The quickest, best answer to this question is this: SURVIVAL. So, dogs and cats do not get along because one’s existence antagonizes that of the other. If you look at happenings in the wild, you will realize that wolves eat wild cats and lions eat African dogs. So, there is no hate between the two species; what exists is a prey-predator relationship and resource conflicts.
Cats and dogs are usually fighting for the same food scraps in a home. In the long run, the fights move from the scraps to death conquests. The main reason why the feuding happens is if the dog and cat are forced to interact and coexist.
This article will focus on explaining the hate and conflicts observed between cats and dogs. It will then open you up to the dog breeds that find it hard to live with cats. In the end, you will get a step-by-step guide on how to make the two pets get along.
Explaining The Feline-Canine Hate
A sweet, casual, and friendly interaction between a dog and a cat can turn sour in a matter of seconds. What usually goes on is that one of the critters will try pouncing and chasing the other. This heated relationship happens in so many places that phrases like ‘fight like a cat and dog‘ have come up.
Dogs and cats can suppress their predatory and prey instincts to coexist peacefully with each other in the same space. However, there seems to be so much hate between the two – why is that the case? On the one hand, it comes naturally to dogs to chase smaller animals. On the other hand, a cat’s instinctual behavior is to run away when it feels or sees that a threat is coming. In a household, the cat and the dog constantly fight to assert their alpha roles and ensure that they win and win back territories.
When a dog and a cat cross ways or engage in moments of eye contact, they immediately become suspicious of each other. Apart from instincts, the reason these species like butting their heads against each other comes down to inter-species miscommunication.
A Relationship Based On Instincts
If you look at the cat and the dog, you will swiftly realize that their instincts are incredibly powerful. To exemplify, a young kitten will cover its fecal matter in a manner to suggest that it doesn’t want others to really see the droppings. On the flip side, a puppy will dig up sandboxes or gardens and bury its toys to ensure that other dogs do not touch them. Later, it will dig the toy up to continue with playing. These instincts cross into interspecies relationship, which is where the rift between the dog and the cat begins.
All dogs – no matter the breed – have a particular level of prey drive. Some breeds are more than ready to pounce on a cat, raccoon, or squirrel whenever they see it on sight. When the dog tries to chase the cat, the cat will get the strength to move fast.
If the cat tries to dart after a toy, the dog will think that the cat is trying to escape. What happens is that dog will break free and chase it. Like other wild cats, the cat will try to flee themselves from snakes, coyotes, and eagles. They will do anything – run through the walls or try fighting back. The cat may bite, hiss, or swat when the dog threatens it.
The individual sets of instinctual behavior tear at the cat-dog relationship in two ways. One, the felines will see dogs as predators and try as hard to keep their distance. Also, the canines will start fearing the hisses and claws of the cat.
A Whole Lot Of Miscommunication Between The Two
Cats and dogs immensely excel in deducing the meaning of the body language spoken by members of their species. For example, one dog will know if another is organizing an attack or is aggressive. With that info, the observing dog will avoid getting too close. This same thing happens to cats.
Miscommunication happens when one member has good intentions but cannot be trusted by the other. For example, a dog may genuinely want to engage in play, but the cat sees it as an imminent attack. So, the cat draws out its claw and attacks the innocent dog. At the day’s end, you will have two different species that are in a turbulent relationship.
The Dog And Cat Both Want To Become Alphas
To make the cat-dog relationship more complicated, each member bears an inborn desire to be top of a hierarchy. What ensues is a power struggle that creates disharmony between the cat and the dog.
If the cat is the dominant kind, it will set itself for the position of alpha cat. To assert its authority before the dog, the cat will block the canine’s path or even steal its food. The remedy to this would be to have a pushy cat and a calm dog. The cat’s assertiveness will be brought to its knees by the docile dog, choosing to react indifferently to the feline’s bullying.
The cat and dog will continue fighting for a sleeping spot, food, or even your attention. The fighting will continue until someone concedes, but that never happens. You should always reprimand any member trying to bully the other. This way, both the cat and the dog will stop acting erratically before each other.
Dogs And Cats Getting Along: Can It Really Happen?
Yes – yes, they can. Many cats and dogs coexist without engaging in scuffles or fights. Actually, some of them even share water bowls and food. They even groom each other and snuggle together. However, that is not usually the norm. But, the message is this: a peaceful relationship between a dog and a cat is not ideal – it can work out.
