Why Do Dogs Chase Cats?

Just as you are enjoying a very nice quiet weekend, you will hear a sudden crashing sound, along with a series of growling and hissing – you trace where the ruckus is coming from, only to find out that your dog has been chasing your cat again.

And you just end up, shaking your head in disbelief. And so you ask yourself, why do dogs chase cats, really? As if dogs really can’t help but chase down cats. Well, there are reasons as to why this phenomenon happens, read on to find out!

History of Cats vs Dogs

Don’t worry! We won’t write a research paper or thesis when I said that we will be reviewing related literature here! But we will definitely look at some literature – actually just one literature that might be able to explain why dogs chase cats every chance they get.

Have you ever heard of that story which originated from the African-American regions telling the tale of why are dogs always in the business of chasing cats? Well very quickly, this is how the story goes!



Dogs and cats didn’t use to fight all the time, in fact, they lived right next to each other and are very good friends. They are both very fond of eating ham, because of this, they decided to pool their money together in order to buy a big chunk of ham that they wouldn’t be able to buy if they’ll only use their own money.

Now, on their way home as they carry the ham together, the dog was happy to think that they’ll be sharing that piece of good meat but on the other hand, the cat didn’t seem to mind not sharing at all. As they approach their homes, the cat suddenly sprung up a tree and started to gobble down the ham by itself while the dog watches and barks madly at the foot of the tree. The dog told the cat that it would go down eventually as hunger will soon strike. And so it did – from then on, the dog would always chase the cat, perhaps asking for its part of the ham.

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Quite a nice story isn’t it? Well, it is fiction! Let us also look in the non-fiction part!



It is Already An Instinct

This characteristic of dogs can be explained by looking at their lineage and their closest ancestors. Dogs descended from wolfs and wild dogs living in the harshest of conditions. Now, the wolfs’ and wild dogs’ predatory instincts are what’s at play here. Their prey drive pushes them to hunt other species that are smaller to them relatively.

This is also the reason why it seems as though dogs couldn’t help but chase down cats. You will sometimes wonder that how come even the most affectionate cat breeds still gets chased down by dogs. This instinct inherited by dogs from their ancestors is called the prey drive.

But What About Some Dogs?

To this day there are really some dogs who do not seem to be interested in the cat-chasing business. This applies to both the mixed and purebred dogs, some will really chase cats while some wouldn’t. Usually, breeds that are under the terrier lineage are leaning towards chasing down cats.

What to do to stop Dogs Chasing Cats

Even though it seems that it is heredity and instincts is the opponent here, it does not mean that you cannot do anything about it. There are a number of things that you can do to address this concern. Let us subdivide them further into these categories:

  1. Dog or cat is still young/ dog or cat is old The key here is to take it slow and simply allow your pets to get to know each other. Do not rush things, it’s just like in human beings where humans also take time to get accustomed to others. You can either raise your cat to become friendly or your dog as well!
  2. Both are still young It will be easier when the situation is that both the dog and the cat is still quite young. during this phase in their lifetime, they are yet to build their own perception of other animals or even humans. This is their formative years, it will be best to introduce cats and dogs at this time to avoid problems in the future
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