Okay so now that Aspen is learning new things (good things) I feel like it's time to start the dreaded task of introducing her to my two cats, but i need help. They see each other and have come in contact with each other a few times which usually leads to the cat running and Aspen chasing and me trying to get her to stop. They seem okay with each other. I have a baby gate up and they smell each other through that all the time. Sometimes she seems like she could care less about the cats and other times she just seems like she wants to play and well...they dont.
Emerald is my 3 year old cat (female)
Lilo is my 2 year old cat (female)
It was hard to get them to get along at first too but now they love each other.
Okay so i've read two things (i've done a lot of research on the issue).
1.) Let them go and work it out themselves.
2.) Introduce them slowly and teach Aspen not to chase them before letting her around them off the leash.
My only fear is Emerald jumped the gate like she usually does one day i was in there but she usually stays up high. For some reason she decided to get on the floor and Aspen pretty much had her cornered and my mom was over and grabbed Aspen out of fear for my cats.
Now while Aspen was staying at the lady from works house this weekend playing with her dog she also had 2 cats (i didn't know this until after picking her up) and she said they did fine with each other. Or at least no one got hurt or worse.
When researching Labs initialy I saw that they were usually good with other pets. I don't think she's going after them to hurt them but even at 11 weeks she is still pretty much twice their size and much stronger.
Sorry for such a long thread but the cats are my babies and Aspen is my baby and i don't want anyone to get hurt.
Any advice of what has worked or hasn't worked?
Last edited by mandaz000; 08-10-2010 at 04:29 PM.
We've always had cats and labs together. We've never pushed introductions - just let them sort it out on their own. We've only ever had one cat that didn't get along with our labs and that was because he was a neurotic crazy cat, and not any fault of our labs. Our most hyper lab, going on 3, will try to play with our little female cat. She's never really chased her, but would sort of stand over her and nuzzle/nibble at her. She's never hurt the cat and the cat gets along with her fantastically. The cat, who is notoriously shy, gets along with our new puppy (11 weeks) as well.
Never once has one of our labs hurt another animal. We once had a lab that found a litter of baby rabbits somewhere and brought them to us, one by one - each one alive and well.
The jist of all this is to say that I would let them work it out on their own. Cats are spry creatures and should be able to escape an over exuberant but clumsy pup. And if they aren't able to, the worst your pup will probably do is lick them.
Thanks for the response. I think the main problem is Aspen has been around other dogs and jumps on them and plays with them nipping and all and doesn't seem to understand why she can't play like that with my cats. One cat I don't worry about so much because i've seen her on top of everything including an open door. My other cat seems very sensitive and can't jump up on things like that (or doesn't) and I don't want her to get hurt. i guess if she had to escape she could she just doesn't show overly athletic abilities. Last night i let her near Lilo my sensitive one and she jumped around trying to get to her. Lilo tried to smack her but wasn't close enough. Then she tried to get by her and Aspen jumped on her and put her mouth on her. I don't think she bit down but Lilo's fur was wet. I couldn't see any bite marks and she wasn't bleeding and seemed ok just pissed. I probably make the situation worse because i'm so overprotective of all three.
Maybe if you try to familiarize them with each other while the puppy is very sleepy, just after a hard play session, etc. when she might be less inclined to maul them. And if you see any rough behavior - nipping, etc. (I know the puppy wouldn't try to bite hard enough to break skin) and other behavior that might intimidate the cats - hold the puppy's snout, make her look at you and tell her no. That's what we are doing with our puppy right now. He hasn't bothered the cat at all, but he does try to nibble and play rough (like he does with our older lab) with our two year old son. It doesn't have to be a harsh correction to be effective. Ultimately your cats may decide that they want nothing to do with the dog, and may even act hostile towards her, but I am sure you can train her to act civil towards them (pretty easily too since labs are such gentle creatures even when other animals act hostile). Its also very likely that after a few months when the novelty of the moving, squeaking chew toys (your cats) has worn off for the pup, that they will get along just fine.