Why Do Dogs Chase Cats? How To Stop It?

Are you the owner of a dog and a cat that don’t get along? Are you considering adding a cat to your dog-loving household? Are you simply curious about the relationship between cats and dogs?

If you answered any of these questions with a yes, then you are probably wondering, why do dogs chase cats?

Dogs and cats may have a hard time getting along at first, but it’s also possible for them to become great friends!

Why Do Dogs Chase Cats?

Dogs are natural-born hunters with a drive to prey on small animals. They inherit this instinct from their wolf ancestors who depended on it for survival.

This prey driving trait is one that inspires the companionship between humans and dogs thousands of years ago, before domestic cats entered the picture, when humans realized that dogs could help obtain dinner in return for a morsel of the food.

Dogs go after animals that are smaller than themselves, especially they are hunting alone, because going after smaller prey increases the likelihood that the dog will be able to eat it.

Furthermore, dogs are carnivorous, and when small animals move it betrays their status as potential game.

Some Dog Breeds Are More Prone

The 21st century dog is far removed from the stone age wolves they descend from. Since the time of the initial bonding between dogs and humans, dogs have been paired and bred in a multiplicity of ways that strengthen some characteristics and weaken others.

Today, some dogs are simply too small to have any chance of winning a battle with a cat, while others are too slow to catch up to one.

However, most dog breeds are large enough and fast enough to tackle a cat, especially if they have been bred with traits that propel their hunting and herding capabilities. Dogs such as greyhounds, who have been bred to hunt and run fast, are not ideal friends for cats.

How To Stop Your Dog From Chasing Cats

Your dog doesn’t necessarily hate your cat, he just thinks of her as food. Meanwhile, cats are skittish and hostile towards creatures that evoke fear.

Owning a dog and cat that don’t get along is hard work and potentially traumatizing. Failing to train your pets to get along will force you to break up a lot of fights and potentially send one off to be re-homed.

There is no reason to deal with that trauma because it’s not only possible for your dog and cat to stop fighting, it’s also possible for them to become friends.

The best way to make peace between a dog and a cat is by introducing them at a young age, but it’s definitely possible regardless of how old they are. Either way, make sure you have plenty of dog and cat treats to encourage good behavior.

Step 1: Crate Your Dog

The best way to introduce your dog and cat to put your canine in his crate, close the door, and bring your cat into the same room.

If your cat reacts well to being in the same room as a potentially rambunctious dog, give her a treat. Bring your kitty close to the crate and sit there for some time, giving positive attention to both pets by giving them treats and affection.

If your cat is standoffish and starts growling or hissing, put her in her carrier and put it in front of your puppy’s crate so they can see each other. Keep giving them treats.

Take your cat out of her carrier and see how she responds to the dog. If she is still intimidated, try again.

Step 2: Prepare To Release Your Dog From His Crate

Once your cat seems indifferent to the confined presence of your dog, it’s time to let them interact under your supervision with no cage separating them.

Before you let them interact, make sure you trim your cat’s claws so that she can’t hurt your dog; it is absolutely essential for your cat to make a good first impression if you want your dog to like her.

Ensure the room has a good hiding place for your cat if things get out of hand and she needs to escape.

For this step, it’s best to have another human there to help out so that you’re not handling two animals who are at risk of fighting on your own.

Even if your cat and dog were relatively peaceful during the crate step, you need to reduce all possible risks by keeping your dog on a leash. Otherwise, you will risk the safety of both of your animals.

Step 3: Bring In The Cat

You should really have a friend or family member to help you with this part. If you don’t make sure you have something sturdy to tie your dog’s leash to so that you can handle your cat.

When your dog is leashed and under control, bring your cat into the room. Gradually bring your cat closer to the dog. Remember, cats are very nervous and don’t appreciate sudden movements.

If your dog is staying calm, reward him by giving him a treat. If he starts trying to run toward the cat, tug at his leash and give him a firm ‘NO’. Tell him to sit and stay, then give him another treat once he obeys you.

It’s highly possible that you won’t be successful the first time. Don’t give your dog a treat if you if he displays bad behavior or makes the cat run away.


The idea that dogs and cats can’t get along is a stereotype. Sure, dogs have a natural instinct to attack small animals, and cats are not afraid to get their claws out to defend themselves, but both creatures are intelligent enough to overcome their differences — all they need is a bit of help from their human!

Of course, it can take some time to sweeten the naturally sour relationship between dogs and cats, but as long as you are patient and understanding of your pets’ needs, your pets will certainly be able to get along in the near future.

If you have any more questions that you would like to ask, please let us know down in the comments section. We hope that today's article helped you out, and we look forward to you visiting us again!

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