Why it is perceived that dogs and cats hate each other?
One common perception that many people have is that dogs and cats are mortal enemies and there have been depictions in various fields.
There is a common phrase “They’re fighting like cats and dogs.” It is used to describe siblings and co-workers who are fighting often. With this, many people really believed that cats and dogs are really enemies.
Based on the article in Reader’s Digest, experts were asked to explain the truth behind this. The truth is, dogs do not hate cats and it is the same the other way around. However, since they are two different species, then, conflict could be inevitable.
Sara Ochoa, DVM, veterinarian and co-founder of How To Pets, said that dogs and cats are not meant to be foes. “Like humans, they can form profound, enduring connections or experience conflict based on several factors,” she said.
So how did the myth start that a dog is a cat’s archenemy? It was said that this came from the fact that dogs have the instinct to chase and capture moving objects.
“This [prey drive] served an essential role in the survival of wolves and early dogs by ensuring they could secure food for themselves and their pack,” Ochoa explained. Dogs have been domesticated and there is no need for them to have that prey drive but the quick movement of cats could mean that they can be objects to be chased.
Karis Nafte, a certified dog behavior consultant and founder and owner of the pet custody course Who Keeps the Dog said that cats are both hunters and prey animals. “This means in any new situation or environment they find themselves in, they are always looking for potential danger to themselves as well as anything small enough for them to hunt,” the expert explained.
The difference in how they express their affection also differs. Dogs bark, wag their tails, and give a lot of kisses while cats are more subtle and a misunderstanding could occur because of this. For example, a cat’s tail wagging could mean that it wants alone time or that it’s telling you should go away but for a dog, it could be an invitation to play. Dogs have several behaviors that you can decode.
They also differ in personalities. Dogs are more outgoing while cats are the opposite. “For example, a dog’s enthusiastic attempt to play might overwhelm a cat, leading to the cat feeling threatened or stressed,” Ochoa explained.