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Can a dog get a cat pregnant?

Have you seen your dog hump your cat and wondered if there was a possibility your cat could get pregnant? It would be a cute idea, wouldn’t it? A puppy and kitten hybrid might be the cutest animal ever to exist. While we’ve seen different animals mate like horses and donkeys, or tigers and lions, dogs and cats are not able to mate and have babies.

A dog cannot get a cat pregnant because the two animals are different species, they have incompatible numbers of chromosomes, dissimilar reproductive cycles, and divergent mating habits.

Dogs and cats can be great friends and spend quality time together; however, there are a few scientific reasons that a dog cannot get a cat pregnant. Continue reading for all the details.  

Why can’t a dog get a cat pregnant?

Nature allows for amazing things to happen, but a dog getting a cat pregnant is not one of them. Dogs and cats cannot have hybrid babies. A dog can hump a cat and vice versa, but nothing in that process allows the animals to get pregnant.

Different species

A species is a group that resembles one another and can breed with each other. Dogs and cats are from different species. Dogs are part of the Canidae species, and cats are from the Felidae species. In fact, the last time these two had a common ancestor was about 42 million years ago! Because they are different species, there is no way for a dog to get a cat pregnant.

Each species has a type of genome that is special to them, which causes a reproduction barrier and prohibits dogs and cats from getting pregnant. Horses and mules are of the same species, which is one main reason those two can make babies. Being from different species means dogs and cats do not share similar DNA, keeping them from getting pregnant. 

Different numbers of chromosomes

Another reproductive barrier between dogs and cats is that they carry a different number of chromosomes. Having a different number of chromosomes prevents an appropriate pairing, again keeping the two from impregnating each other.

Chromosomes hold the DNA of each animal. That DNA gets passed to dogs and cats via their parents. Both dogs and cats receive one copy of each chromosome from each parent. Dogs have 78 chromosomes, and cats have far fewer, at only 38.

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Different reproductive cycles

A major difference between cats and dogs is their reproductive cycle. It is scientifically impossible for a cat’s egg to be fertilized by a dog’s sperm or for a dog’s egg to be fertilized by a cat’s sperm. While they both share four stages of the mating cycle: proestrus, estrus, diestrus, and anestrus, they experience them differently. These are the stages when attraction occurs, ovulation happens, mating commences, and recovery takes place.

The difference between a dog’s and a cat’s mating cycle is in the number of days between each stage. For example, the first stage, proestrus, lasts for roughly 27 days in dogs but only 1 or 2 days in cats. This makes it impossible for the sperm of one animal to fertilize the eggs of the other.

Different mating habits

These two animals are not in sync when it comes to mating! The first season of heat for a cat is around four to twelve months of age. A cat will become more receptive to male cats. It will roll, rub against objects, and yowl repeatedly. That behavior will last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. A cat will only go into heat seasonally once it has been exposed to light for several days.

The first season of heat for a dog is between the ages of ten and 18 months. A female dog will then go into heat every six months and will ovulate spontaneously. Dogs will mostly show their attraction by sniffing around another animal in heat. A dog and cat can get friendly and flirt, but they will not try to mate.

What should I do if a dog humps my cat?

There are a few things you can try if your dog, or any dog, is humping your cat. Dogs are sometimes excited or anxious, and humping a cat may be a way for them to release some of that tension. It is harmless, although it is likely frustrating to deal with.

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Separate the cat when unsupervised

One of the best ways to keep your dog from unwanted advances on your cat is to separate them when they cannot be supervised. Putting the cat in its own space or keeping them in separate rooms is a great way to keep the behavior from happening.

Provide exit routes for the cat

An easy thing to do if your dog humps your cat is to provide the cat with an escape route where it can be alone. A cat tower with hiding spaces or a shelf sitting high on the wall is a good option for allowing the cat some alone time.

Some people use baby gates to ensure easy escape routes. Cats can climb over those, while baby gates will stop most dogs. Cats typically like to be up high, so cat towers or high shelves provide them with some space to be separated. It can also help calm both the cat and the dog.

Redirect the dog

Keep other toys in the area so you have something quick to redirect the dog’s attention if you see it starting to hump the cat. Interactive toys are beneficial as they provide stimulation for the dog, although usually, any toy will work to cause a distraction.

While you don’t want to reward the dog for poor behavior like humping your cat, it is good to have treats available for when the dog is practicing good behavior. In a pinch, treats can also help redirect the dog.

Final thoughts

Although dogs and cats are often natural enemies, your dog and cat might be best friends. At times, your dog may get excited and overstimulated, causing it to do something silly like hump your cat. That behavior is natural, albeit somewhat embarrassing. Give your dog some grace if this happens, and use the tactics discussed above to keep it away from your cat.

Try to make sure your dog gets enough stimulation and works through any anxiety. Eventually, you will be able to work your dog out of this habit, and you can rest easy knowing the dog will not be able to get your cat pregnant!