6 Reasons Why Do Dogs Hate Cats

6 Reasons Why Do Dogs Hate Cats

Author WDF Staff | Last updated: Jun 09 2023


Everybody heard about the rivalry between dogs and cats once in their life. But is there any truth in that rivalry? Many people consider that dogs hate cats as a natural thing, but there are many theories why dogs don't get along with cats. Many dog owners asked us to explain "why do dogs hate cats," and to do so; we will have to dig a little bit deeper.

Why do dogs hate cats?

Dogs and cats have some differences that set them apart. But these animals are not natural enemies.

When different animals live together, like dogs and cats, it is normal thing that there will be some tension and conflict, but that is nothing that cannot be solved. Their relationship will depend on many factors, some of which you can control while others can't.

RELATED: 7 Reasons Why Dogs Are Better Than Cats

dog and cat

We talked to dog and cat behaviorists, who explained why there are tensions between dogs and cats and what you can do to improve their relationship. In most cases, dogs and cats will not get along not because dogs hate cats but rather because of differences in behavior, history, and other species-related characteristics. Here are the 6 theories:

1. Dogs are social animals

Dogs are social animals and live in packs; on the other hand, cats are more independent animals, and in most cases, they will be alone. Cats can, however, form a group, but they will not be dependent on other group members, as is the case with dogs.

RELATED:Can Dogs Eat Cat Food?

2. Dogs like to chase things

All dogs have hunting instincts, no matter how big or small. Because of that instinct, they like chasing things, moving objects, squirrels, balls, and cats. The dog will love to chase cats not because they hate them and want to hurt them but because moving cats will trigger their hunting senses, and their natural hunting instincts will kick in.

Here is where good and early socialization can play a big part. If you have a hunting dog breed and don't socialize the dog the right way, you can expect your dog to chase cats and other smaller animals whenever they find a chance.

RELATED: Why Do Dogs Chase Their Tails? 5 Possible Reasons

3. Dogs and cats communicate differently

One of the main reasons dogs hate cats is the lack of communication. Besides the noticeable differences in barks and meows, their body language communicates differently.

A wagging tail on a dog means they are excited and ready to make an interaction, while on the other hand, a wagging tail on a cat is a sign of agitation. With the same body movement, dogs and cats communicate different things.

dog and cat

There can be a situation where your dog will see a cat with a wagging tail and will try to make an interaction and play with the cat but will end up scratched since the cat is not interested in playing.

4. Territorial issue

These animals are territorial by nature, and if you own a dog and a cat, you will indeed witness a fight between them. They will fight for territory, and there is a possibility that you will detect urine markings in your house since they will try to mark their territory. If you notice your pets fighting because of territory dominance, you will have to go the extra mile in the socialization part to ensure they can live and share the same living area.

RELATED: 7 Possible Reasons Why Dogs Bark

5. Your dog has not been socialized properly

For most dogs, socialization is the main reason dogs hate cats. Many dogs will not get the proper and early socialization and will not be exposed to cats, so they will not know how to act in their presence. Some dogs can even get scared of the cat and will react accordingly.

Breeds that have a natural tendency to hunt cats should undergo an appropriate socialization process to ensure that your dog knows he isn't allowed to chase cats (and possibly kill them).

dog and cat

RELATED: 8 Tips And Tricks - Puppy And Dog Socialization

For all other dogs, it is advised that you provide them with many different situations, animals, and people so they wouldn't get scared when they meet something new in their life and so they can behave appropriately.

6. Bad experiences in the past

If you notice your dog has an aversion toward cats, it could be because of bad experiences in the past. Dogs with no problem with cats will be curious and fearless in their presence, but if you notice that your dog is shy and scared, it is possible that the cat attacked or scratched your dog in the past, and that dog instantly doesn't like other cats.

How can I make my dog not hate cats? 

The first thing you need to do to change this dog's behavior is to identify the cause. You can start solving the problem when you determine why your dog is acting in such a way and why he "hates cats".

Dogs and cats live harmoniously and can get along with the right approach. If you provide early socialization to your puppy and kitten, you can be sure they will get along as they grow up.

RELATED: Top 10 Dogs That Get Along With Cats

dog and cat

If there is a situation where your adult dog was not socialized the right way, and now you want to change that behavior, training will help you. Start with basic commands and start learning more complicated commands. If you own a hunting dog breed, our advice is to seek help from a professional dog trainer since the hunting breed will be much harder to train on your own if you don't have a proper approach.


It is a common opinion that dogs hate cats, but in most cases, dogs are not taught how to live and communicate with cats. If you give your dog proper socialization and help it get rid of fear, it can learn to love cats and not hate them.

World Dog Finder team

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