Why Do Canines Chase Cats? Myths, Potential Causes & Options

Why Do Canines Chase Cats? Myths, Potential Causes & Options

Canines most frequently chase cats as a result of they’ve a pure prey intuition, which implies they may chase any smaller animal that runs. It isn’t essentially an aggressive transfer, and the canine could wish to play, however it will probably trigger panic and anxiousness within the cat. If it occurs outdoors the house, the cat can get into hassle operating on the highway. If it occurs indoors, it will probably trigger severe anxiousness within the cat, who can change into afraid to even stroll round their very own dwelling.

Simply because it’s a pure intuition for canine to chase cats, doesn’t imply you need to put up with it. There are steps you possibly can take to assist practice this habits out of a canine, guaranteeing cats are protected and cozy wherever they’re.

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Why Do Canines Chase Cats?

It’s pure for some canine to chase cats. Some breeds are extra liable to chasing than others, and, sadly, as soon as the cat is startled or defensive, it’s prone to run arduous and additional. This additional excites the canine, who will see the entire thing as a problem, and it may probably put them each in danger.

dog chasing a black kitten cat on the lawn
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Canines are, by nature, hunters. Within the wild, they’d hunt small animals, usually leading to them chasing the prey till they caught it. Whereas domesticated canine don’t have to hunt something greater than a bowl for many of their meals, the prey drive continues to be current in plenty of canine.

So, when your canine sees a cat, they may see it as potential prey. If the cat then runs, this additional heightens the prey-drive intuition in your canine, who will naturally run after the cat. Even when your canine is reacting to its prey drive, it doesn’t essentially imply that they’re being aggressive. Nevertheless it probably does imply that the cat is scared and anxious.

If the cat and canine don’t know each other, the cat will probably make its approach dwelling and probably keep away from the world. If it occurs within the dwelling, the cat doesn’t actually have the identical escape prospects. If it retains, it will probably trigger your cat to change into anxious. And anxiousness results in a bunch of psychological and bodily well being issues.


Some canine have excessive play drives, slightly than prey drives. In case your pup loves chasing a ball or any toy that you simply kick round, there’s a great likelihood it is going to additionally take pleasure in chasing cats. Your canine most likely is aware of that chasing after the cat encourages them to run, after which all of it turns into a enjoyable sport of chase. To your canine, anyway. Your cat will see it in another way, and it’ll probably trigger you upset and fear.

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How To Cease Your Canine Chasing Cats

Canines chasing cats is perhaps pure, however it may be harmful for the canine, the cat, and anyone who will get in between them. Stopping this habits is vital.

Dog and cat with together in bed
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1. Supervision

In case your canine is liable to chasing cats, guarantee they’re supervised round cats. That is true whether or not they’re at dwelling or out of the home. If you happen to’re round, you possibly can establish the set off, and spot when your canine goes to chase your cat. This fashion, you possibly can take motion to stop it.

It is best to all the time be supervising your canine when out of the home, so this additionally means that you can take motion earlier than chasing turns into an issue.

2. Create a Protected House

In the home, guarantee your cat has protected areas to flee to. Most cats are agile, and which means that yours will have the ability to hop up on surfaces out of the best way of your canine. Think about placing cushions, blankets, and beds on high of drawers and cabinets.

If you happen to’ve but to introduce the canine and cat correctly, contemplate a stairgate as a viable choice.

3. Primary Instructions

Each canine ought to study primary instructions. It is going to make each of your lives higher, in addition to these of the folks and, on this case, cats round you. If you will get instructions like sit, keep, and are available, it is possible for you to to make use of these to stop your canine from chasing cats, typically.

This additionally helps set up a relationship between the 2 of you, the place your canine listens to you and is extra prone to do what you ask of them.

