  The great thing is that Labradors can get along with cats and can get to the point where they become the best friends of all times.

All that you need to do is to make sure that you take time to slowly introduce your dog and cat to each other and that you are prepared to keep up gates or dividers for as long as it takes.  Do not rush the idea of having a cat and dog be best friends initially, give them time to adjust and time to learn to like each other.

Doing these things can help your Labrador and your cat to learn to get along and can make it to where your household is calm and fun for both of your pets and for you.