Maybe you’ve been asked whether you are a dog person or a cat person. Some will argue that you can’t be both, but many people love them equally. This leads us to wonder why people tag them as natural enemies when in fact they can get along in harmony. While it is true that cats and dogs are hostile towards each other, they are not mortal enemies.
The following points are the reasons why cats and dogs fight:
Let’s look back to thousands of years ago when humans began to domesticate dogs and cats. Humans needed help with herding their sheep and cattle as well as a companion to help them hunt.
Hence, dogs were born. Back then, dogs were trained to hunt for smaller creatures such as raccoons and birds. On the other hand, cats became domesticated because of their ability to hunt rodents.
They were kept as pets, provided with food and shelter, in exchange for warding off mice and rodents. However, because cats are relatively smaller than dogs, they see themselves as prey and anything larger than them as predators.
Presently, due to genetics and instincts, dogs tend to chase cats because they exhibit a prey’s natural movements. Cats are defensive, elusive, and jumpy. And while dogs nowadays are tame and docile, they are still hardwired to hunt smaller creatures.
Therefore, we can say that dogs do hunt cats not because they perceive them as enemies, but because of their natural instincts.
Misjudging each other’s actions
There is also a problem with how dogs approach cats. Dogs, being playful and child-like creatures, often approach cats excitedly and aggressively. Cats, however, are guarded and suspicious. They get terrified and defensive when dogs suddenly come at them, not realizing that dogs just want to play. As a result, cats hiss, snarl and put up their defenses to fence them off. When the dog realizes that the cat is unfriendly, it either walks away or retaliates.
Despite their beef with each other, some dogs and cats do get along. If they grew up together as puppies and kittens, they are most likely to form a bond or at least tolerate each other’s company.
However, if a dog was raised in an environment that demonstrates hostility towards cats, they are going to pick that up and treat is as an automatic response to cats.
If you want to keep both as pets, it is advisable to raise them together and show them how to respect each other’s differences.