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Why Dogs Hate Cats

Updated on April 27, 2011

We see it in cartoons, we see it on YouTube, we see it while walking our dogs – dogs appear to hate cats. I’ve always wondered why dogs hate cats so much. Because of my curiosity I did quite a bit of research on why dogs hate cats. I was unable to find any real scientific or empirical data that supported the theory that dogs hate cats. I was unable to find any genetic evidence that predisposed dogs to hate cats. I couldn’t even find proof of the “anti-cat” gene that some people claim dogs possess. The best I came up with was a bunch of reasons that make sense to me, yet are somewhat conjecture. Most of the reasons I found as why dogs hate cats are based on the different social behaviors of dogs and cats. Also, during my research I found the contrary – most dogs like, or at least tolerate, cats.

Dogs Hate Cats T-shirt
Dogs Hate Cats T-shirt

Dogs are Social

This makes complete sense when you think about it – dogs are social beings; man’s best friend. Dogs always want to be around people and they like to interact with everything. I once had a Doberman. Dobermans were called “Velcro” dogs by some owners, because they couldn’t stand to be alone and always wanted contact with their owners.

Cats, on the other hand, are rarely social. Cats, for the most part, are anti-social. They hang out by themselves, hide under the bed, and are typically content being alone. Cats prefer to be loners, unless they decide they want to be social.

This is the root of the problem – dogs assume cats are social. This belief leads dogs to try to interact with cats. Cats react by running away. This causes the dog to chase the cat, because the dog wonders why the cat doesn’t want to be social. The cat is often so antisocial that it hisses at the dog. This hissing causes the dog to think of the cat as a threat and enemy. This causes the dog to get pissed at being rejected by the cat as a friend and the dog takes this out by chasing the cat.

Why Cats Hate Dogs

Tail Interpretations

Dogs typically wag their tails when they are happy. Cats wag their tails when they are pissed. So, the happy dog that wants to socialize with the cat is usually wagging its tail. The cat interprets this as a threat, hisses at the dog and runs off. The dog is perplexed by the cat’s rejection at friendship. This confusion causes the dog to interpret the cat not as a friend, but as a threat. This, in turn, causes the dog to get angry and chase the cat!

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    • KenDeanAgudo profile image

      Kenneth C Agudo 

      4 years ago from Tiwi, Philippines

      You made a great point on this kea. We have cat(s) and dog(s) but dogs reign than cats on our house that is why one of our cat exiled. It was sad but that cat cannot live with our dogs, they keep on fighting and fighting but the weird thing is that one of our cat manage to fight back, she remain in the house.

      Pussy is brave! lol

    • profile image

      Susanna 

      6 years ago

      Dogs don't hate cats. In fact, dogs find cats quite delicious. A small scurrying animal just brings out the prey drive in many dogs, including my own. I don't let my dog kill cats, but she would if given the chance.

    • profile image

      Shay Pierce 

      8 years ago

      Pretty sure that my dog feels an instinct to hunt cats. When one species is predator and the other is prey, I think it's typical for them to act as if they hate each other.

      I look forward to your upcoming articles:

      Why Humans Hate Sharks

      and

      Why Sharks Hate Humans

    • kea profile imageAUTHOR

      kea 

      8 years ago

      @bennett16brewer - thanks a lot for the nice comment and for reading :)

    • bennett16brewer profile image

      bennett16brewer 

      8 years ago from New York

      very unique and entertaining hub *thumbs up*

    • kea profile imageAUTHOR

      kea 

      8 years ago

      2patricias - thanks for the comment. I guess some cats like to antagonize dogs, as it seems with Pat's cats! :)

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 

      8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Interesting theories. When Pat's cats were younger they seemed to take pleasure in teasing dogs. They would bound up to dogs, and then hiss when they go close up. On a few occasions this made the dog run away!

    • kea profile imageAUTHOR

      kea 

      8 years ago

      @theherbivorehippi - thanks for the comment! That's pretty funny that your cat jumps on the dogs head while he'd sleeping. I guess they must be good friends if the dog carries the cat around in his mouth! That's pretty cool.

    • theherbivorehippi profile image

      theherbivorehippi 

      8 years ago from Holly, MI

      Interesting information! My cat loves to jump on my male dog's head when he is sleeping and then keep on running, however, he hates when the dog then catches him and carries him around in his mouth. lol They all love each other though. Very good point about the tail wagging!

    • kea profile imageAUTHOR

      kea 

      8 years ago

      @thevoice - thanks for the comment! Glad you like my hub! Cheers.

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 

      8 years ago from carthage ill

      unique hub work thanks

    • kea profile imageAUTHOR

      kea 

      8 years ago

      @sheila b- thx for the comment. That must have been funny to watch your cat jump on dogs backs and see the dog try to get the cat off the back! Cheers.

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 

      8 years ago

      I once had a cat that would lie in wait and attack dogs by jumping on their backs. Like you, I thought about the cartoons and decided they had it wrong. I liked your explanations about why it might seem dogs don't like cats. Makes sense to me.

    • kea profile imageAUTHOR

      kea 

      8 years ago

      Hello, hello - thx for dropping by and the comment!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      You have definitely studied them well. Thank you for an enjoyable read.

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