Why Do Cats And Dogs Get Along

A cat and a dog are fighting. The cat is acting defensively, which is typical of unsocialized interactions between cats and dogs.

a socialized dog and a kitten that interact with one another without being hostile.

There are many interactions between cats and dogs.

[1] While individual animals can have non-aggressive relationships with one another, especially in environments where non-aggressive behaviors have been trained, each species’ innate inclinations tend to lead to antagonistic interactions.

The interactions between the species, which are typically violent, have been observed in cultural representations. When raised and educated properly, dogs and cats tend to get along nicely in household settings, especially when their owners are taking good care of them.

Why are certain cats and dogs so compatible with one another?

At least in popular culture and stereotypes, dogs and cats are sworn foes. However, do they really? The majority of folks I know who own both a dog and a cat report that their pets get along nicely with one another. One of my friends has a dog and a cat that are best friends and play together rough and tumble for hours before cuddling together for a long snooze. The dog and cat connection in our home is one of understanding and mutual avoidance. Sometimes Bella the dog will sniff Lovie’s butt, or Lovie the cat will walk within an inch of Bella’s nose. But for the most part, they ignore one another and coexist harmoniously. However, when my daughter’s dog Poppy arrives, chaos ensues, and Lovie flees the scene. Poppy does not appeal to Lovie. Poppy is overly brisk and inquisitive (at least this is why, in my reckoning, Lovie disapproves of Poppy). The sentiment appears to be biased. Lovie has little interest in making friends, despite Poppy’s strong desire to interact with him.

It may come as a surprise that little research has been done on how dogs and cats get along and what variables may affect whether relationships are peaceful given how many families have both a dog and a cat. Why can Lovie and Poppy not be in the same room together while Lovie and Bella feel comfortable around each other?

A recent study that will appear in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior provides some answers to the questions surrounding dog-cat relationships. Researchers Jessica Thompson, Sophie Hall, and Daniel Mills attempt to evaluate the dog-cat relationship as it is seen by pet owners through a study of mixed-species homes. They also attempt to identify some of the factors that may affect whether dogs and cats get along.

Most pet owners surveyed think their dog and cat get along well. The authors of the study define an amiable relationship as one that is “characterized by a pleasant, mutual link, which is discernible through the use of affiliative behaviors, retaining proximity, and effective, non-aggressive communication between persons.” However, only few respondents rated their dog and cat connection as being particularly close.

Other findings regarding canine and feline interactions included:

  • Dogs were less likely to observe cats threatening dogs, whereas cats were more likely to do so.
  • Food, toys, and beds weren’t frequently shared.
  • Although this activity was occasionally noticed, cats and dogs occasionally groomed one another.

The authors present some preliminary results regarding the variables that appeared to affect the effectiveness of a dog-cat relationship in a home. For both dogs and cats, exposure at a young age was crucial. This was especially true for cats that were familiar with dogs because they had been exposed to them when they were very young. The fact that the cat was the first to move into the home may have contributed to its increased comfort. Compared to outside cats, indoor cats were more tolerant to dogs. Both gender and neuter status didn’t seem to be important factors.

One intriguing discovery is that the cat usually makes the decisions. In comparison to the comfort of the dog, the comfort of the cat was a better indicator of amity. In contrast to dogs, cats are more prone to feel uneasy around dogs. Additionally, cats behave more antagonistically or aggressively against dogs than vice versa.

The study’s authors give a few theories as to why cats may find it a little more difficult to cohabitate than dogs. One possible explanation is that “Cats are at a later stage of domestication than dogs, both physiologically and behaviorally, which may limit their ability to feel at ease around other species. Another possibility is that owners view cats as more vulnerable because they are often smaller than dogs. Given that a dog is unlikely to be gravely hurt by a cat, owners may be more receptive to a cat acting aggressively against a dog.

Although the study’s research findings are intriguing, the authors’ main argument is that there is a lack of knowledge regarding dog-cat partnerships. Owner observations might be helpful, but they can sometimes be troublesome. The survey questions were worded generally, for example, “Is the cat at ease with the dog around? They are subject to various interpretations depending on how perceptive the owner is and what they perceive “to be comfortable. Owners sometimes ignore the symptoms of stress in dogs and cats, thus reports of “Comfortable should not be read carelessly.

There must be more research done in this important field, which has consequences for many companion animals. The number of homes with both a dog and a cat is unknown. 7 percent of households in the UK, according to a tiny poll, had both species. We may estimate that, at the absolute least, many million cats and dogs are cohabitating in houses if we use this percentage as a general guideline. For both cats and dogs, a high quality of life and low levels of stress depend on an understanding of how these partnerships are beneficial to both sides.

Can dogs and cats coexist peacefully?

If given the chance to comfortably get to know one another, the majority of cats can coexist with a dog. If a puppy and kitten are raised together, they will typically learn to tolerate one another immediately soon. However, some cats and dogs develop into true friends and may even play and nap together.

Are dogs and cats compatible?

This proverb expresses the widely held notion that cats and dogs are inherently antagonistic to one another. This is untrue, as anyone who lives with both species or has read The Incredible Journey knows. Cats and dogs are able to bond quickly. The feelings that cats and dogs have toward one another are not innately hostile; rather, they are the result of interactions with members of the other species throughout life.

The first meeting lays the groundwork for further discussions regarding the dog/cat relationship. Because both species “talk” through body language differently, misinterpretations may cause the connection to start off on the right or wrong foot, depending on who says what to whom.