Golden Retriever outdoor training process
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4. Distraction

Distraction is beneficial throughout coaching and when attempting to cease canine chasing cats. Coaching your canine to take a seat in a peaceable, calm atmosphere is one factor. Having them sit when a cat runs previous is one other factor totally. Have family members stroll previous or name when you’re doing all your every day primary coaching.

See whether or not your canine nonetheless responds to your instructions. You can also make the distractions progressively louder earlier than attempting it out with a cat within the neighborhood.

5. Introductions

While you first convey the cat or canine dwelling, it is very important make correct introductions. These ought to be gradual and gradual, and usually on the cat’s phrases. Use a crate or stair gate as a bodily barrier initially. A cat will have the ability to soar over the gate or method the crate with out concern of being chased. And, over time, you possibly can take away this barrier, however solely when the 2 have gotten used to the odor of each other.

6. Optimistic Reinforcement

When your canine is close to a cat, make a noise or use a skilled command to get their consideration. After they pay you consideration, slightly than the cat, reward them with a deal with and plenty of reward. This optimistic response reinforces the nice habits that you really want, and, in time, your canine will carry out the specified motion as a result of they know that’s what you need.

Golden Retriever and British Shorthair accompany their owner
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7. Seek the advice of a Behaviorist

If you happen to’re struggling to manage your canine round cats, or in case your cats are getting anxious as a result of the canine retains chasing them, it’s value chatting with an animal behaviorist. They are going to have the ability to offer you particular strategies that may assist forestall the chasing.

They’ll additionally assist with every other behavioral issues you may need.

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What To Do If Your Canine Assaults a Cat

If the unthinkable occurs and your canine assaults a cat, whether or not it’s yours or anyone else’s, you have to take motion to cease the assault.

1. Separate Them

Don’t put your self instantly between the cat and canine or you might get severely injured. As a substitute, use an object. Shut a door between them or transfer a chair in the best way. This could give the cat an opportunity to flee, and it’ll allow you to get management of the canine.

Cat and dog introduction through pet gate barrier
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2. Verify for Accidents

Verify the cat for accidents first. It’s the most certainly to have suffered a severe harm. If the cat is ok, examine the canine. Whereas a cat is much less prone to trigger severe hurt to a canine, a scratch or chew within the eye may trigger severe harm. And, in case your canine has an open sore, there’s a danger of it turning into contaminated.

3. Seek the advice of a Coach

In case your canine has attacked a cat, you have to get skilled assist. Converse to an animal coach or behaviorist. There are completely different choices, together with in-house behaviorists who will come to you to work on the issue. They are going to have the ability to establish the reason for the motion and work with you to assist overcome it.

4. Reintroduce the Canine and Cat

If there was a setback within the relationship between your cat and canine, you have to to reintroduce them. This implies beginning once more and taking introductions as slowly as you’ll should you have been simply bringing the canine dwelling for the primary time.

introducing cat to dog
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Regularly Requested Questions

Do You Have to Cease Your Canine Chasing Cats?

For a cat, being chased by a canine is a traumatic expertise, if it occurs outdoors the home. If it occurs inside the house, the cat can really feel trapped and may begin to endure from anxiousness.

It may even trigger your cat to change into extra prone to wander or exhibit undesirable behaviors round the home.

Is It a Breed Factor?

Some breeds are certainly extra liable to chasing cats than others. Breeds that have been initially raised to hunt small animals are, unsurprisingly, these which can be most certainly to offer chase after they see cats.

Nevertheless, the character and traits of the person canine usually tend to decide whether or not it chases cats than its breed.

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It’s pure for some canine to wish to chase cats. It harks again to the times when canine would hunt for their very own meals, or after they have been raised to chase off and even seek out small animals. However simply because it’s instinctive, doesn’t imply it’s a fascinating trait. Nor does it imply that it’s a habits you need to put up with.

Use mild introductions, good coaching, and optimistic reinforcement to assist discourage your canine from chasing after your cat. And, should you’re nonetheless struggling to manage the habits, or it turns into severe, converse to an animal behaviorist.

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