Why Do Cats and Dogs Fight? & How to Stop Them?

Most of us have grown up watching the cat-and-dog rivalry, whether in the famous cartoon Tom and Jerry or in our practical lives. Cats and Dogs have always fought with one another. They seem not to tolerate each other’s presence most often. Let us understand the reason behind this behavior and how to stop it.

Why Do Cats and Dogs Fight?

Some pet owners ask why my dog bites cats neck? Or why do they run after one another? The answer to this may be more complex to answer. However, we know that cats and dogs are from different species, yet their animosity towards each other may be due to several reasons.

Difference of Instincts

Dogs and cats have different instincts. Dogs are pack animals, whereas cats are lone wolves. Descended from the wolves, dogs also have a proper hierarchical structure, and differences in their instincts can lead to conflicts.

Territorial Aggression

No matter how many differences they have, both cats and dogs are territorial in nature. They do not allow another species to enter their spaces, and if someone tries to inhabit their spaces, they may act aggressively towards them.

Challenges in Communication

There is a big difference between cats’ and dogs’ communication and body language, which leads to misinterpretation between the species. For instance, when a dog wags its tail, it is considered to be happy and excited. On the other hand, if a cat wags its tail, it either means that it is annoyed or angry.

Predatory Drive

Cats and Dogs have always been predatory. They chase after their prey, and in some cases, dogs consider cats their prey. Such instincts can cause them to chase, lunge, and show aggression toward one another.

A Bad Experience

If a dog or cat has had a negative encounter with one another, then it is meant to create a long-lasting impression. These encounters of the past lead to the development of aggression and fear towards the other species.

No Socialization Skill

If either the cat or dog has always remained indoors with little exposure to other breeds or species of animals, not having this exposure can cause fear, aggression, and anxiety toward other animals.

Inherited by blood

Cats and dogs do not have an option to love or hate one another. Their relationship is a constant competition for dominance and attention from the owner.

How to Stop Your Cats and Dogs From Fighting?

how to stop cat and dog fight

There are multiple households worldwide that house more than one species of pets. Most commonly, people like to keep cats and dogs together since they may perceive that both animals will live peacefully together. However, they are quite far from the truth. For any of you who are keen on introducing a pup to a cat household or a kitten to a dog household, here are a few tips to manage the situation;

Picking Animals With Similar Personalities

Many pet owners assume that breed matters more than personality regarding dog and cat relationships. However, the energy levels and personality of your fur babies help to determine whether they will get along in the household. So remember never to mix a hyperactive dog with a calm cat or vice versa.

Both Should Have Their Own Spaces

Cats are highly territorial creatures; they don’t get along with other cat breeds, and dogs are no exception. Dogs are inquisitive, and they may invade your cat’s territory. Create particular areas that are separate for both of your pets. You can place your cat’s bed on a higher level than your dog’s.

Introducing the Scents

Cats and dogs heavily rely on scents when forming bonds. One of the oldest tricks is to allow the other animal to smell the new home while your old pet is in a secure place. You can wipe your dog fur with a cloth and keep it near your cat’s food bowl. This way, they’ll get to know each other before meeting physically.

Creating Boundaries

If you do not have enough space to provide them with separate areas, you must create boundaries. For example, cats are really sensitive about their litter boxes, so you need to make sure that your dog does not go anywhere near one. Also, keep their food bowls apart. You can also create different feeding schedules for both of your pets.

Be Patient

Some cats and dogs form a bond instantly or within a few weeks, whereas some may take time. Each animal has its own personality, and it is important not to lose patience during the process. Patience is important to allow positive reinforcement in creating a new relationship.

Supervised Interactions

Supervised interactions are another way to introduce cats and dogs to one another. Use a leash or harness to control them in case things go sideways. Gradually increase their level of interaction. Supervised interaction reduces aggression since pets generally do not misbehave in front of their owners.

Enriching Environment

Keeping your fur babies busy with other stuff will divert their attention from aggression. Therefore, try creating an environmentally enriching environment. Include toys, hiding spots, scratching posts, and vertical spaces, especially for your cats.

How to Break up Dog-Cat Fights Safely?

why do cats and dogs fight how to stop them

If your cat and dog start fighting, never insert yourself in the feud or yell at them. These two actions can aggravate the situation. Instead, you can make a loud noise that startles them or distracts their attention.

If making a loud noise does not work, try putting a blanket over both of them or spraying them with water. Remember! Punishing your cat and dog for fighting will never solve the problem. Instead, it will increase it to a great extent.


Finding the root cause of conflict is the basic requirement to create a peaceful environment in your home. Some people may find it overwhelming to create a friendly relationship between their cat and dog. You can follow the strategies mentioned above to increase the chances of friendship between the two.

However, you must remember that no matter how tedious the process is, it may take some time. If you think that both your furrbabies will never get along then there is no harm in consulting an animal behaviorist. Working with a professional is the best way to dissolve these issues.


At The Lovable Cat, we believe that every cat deserves to be loved and cared about.

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