We're getting kittens... advice needed :)

Discussion in 'Labrador Training' started by Tatti, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. Tatti

    Tatti Registered Users

    Oct 7, 2015
    Devon, U.K.
    Hi all,

    After years of talking about it, we have finally made the decision to get 2 kittens. They will be joining the family in 5 weeks.

    Our lovely lab is nearly 4. She is generally gentle but of course is still a 34kg lab. Historically she has always chased or barked at cats but to my knowledge has only ever met one face to face (when she went for a weekend holiday 2 years ago to see her mum and sister who's owner had recently added a kitten to their family: I believe she just followed the kitten round sniffing it for the whole weekend).

    I am wondering if there is anything I can do to make the transition easier for her. Is there a tried and tested way of introducing them. I want to make sure dog and kittens (and toddler) are happy and free from stress if at all possible.

    All advice welcome :)

    PS I have just ordered the happy cat handbook as I expect this will be my new bible!!
  2. Edp

    Edp Registered Users

    Mar 16, 2014
    I have aways had some kid of cat / dog combo. They usually become best mates after a while. The only tip I can offer is make sure the cats can’t get cornered...that’s a disaster. Make sure they can get away easily, child gate if needed. Also think about how to feed them, labs love a bowl of Whiskers with a cat poop chaser !
  3. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

    May 10, 2011
    I hope you enjoy the book :). It's best to settle new kittens in using a 'safe room' where the dog doesn't have access. Fit a baby gate across the door when the kittens start to venture out. They'll be able to retreat through the bars and set the pace of the introductions. It's a good idea to have the dog on a house line for the first few days so you can control the situation if she gets over excited. There is more about this in the book. Good luck with your kittens!
  4. Ski-Patroller

    Ski-Patroller Cooper, Terminally Cute Forum Supporter

    Feb 8, 2016
    Portland, Oregon & Mt Hood Oregon
    Years ago we went to the Humane Society to get two kittens, and came back with two kittens and a 4 yr old Chocolate Lab. She was an absolutely great dog, and raised the two kittens. After she died, we got Tilly, so we went full circle and had cat help raise a Lab pup.

    As long as your Lab does not have a real high prey drive they will probably be good friends after a while. It would not have worked with Malamute years ago.

    My Sister-in-law had pet gates that had a cat door in them so the cat could get away from the dogs if she wanted.
  5. TEE

    TEE Registered Users

    Jan 13, 2019
    First encounter is important. Don’t allow dog to corner cats as mentioned above. After that its fine. We hand scores of cats and Labs growing up. Never an issue. Enjoy

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