We’ve all seen that adorable video of a fluffy cat curled up next to a big dog – blissfully enjoying a midday snooze. I can’t lie – it’s super heartwarming.
Although dogs and cats can live together in harmony, we all know this picture-perfect scenario is not the norm – and there’s a few fundamental reasons behind this.
Cats and dogs are just intrinsically different, and this often causes cats to shy away from any social interactions with dogs. Throughout history, cats have been conditioned to view dogs as potential threats to their daily routines – and cats love their routines.
So, what do cats actually think of dogs?
Cats think dogs are noisy, hyper, frightening food snatchers.
But – they aren’t just being judge-y.
This is what cats really think about dogs and why they think it…
Cats Think That Dogs Are Loud & Annoying
Remember when you accidentally dropped that pasta pot on the kitchen tile and your cat leaped 6 feet in the air? That’s because cats have a superior sense of hearing which makes them crazy sensitive to high-frequency sounds.
So, when that pasta pot crashed to the floor with a booming clang – it probably sounded like a high-speed car crash to your cat. Oops.
In fact, any type of loud noise (like the bark of a full grown Saint Bernard, for example) tends to bother and frighten most cats and their sensitive ears. That’s why, although it may seem funny at the time, you really shouldn’t tease your feline with weird noises just to see their reaction.
The truth is, doing that is plain cruel.
On top of that, cats are generally very quiet creatures, and they like it that way. Hence the reason they don’t look at all happy when you make those annoying noises!
When dogs insert themselves into a cat’s calm and serene environment, the cat is usually put off by the barking, whining, and relentless attempts to play. Sorry pup, but kitty doesn’t want to play today!
Cats Think That Dogs Are Too Social & Too Hyper
When a dog clumsily gallops up to a cat in search of a playmate, most cats will shy away, run, or let out a hiss to show that they aren’t the least bit interested. Sometimes they even scratch! Ouch!
But it’s not because they are being rude or snarky. There’s a reason why cats aren’t so eager to play with dogs and it all makes sense if you consider their historical traits and inherent nature.
Cats are descendants of Arabian wildcats – who are known to be the “loners of the wild.” This means that they prefer to hunt alone, sleep alone, eat alone – and generally, be left alone most of the time. Know the feeling?
On the other side of the spectrum, dogs’ ancestors are wolves – who are known to be very social (and very hyper). They thrive in social environments and depend on their “pack” for food and protection.
So you can clearly see, the two are very different.
Thousands of years later, cats and dogs still possess many of their ancestor’s social traits. When a dog approaches, ready to play, most cats shy away or get defensive of their personal space.
Why? Cats think dogs are way too social and they just want to be left alone. They’d much rather just snuggle up in their bed and be ignored so they can catch up on their 15 hours of sleep.
Cats Think That Dogs Are Too Big & Too Threatening
I mean, how would you respond if you came face-to-face with a hairy giant that’s twice your size? I don’t know about you, but my immediate response would be to get as far away as possible. Makes sense, right?
Cats have a good reason to be frightened of dogs. Dogs are generally twice the size of cats (minus our beloved teacup Yorkies) and instinctively chase creatures that are smaller than them. Because of this, cats are quick to scurry away, hiss, and get defensive – understandably so.
Cats think that dogs are a threat to their safety because dogs break into a full sprint whenever they’re around. Wouldn’t you think the same?
So the next time you see your cat hiss, scratch, or run away when your dog starts barking, you’ll know why. And you’ll know it’s not because they’re weird or anything.
Cats Think That Dogs Are Total Show-Offs
Let’s face it, dogs do so much to solicit our attention. They sit, beg, spin, lay down, jump in the air, and even balance a bone on their nose – just to show that they are worthy of our praise. Remember the last time your dog did all that just to get a pat on the head? Or perhaps a nice juicy bone?
This behavior dates back to when humans first domesticated dogs for labor purposes like hunting, carrying sleds, and herding sheep. Over the years, dogs learned that if they perform for humans – they receive attention, praise, and maybe even some table scraps.
So, what do dogs do now? Show off for their owners. Yep, they’re pretty smart creatures. We could definitely learn a lesson or two from them, huh?
Cats, on the other hand, have not been conditioned to complete mundane tasks for humans. They receive praise and attention just by… existing. Therefore, it makes total sense why cats don’t understand dogs’ obsessive need to please. Cats never had to do it.
Cats Think That Dogs Are Lazy, Food Thieves…
Have you ever gotten up from the table to answer a phone call and returned to find a giant bite missing from your perfectly crafted sandwich? Pretty annoying, right? And, of course, they took the best bite.
Well, this is a big fear for cats, too. Cats see dogs as serious competitors for their meow mix, and they’re not exactly pleased when one comes sniffing around in search of scraps. Then again, I can really sympathize. I hate it when someone tries to steal (or even just try) my food!
In fact, this food-driven feud dates back thousands of years. At first, humans used canines strictly for hunting purposes and rewarded them with leftover food scraps. Because of this, dogs began to rely on humans for food and survival.
On the other hand, cats were domesticated much later than dogs – around 5,000 years later. Cats are much more accustomed to hunting for food, and they take this pretty seriously. Even though cats are domesticated now, they still see their food as a “prize” for diligent and careful hunting.
Ever wondered why your cat leaves dead mice and birds on your front porch? It’s their hunting instincts coming into play.
In a nutshell, cats think that dogs need to go find their own food and stop sniffing around theirs.
Paws off my meow mix, dude.
And Sometimes, Cats Think Dogs Rock
…if that dog is living with them that is.
While there’s a lot of evidence and cultural belief that cats and dogs don’t get along, a study in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviors indicates that they actually do.
Does that mean the portrait of cats and dogs being the worst enemies is a myth? Not exactly. Just like roommates, some get along wonderfully while others detest each other and will do everything possible to make their life hard.
Allegedly, cats are the instigators when it comes to cat-dog conflict. However, we’ve all seen it many times: the two different species cuddling up to each other, like best friends. It’s not just our imagination. These two animals sometimes really do think the world of each other. Awww.
So maybe in some situations, cats really do think dogs rock.
But that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t still go in for the scratch if that dude came near their food. Meow!!!