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Ancient rivalry: Cat vs. Dog





giovle
Hi,

Does anybody know why there is such rivalry between cats and dogs? Is it just an expression of instincts when one species meets another? Like between cats and mice? But then again, that's a predator-pray relationschip, not one like cats and dogs.

Does anyone have a plausible explanation?

Thx
HoboPelican
I wonder if it really is a "rivalry". Think of all the cats and dogs that live together without problems. Then think about when you are walking your dog in the neighborhood. How many other dogs come charging to "protect" their territory? Or dogs that chase squirrels and rabbits. Or chasing cars, for that matter. Dogs protect and chase. A smaller animal will usually run when a larger animal charges and that just encourages the chaser.

I don't think there is really a natural rivalry between the two, but I bet someone else could make a case for man's two favorite pet species vying for man's affections! Wink
giovle
Maybe you're right, I was just thinking ... The other day I heard a weird, but plausible theory.
Since cats and dogs alike use specific 'bodylanguage' and behavioural patterns to express themselves, it could have something to do with that. Maybe it's a little far-fetched but then again, many animals react to the behaviour of others. So now the theory Smile
Observe the behaviour of both. Notice that when a cat is happy, she holds up her tail. When she isn't, especially when a cat is upset or angry about something (when you tease her for instance) she starts to wag te point of her tail. When she's completely furious she wags her whole tail like mad.
Compare this behaviour to that of a dog. When a dog is happy to see you, he starts to wag his tail madly. But when he's vigilant and suspicious about something, he stops wagging his tail and holds it still.
This is completely the opposite. Maybe when cats and dogs meet, there is just some kind of misunderstanding. This misinterpreting of signs can be altered by correcting them. For instance when you get a dog and you already have a cat. At first the dog will try to attack the cat (even if it isn't his territory yet) unless you correct him and show him that it's bad. Then the dog understands that the cat isn't up to no good Smile
HoboPelican
giovle wrote:
....
Observe the behaviour of both. Notice that when a cat is happy, she holds up her tail. When she isn't, especially when a cat is upset or angry about something (when you tease her for instance) she starts to wag te point of her tail. When she's completely furious she wags her whole tail like mad.
Compare this behaviour to that of a dog. When a dog is happy to see you, he starts to wag his tail madly. But when he's vigilant and suspicious about something, he stops wagging his tail and holds it still....


Interesting. They both could learn to read the others signals (like they learn to read our baring our teeth as a smile instead of a warning) over time, but initially there would be bad communication. Nice hypothesis.
giovle
I thought of this hypothesis to be very plausible since you get some difference in communication with every animal. In the mating season, female cats tend to stick up their behinds and bend their front legs when a male cat passes by. Dogs do this in a manner of submission.
Subsonic Sound
giovle wrote:
Dogs do this in a manner of submission.


No dog I've ever had... that'd be more of a playfully aggressive stance. Submissive is rolling over - presenting the belly, the dog's biggest weakspot.

Still could be causing misunderstandings, though. Smile
giovle
Very true,
I was mistaken Smile It's a horse that bends it's front legs in a submissive way Smile
ashish2005
I don't know why dogs are always after cats. It must be that when dogs see cats they feel that another species has come in their territory and they chase them away because cats are smaller than dogs.

But the dog(santa's little helper) and the cat(snowball) are quite good friends.
giovle
That could be, but dogs attack cats even when the dog isn't in his own territory ... So it has little to do with defending his territory ...
yy1124
Cats are independent and like to "solo". but dogs like to be in group and play with each other....

and theres the problem when a dog wanna play with a cat :p

I am talking bout house dogs and cats though...might be different other wise
giovle
It's true that cats are independent, but when I see my two cats play together, I don't see the solitary part of you post ...
Idoru
I agree with the 'protect- n' chasetheory'. For the moment we live with both a dog
and several cats. They accept each other and a coule of the cats even play with
and cleans the dog. When walking the dog, if a cat crosses, he barks and chases.
On that experience I put an other argument to the theory. Very Happy
Daisie
I have 2 cats and a recently added dog to the mix.
Cat one doesnt give a dam about dog, he just look at her in a very condecending way, middly amused...
Cat 2 huff and puff at dog and dog chase cat 2 with great pleasure...

Maybe dog chase cat simply because it's fun?
giovle
Maybe, but that's just the point, cats and dogs start fighting when the dog for example wants to play and the cat doesn't... Just a simple misunderstanding of bodylanguage ...
littletomi714
If you watch some funny clips and stuff...
You may see cats taking care of dogs and
Dogs taking care of cats.
Its really nice to see it...



