Why Do Dogs Hate Cats?

Why do dogs hate cats?

Why do dogs hate cats?: It has always been believed that the rivalry between dogs and cats is natural. Surely more than once you have heard the expression “get along like a cat and a dog” to refer to two people who do not have a good relationship with each other, but is the myth that both species hate each other true? ? is this implicit?

When two animals as different as dogs and cats live together in the same space, certain tensions and conflicts can arise between them. However, there is also the possibility that they will develop a strong bond and end up becoming great friends. In this Bestpetslover article, we analyze both scenarios and tell you if it is true that dogs hate cats or not. Keep reading!

Is it true that cats and dogs don’t get along?

No animal species get along intrinsically badly with another, since the relationship established by two or more individuals among themselves depends on many factors and not only on the species to which they belong. Therefore, it would be wrong to generalize and say that dogs and cats hate each other and cannot live together peacefully in the same home.

The truth is that both animals are similar in many aspects, but they also differ in others which can hinder the relationship between them. Dogs are gregarious mammals, they live in groups (of which we humans are a part), they establish social norms and, in a certain way, they depend on each other to survive and to have a quality of life. However, cats are much more independent and, although they also occasionally form stable coexistence groups, they do not show as much co-dependency between them or towards other species.

The different way that dogs and cats have, by nature, of communicating and interacting with their congeners makes it sometimes difficult for them to understand each other or interpret the intentions of the other, generating a certain distrust or suspicion. But does this mean that dogs and cats will never end up accepting each other even if they live together? Not at all! Well, just as people do, they can learn to tolerate each other’s presence, communicate effectively, and respect each other mutually, even establishing a true friendship in many cases.

Why does my dog ​​hate and chase cats?

If you wonder why dogs chase cats, bark, growl at them or get excessively upset every time they see one, it does not mean that they hate them for the simple fact of being cats! There are a few causes that can clarify these practices. If this is the case with your dog, here are the most frequent reasons that may explain why he “hates” cats:

Has never socialized with cats or is not used to them

If a dog has never had contact with cats during his sensitive stage of socialization (from three weeks to three months of age) or has not gone through a process of habituation to them at any time in his life, it is very possible that overreact every time a cat appears on the scene.

Sometimes the behavior of the dog is simply the product of the curiosity that he feels for that animal that he is not used to seeing, but, on many other occasions, it is related to a feeling of fear and insecurity in the face of the unknown. Not all dogs express fear in the same way, some freeze, others run away or hide and a large number of them bark, growl, bristle, or even chase the potential threat, trying to drive it away.

Have you had any bad experiences interacting with cats?

Another possible reason why your dog seems to hate cats is that he has experienced some traumatic or unpleasant episode when interacting with one. Many times, the dogs that are more accustomed to the presence of cats or those of a more curious or intrepid nature, take “too much confidence” with the felines that cross their path, approaching in an invasive way to sniff or try to play with them.

If the cat in question feels threatened, he may attack the dog with his claws or teeth, scaring or causing injury. As a consequence of this, it is possible that the dog associates, from that moment, the presence of cats with the negative experience and begins to react in an unwanted way to them.

It has a marked hunting and/or prey instinct

All dogs, regardless of their breed, have a certain hunting instinct, as they are mainly carnivorous animals with a common ancestor: the wolf. A complete hunting sequence is made up of several behaviors that are always carried out in the same order and that are the search for the objective, the stalking of the same, the pursuit, and, finally, the prey, which refers to the subjection through the bite.

To cover some or other human interests, selective breeding has been enhancing and polishing these instincts over the years in certain breeds, achieving, for example, dogs with a super sense of smell specialized in searching and tracking, others that show innate behaviors of stalking from an early age or sprint dogs capable of overtaking a rabbit in the middle of a run. Thus, genetics is also an aspect to take into account if your dog tends to chase or chase cats. Therefore, if your dog kills cats,

How to make my dog ​​not hate cats?

To modify your dog’s behavior, the first thing you must achieve is to properly identify the cause of its behavior, understand the emotion that is hidden behind it, and learn to quantify it. Even when the cause of your dog’s behavior is, in part, genetic, there are exercises that you can put into practice with your furry friend and that will help him increase his tolerance level towards cats, whether he finds them on the street or if he shares your home with one or more.

In this article we propose some guidelines to start working with your dog but, as always, if you are concerned about this or any other behavior, we recommend that you seek the advice of a professional canine ethologist or educator who works with a respectful methodology and who studies thoroughly your specific case.

How to make my dog ​​not hate street cats?

The relationship that a dog establishes with each individual is unique and different, which explains why a dog that lives without problems or has a good relationship with a cat at home can then react explosively to unknown cats that it finds on the street. Whether this is your case or not, you should get your dog used to the presence of cats, especially if you live in an area where it is easy to find them during your walks.

To do this, he begins by keeping as much distance as possible with everyone you meet, even if you have to change the route or turn around. Getting the dog used to cats and ignoring them will be more difficult if he has them within his reach.

As soon as your dog sees a cat, slow down and, before he reacts disproportionately, try to divert his attention to you by saying his name or through a command such as “look at me”, which you will have to teach him beforehand. At the precise moment that the dog focuses his ear or his eyes on you, he says “very good!” and reinforces him. Then invite him to follow you and turn around or walk away from the cat.

With this exercise, the aim is to gradually create an association between the cats and the reinforcer, inviting the dog to ignore the feline in exchange for obtaining something it likes. Of course, we must bear in mind that on many occasions, especially in dogs with a great hunting instinct, the search, stalking, or chasing of cats are reinforcers in themselves and, in addition, they are much more powerful than any food that we can give them. to offer.

For this reason, in the case of these dogs, it is a good option to use a game as a reinforcer that also allows them to satisfy this hunting instinct, such as shaking a teether or throwing a ball in the opposite direction.

Never punish or yell at your dog if it reacts to a cat and avoid sharp, sudden jerks on the leash, as they can make the situation worse. Remember that behavior modification is a slow process that requires patience and in which it is normal for there to be some relapses.

How to make my dog ​​not hate my cat?

For a dog, starting to live with a cat is a big change in his life and not all dogs seem to be happy with it. Many times conflicts arise that the guardians do not understand or are not able to resolve and, in most cases, can be prevented by making a good presentation between both animals.

The adaptation process of the animals can be long and expensive, but you should avoid forcing any type of interaction between them if one of them does not feel comfortable. Here are some tips to make living together easier:

  • During the first days, delimit the spaces of both animals through physical barriers and ensure that both have areas where they can rest peacefully.
  •  during your interactions, try not to raise your voice or make sudden movements.
  •  and reinforce any positive interaction between them.
  •  to prevent him from constantly chasing the cat around the house, provide him with enough physical and environmental enrichment and play with him to satisfy his hunting instinct.

If despite putting all these tips into practice, you notice that your dog hates cats, including his housemate, again, we recommend you go to an ethologist or dog educator.