Cats and dogs - do they really hate each other?

Narrated from: General Info

Dogs chase cats. That’s often observed both in films and in people’s back yards. But is there truly hatred between the two species?

The answer would be no.

Dogs and cats are not natural enemies. There usually is animosity, but it is a result not of instinct, but of a gap in communication.

Dogs and cats can be described as being like people from different cultures. They do not speak the same language. Take for instance the wagging of the tail – as you know, that is an important element of both species’ communication. A dog will generally wag its tail when it’s happy, or when it wants to greet someone. If a cat wags its tail though, this indicates that it feels nervous, aggressive or threatened.

So, there you have it – the first interspecies communication problem. A dog’s friendly greeting would just not be interpreted correctly from a cat – and vice versa; a cat that wants to be left alone just wouldn’t be understood by a dog! The same goes for the gesture of a raised paw. Your canine friend would raise its paw when it wants to play – but for a cat that would be like holding a gun in the face! A cat’s primary weapons are its claws – and when it raises its paw, this is often intended as a threat.

Moreover, the two animals have quite different characters. Most dogs are outgoing, expressive, energetic. Cats are far more collected and like to hold their ground. So, when a dog comes bounding in, invading a cat’s territory, trying to sniff its hind parts, a cat would either retreat quickly, or give a nasty scratch.

And that leads to the endless “war” between cats and dogs. The dog is a predator; its instincts are still the instincts of a hunter. When a cat runs, the dog will chase – it is as simple as that. On the other hand, many dogs are greeted with claws in the nose – and even the friendliest of dogs would be tempted to administer some payback.

But there is no real hatred between cats and dogs – at least not hatred as humans understand it. There are a lot of examples of cats and dogs being great friends – for instance, a mother cat will often take an abandoned pup into her litter.
With the right upbringing, there really wouldn’t be a problem in keeping cats and dogs under the same roof – but the same doesn’t always apply for cats and canaries!

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