Most of us grew up believing that felines and canines just don’t like each other. We see it in movies, in TV shows, and read about it in literature. But is it really true? Why do dogs hate cats and vice-versa? Folklores and fables from over the world have offered explanations on the relationship between cats and dogs. One of them involves the devil and a couple of others show that the two species’ dislike for each other roots from the betrayal that each one is trying to get back at each other for until today. While these certainly make for good entertainment, the scientific explanation makes far more sense and is much simpler.
We often see viral videos of cats and dogs getting along just fine—and looking adorable while they’re at it. The simple fact is, cats and dogs don’t hate each other. Cats and dogs have different personalities and they go about their daily lives in different ways. The skirmishes between a cat and dog people witness often come as a result of miscommunication and behavioral differences. So, if you’re asking why do cats and dogs hate each other, here are some facts that could help you better understand.
Cat vs. Dog: Behavioral Differences
There’s a very basic difference between cats and dogs that easily make it seem like they dislike each other. Dogs, being descended from wolves, have the instinct to hunt and survive in packs. Cats also have strong prey drive in their DNA, but unlike dogs, they are solitary creatures like their ancestors. Both can socialize with humans, but cats would generally take more time to trust people than dogs.
Dogs and Cats Communicate Differently
Why do cats not like dogs? On surface level, it would certainly seem so. But for the most part, it’s them using and reading body languages differently that’s causing the conflict. For example, dogs love to run and chase small animals in a playful way. When a cat sees a dog approaching really fast, its natural instinct to flee would naturally kick in. You can imagine how this only gets the dog more excited and the cat, if it feels cornered, would most likely try to defend itself by using its claws.
Another example of how cats’ and dogs’ body languages differ is that when a dog wags its tail, it usually means that he’s comfortable and feeling friendly. A cat, on the other hand, only “whips” its tail when it feels threatened or is being aggressive. A dog may misread it as a sign that the cat wants to play and then proceeds to run around or chase the agitated feline. Taking this into consideration, you can only imagine why do cats dislike dogs.
Why do cats and dogs dislike each other? Another obvious reason why a dog and cat fights is because they’re competing—either over food or your attention. This competitive streak goes back thousands of years when dogs are already living with humans as hunting companions. Canine ancestors like wolves and hunting dogs normally scavenge food or leftover scraps from their masters. Felines got domesticated about 5,000 years later than dogs, and for the most part, they’ve hunted for food on their own.
As for trying to compete for your attention, everyone knows how dogs are sociable creatures and enjoy human affection. Cats take a little more time to get comfortable in human presence, but once they trust you, they can get a little territorial. Seeing a dog trying to weasel his way in on his territory may result in a poorly socialized cat to become displeased. Depending on the cat’s personality, the cat may get in fight mode or avoid getting near the dog altogether.
Socializing Dogs and Cats
Why do cats and dogs not like each other? We’ve come to understand that behavioral differences and an ongoing competition for your attention are likely reasons why it would seem that they do. However, it doesn’t have to always be this way inside your household. With proper socialization and training, dogs and cats can definitely live together in harmony, as we have seen in various situations.
1. Start them early.
The good news is, puppies and kittens can be taught to socialize at an early age. During their formative months, young pups and kittens can be accustomed to the presence of both humans and animals. The critical socialization period is five to 12 weeks for puppies and four to eight weeks for kittens. During this time, both cats and dogs can be taught how to behave or interact with people and other animals. If there had been an unpleasant experience during the socialization, a puppy or kitten may develop distrust that could take much longer to reverse.
2. Behavior training
If you want to train your household pets to get along better, it can surely be done with a little time and patience. Remember that dogs are more playful and excitable while cats have a greater tendency to fight or flee out of fear. Start the training by keeping your dog leashed if he is in the same room with your cat. Offer your dog treats if he is able to keep still while you allow your cat to get used to the idea that he can be in the same room with a dog without being harmed.
It also helps if you’ve learned to teach your dog some basic tricks such as “sit.” If you have to leave the house, keep your dog leashed or in a crate to prevent any fights. Don’t leave your pets unsupervised.
Why do cats hate dogs so much?
they don’t. A cat would much rather avoid a dog if it can. It’s just that dogs
can be too friendly and playful, which can be scary for a cat that spends most of its time
sleeping and only likes to observe. The good news is it’s possible for our
felines and canine friends to live happily together, as long as you take the time
to socialize and train them properly.