Everyone knows that cats and dogs typically don’t get along. They are like Lyndon Johnson and Robert Kennedy or Michelangelo and Giovanni— some of the fiercest rivalries in history. Like these classic rivalries, dogs and cats have been at odds with each other for many, many years. But like these bad bloods, what’s the history behind cats and dogs?
While families love both cats and dogs, they’ve been pretty much-sworn enemies for as long as most people can remember or some say approximately 12,000 years ago. Now naturally, people have tried to come up with reasons for the constant rivalry. But, while there are plenty of speculations, determining the origin of the problem can be a tough pickle.
To some people, it has everything to do with cats being over independent. But to others, it has everything to do with dogs being bullies. If we observe it though, the problem is not singlehandedly because cats are naturally feisty or that dogs have an inherent reputation of being bullies. Rather, the two have a history dating back to before anyone can remember (1). A history that caused a rift in their relationship. Not to mention they have distinct personality traits. This blog post will help shed light on the history of cats and dogs and why they became sworn enemies.
Let’s Dive In
One of the most common questions asked is whether cats and dogs have ever coexisted harmoniously. The answer is a resounding yes. It might not look like it now, but when cats were first domesticated, they have coexisted with dogs just fine. There is evidence that the two lived together without any problem at all.
But, just as the two were starting to get along, cats were relegated to living outside. Whereas dogs lived a comfortable and fulfilling life indoors, complete with dog beds, toys, and more. Of course, cats being naturally affectionate didn’t like living in the cold. So they decided that they also wanted to share in the love and affection that the pups were getting. And so they domesticated themselves onto their pet parents’ laps. A place that was best known for being the dog’s territory.
Learning to share their living quarters, their owners plus the constant competition for food and attention didn’t quite sit well with the dogs. And so naturally the relationship between the cat and dog became strained over time. And since neither of them was willing to back down from the fight, they became sworn enemies from then on.
Why Dogs and Cats Are Sworn Enemies
Let’s face it: cats and dogs are quite different. Dogs are to the most part social and playful whereas cats like to be independent. And while there’s a common misconception that opposites attract, that isn’t always the case. When it comes to dogs and cats, it is that same difference that causes a strain in their relationship.
Another reason why dogs and cats don’t typically get along is that they have different habits. And this has a lot to do with how they are trained and bred for. Dogs are bred to hunt, and as such they love running around in a fenced-in yard or within the boundaries of an invisible dog fence. They are taught to hunt and retrieve animals years ago and to this day, they still love chasing practically anything that moves— specifically cats with wagging tails, although for most, this is just play. Now, while this may sound cute and all, cats don’t like the idea of being hunted. They are likely to take it as a threat and instinctively run away from their chaser.
Summing It Up
To sum things up, the enmity between cats and dogs has a lot to do with their history. Plus the fact that the two differ in nature and habits. But, that’s not to say that they can’t get along. With a little patience, they can be the best of friends.