Everyone has heard the expression, “They’re fighting like cats and dogs.” The implication is that they’re not getting along one tiny bit. Likewise, “It’s raining cats and dogs,” refers to a torrential downpour. There’s nothing gentle in these common figures of speech, similes that compare two unlike things.
Perhaps because cats are more independent and dogs are naturally curious, this difference in dynamics has given rise several myths.
Yet, as many pet parents will attest, cats and dogs can live in harmony under the same roof. They can play and nap together. Frequently, there’s even more than one cat and one dog in the house, and sometimes, they’re the very best of friends.
Myths About Cats and Dogs
Myth #1: There are dog people and cat people.
Actually, many people—including children—love all kinds of animals. That goes doubly for pet parents who have both cats and dogs as pets at home. This also includes the staff who work at pet care facilities, who are among the most loving of caregivers.
Myth #2: Dogs and cats hate each other.
Not so…except in cartoons and comic books. Cats and dogs don’t instinctively dislike one another. However, the dog is generally larger and little furry things that move quickly are interesting for a dog to chase; it’s in their nature. Thereafter, it’s no surprise if the cat is afraid of the dog. Although this can happen, there’s not a naturally predatory relationship. In fact, your dog can be trained not to chase the cat and and overcome the instinct to do so.
Myth #3: Cats and dogs “speak” the same language.
Not so! Their communications are different and should be interpreted differently by pet parents. When a cat’s tail is twitching and swishing—a sign of irritation—it doesn’t mean the same thing as when a dog’s tail is happily wagging. It has been noted by experts that cats and dogs don’t share behavioral signals, and this is a big factor in any antagonism they may have toward each other (not to mention the food bowls).
Myth #4: Kittens and puppies must grown up together to get along.
Yes and no. It’s true that introducing kittens and puppies for early socialization can help them be more accustomed and less suspicious of one another. But, it’s also true that a when a pet parent introduces a young pet to an older, more tolerant and settled-in pet, this can be a formula for success.