Cat and Dog Games The Unusual and Fun Ways Cats and Dogs Interact

Cat and Dog Games

How do cats and dogs interact? The range of behavior and emotion elicited by bringing together a pooch and a kitty could be anything from true love to a dangerous situation. Read on to find out some of the funniest and craziest ways it can go down.

According to a Gallup poll, 17% of pet parents have both a dog and a cat in their household. If you are among the approximately 1 in 5 people who cohabit with a canine and a feline you might already be able to weigh in on the accuracy of the popular myth that where dogs and cats cross paths, chases and scratches shall follow. But for the rest of the population of animal lovers who may be interested in adopting a kitty into your doggy den, or vice versa, there are plenty of happy stories of cat and dog friendships to inspire you to up the love quotient in your household.

Cats and Dogs are Friends

A 2008 study at Tel Aviv University[i] found that over 66% of homes in the study with both a dog and cat reported positive interactions. The one caveat – all of the cats were introduced to dogs before they were 6 months old. The age of the dog did not seem to matter. There seems to be a successful trend of cat-dog households when introducing the animals to one another at a young age.

Both young puppies and kittens have a mindset geared towards playing and exploring. This is the perfect opportunity to encourage your pets to enjoy each other’s company and play together. Cats and dogs both require exercise and mental stimulation, and while you may be the primary source for that, they can certainly help each other out.

The Massage Factor

Cats are notorious lap sitters and have a natural instinct to climb all over things and people. One common phenomenon in a cat and dog household is watching your cat give your dog a massage. Once your animal friends are comfortable with each other you might catch your dog lounging lazily as your cat hops on their back and explores. This behavior isn’t something you should force – placing a cat on a dog can bring out the claws and start a real mess – but it is perfectly safe if they get into the groove on their own.

Who Rules the House?

Dogs are usually bigger, stronger and crave more attention. Despite all of that the cat is often the dominant personality in the relationship. This is actually a good thing. Ideally your pets will live in perfect harmony but don’t be surprised to see your cat pushing your dog to the far end of the couch and claiming first dibs on the water bowl. The paradox with dogs is that they can be highly territorial amongst other creatures they are not comfortable with and then completely giving and loving with those they have come to love. If your dog follows your cat around as loyally as they fetch for you, you just might have a perfect pet household.

Grooming is Funny

Cats are famous groomers – a good base measure of your cat’s health is whether they are keeping themselves clean. But dogs also have a system of staying neat and one of the most precious signs that your two pets are getting along is a co-grooming ritual. Admittedly, your dog is getting the better deal, with the precision cleaning tool that is the cat’s tongue. But you will get more giggles out of watching your dog giving big slobbery slaps of love with a graceless tongue. It is a wonder why so many cats put up with that kind of loving but they often do (before going to give themselves a proper bath).

Boxing & Nipping

Some people affectionately refer to a cat’s great weapon of claw swiping as boxing. Others do the same for the dogs bite, calling it a nip. The trouble is our pets can use similar tactics when they play and when they are truly out for blood. Cats and dogs will commonly interact by fighting but it is your responsibility to ensure that any play remains in the safe and fun category. When cats and dogs play they might make clawless swipes with their paws or use their mouths to gently grab and release. If you can tell that both parties enjoy this play then file it under the category of wrestling and let them enjoy the exercise. If there is any sign that one pet is not taking pleasure in the activity, is trying to escape or is whining or crying then the play has gone too far and it is time to break it up.

Having a cat and dog in the house can be a source of great joy, for you as a pet parent as well as for each pet. It is important to recognize the added responsibility of a two pet household, though, and to make sure you still give each animal their fair share of attention and care. Play a game of fetch with your dog and every now and then use a Cat Play Wand to have fun with your cat. Then you can keep the cameras rolling and enjoy the interspecies fun!

Can cats and dogs communicate with each other?

