If your Labrador doesn’t get along with cats then you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of reasons why your Labrador doesn’t like cats and what you can do about it.
So, why doesn’t your Labrador like cats? There are a few reasons why your Labrador might not like cats. The main one is that Labrador have a strong prey drive that triggers their instincts to chase small things. Cats also like to run which can cause Labrador to want to chase. Another possible reason is that your Labrador is jealous of the attention your cat is getting and it wants it for itself.
And, what can you do about it? A quick way to keep your cat safe would be to keep them both separated as much as possible. You can also train your Labrador to leave your cat alone by teaching it to stay when it is being distracted by the cat. Giving your Labrador lots of exercise also helps to reduce its urge to chase things.
Getting a Labrador to stop chasing cats is something that many people have struggled with before so to get it to stop won’t be an overnight event. The good news is that a number of people have been successful in doing so.
Before getting your Labrador to stop chasing your cat it can be helpful to take the time to figure out why it is doing it.
Why your Labrador doesn’t like cats
Below are some reasons why your Labrador might not like cats and what would make them more likely to be the main reason. It could also be due to a combination of them.
Strong prey drive
Sometimes, Labradors can have a strong prey drive. This means that they have a natural urge to chase after small things such as cats. This would be more likely to be the reason if your Labrador also chases after things such as squirrels.
In this case, it would help to follow the tips mentioned below and to keep them separated whenever possible.
Cats like to run
Another problem is that cats like to run. Labradors, as well as most other dog breeds, will naturally chase after small things that are moving. This is why, when you’re teaching your Labrador to stay, one of the last distractions you would show it would be a moving toy.
To correct this behavior it will be necessary for you to do lots of training with your Labrador on a regular and consistent basis so that you can break it out of the habit of chasing your cat.
Another possible reason that your Labrador might not like your cat is jealousy. Labradors are a breed that can demand a lot of attention and it could be that it doesn’t like all of the attention that your cat gets and it wants it all for itself.
To correct this it will be necessary for you to give your Labrador lots of attention, training and lots of exercise so that it doesn’t feel the need to be jealous of your cat.
How to get your Labrador to stop chasing your cat
Below are some things you can do to get your Labrador to be better behaved around your cat.
A quick and easy way to get your Labrador to stop chasing your cat would be to simply keep them separated. By doing this you will be able to keep your cat safe and to prevent bad interactions. You could do this by keeping your cat in separate rooms or you could try to section off areas using room dividers.
If your Labrador is still young then you might not want to do this since it’s easier to get your Labrador to get along with cats when they’re younger. So, you’ll want to emphasize on the training method in the video below.
Train it not to
It would also help to train your Labrador to be better behaved around your cats with the use of positive reinforcement training. This is where you encourage behaviors that you want to see by rewarding them and avoid rewarding bad behaviors.
To train your Labrador to get along with your cat you’ll do it in three stages. First, you’ll teach it to stay, then to stay when it’s being distracted then to stay when the cat is around.
I have written about how to teach a dog to stay and how to do it when being distracted in the past here.
After you have taught it to stay when being distracted it will be time to slowly introduce the cat.
You’ll do this by telling your Labrador to stay and then start by just putting the cat in the same room.
Then after your Labrador keeps its focus on you without bothering the cat you’ll reward it for doing so.
You’ll repeat this process where you get your Labrador to stay with the cat in the same room until you’re able to get it to keep its attention on you easily.
Once it’s good at doing that you’ll continue to tell it to stay but you’ll reduce the amount of distance between your Labrador and your cat until you’re able to get your Labrador to keep its focus on you even when the cat is nearby.
Watch the video below to see how it is done.
Give it lots of exercise
It would also help to give it lots of exercise daily. By doing so you should be able to help keep it fully stimulated and to make it less likely to seek stimulation by bothering your cat. Generally, it is recommended for healthy Labradors to get an hour of exercise per day as adults.
Feed them separately
It would also help to feed them both separately since this is a situation where dogs are much more likely to become aggressive towards cats.
Things to consider
They can be quite stubborn
When you’re training your Labrador to get along with your cat you’ll likely find that they can be quite stubborn. This means that it will be very important for you to train it regularly, consistently and over the course of months so that you can get it to be consistently well behaved around the cat.
Start it early
The earlier you train your Labrador to get along with your cat the easier it will be for you. As your Labrador gets older its habits of being aggressive towards cats will be more pronounced and harder to change so it’s better to start when it’s still young.