Pet owners find it a real struggle when their cats and dogs do not get along. The endless bickering, fighting and chasing can get too much, and it could come to a point where the pets are seriously hurting each other. In this article, we will try to find out why cats hate dogs and discuss some measures to resolve the conflict between these furry friends.
Why do cats hate dogs?
Cats hate dogs because they are loud, sometimes smelly, bark endlessly, and chase them. Some dogs may also hate and try to kill cats. The two are different species and it is often not possible for them to become the best of friends.
Felines tend to hate dogs because of bad past experiences. Their aversion to dogs can also be a generalized response to large predators, or part of an evolutionary design to avoid certain odors and behaviors common to dogs. However, it should be made clear that not all cats hate dogs. Some cats and dogs live harmoniously in one household.
Here are some factors that come into play in the love-hate relationship between cats and dogs:
The way you introduce a cat and a dog play a crucial role.
If cats that hate each other can get along well eventually, the same may also apply when it comes to cats and dogs. Both species need to get used to one another gradually, and the introduction should not be forced. If so, it will heighten the adversarial urges.
Cats and dogs have varying comfort levels, so make sure the cat has an easy escape if she wishes to get away from the situation. Cat trees provide the perfect getaway if a cat feels threatened by a dog.
If you bring both the cat and the dog into a room at the same time, the dog should be kept on a leash. Reward the dog with treats if he displays a relaxed and calm demeanor with the cat. This behavior will help the cat learn that she can share a room with him without being attacked.
You can also put a barrier between cats and dogs by installing a baby gate. Do not place a cat right in front of a dog’s face when you introduce them. Ideally, introducing them through their respective scents is the safest way for them to familiarize.
The age that a cat and dog are introduced plays an essential role.
Cats and dogs tend to get along better and learn to become best buddies if they were introduced as kittens and puppies. Since both are still learning and discovering the world, they tend to be more open toward developing new and lasting friendships.
The breed of dog also plays a role in cat-dog relationships.
Some dog breeds get along better with cats than others. These include golden retrievers, beagles, pugs, basset hounds, labrador retrievers and bichon frises. Inversely, there are dog breeds that do not get along well with cats, such as greyhounds, whippets, Afghan hounds and Australian terriers.
If you already have a cat and are planning to get a dog, do a background check first. Ask the animal shelter about the dog’s background and make sure he does not have a history of aggressions towards other animals.
Prepare your home before the arrival of your new pet. Install a baby gate to separate the two animals, and move their food bowls (and the cat’s litter boxes) far enough apart to avoid creating stress. Avoid hormonal aggression by having the pets spayed or neutered. Before the meeting, exercise the dog to release any pent-up energy.
If the introduction does not go well and both animals are still bickering and fighting, it is best to train your dog to adapt to the cat, since most cats are not easily trained. With proper obedience training, dogs can learn to steer clear of cats and avoid the cats’ wrath by not behaving aggressively toward them.
Cats hate dogs because of bad or traumatic experiences with them, and also because they are loud and chase or hurt them. It is also a generalized response toward large predators, which could apply to other animals aside from dogs. However, this does not mean that all cats hate dogs; some cats and dogs live harmoniously with each other in the same household.
Image: istockphoto.com / chendongshan