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Do dogs hate cats?

on Fri 13 Jan

Do dogs hate cats?

This great rivalry dates back further than any of us can remember. There are probably pictures of this rivalry painted on cave walls from thousands of years ago, just waiting to be discovered. This rivalry has given us cartoons, metaphors and so much more, but is it all just a myth or do dogs really hate cats?

Meow and then

Most dog owners will know the rivalry between cats and dogs very well when you are enjoying your walk and your dog just spots their sworn enemy on the next road. Your dog then sets thimself up for the chase, most dogs have a high prey drive and love the look of a furry fast object in the distance. This could be why they also love to chase squirrels too. Most owners hold on tight and walk past the cat as fast as they can to try and stop their dog from benign the chase. 

But the cat is also playing a game with the dog, have you ever noticed how a cat never just walks away when they see a dog? No, they just sand and stair to make sure the dog clocks them on their walk. Cats are very smart and probably notice that dogs are mostly attached to their owners so why wouldn't they play again and tease the dog?

We do have some owners that have both a lovely dog and cat that live together in harmony! The trick is exposing them to each other at a young age, really. Or at least one of them should still be either a puppy or a kitten. This allows youngsters to freely learn the boundaries of the older ones along the way. There can still be a clash of personalities but starting off with one or both of them young will help settle them into their new friendship.

That being said…

While the two animals don’t hate each other in the way we would define “hate”, they are not naturally friends. On the one hand, cats are incredibly independent animals that vaguely tolerate the rest of us (humans and dogs) existing, while dogs rely on being sociable to keep them happy. This independence makes cats natural explorers, while dogs have a guarding instinct, so when a strange cat enters a dog’s territory, the barking and guarding will scare away the cat. In this sense, they can certainly regard each other as enemies.

Cats are also creatures of quiet and chilled lifestyle. They walk in a calm and slow manner with only one goal to reach their destination. so a dog happily bounding into a room is sure to upset a cat who will regard this other four-legged animal as a form of chaos. Cats also love to lay in the sun and sleep all day but we all know our dogs just love to be entertained and play games all day. So when you are done with playtime your dog may not be and try to find other forms of playmates which could be your cat chilling in the sun.

So they don’t hate each other, but they certainly make an odd couple when it comes to their natural behaviour. As mentioned though, they can also, if they learn to respect each other’s boundaries, behaviour and space, get along like a house on fire.


Interested in reading more? Why not explore the Guide to microchipping your dog blog here