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We have 2 lab mix dogs. The children want a cat.


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The dogs have killed at least 2 squirrels in the backyard. Isn't that a sign that they wouldn't do well with cats?

 

We had cats and dogs when I was growing up, but we only had one dog at a time. Does that make a difference?

 

I'm inclined to believe these kiddos are to be catless through the natural lifetime of our dogs, and, by then, the kiddos will likely be grown and/or on their own.

 

What do you think?

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Personally, I don't think there's a way to predict how dogs will react to cats.

 

We have a lab/rottie mix and shepherd/something mix. When they were a year old, we brought two kittens home. Because the kittens were so tiny, we actually crated the kittens for a couple of weeks. The dogs would sniff at the crate and then walk away. Once the kittens were roaming free, the dogs didn't really give them a second look. Today, they only growl when the cats sit on top of the dog crates at night.

 

My dogs haven't caught anything, but they are rabbit chasers.

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We have 3 cats and 2 dogs and they get along well. My dogs have killed cute little baby bunnies they find on our property, but have never harmed the cats. However, you never know. I would supervise any kitten, and work on training the dogs not to harm it. An older cat should be able to hold it's own. Even kittens run fast and can get into places dogs can't. ;)

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I think it's totally possible - it's just up to how you guys introduce the cat and how your set limits for the dog. Dogs don't really classify things the way we do. In my experience they simply know what the alphas let them chase and what they don't. You guys let them chase the squirrels. You would NOT let them chase the cat.

 

When we first got our goofy dog she terrorized the cat trying to chase and play with it. It wasn't until I stood in between her and our cat and was absolutely firm about the cat being untouchable that she started to change her behaviour. I kept at it for a couple of weeks, even to the point of making the dog lie down when the cat came into a room. To my mind, the cat needs to be on a higher rung in the family then the dogs. The cat is a lot smaller and needs the protection of status.

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We had a dog with a super high prey instinct, who killed cats in the backyard (strays), and rabbits, and it was awful. But she never, ever touched OUR cat. Now, our cat was there first, when we got this dog, but she seemed to understand the difference.

 

We ended up having to rehome the dog and it was to a family with no small kids (a must!!) but a CAT. She was fine with their cat, too, because I swear, she knew the house cat was off limits.

 

In a similar vein, our cat is a cold blooded homicidal maniac where rodents are concerned. But when we had 2 rats, and they GOT OUT while I was visiting relatives with the girls, DH wouldn't catch them. He doesn't like rodents, they skeeve him out. Rats lived free in the house for a week (oh, I was so mad, the bleaching and cleaning after that-!) and the cat never once touched them. Again, she seemed to know that THESE rats, that live in the cage in the playroom and are now roaming through the house, are off limits.

 

So I guess my answer is "not necessarily". Labs aren't really known for their strong prey instinct, ours has never killed anything, she even just looked at a bear I met once while walking her in Washington, no bark, nothing. I'd be real careful, but then I'd be careful anyway at first. Probably, the dogs would be fine.

 

Of course, if you are looking for a reason to say no, then disregard!!

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To my mind, the cat needs to be on a higher rung in the family then the dogs. The cat is a lot smaller and needs the protection of status.

 

I definitely agree with this - I've had cats and dogs and never had an issue, but always made it clear that the cats were above the dogs on the totem pole. I think it's easier to introduce a puppy to cats and teach them how to behave, but do believe that you can introduce a kitten into a family w/ dogs - you just have to closely monitor their interaction for quite awhile and teach the dogs what's what :)

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When we got the Weim, we were told they can NOT live with cats. Guess they didnt know about our cat. Our cat does let our dogs know who is boss - and certainly let the Weim know as soon as he came near to sniff, but, when the vacuum is on, its the cat who becomes the toy for one of the other dogs. They just figure it out, I guess.

 

A funny. Weims are small prey animals - including birds. I took him to a local pet store to see how he would react to birds (cause I was going to take my friends Caique) - he went crazy! I thought uh oh. Took the bird anyway, cause the bird is, well....spicy. He bites. Our dog was interested in him and one day, I put the Caique down in front of his nose, cause the bird was in a good mood. Just wanted to see if anyone would take advantage. Very, very slowly, the dog opened his mouth and slowly, slowly tried to eat the bird. It was so funny, not even the bird took him seriously. Bottom line, like another poster mentions, its like they all know their place in the house and it does work out.

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One of mine is a malamute cross & they're not terribly reliable with small critters. She has a healthy prey drive. She's treed cats & I think she would kill a squirrel if she could catch them (she's kinda lazy so she gives up fast LOL). BUT, she lives in fear of OUR cat.

 

It's only in the last year that she's been brave enough to so much as walk past the cat & she learned it from other, bolder foster dogs. I have had one foster who was quite single mindedly determined to eat the cat & that was a pita while she was here as we had to keep them completely separated & be on guard at all times.

 

Bottom line is you may well be ok. I'd test them on leash & preferably muzzled with a cat who is dog savvy. And if you decide to get a cat, adopt one who has lived with dogs & knows how to put them in their place.

 

Greyhound dog rescues go through this a lot as many greys have pretty high prey drive & they need to be cat tested before adoption. Usually you use a leash & muzzle for the first encounters & savvy people can tell if the dog is curious or trainable or hopelessly determined to do damage. Here are some pix of a greyhound getting cat tested

http://www.tlcgreyhoundadoption.com/cattest.html

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