Why dogs and cats don’t get along

Why don’t cats and dogs like each other? Why don’t cats and dogs get along? Here are some answers to these questions.

Dogs come off as aggressive

Dogs come right up to a new creature and sniff them. Cats find this unnerving. Dogs make eye contact with the new creature, something felines find threatening. A cat may hiss at the dog and therefore traumatize him, causing the dog to act aggressive the next time he sees a cat. This is why cats and dogs often won’t get along.

Photo by Anusha Barwa on Unsplash

Dogs seem scary to cats because they’re larger predators, and dogs like to chase cats because they’re smaller and quick to run.

Very different species

Dogs and cats have been raised differently and share different evolutionary traits. Dogs are pack animals, and cats are loners. Dogs want to be together all the time and do things together, and cats need alone time. That’s one of the reasons why dogs and cats don’t get along.

Some dogs like to dominate. It’s part of dogs social codes. When one dog is dominate, the other dog is expected to show submission to prevent a fight. Cats don’t have submission in their nature. Not pack animals by nature, they never had to submit to anyone, and they’re not going to start now.

Evolutionary war

Both meat eaters, wildcats and wolves have been fighting each other for food and maybe territory way before they were domesticated.

My cat and dog don’t get along. What should I do?

Owners of cats and dogs often face this problem. But there’s a solution. Cats can’t be trained, but dogs can. Train you dog to lie still and be quiet so the cat won’t freak out. If the cat can spend time with the dog in the same room, without the dog running and barking, the feline may get used to the dog.

Let your dog and cat watch each other through a closed glass door. This way, the cat feels safer.

Switch their blankets, so the dog will sleep on the blanket with the cat’s smell, and the cat will get used to the dog’s smell.

Feed them in different bowls, with a distance in between, to prevent fights over the food.

Let them meet each other during treat-handing time. Your dog’s and cat’s favorite treats given at times when they meet each other, so they associate each other’s presence as a positive event.

Place your dog on your right and your cat on your left, and pet them for a long time. Again, this can make them associate each other’s presence with love and affection.

When buying a new pet, make sure to give plenty of attention, affection, and playtime to the old pet to prevent jealousy.

Dogs and cat can get along

If raised together since kittenhood and pupyhood, dogs and cats usually get along great. Or if the cat raises a tiny pup who doesn’t look too threatening. Or the dog can feel parental and protective toward a tiny kitten, and the kitten is too young to fear dogs. By the time the kitten grows up, he’s used to the dog and sees him as a parental figure.

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15 thoughts on “Why dogs and cats don’t get along

    1. Cats are always the boss! They certainly don’t take orders from anyone.

      If your cat considers herself more a dog than a cat, then maybe she grew up around dogs.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I don’t completely agree with this one at all. I see many, many instances of dogs and cats who get along…namely, my dog and cat. My cat and dog began living together when they were both 8 months old. Before living with me, they both lived with other dogs and cats. There are certain dog breeds (such as mine, a Shetland Sheepdog) who are KNOWN for getting along with cats. There are factors such as how you introduce them, scent is important. Our cat was here first, for months……..when we got our dog we made sure that me, my husband, my cat and dog all had the same scent (yep I used perfume), worked like a charm. I also kept my dog in his crate for an hour and let me cat check him out on his own. He hissed at him once and in the 13 years that they have now been living together, they are the best of friends and my cat never hissed at him again after that first day. Cats and dogs DO get along. I think cats have more problems getting along with other cats than they do dogs and my dog HATES other dogs but loves cats.

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    1. My cats hate other cats, too. They all hate each other and only love me. One cat hisses if another cat walks too close to her.

      I’ve tried switching their beds and blankets so they’ll get used to each other’s smell, but it didn’t work. The problem is that the first cat, Hazelnut, sees them as intruders. She’s used to being the only one. And they hate her for hating them.

      And my Amiga started blocking the shutters, not allowing anyone in, locking out the other cats. They get in anyway, but hesitate for a few minutes. I open the other side to let them in, but they’re still uneasy.

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  2. My cat was adopted by one of the dogs in our house as a baby. He grew up around dogs and quickly learned how easy it is to claw a soft nose and how much it makes the dog cry. He reserves that tactic for any dog that gets aggressive. Usually he just gives a dog a swat in the nose with claws in and they back off at the reminder. They only get the claw if they try to get bossy and rough but they know he will do it. Our dogs are afraid of him. He is the boss of the house and boss of all dogs and everyone knows it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A lady with a Rottweiler told me the cat in her house bosses the rottweiler around. The cat is half the dog’s size.

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  3. My dog and cat secretly like each other. We have caught them snuggling up together when we have been out of the apartment. When humans are around they put on a good show of distain.

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    1. That’s funny.

      I used to have two cats who fought, but then once in a blue moon the smaller cat would lick to larger cat’s ears. Always when he was asleep.

      They fought because the larger cat was hyper and liked to play rough, while the smaller cat was a spoiled princess not used to rough housing. She’d get mad, growl, wrap her white paws around his black neck, and they’d roll on the floor, her chewing his ears.

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  4. Chloe was our Alpha……………… In Alabama, we had Chloe, Thomas and Abby (cats) before Ferguson (dog) showed up. Chloe was already around 10 or 11, Abby and Thomas were about 1 year to 2 year old. Ferguson, a stray and weighing 4 Lbs. was around 2 years old when he landed on our doorstep. Abby and Thomas had absolutely no problem with Ferguson at first and let him drink water and eat food at their bowls. He didn’t mind them at all. Then, sometime later Chloe saunters in and hissed and swatted him, claws out. It surprised him and all of us. But what came right after was the worst. Suddenly Thomas and Abby took their clue from her and they all went after him. We quickly set them straight and let them know, he was not fair game, but from then on Ferguson gave them a wide birth and they were destined never to be friends. It broke my heart, because the two younger cats had been fine up until then.

    It reminded me of little kids of mixed raced playing, They don’t notice or care of their differences until someone else, an older sibling or grownup points it out to them.

    Eventually, once my sister took Abby and Thomas and it was just the Chloe and Ferguson, we would catch them asleep together on cold nights. Every now and again you would hear a Grrrr and a hissss, but neither would move and they’d manage to suffer through the night to stay warm.

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    1. We have a feral cat who wanders in from time to time. The cats feeders nicknamed him ‘John The Bully’. He leaps into my apartment and tries eating from the food bowls, and my Amiga leaps on him like a lioness, with horror battle screams. I’ve never seen two cats fight like this, and I’ve seen many feral cats fighting. (I always stop them by chasing the cats in different directions).

      When I try chasing John The Bully away, he hisses and mock charges me, growling and moaning. I have to fill a glass with tape water and throw at him to make him run away. I’m afraid for his safety and Amiga’s.

      But then there’s another cat who gets in and eat, and Amiga does nothing. She just hates John The Bully, maybe because he’s an alpha male. And no, he’s not spayed. Amiga is.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Like brothers and sisters sometimes. The two cats I used to have, Angel and Milky, used to fight all the time. But they liked each other, too. Fighting and loving and then fighting again. That’s exactly what siblings do.

      Liked by 1 person

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