Or you can see a total cat/dog fight
giovle
Indeed, that's why I think that it's just a matter of misunderstanding each other. Cats and dogs who fight, just misunderstand each others bodylanguage, but with a little guidance of humans they can learn to understand each other's signs. in this way you can indeed get the cute and adorable scenes Smile
Idoru
giovle wrote:
Indeed, that's why I think that it's just a matter of misunderstanding each other. Cats and dogs who fight, just misunderstand each others bodylanguage, but with a little guidance of humans they can learn to understand each other's signs. in this way you can indeed get the cute and adorable scenes Smile


Hmm... Don't know about that... I would rather say that it's a matter of rank, at least
as far as it goes for the dog. Feline dogs recognizes their care-takers as alfa-males or alfa-females.
If they doesn't permit chasing cats, well, then that's what goes. Sometimes it's
true for cats aswell, but they do tend to be more of servants to the eye in my experience.
Not said in a negative way, for I personal like the cats ways better, but simply that
it's what the alfa says that goes for the moment. Wink
Milder and simpler put we command the dog not to 'do' the cat, and they both discover
that acctually can work. Kind of the same thing we try to do with kids and other people
around us. Laughing
jharsika
giovle wrote:
Maybe you're right, I was just thinking ... The other day I heard a weird, but plausible theory.........................Maybe when cats and dogs meet, there is just some kind of misunderstanding. This misinterpreting of signs can be altered by correcting them. For instance when you get a dog and you already have a cat. At first the dog will try to attack the cat (even if it isn't his territory yet) unless you correct him and show him that it's bad. Then the dog understands that the cat isn't up to no good Smile

This is exactly true. I read it in a v. good book The Secret Life of Cats. Also I have seen evidence of this in my pets behavior. My cat Cleo will roll on her back to warn off my rambunctious dog and he will get excited but is very surprised and hurt when she hisses and claws at him. For a cat rolling on their back is defensive, while for a dog it's playful or submissive (depending on the situation).

ashish2005 wrote:
I don't know why dogs are always after cats. It must be that when dogs see cats they feel that another species has come in their territory and they chase them away because cats are smaller than dogs........


They're not always after cats, dogs just like to chase small things that are moving, if a cat walks slowly by, they don't care, but if the cat runs they love to chase it -- it's a game to them. Also my dog will usually only chase the neighbors cats, not ours. He knows that he's not allowed to chase our cats. So it's a fun thing and a territorial thing.

yy1124 wrote:
Cats are independent and like to "solo". but dogs like to be in group and play with each other....

and theres the problem when a dog wanna play with a cat :p

I am talking bout house dogs and cats though...might be different other wise


Cats are social too. My cats sleep with each other, groom each other, eat together, play together but at the same time they give each other lots of space and fight a lot and almost can't stand to be in the same room sometimes. They're not completely solitary animals. Actually this garage owner's cats in my community has these two cats that are brothers and inseparable! They play fight and sleep together, groom each other and obviously enjoy each other's company! So it depends on the cat's personality.
HoboPelican
jharsika wrote:


Cats are social too. My cats sleep with each other, groom each other, eat together, play together but at the same time they give each other lots of space and fight a lot and almost can't stand to be in the same room sometimes. They're not completely solitary animals. Actually this garage owner's cats in my community has these two cats that are brothers and inseparable! They play fight and sleep together, groom each other and obviously enjoy each other's company! So it depends on the cat's personality.


So true! I remember when I lived just off of campus, I had 3 cats that got along great and where very social with themselves. But it didn't end there. Our backyard was a playground for the neighborhood cats. It was very common to see 5-7 cats in our backyard, just hanging out. It was a quiet little pow wow, and they would just sit or lay there enjoying the sun and company.
chrismen
Yeah it just depends on the cat and dog (mostly the dog I guess) and how they were raised. Dogs have an instinct to hunt and cats are small and look tasty. But dogs would hunt anything. If they grow up with cats and you raise them right you shouldn't have a problem though.
giovle
I think it depends mostly on the cat or dog if they're willing to set aside their differences. My aunt recently bought a dog and she's had cats for many years now. It was an old dog from the impound and at first he almost killed one Smile but with a little guidance and tutoring the dog learned to live in harmony with the cats. So it's not the upbringing of the dog nor the cat, but much more the day to day guidance. It's not that you have to teach it to them from the moment they are born, even an old dog can learn new tricks Wink
lethaltriad
I think it depends on the environment and how they grow up. My dog hates cats but yet still i've been down the road and seen cats and dogs walking together side by side.
myforrum
this may be off topic in sense to this topic itself but why do dogs hate cats or vice versa? I mean how do they each know that the other is their predator? similar to the case of cats and mice...cats chase mice why? i dont get it...some mystery huh?
giovle
myforrum wrote:
this may be off topic in sense to this topic itself but why do dogs hate cats or vice versa? I mean how do they each know that the other is their predator? similar to the case of cats and mice...cats chase mice why? i dont get it...some mystery huh?


That's the reason why I said that it has little to do with predator-prey relationships but more with the (mis)understanding of signs.
m00tmuffin
I think most animals are at least initially wary of other animals, unless a positive or negative experience has given them reason to treat them otherwise. Some of my friends have cats that are just petrified of dogs and it's usually because they experienced something bad as a kitten, whereas all my cats loved the dog we had and groomed her and lavished affection on her all the time, because she was a sweet, nice pooch. I suppose it's all relative, but I don't think they're hard-wired to despise each other from the start.
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