Why do Cats and Dogs Hate Each Other? (7 Tips to Bond Your Animals!)

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It seems that cats and dogs have been fighting for decades. It’s an old trope that stands to this day. With movies and TV shows showing the intense rivalry, one may wonder if cats and dogs truly hate each other.

Well, if you’ve ever seen the two opposites collide in real life, you’ll know there is some truth to that trope.

Seeing my cat interact with our neighbor’s dog opened my eyes to the reality of their seemingly never-ending conflict. It begs the question – Why do cats and dogs hate each other?

While some cats and dogs can live in harmony, they instinctively don’t like each other due to their behavioral differences. 


Why do cats and dogs hate each other?

The cats-versus-dogs feud has been a long-running one. The howling on both sides showing disdain for the other can be intense when watching it play out in real life.

When you get in the crosshairs of a tense staredown, you start to think, why do they hate each other? What makes cats and dogs snarl at the mere sight of the other?

Mainly, cats and dogs have this friction due to their behavioral differences. If you take a look at the wild, you will notice that lions sometimes will hunt African wild dogs, and coyotes often hunt alley cats.

While both species are at odds, they don’t have a true hatred towards each other; instead, they look at each other as prey and predator. The real quarrel starts when we take these house pets and try to get them to co-exist.

Cats and dogs have very different personalities, and their way of life is different, which often causes a rift between the two. Here are some behavioral differences that set cats and dogs apart and often lead to the pair not getting along.

Greeting

Cats like to inspect a person and situation before approaching someone. When they decide they want to approach someone, they will go towards them slowly with their tail straight in the air and watching carefully.

On the other hand, our loyal canine friends will run up to people, wag their tails, and avoid eye contact. This action often scares most cats away.

Having a dog run up to them when they aren’t familiar can be misinterpreted as a threat. Seeing a cat running typically causes a dog to chase after the cat, thinking it’s a game. 

Tail talk

They say that communication is key to a relationship, which is no difference between cats and dogs. Cats and dogs both communicate with their tails.

However, the way both animals use their tail to communicate is different. Cats aren’t big on wagging their tails; they tend to hold their tails in different positions to communicate.

When you see a cat whipping their tail around, it means they are irritated. On the other side, the complete opposite is true for dogs.

Dogs love to wag their tail when they are happy or excited. Seeing how both pets communicate differently, you can see where the problems between the animals start to arise.

Purring

Cats purr to calm themselves down or when they are comfortable and happy. Dogs don’t purr; purring can sound more like a growl to them.

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If a dog thinks that a cat is growling at it, it may take that as a threat and, in turn, become hostile.

Vocalization

Another way that cats and dogs differ is by when they choose to vocalize. Cats meow and do it whenever they want to communicate with humans and sometimes fellow cats.

This can be when they are hungry, hurt, bored, or just a general greeting. Dogs bark and normally only do so when they are in distress, or something is wrong.

If they feel they are in a hostile situation (like when they see the mailman), or if they feel anxious or bored.

Personality types

Cats and dogs differ in the way of their personalities as well. Cats are lone creatures that don’t need to be in a pack.

Cats are independent animals and sometimes prefer isolation. Dogs are descendants of pack animals and enjoy being in the company of others.

While cats may want their space, dogs tend not to need any space, which can cause conflicts between the two.


Possible for cats and dogs get along?

Cats and dogs are so different that it makes one wonder if they can ever get along. The battle between the two house pets becomes more divisive when people start pitting the two against each other.

Setting up camps for being a “cat person” or a “dog person” further creates the rift between the two animals, making it seem that the two cannot be friends.

Still, there are people who don’t like one animal and would like to have both pets in their homes. Is it a crazy idea?

Can the two enemies be friends and live together? The answer is yes! Cats and dogs can live together in harmony and be friends and it has been done repeatedly.

It’s just a matter of doing things carefully and tactfully to ensure that both parties are comfortable and fully acquainted with the other. 


7 tips to get your cat and dog to co-exist

Wanting to get a cat and a dog is a dream for many animal lovers. Knowing that cats and dogs don’t like each other very much, it’s essential to have a plan together when getting both under the same roof.

To make sure things go smoothly, here are some tips to get your cat and dog to get along!

#1 Be careful with your selection

When you go to adopt your new pets, it’s important to take into consideration both pets that you plan on adopting.

Like when adopting one pet, the potential pet’s personality is considered before adopting to determine if it will mesh well in your home.

Getting a timid cat in a household full of people and children wouldn’t be the best fit for you and the pet. Factoring both potential pets’ personalities into the equation can help get a better pair that will get along.

Getting an aggressive cat and a similarly aggressive dog will only lead to trouble. Making sure you are careful with the cat and dog that you choose to adopt can help to avoid fights and ensure a friendly duo (not duel).

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#2 Ensure they have their own space

Having a cat and dog is lots of fun; however, they must have their own space. This is especially important for the cat.

Cats need a place where they can retreat if they feel overwhelmed. Dogs can be a lot to take in, and some cats need to be alone and not bothered. 

#3 Train your dog before the introduction

It is super important that a dog is trained before meeting its new housemate. A dog that is all over the place and jumpy will frighten a cat.

Training your dog beforehand to make sure they listen when you tell them to stop will help reduce the stress in the home. The last thing a cat wants in their new home is to be chased around by a dog.

Getting your dog trained will greatly help integrate both pets into their new home.

#4 Tire out your dog!

Another helpful tip is to make sure to tire out your dog with lots of toys and exercise. Doing so will ensure your dog isn’t hyperactive in front of your cat, scaring them away and possibly chasing them around.

To make sure things go smoothly in your home, you must ensure that your cat feels secure in their home. If a cat feels threatened, it will not get along with its canine friend.

#5 Separate feeding stations

Something that can cause a nasty fight is food. Cats enjoy their own place to eat and don’t want anyone invading their territory, even other cats.

The same is true for dogs; if your cat scoops some food out of your dog’s bowl, it can cause a fight.

Separating the feeding stations will eliminate the possibility of one pet eating out of the other’s bowl and starting a conflict. 

#6 Give both parties something to smell

One thing that cats and dogs have in common is that they use their nose to inspect objects. Giving your cat and dog a chance to smell the other’s space and things will help them to get familiar with their scent. 

#7 Take things slowly

The process of integration mustn’t be rushed. Rushing can cause a stressful situation for everyone involved and even worsen things.

If you feel like one pet isn’t getting along with the other, take a step back, and be patient. It may take a while for both parties to accept each other and get along!


Final thoughts

Fighting like cats and dogs is a saying I heard often growing up when I would fight with my sister. I can’t think of two animals that seem to dislike each other more, except maybe Tom and Jerry.

Cats and dogs don’t get along because of their vastly different behaviors. It seems that a cat would do the complete opposite of everything a dog would do.

Despite this, however, it is possible for cats and dogs to get along and even be friends. By following some helpful tips, you can get your cat and dog to live under the same roof.

While getting a cat and dog to be friends may be difficult, it can be done, and in the end, it’s worth it!