Why cats and dogs don’t get along?

Khalil Liouane
Sep 11, 2017 · 2 min read

Hello reader,

I bet that you once woke up in the middle of the night and the reason was simply a loud fight between a dog and a cat (usually, you can’t do anything about it and you wait for them until they end their fight). It seems that the relationship between those 2 species is always antagonistic and they can be even an example of this relationship. So today’s question, obviously, is “why those 2 species hate each others?”

Well, truth be told, dogs don’t actually hate cats. Many dogs that live with cats will become good friends with them although some will not be so sociable. The main thought as to why dogs and cats do not get along is simply due to their vast differences.

Actually, a dispute between two dogs is often resolved without actual fighting, since dogs have inherited a sophisticated set of signals from their pack-dwelling ancestor (the wolf), that enables them to signal their intention to back down if they consider their opponent too fearsome.

Meanwhile, cats were descended from solitary predators with little need to communicate face-to-face lack such abilities, and are generally much more circumspect than dogs when they’re deciding whether or not to join an affray.

Stele depicting a fight between a dog and a cat in 510BC, from the Kerameikos necropolis in Athens, Greece. Photograph: G Nimatallah/De Agostini/Getty Images

However, evolution has not provided either species with any capacity to communicate with one another, so close-combat fighting is more or less inevitable. It was even illustrated more than 2500 years ago, exactly 510 BC, in Athens, Greece.

And as always thanks for reading,

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Khalil Liouane

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