Personality typesand their tails

The feelings that cats and dogs have toward one another are not innately hostile; rather, they are the result of interactions with members of the other species throughout life.

A dog will approach another with its tail held high if it is forceful and confident. Unless the other dog accepts the challenge and adopts a confrontational position himself, the other dog will typically respond to this “go ahead, make my day” style of challenge with submission and/or appeasement. A cat that is approachable and self-assured will also have its tail held high. Saying, “Hey, let’s be pals,” is this cat.

Think about the scenario when the pleasant, self-assured cat approaches the laidback or submissive dog with its tail held high, head held high, and with a self-assured step. The dog bows politely to the cat or retreats to see what the cat wants to do next because he doesn’t want to cause any trouble. For the cat, either answer is motivating; he discovers that this strategy for dealing with dogs is successful. Most canines misread the friendly tail signal and are cautious not to offend on the first meeting, therefore this kind of cat will have no trouble befriending them.

Our cat, who adores dogs, employs this tactic on all dogs. He even crosses the street to confront odd dogs who are passing by. Our cat has never been chased by the dogs since they are so startled by her. When the cat approached to greet our neighbor’s Great Dane, the visit was cut short. The extremely nervous neighbor-dog sprinted home with her tail between her knees. It is more important to behave ethically and morally in the animal kingdom than it is to be a certain size.

On the other side, the uncommon dog that actually seeks conflict can respond to the amiable cat by stepping up the challenge. He may snarl at the cat while standing very tall or by placing his paw or chin on the cat’s back. The cat will become alarmed by this and either flee or stand up and fight. In either case, this dog will view cats very differently from the dog who simply wants to get along.

Missed messages

When a puppy misinterprets the tail wag, it may hiss loudly and bleed from the nose.

Dogs typically wag their tails as a show of contentment and a want to play or interact, which can lead to inter-species confusion. The dog wags harder when it is happy. The cat, on the other hand, “switches” his tail rather than waving it. The cat gets furious the faster the switching happens. When a puppy misinterprets the tail wag, it may hiss loudly and bleed from the nose. The puppy won’t consider cats as prospective playmates or buddies since it is dazed and bewildered.

Adult dogs may even become furious or excited by the attack and retaliate, which would only serve to confirm the cat’s perception of dogs as annoying oafs who are also dangerous.

When they roll over, there is one more significant difference between dog and cat speech. Puppies are more inclined to roll over to demonstrate their surrender than adult dogs. I’m a baby; please don’t murder me. In contrast, cats will roll over and assume a defensive position. The cat on its back is in control of the fight and is inflicting the most damage with its rear claws. I feel bad for the poor dog who pokes his nose in to smell the dying cat.


There are some significant areas where cats and dogs contrast, yet there are other areas where they are similar. Both species engage in displacement activities in reaction to conflict, including grooming, yawning, lip-licking, and sniffing the ground. For both species, a ferocious display of teeth and fluffing out of fur conveys the same message. Even the tiniest kittens and pups are able to hiss and growl intuitively and seem to understand them as universal warning signals.

In most cases, cats and dogs who share a home learn how to get along; they achieve this through experimenting and observation. In the cat’s situation, it is preferable to observe from a distance. If a dog and a cat get along well, they might share a bed, eat each other’s food, and play together. If not, they might grow to have a grudging regard for one another and simply avoid each other.

How can humans help?

Through classical training, pet owners can improve their relationships with their animals. Feed the cat ever-closer to the caged dog while keeping the dog in a wire crate with a tasty bone. This will enable people to link their shared enjoyment of food with one another.

Another useful technique for teaching the dog and cat to get along and eventually become friends is clicker training. A excellent way to begin is to clicker train the dog and cat individually, then transition to joint sessions (with the cat on the counter or otherwise isolated from the dog).

Teach each animal a few simple commands, such shaking its paw or touching its nose to a target. So that the animal is content to play the game anyplace, practice in various areas all over the house. Train the dog and cat together if they can endure being in close proximity. Request a behavior from one of them, click, and reward. They’ll determine whose turn it is soon enough!

If the dog and cat are wary of one another, think of a technique to keep them apart but yet allowing them to see one another. Click and treat whenever a dog shows even the slightest sign of friendliness or tolerance, or whenever they pay you any attention while the other person is around. Give each animal a lengthy reward that takes a while to consume so that you have time to deal with the other one.

Raising your standards gradually will make it simpler for them to succeed. For instance, praise the cat when she looks at you instead of the dog or when her ears are pointed forward rather than sideways. For any action that involves all four feet being planted or that does not entail barking or whining, click the dog. Move from fundamental toleration to giving you their full attention and finally to reacting to cues they have already learnt. If you have assistance, you can teach animals simultaneously while progressively getting closer to one another.

Cats and dogs frequently develop into devoted “siblings,” protecting and standing by all members of the family well into old age with a little patience, some instructional inter-species experience, and timely clicker training.

Why don’t cats and dogs get along?

Really, as the cat climbs a tree to flee, the dog ought either be getting scratched in the face by the cat or biting the cat.

Dogs and cats inherently loathe one another, so when they clash, they will fight until one retreats with its tail between its legs or until blood is drawn.

But since both creatures are carnivorous, their shared animosity must go farther than a simple instinct for predation. Here, we examine the animosity between cats and dogs.

How do cats perceive dogs?

Dogs are more likely to provoke violent behavior from cats when they see them as a threat. As a result, cats commonly “dominate” their canine buddies. Cats are less inclined than dogs to share their food, toys, and bedding. With your dog, cats are less likely to start the grooming process.