Dogs chasing cats is a common challenge new and existing dog owners face. On the upside, if a dog has grown up together with cats, a harmonious cohabitation is usually possible. The dog then accepts the cat as a pack member does not see it as prey. On the downside, if your dog has had little contact with cats and is chasing them, some training is required to change this behavior.
By nature the following roll distribution prevails between dog and cat:
- The dog sees the cat as a prey and chases it
- The cat runs away from the dog and so excites his hunting drive
Larger dogs can easily injure and in worse cases even kill a cat. Often cats know how to defend themselves with their sharp claws specifically targeted the dog’s eyes, which might also cause injuries even for big dogs.
If either an adult dog or an adult cat comes into a family in which the other animal lives, the owner is often faced with an array of challenges. Above all, this is the case if the dog had not previously had contact with cats. The dog will look at the usually smaller cat as a prey and chase it. The best method to stop your dog from hunting your cat: The cat must have a higher rank in the pack than the dog.
A harmonious coexistence of dog and cat is only possible if the cat is ranked higher than the dog. The rank order in the pack, which is to consist of man, dog and cat. Most dogs accept their humans as head of the pack, so the dog parent has to tell him that the cat is ranked above him. This is a long process, where you as a pack leader have to be patient and above all show consistent behavior.
With these actions, you show your dog that the cat is in rank above him:
- Always greet your cat first when you come home. Strike them extensively and ignore your dog until he has calmed down. Only then can you welcome your dog.
- Give your cat the food first. Only when she has eaten, your dog may get something to eat. This is a very strong signal to your dog, so you should be particularly consistent here.
- Take a lot of time for your cat. Stroke her often and take her regularly on your arm. Watch your dog see it. It shows him that the kitty is also a member of the pack and that you as a leader greatly appreciate her.
- If you want to distribute treats, you should always consider your cat first. Only then can your dog have treats – and he must earn them first! Make him seat or square before he gets the reward.
Until the above measures show improvements in the dog behavior, you should take some measures to protect your loved ones from injuries. Your cat should have enough retreats in the home where she can hide. This has a deescalating effect and is the first choice for most cats that are confronted with aggressive counterparts. As a retreat option, cats prefer elevated sites such as shelves, cabinets, scratching trees or window sills. This is where your dog does not reach and your kitty has everything under control. So allow your cat to access such safe viewpoints and set up an elevated sleeping place.
With sufficient escape places, your cat also show less stress, which prevents accidents in the apartment. You should also ensure that your cat can eat, drink and go to the cat toilet in peace. Especially the latter is important, since your cat may use other areas to release herself if she feels threatened or unsafe. It is ideal, if you can also Feed your cat at an elevated place, so she feels safe whilst the dog can still see that you give her food first.