If your Labrador nibbles on your cat you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. In this post, I will show you the common causes and what your options are.
So, why does my Labrador nibble on my cat? Possible reasons are that it hasn’t learned not to bite people or other animals, it’s just playing, it’s being possessive or that it is jealous.
It’s important to consider the timing and location that your Labrador does it in. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it will become easier for you to get it to stop.
Why your Labrador nibbles on your cat
Below are some common reasons why your Labrador might be doing it and what would make them more likely.
It hasn’t learned to control its bite
When Labradors are puppies, they learn to control their bite because when they bite too hard on the other puppies they will yelp and stop playing. If your Labrador did not socialize much with other puppies when it was young, it might not have learned what not to bite and it might be a reason that it nibbles on your cat.
It is just playing
The reason could be that your Labrador is just playing when it does it. This would be more likely if it does not do it in an aggressive way.
However, even if it is just playing, it will still be helpful to train your Labrador not to do it using the tips below since it could still harm the cat especially if the cat reacts aggressively.
It is being possessive
The reason why it does it might be that it is being possessive. This would be more likely if it does it in situations such as when your cat and Labrador are eating.
In this case, it would help to feed your Labrador and your cat separately since this is a time where your Labrador is most likely to become aggressive towards your cat.
It might be the case that your Labrador does it because it is jealous of your cat. This would be more likely if it does it when you are giving your cat attention or right after giving your cat attention.
In this case, it would help to give your Labrador attention throughout the day in the form of exercise, training and play. It would also help to avoid reinforcing the behavior by not rewarding it when it nibbles on your cat and using the training tips mentioned below.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider about your Labrador and your cat.
How old your Labrador is
If your Labrador is still a puppy then it would make it more likely that it has not learned to leave your cat alone yet. If it is a puppy, now would be a good time to start training it to behave the way that you want it to so that it is well behaved as an adult.
If your Labrador is older then it would be more likely to be due to a combination of jealousy and being possessive.
When your Labrador started to nibble on your cat
If it did not always nibble on the cat, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.
If it did start doing it suddenly, it could be because it became jealous especially if you stopped giving it as much attention.
When it does it
It would also help to consider the timing of when your Labrador nibbles on your cat. If you notice that it only seems to do it at certain times then it would help to consider what else happens at around that time. Perhaps, it does it when you are about to feed it food and it doesn’t want the cat beating it to it.
How to get your Labrador to stop nibbling on your cat
Below are some things that you can do in order to get your Labrador to stop doing it.
If it seems like your Labrador might be aggressive towards your cat, it would help to separate them when possible. By doing so, you will be able to minimize the risk of something bad happening. It would also help to make sure to keep them in separate rooms when you are away.
Train it not to
One option that you have is to train your Labrador to leave your cat alone.
You can watch the video below to see how it is done.
Feed them separately
It would help to make sure to feed your Labrador and cat separately so that you can minimize the risk of something bad happening. Dogs are normally much more likely to become aggressive when they are eating.
When training your Labrador it is important to be consistent. It will be difficult to achieve drastic results with just one training session, but if you are consistent with the training you will be able to see better results.
Train it early
If your Labrador is still young, now would be a good time to start training it since it will be less likely to form bad habits and you will be able to get it to develop the habits that you want it to have.