Canine Breeds That Find It Hard to Tolerate Cats
In this section, we will give a particular focus to dog breeds in this dog-cat issue. We have already established that the relationship between a cat and a dog can be harmonious. However, the dog breeds captured in this section are those whose hunting instincts are a little bit too strong to handle frequent interaction with a feline. Here we go:
1. The Saluki
While the Saluki’s appearance may put it out as fragile and graceful, the dog was bred to be an astute hunter. It possesses endurance coupled up with the strength to chase the cat over rugged terrain and long-distance. If you look at the history books, you will know that the Saluki was used to take down gazelle in the Egyptian region. The breed’s natural response – even to the slightest movement – is to pounce. Cats will not like the shadow of a Saluki hanging near them.
2. The Smooth Fox Terrier
Farmers originally owned this Terrier to deal with foxes and vermin – the two were a nuisance. Today, people rarely use Smooth Fox Terriers for hunting. However, this does not mean that they dropped their determination and drive. This breed consists of brave and bright dogs that love gaming and exercising. Their high prey drive makes it hard for them to live with felines in the same house. Let alone felines – these dogs may scare a stranger to bits! Apart from that, they are impressive watchdogs.
3. The Manchester Terrier
Breeders bring the Manchester Terrier to life for purposes of taking down small vermin like rats. This dog will become alert if it detects – by sight or by scent – the presence of a rodent. As a pet, this dog is devoted and well-mannered and is also clean and independent.
This breed puts out a curious dog that will try to intimidate a present feline whenever it gets the chance. You may need to hold its leash if a parent walking their cat passes by.
4. The Schipperke
This vermin hunter and watchdog is too active – it is a dog that shows concerns and involvement in whatever is going on. Since the Schipperke has watchdog inclinations and tendencies, it won’t be long before it starts barking at every other animal. In that case, therefore, you should bring it to obedience classes while it is still a pup.
This is a breed that can live in the town as well as the countryside with few problems. As a versatile dog, it will participate –with enthusiasm and conformation – in all agility and exercise activities that you engage it in. In terms of grooming, you only need to bathe it occasionally and brush it weekly. If you are bringing in a Schipperke, you should avoid housing it together with a cat – its hunting instincts ache a lot.
5. The Blue-tick Coonhound
These dogs are used for treeing and trailing small animals like raccoons. They do the job so well because they can stay on track, however intricate it is. In terms of outlook, the Blue-tick Coonhound bears a mottled coat that is dark blue and has particular athleticism and hardiness. They are working dogs that hunt, obey, and engage in agility exercises excellently.
The dogs of this breed get along impressively with children and dogs, but the cat is where they draw the line. Because of their stubbornness, you need to have a strong hand when training. These kinds of dogs are likely to break off their leashes and chase down a feline till they get it.
6. The Whippet
This sighthound makes it to this list as yet another medium-sized dog. As a matter of fact, the Whippet is the fastest in the world of domestic animals. They can clock speeds of up to 35mph, thanks to their weight. It is no surprise because it was bred – in England – like a rabbit courser and a race dog.
Instinctually speaking, this dog is inclined to chase anything furry and small in nature, including felines. Although they are born-athletes, your Whippet will act with dignity and calmness in the house, well, except if there is a cat around.
7. The Afghan Hound
This type of dog was initially used to take down wolves, hares, and even the mighty one of the Panthera genus – the snow leopard. These dogs have impeccable strength and unmatchable speed – they can bring prey to the floor quickly. With high stamina levels, the Afghan Hound can maintain and sustain an extremely strenuous chase for a long time. This dog breed is popular for its interest and appetite in chasing felines, which is why it makes it to this list.
The breed itself has silkily thick hair and comes in virtually all colors. On top of being hunters, they are also successful at show business. Their owners prize them as companion dogs, and they advise that the Afghan hounds be groomed and exercised daily.
8. The Bedlington Terrier
This dog has an impressively lovable nature and an appearance filled with grace. It was developed as a separate breed in the 1800s for purposes of hunting and taking down vermin. The Bedlington is known for its woolly, curly coat and has a gently mild personality. The AKC has it that Bedlington Terriers will not welcome cats well. They will also chase other animals down because they have a lot of energy and a high prey drive.
9. The Australian Cattle Dog
This is probably the most intelligent and high-energy breeds, always willing and ready to work daily. The dogs of this breed show courage, agility, and strength, making it easy for them to establish control over cattle.
Since they are of a show breed and can solve problems exceptionally, you should get the Australian Cattle Dogs a job so that they stay out of trouble, you know, the cat-chasing kind of situation.
The chances of guaranteeing tolerance between an Australia Cattle Dog and a cat can be increased if the two are brought up together. However, the dogs thrive best if they live in a house without cats.
