We are thinking about adopting a lab for our home. We wanted to ask you a BIG question……..you see, I”m a cat and I have a cat buddy and we also have a kitten. We romp and play around our home and are very happy. Since we are of the feline persuasion, we just are not sure about canines! Our humans have been talking about it and well, since we are all rescued cats, we want our humans to rescue a lab too…its the best way. Can you help us?
Labless in Smyrna
Dear Labless in Smyrna,
No problem! I can totally give you advice on the cat world! My humans recently brought home two (not one but two) kittens. Me, being a very settled 4 1/2 year old lab thought they bought them for me….so naturally I have been “mothering” them. My house mates – Mr. Collie and Mr. English Setter – not so much – they are younger boys. Mr ES is trained to track these little furry creatures, Mr C – trained to herd them – good luck with that! Here is what my humans did………
The kittens appears to be pretty fearless, though very small, only 4 lbs each. My humans carefully showed them to Mr ES and Mr C – lots of sniffing. As soon as the kittens were free to roam, the boys took off after them, to which my humans said (loudly and in that stem voice) NO! Mr ES and Mr C stopped in their tracks. Then the humans told them to sit and stay, which of course they did.
My humans put a grooming lead on each boy dog. Each day, they would spend time walking them around the whole house, right in front of the kittens. Also, they would spend time in the morning and in the evening, just playing with the kitties with the boys on a lead. The boy dogs (amazingly) just sat and watched. If the boy dogs get cranked up, the leads come out again. After just under two weeks of this training, the dogs didn’t see the kittens as anything but roommates; they really don’t pay them much attention now…truly amazing!
Each cat / kitten is different – Usually the labs just want to play, you just have to ask your humans to teach them the right way to play with the cat world. Also, ALR has a certified CI “Cat Integrator”, that can help your humans when you and your new lab are matched up!
Last bits of advice for your new Lab –
1 – Cats have these things called claws
2 – Kitties will always get you in trouble!
Good luck – it will be fine!