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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there, I wonder if anyone out there can give us any advice, my husband and I have just adopted a yellow lab called Bonnie, she is wonderful, she's about 2, her history is a little misty as she was abondoned just before Christmas, when she was rescued she was pregnant but unfortunately gave birth to 9 still born prem pups early in Jan.

Anyway she is fantastic in all respects expect with our 2 cats, (who have lived with dogs before), what I would like to know is there any way we can get her to ignore them or will she always see them as something to corner and or chase?
 
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Hiya,

We have a 10 month old Lab called Oscar and when he was 6 months old we got 2 kittens (also then 6 months old) from a local rescue centre.

Oscar has always been very 'enthusiastic' with the cats, and at the beginning we thought he would never calm down - but gradually over time it got much much better.

I think its probably a learning process for the cats at much as the dog about how they need to react to the other to get along without too much stress.

We introuduced them very gradually at first and always in the house when we were around. And then as Oscar probably got used to them being around and knew that he didn't have to play with them at every oppourtunity, we let them out in the garden together. In the garden we had to start again letting them play together gradually, as with all the space out there, again Oscar began to chase them round like mad.. but as with indoors over time this got better and better.

Now it is very rare that he even gets up when they come in the room, and during the day they spend most of the day sleeping in the same room and quite often in his bed all together.

One thing I think that worked when we first got them more than anything though, was giving them treats together. If there is something that they all adore, ie small pieces of chicken or ham (Oscar is a typical labrador and everything is his favourite, but the cats are a bit more fussy!) try getting them all together to treat them. This way Oscar was completely distracted by the food and chasing the cats didn't even cross his mind. It allowed them all to get very close together, and Osc got used to sitting calming when they were around (he didn't get the treat unless he did what he was told).

I think really though, as I said, it's time that helps. The cats will soon suss out how they need to react around him to least get a reaction. If our cats don't want to play, they creep past him very slowly so as not to get him excited. And if he wants a game, he jumps around a little way away from them working out whether they are up for it or not.

Good luck with everything and I hope Bonnie settles in really well with her two new sisters.

Sarah x
 

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Hi,

That's reassuring to know Sarah, we have 2 cats (with whom our friend is looking after until we return from our travels) and we have been wondering how our Bradley will get on with them, and them with him! :shock:

It's going to be interesting.

Good to hear of others who have cats though, as well as labs - i hope Bonnie and the cats settle down soon Lincskeens.

Regards

Julie
 

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Hi Lincskeens
Sarah has given some good advice. The chase instinct is natural for dogs, but with perservence they can be taught not to. The one thing I would add is to ensure the cats have somewhere they can escape to. I have a stairgate, so if my cat wants peace, he can escape upstairs.
In my experience, cats tend to be the bosses :D just monitor them, as a cats claws can do damage to a dogs eyes.
HTH :)
 

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You can guess from the user name we have cats and labs. Our eldest british shorthair latched on to Jessie (chocolate lab) when we first brought her home. Now she pretty much thinks she is a dog. She sits like jessie, lies like jessie, begs for scraps like jessie, prefers dog food to cat food, and was recently caught in the whelping box helping to look after Jessie's pups (picture if proof needed on our website!). I'd say they are best friends really. Think it helped with them both being young when introduced. Our older Birman cat and younger british shorthair are not quite as friendly with Jess, but it is the cats who are in charge, Jess knows that if she tries to play with the Birman she'll get no joy.
 

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Hi! Congratulations on your new addition! Great to hear that you guys have given Bonnie a forever home! :-D

I think there's definitely a good chance that you can teach her how you want her to behave around the cats. We have 2 cats and the girls are brilliant with them but it did take time for them to understand what we expected of them. I'll bet Bonnie is so clever and so eager to please she'll catch on.

We let the cats come in on their own terms and decide when (or if!) they wanted to be around the dogs. We're fortunate because our oldest cat Alice is an absolute star! :-D She's had a rescue lab cross, a foster lurcher, and now two lab pups and she still rules the roost around here. She was in straight away to check out what was going on in HER house. Bob's not as confident - it took a few days for him each time - and I think he still likes it best when the girls are in their crates for the night but he gets along with them too.

With our girls we used "no! leave it" if they started harassing one of the cats and then loads of praise when they backed off. If they would go up nicely for a sniff or a nuzzle we'd say "be nice" and loads and loads more praise. If they got too rough it was "no! leave it!" again and we'd take them away from the cat. Sometimes now at a year old and 9 months old the girls can still get a little too excited with the cats so we just have to say "be nice" and they calm right down.

That's just what worked for us. I think treating Bonnie and the cats together sounds like a really good idea and I ran across this web page that has some ideas too.....

http://www.canismajor.com/dog/dogscats.html

I'll bet it's pretty stressful for you all at the moment so I really hope you get it worked out. Good luck and please let us know how it's going!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Many Thank You's

I can't say a big enough THANK YOU to all of you guys who have taken the time to give us some advice and tell us your experiences, it's really really helped and things seem to be getting easier!

The cat's seem to be settling down now, they have actually ventured down the stairs to go to the toilet while Bonnie is sleeping.

One thing I would like to mention is, to prevent Bonnie from comming to any major harm we do cut the cats claws regularly, not only do we protect her but it also stops them from scratching the furniture too!!

I really can't get over how quickly she has learnt the commands 'Leave it' and 'Nicely', she really is a super girl and shows fantastic potential.
 

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Just found this photo in the labforums gallery - lovely hey, i'm sure all our little ones will get along fine in the end. :wink:
 

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Awww.... what a sweet photo!!

Just wanted to share one of Edie and Alice....



Alice is giving Edie's leg a good wash - I keep telling her she's got her work cut out for her! :lol:
 

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I have four cats inside and a bunch outside. I live on a dairy farm. Angus, my eight month old loves to chase them especially when he is off leash outside. The cats run and escape. My vet has told me to use a squirt gun. The squirt gun has worked well in the house. I will not use it outside though because Angus hates to get squirted and I am afraid he will run from me. I want him to always come to me outside. I think with time, it will stop though. My former Lab was so good with the cats and even with little kittens. He loved them all. He was an older Lab though when I got him. Brenda
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My Huge thanks

I would just like to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who gave me some invaluable advice, it's only been just over a week now and all is going really well Bonnie is leaving the cats alone and the cats are at last using their tray and asking for their food!! :p :p
 

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my 3 cats rule the roost when it comes to my lab and king charles spaniel..lol..my tiger cat cleans my labs head when she is lying down on a few occasions when the cat is asleep on my knee and my lab comes over for a stroke my cat will pat her on the nose as if to say go away its my turn for cuddles now.. :p
we found that if you rub your clothes or something both animals sleep on and give each dog and cat it everyday they will eventually get used to the scent of everyne and every animal..lol then hopefully leave eachother be for a lil while unless they want to play that is :p
but it just goes to show that cats and dogs can live in harmony :p :p

clair xxx
 
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