10. The Standard Schnauzer
As you may have already picked out from the sound of its name, the Standard Schnauzer was conceived in Germany. At that time, it was bred as a guard dog to take care of the livestock and the family. Also, it was expected to deal with invasive vermin. The Standard Schnauzer of today is affectionately friendly and is excellent with kids. The dog breed consists of strong-willed and smart canines that need frequent obedience training and everyday exercising. Since the dog has a high prey instinct, it would be best that it doesn’t live with cats or any other small pets.
Making A Cat And A Dog To Get Along
In this section, it will be assumed that you are a proud owner of a cat. It will also be understood that you are thinking of getting a canine friend, but you are a little afraid of how it will react. Or it could be the other way around. Whichever it is, you’re about to learn some stuff.
Many canines and felines will not warm up to each other automatically. Their interactions are likely to have a smell of adrenaline and fighting so. However, you can change things and help them adjust so that they accommodate each other well. You need to take a lot of your time understanding the different needs of each pet. That way, you will create a peaceful and happy home where both animals will coexist without major issues.
First Part: Getting The Cat And Dog Acquainted
1. You need to get ready for the introduction properly. Whether you’re bringing a dog or a cat to a house that already has one of the other, you need to form a good foundation for the two pets – who are totally green to each other – to get along. You need to ensure that your house has adequate space for the cat and dog to get some space away from one another. The dog and the cat need to be kept separately for a couple of dogs. This may mean keeping the pets in cages or two different rooms.
2. Keep a slow pace. It is imperative that you hold each pet back. Do not allow the dog to chase the cat all over – this could lead to an injurious fight. The pets should be kept away from each other for about 3 to 4 days before any introduction is made. The two animals will need time to pick each other’s scent. The new one will also need to familiarize themselves with the home and the people before they deal with the non-human species.
3. Move the pets between the two rooms in an alternate fashion. If the dog was in the living room and the cat was in the guest room, switch their positions. All this while, the idea is to make the two animals sniff and pick each other’s smell without actually seeing each other physically.
4. Let the feline and canine smell each other through or under the door separating them. This olfactory kind of engagement will help the animals connect the line between the smell and the animal. Doing this for a long time creates a sense of familiarity.
5. Make certain that the cat is ready, calm, and relaxed before you introduced the dog. You can do something like a pseudo-meeting to know how the cat feels. If the feline shows signs of fright, like running and hiding when it sees the dog, you should wait. The cat will need time to adjust not only to the scent but also to the canine’s sound. When that happens, you can bring them together, or rather, bring the cat to the dog (since the cat is a weaker, ‘prey’ animal).
6. Get ahold of the dog until the cat is relaxed, or hold the cat’s arms until it is calm. You can mother the cat and ask someone to bring the dog into the room. Whoever is bringing the dog should make small steps. Do not give the animals a chance to make physical contact with one another; the idea is to get them used to each other’s presence.
7. Pet both the dog and cat equally during the introduction times. Like people, animals may become jealous when they see others getting more attention than they do. You need to give them equal warmth, especially if they are both with you. This will prevent attention fights where the cat and the dog will claw each other to win you over.
8. Get the pets separated again. The interactions should neither be forced nor should they go on for too long. When the canine and the feline get exhausted because of each other’s presence, conflict can arise. Make the first few meetings good by ensuring that they are pleasantly brief.
Second Part: Getting The Pet Adjusted To One Another
1. Keep the canine and feline away from each other whenever you are absent. This should happen for an extended period to ensure that neither the cat nor the dog injures the other.
2. Distract your dog from directing negative behavior towards the cat. From time to time, the dog will bark or try to engage in rough play with the cat, which can scare the feline. When you notice that, give your dog some other activity or throw a treat in the other direction. Avoid reprimanding the dog with shouts.
3. Gift, praise, and reward the canine when it behaves exceptionally around the feline. When the dog shows friendliness or calmly ignores the cat, throw a biscuit at the dog. This should make it easy for your cat to walk into the room without feeling any kind of apprehension. The cat will like to be ignored, and it will also appreciate if the dog does not act aggressively towards it.
4. Give the cat a to-go place – somewhere it can escape the dog’s reach. You can get a baby gate or a cat tree; these are items that your cat will find indispensable if the dog turns all red. This will also save the dog from the claws of the cat.
5. Be realistic about everything. If your cat and dog have never – in their entire lives – lived with other animals before, they may react cautiously or even aggressively. So, persevere with the process and try doing it over again to achieve great results.