Labradoodles get along great with cats. Smart, playful, and very affectionate, this Doodle ranks among the few that can accept being around cats. Although, you should not assume they are naturally inclined to do so. Even though they score 4/5 on a cat-friendly scale, Labradoodles are, after all, dogs, and hence inherently designed to dislike cats.
However, they can befriend a cat despite the traditional rivalries, the intention being to make the best of a bad situation. As descendants of the Labrador retriever and the Poodle, both of which are cat-friendly, Labradoodles, by virtue of their mixed genes, display a higher tolerance of cats as compared to many other dog breeds.
Demystifying Labradoodle’s Chemistry with Cats
It is a proven fact that offsprings mirror their parents’ genetic traits, and Labradoodles are no exceptions to the rule.
Their one parent – the Labrador retriever – is one of the most mild-natured and friendly dog breeds by nature. Regardless of whether it is children, cats, or other pets, a Labrador retriever can be trusted not just to accept them wholeheartedly, but also to bond with them without harboring any misgivings. All that is required is for the cat to be sufficiently forthcoming to accept the paw of friendship and earn a playmate for its lifetime.
A poodle is the other parent in this equation, and like the Labrador retriever, they are just as friendly. In fact, they even go a step ahead and tend to become possessive about their family members, including cats. Going by this logic, the Poodle might be the only exceptional dog breed in the world that would go out of its way to defend or protect a cat just because it happens to be one of the family members.
So, by now, you must be convinced that Labradoodles do not have a problem with cats. The two not just get along but can also evolve into all-time playmates if you have been sufficiently sensitive about their interaction during the early stages of friendship.
Why Labradoodles Easily Take to Cats
Reasons for Labradoodles taking to cats can be narrowed down to the following factors –
Not all dog breeds are born equal when it comes to accepting cats, and the labradoodle is by far one of your best bets. Behavior wise, Labradoodles completely mirror their two parents, namely the Labrador retriever and the Poodle. Therefore, unlike other dog breeds that are jealous of other pets, Labradoodles are perfectly comfortable and regard the cat as a companion.
On their part, cats may be jealous and offensive, but this does not deter the Doodle from extending a hand of friendship.
Ease of Training
Just as cats well-known for being free-willed, Labradoodles have earned a reputation for responding well to training. Once again, this can be safely attributed to their parents – the Labrador retriever and the Poodle – both of which respond well to training. From the day they are brought home, Labradoodles make every effort to blend into the family.
If a cat is already present in the household or is brought in later on, expect the labradoodle to regard it the same way as you do. When you train both the cat and the labradoodle to respect each other’s space, expect the labradoodle to grasp instantly and oblige. On your part, you must ensure that the cat also responds positively to your instructions, thus ensuring long-term bonhomie.
After all, a cat is a cat…
After all, a cat is a cat in the sense that while they can be social, they also love their own space. So, if the labradoodle gets too friendly or indulges in non-stop chasing, the cat is likely to withdraw to a spot out of reach of other members. While this might irk the Doodle initially, there are positive implications in terms of both pets remaining protected and sharing an unspoken understanding in the long run.
Introducing Labradoodles and Cats
Whether it is your labradoodle that meets the cat or vice versa, the first interaction would most likely be explosive and memorable for all parties involved. To ensure that the electricity fizzles out and does not linger beyond the first day or two, provide the following –
Pleasant First Interaction
Usually, bringing home a pet triggers a lot of excitement at home, more so if there are children and other pets involved. Therefore, the reaction would be the same whether you bring a labradoodle home to a cat and the family, or a cat to the labradoodle and the family. That being said, your prerogative should be to avoid the din and wait for things to calm down before conducting introductions.
Chances of the Doodle and the cat getting along are much improved if both meet in a calm environment. Maintaining peace throughout the day would further serve to give both the opportunity to size each other up and take their time to accept and engage. Remember that a pleasant first day between the labradoodle and the cat goes a long way in cementing a mutual feeling of comradeship between the two.
Immediately Start Training
Despite one of them being at home from before, subject both the Doodle and the cat to a fresh bout of training. Labradoodles are usually full of energy and might prove to be a tad grating for the cat, significantly older cats. Likewise, a playful kitten can unleash the wilder side of the Doodle and sustain injuries in the process.
Simultaneous training of both the Doodle and the cat regularly coupled with constant that’s supervision would ensure that neither would get hurt. They would learn to play together and withdraw when either of them chooses to relax.
Demarcate Their Individual Space
Both the labradoodle and the cat should have their own space, namely a bed/crate, bowls for food and water, litters, and toys. By restricting their freedom, you virtually define the Doodle and cat territory to feel just as important and privileged. At the same time, you must also ensure that both respect each other’s space and not invade to stir trouble.
Equipping yourself in advance for the Doodle and the cat plays a crucial role in preventing territorial fights and strengthening their friendship bond.
Labradoodles and Cats FAQs
Discussed as follows are some common questions that could enable you to decipher the labradoodle-cat relationship –
Which factors determine the doodle-cat equation?
The age of both the Doodle and the cat is one of the most crucial factors. Younger Labradoodles are playful and energetic, and hence stand a better chance of getting along with kittens, which are just as lively. An age difference between the Doodle and the cat implies adjustment, and the two might take time getting used to each other.
Temperament and friendliness are other factors. While the former is inherited, the latter largely depends on the house’s atmosphere and the relationship between family members. Often pets of a friendly family turn out to be open-minded and outgoing not just towards other humans but also towards other animal species.
What should be done if the Labradoodle and the cat don’t get along?
In case you find the labradoodle and the cat bickering and quarreling all too often, it is time to step in and limit their interaction. Keep them separate for most of the day and supervise closely when they are together. Gradually lengthen the time of interaction and check if there is an improvement.
Eventually, the labradoodle and the cat would learn to put up with each other and get along. But it might take time and persistence is the key, along with proactive supervision.
Whichever pet comes first, regardless of whether it is a labradoodle or a cat, it is likely to be the center of attention. This also means that initially, it will be resentful towards the newcomer. On a brighter note, the resentment is seldom permanent and dissipates if handled with aplomb and a positive attitude.
Therefore, Labradoodles do get along with cats, and if they don’t, the onus is on you to diffuse the hostility, ease the anxiety, and create an atmosphere of friendship.