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Big Dog and Little Cat...Can They Play?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have a yellow lab, Jinx, and a small cat, Milo who have been living together for almost a year. When Milo first arrived (Jinx had already been here for a year and half previously) she hissed and puffed up her body any time Jinx was near. Jinx didn't even bat an eyelash at this new fuzzy intruder and seemed to care less. Milo got over her snobby attitude within a few weeks and the two have lived harmoniously ever since. They'll sleep together and clean each other, the usual. If Jinx gets in Milo's face for too long then Milo's paw will slowly come up but then I tell Milo "no" and the paw goes back down. They have never fought, that I know of. Can they play together? Every time they seem like they are about to play (always initiated by Milo) I get scared and tell them "no". I'm afraid that Jinx will be too rough and end up hurting or killing Milo. Am I babying Milo too much and should just let them be?

Does any one else let their larger dog play with their small cat?
post #2 of 7
I have a German Shepherd that LOVES to play with the kitties, and the kitties love it just as much as he does. They're always supervised when they play but Thunder (the dog) is very gentle with the kitties. They always do just fine!
post #3 of 7
I've always had large dogs and some of them have really enjoyed playing with the cats (and vica versa). My 85 pound Jethro and my 18 pound Max (both OTB) would play for hours, usually the poke and bat at each other game. The problem was that Jethro had snow paws and if he connected directly, Max would give a little meow, then jump right back into the game.

If they get together in harmony, the only issue would be that your dog has to learn to adjust to your cats style of playing. Watch them closely while they learn from each other.
post #4 of 7
My cats all loved my RB border collie mix, Sophie...I blame her for my cats having no fear of any dog...Lol!
post #5 of 7
I have a 140lb + Great pyr x Humpfree and he plays with my 3.8lb kitty Pudge. He lays on the ground, she lays on her back between his front legs and bites his big droopy lips and kicks his face. He gentle nibbles on her(in reality he basically ends up with all of Pudge in his mouth) and she attacks his face quite gently as well, no claws. The poor dog always has little tiny scratches on his nose and muzzle from her kicking his face. If the cats hesitate at all or meow while they are playing Humpfree stops immediately and sniffs them to see what is going on.

The only time really I worry about dogs that play with cats regularly, hurting the cat is if they play they do is chase. I have seen the friendliest dog that played with cats all the time, get caught up in the moment of chase and accidentally killed the cat. Chase is one of the instinctual things that dogs have built into them, and in the heat of a vigorous game of chase their brains sometimes shut out friendly play and instinct to chase and kill overrides. I have always discouraged my dogs from chasing the cats even if it is in a friendly way. Luckily my dog is a flock guardian and the idea of chasing one of his flock makes him very upset. I have had a friends Border collie that I was babysitting for a couple of weeks at my house, she played with the barn cats at my friends place all the time. She liked to chase and bound around with the cats. When she was here she thought she should chase my cats and Humpf freaked out and I ended up almost having a dog fight.

If they get along great and play gently I wouldn't worry. Just watch them when they play and see how it works out.
post #6 of 7
All my cats have enjoyed the company of large dogs. With my previous cats I had a 100lb Malamute/Border Collie mix, he used to round all 7 cats up in a corner They didn't mind at all, they used to groom him as well.

Current cats used to live with a BC, a Rottie X and a Lab - all got along well.

We didn't allow the dogs to chase, and all dogs were trained for at least sit/stay before being introduced to cats.
post #7 of 7
Little late on this, but Lexi the calico wishes that Diamond, the 70 lb nine year old golden retriever mix would play with her. Diamond always gets up quickly and goes somewhere else when Lexi wants to play with her.

My two cats and dog will often be found sleeping together, but don't play much. The cats play with each other and Diamond just referees! LOL
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