According to Jill E. Griffin, a canine and feline caregiver, cats and dogs have different communication styles. Reports suggest that felines express themselves vocally by meowing, hissing, and purring. Similarly, dogs mostly use physical communication. Examples include tail wagging, facial expressions, and ear positioning. Despite these barriers, there’s a way your pets end up understanding each other to some extent. Both of them use a combination of body language and scent. With this, they learn to interpret physical and vocal signals over time to communicate their needs, emotions, and intentions to each other. As a result, they can develop a unique companionship that relies on mutual understanding and shared experiences. A cat and a dog will observe each other’s behaviors and adapt accordingly. That’s when you’ll see your pets building a trustworthy bond and playing with each other.

Is it normal for cats and dogs to play together?

If cats and dogs communicate properly, they can surely get along and play games. However, this will depend on the individual personalities they developed during their upbringing. These pets often share a harmonious bond, but they can also become mortal enemies. If you’ve recently introduced a cat and a dog, remember to check for changes in the vocal expressions of the canine and the feline. Always supervise them while they play to check for signs of aggression. Pet parents should also understand what playful and harmonious interactions are. Examples include nipping, licking, massaging, and grooming. Games between these animals can sometimes mimic natural behavior. For instance, dogs can playfully chase felines. Cats can also swat the dog’s tail or pounce on them from a hidden location. These are harmless and playful interactions that help strengthen their bond and relieve stress.

Can we keep cats and dogs together?

According to Chantelle Wallace, a veteran of animal shelter volunteering, cats often fear or dislike dogs because of the sheer size and strength difference. Reports suggest that canines can live harmoniously with cats and form close relationships. Under the right circumstances, cats and dogs can be great communicators and friends. However, peaceful coexistence depends on factors like personalities and socialization histories. Their experiences with each other can also affect whether pet parents can keep the cat and dog together. The story of a stray cat greeting a tiny puppy has taken the internet by storm. Every day, they walk side by side with love and affection for each other. This incident proves that your pets can surely build a harmonious relationship and coexist peacefully under the same roof. As a pet parent, you should consider their preferences and provide separate areas for them to retreat to help prevent conflicts. 

How do cats view dogs?

Due to their intelligence, cats are perfectly aware that dogs aren’t similar to them. Usually, a perceptive feline will avoid your dog if they cannot develop strong communication. That’s why the initial interaction between these animals is crucial to building a good relationship. Even then, the cat’s view of the dog will depend on their personality, experience, and behaviors. Since cats are territorial animals, they might consider dogs intruders in their homes. Sometimes, the feline will see the dog as a potential threat because of their energy levels and body language. For instance, the cat will only accept a non-threatening dog as its playmate and companion. If both animals have been together since a young age, the cat won’t be overly aggressive towards the dog. In short, felines will view their canine family members as allies if they’ve had positive interactions in the past. They’ll form bonds based on shared experiences and mutual respect. 

Will a dog fight a cat?

Usually, dogs are calm and accepting creatures if they are trained well. However, canines can be extra alert to a cat’s actions and bark or growl at them. According to Brandon, the founder of BarkLikeMeow, these animals can fight when they have communication differences, mismatched energy levels, and clashing personalities. Dogs are predators, but domestication can help them peacefully coexist with felines. When threatened, canines can exhibit predatory behavior toward cats. That’s why pet parents must properly socialize their pets to become best friends and play fun games together. Bigger breeds like Terriers and Sighthounds may be aggressive towards smaller animals even with proper training. Sometimes, the cat’s behavior can provoke the dog to react defensively. During the first few weeks, you must properly supervise and manage your pets to avoid conflict. Proper training and socialization can help these animals live together peacefully.

Related Articles

The Importance of Socializing Your Dog
Diet To Treat Cat and Dog Stress

[i] Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 2008

Was this article helpful?

You May Also Like

Image for How to Give a Cat Massage
How to Give a Cat Massage

A Massage That Will Have Your Cat Purring

Read More
Image for How to Give a Dog Massage
How to Give a Dog Massage

How to Give Your Pup a Good Rub Down

Read More
Image for Bringing a Pet Home from an Animal Shelter
Bringing a Pet Home from an Animal Shelter

How to Bring Home a New Dog or Cat

Read More