CattyCorner: Do Cats Really Hate Dogs?

Greetings, my pawsome human minions.

It’s Forrest, your fine feline purrveyor of cat knowledge, with the answer to one of your most burning cat questions…

Do cats really hate dogs?

I once thought this was a question with a simple yes or no answer, but time and experience have taught me otherwise. As a kitten in the colony, I and the other littles would listen to the old-timers spin yarns about the slobbery and brutish ways of mutts.

In these stories, we’d hear of valiant feline heroes troubled by dogs and how their cunning cat prowess would overcome the woofing beasts. We would take these stories and play war, we kittens choosing someone to be the mutt, and then we would all scamper about, dipping and dodging the chosen one to find the safety of Homebase.

It was easy then to believe dogs were just things of evil who wanted to eat us all alive. But stepping into a world wider than my colony, I learned life was not at all the black-and-white cat-versus-dog simplicity I so believed.

Rethinking First Notions

My re-education began with my rescue, where living in the shelter introduced me to dogs in closer quarters. My first notions that dogs were smelly, loud, and obtrusive creatures remained, but in conversations with some of the canines in the shelter, I learned many of them were kind-hearted souls, eager to be friends with felines. Those chats also taught me that while cats and dogs went about love differently, we both sought the safety and joy of a family.

My thought that all dogs were just cat-chasing mongrels had shifted and slid away.

But Some Dogs Just See Prey

Now don’t get me wrong, there were dogs in the shelter who would’ve sooner chased me up a tree than talk to me, but I came to understand something. Those dogs weren’t bloodthirsty cat killers who personally plotted against me at every turn. These hounds were just base creatures ruled by their prey drives and couldn’t control their need to chase anything that ran.

While these dogs were disdainful in my eyes, I can’t say that I hated them, for they were wired to chase cats, just as cats are wired to chase lizards.

Quite simply, our natural differences have the potential to make us enemies. But not ones born of hate, just nature.

So, dogs who live by hard instincts driven by their need for prey should always be avoided by felines. But the other kind of dog, those with psyches of higher reasoning, can make for fine friends.

RELATED: Bringing Home Pup: Introducing Your Cat To A Dog

Cousin Doug

Still, upon my adoption, I was quite thrilled that my parents’ home came without the canine kind. But that didn’t mean I was to escape dogs altogether. Oh no, my mother’s sister is a dog lover, so I am sometimes forced to hang out with what my family terms my ‘cousin.’ I scoff at this term, but as dogs go, cousin Doug is alright.

His puppy years were trying, though, as he often chewed my toys and loved to lick me in the face. And he always carried the bilious odor of sweaty mutt. As a civilized adult of five years old, Doug still stinks, but he makes for an excellent napping buddy. He’s very furry and warm and enjoys it when I purr. He does this cute little squirm that snuggles him in closer to me when I turn on the motor.

I know what you’re thinking; I’ve gone soft. And maybe I have, but this mutt makes an excellent minion. And he’s learned to stay out of my food bowl, a key ingredient to keeping dog and cat relations on the up and up.

Still, Some Cats Just Don’t Like Dogs

But while I and many other cats can bear life with dogs and even enjoy being together, some felines cannot abide dogs.

Like dogs who can’t see beyond their instincts, some felines can’t either. They see canines as large, toothy predators who will bring nothing but fear and pain and should be avoided at all costs.

Other felines may fear dogs because of some past incident in which they were aggressed or hurt by a dog. It should also be mentioned that dogs who have had bad run-ins with aggressive cats may forever cower at the sight of a kitty. But their fear could cause them to lash out in defense.

Whatever the reason for the discord between cat and dog, if your furry one has aversions to other furballs, keep everyone separated and safe so as not to further upset relations.

Whether their dislike is born of instinct or bad experience, some kitties just won’t be friendly with dogs, even if the hound is the nicest one to be found. And it can be just the same for the pups too.

So, long answer short, cats don’t really hate dogs. Many of us simply live by instinct, and nature can cause felines and canines to clash. But some of us cats and dogs are fortunate enough to overcome our differences and become friends.

RELATED: Mr. Wisewhiskers’ Guide to Etiquette Among Cats

You know what cats do hate, though? An empty food bowl, so don’t forget to feed the cat.

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