What Causes Dogs to Chase Cats?

cat and dog

Have you ever wondered why dogs chase cats?

What about how to stop this seemingly instinctual behavior? If so, you aren’t alone.

Many pet owners have expressed frustration about their dog’s propensity to chase and corner cats.

Whether family members or neighbors own them.

As a proud dog owner, it’s important to do what you can to stop your dog from chasing and attacking cats.

As well as other small pets like rabbits and squirrels.

 

Don’t bring a new dog into the home if there is already a cat

Bringing a new dog into your home could be a disaster. Especially if that dog is used to chasing after things.

Unless you can train that dog not to chase cats, your cat will soon become his new favorite toy.

The best way to stop dogs from chasing cats is don’t bring a new dog into your home if there is already a cat.

If you have two or more dogs in your home and they get along well with each other then it should be okay to add another dog.

But before adding another animal to their pack, just make sure that they are both neutered or spayed.

They may fight over who gets to mate with any female animals in their group if one of them has been repaired and the other hasn’t.

Before introducing another animal into their pack, make sure they are both mended or chaos may ensue!

 

If you have both a dog and cat, train them separately

That might sound like a pain, but it’s necessary to ensure that your dog doesn’t see cats as playthings.

Take your puppy through obedience training class (the same classes taught to dogs who are learning to live with cats).

Use positive reinforcement and playtime to train your pup.

Reward him when he sits still, ignores nearby moving toys, and focuses on you instead.

Don’t allow him to chase or attack other animals in the process.

If you don’t have enough time for formal training, take your pet for frequent walks around the neighborhood.

He won’t be able to chase any cats if he gets tired first!

Also, use lots of praise and treats to reward good behavior, so your pup understands what is expected of him.

Be aware of certain breeds: Certain breeds tend to be more aggressive toward felines than others.

 

Keep your cat in your control at all times

As tempting as it may be to let your cat out of your sight to explore, doing so is not only a safety risk for your cat but for others in your household.

Even indoor cats have been known to unintentionally venture outside.

And you can never be too sure when or where a predator may show up.

If you’re determined to let the cat go outside.

Make sure he’s always on a leash and that you never leave him alone.

When he’s indoors, make sure his environment is secure enough that he won’t try to escape.

A tall fence or window screens are great options for keeping your cat safe from predators and hazards outdoors while still allowing him access to fresh air.

 

Train your dog not to chase cats

Whether or not you own a cat, if you own a dog that likes to chase cats, it is important to train your dog not to do so.

Even if your dog does not physically harm a cat (and most don’t), he may scare one into darting across traffic and getting hit by a car.

To prevent serious injury, train your dog on what is acceptable behavior around cats and what is not.

Start by having him sit with you when he sees a cat.

Reward him with treats when he remains seated while seeing them.

If he tries to chase them, correct him with a firm no and guide him back toward you until he sits again.

Keep training sessions short—less than five minutes at first—so that your dog doesn’t become frustrated.

Once he is able to remain seated for several seconds in front of a cat, begin rewarding him only after a few seconds have passed without chasing.

Gradually increase his time requirement before giving him a treat.

When he can remain still for 30 seconds in front of a cat without chasing.

You can try introducing another distraction such as children playing outside or cars driving past.

Once your dog has mastered these distractions, move on to other animals like squirrels and rabbits.

 

Make sure your cat doesn’t feel attacked by dogs

If your dog is chasing your cat, make sure your cat doesn’t feel threatened.

Cats that feel their lives are in danger will attack dogs and may run away or hide.

If a dog is feeling playful and doesn’t understand why its playmate isn’t enjoying it, they may chase them to try to get them to play.

While some cats enjoy playing with dogs, others do not.

Don’t force your cat to play with a dog if he or she does not want to.

Teach your dog to leave kitty alone: It can be difficult for many dogs to learn how to leave cats alone.

Teach your dog that when you say leave it or no, they should stop what they are doing and look at you for further instructions.

Reward good behavior by giving him treats when he obeys you.

 

If an attack happens, stop it quickly

A dog that is chasing a cat will most likely not stop of its own accord, so you need to get in there and stop it quickly.

Grabbing your dog by its collar and throwing it out of harm’s way can buy enough time for your cat to make a hasty retreat, as long as you react quickly enough.

If you have more than one pet running around your home, keep them separated until they’ve settled down after a scare like this.

You don’t want to risk another attack taking place.

This could be a good opportunity to look into getting an indoor cat enclosure or feline playpen if you think there might be a chance of similar incidents happening again.

Your local shelter may also offer some advice on how to resolve such issues peacefully, or they may know someone who can help (e.g., a local animal behaviorist).

You could also look online for tips from fellow pet owners who have experienced similar problems.

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