When we ask people to describe their experience with dogs, they’ll say that they are cute, welcoming, and irresistible to spend time with. Sometimes, we get words like helpful, protective and easygoing. However, when our furry companions encounter cats, this kind of amiable character disappears in the air. It’s as if the dog has been being possessed by a spirit that can’t resist the urge to turn aggressive toward cats. However, every caring pet owner knows that no dog will behave the same way when meeting or interfacing with cats. Some dogs have a great relationship with their feline companions. So, how do you know the signs that your pet is antagonistic towards felines? Keep reading this article to know the answers on how to tell if a dog is aggressive towards cats.


how to tell if a dog is aggressive towards cats


How Can I Tell If My Dog Is going to attack my Cat?

Canines and cats are adorable pets to keep around. Sometimes, it can be difficult to live in harmony. Many believe that this is due to the different aspects of their personality types as an entire species. Here are a few indicators that can be easily noticed when your dog starts to get aggressive toward cats.

  • Blocking the Cat’s route
  • Cats growling in fur
  • Being aggressive in their sleeping areas
  • Staring
  • They become aggressive about their food
  • Chasing Cat in general

An aggressive dog with cats because they fear them may increase their behavior until they’re tucking in their tails and trying to get out of the way or are frozen in place. It is also possible to tell if your dog aggression toward cats when they are chased, snapping, and even chewing on them. These are more stressful situations that usually require a lot of management and modification to help your pet learn how to coexist and ensure its safety. A behavior specialist like those from IAABC, International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, is a good starting point if your pet is in danger. At the IAABC, you can also locate cat behavior experts! Finding a professional that works with canines and felines is the best way to start working on more serious issues.



Reasons Behind Dog Aggression Towards Cats.

Guarding behaviour.

Dogs, specifically guard dogs, will not allow anyone to play with the objects or people they have a connection to. Therefore, they are likely to be aggressive towards animals receiving affection and attention from their loved owners or touching their food or toys. If a cat snoops about dogs while eating, they are likely to become aggressive.

Dominance and Territorial behavior.

The dog and Cat living within the same house might have territorial conflicts. Your dog could think your Cat is making an obstacle to his ‘higher hierarchy by wandering into his territory.


Certain illnesses can cause your dog to become aggressive. However, the aggression behavior of dogs isn’t just for cats by itself. A list of such health problems typically includes hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, and brain inflammation.

Anxiety or Fear.

Anxiety can lead to anger and aggression, exactly as human beings do. The dog’s anxiety can arise because of a variety of reasons including abandonment, and loneliness. Apart from making your dog mad and anxious, it can also cause permanent health problems.


As in the case of fear and anxiety, dogs may become aggressive if they are bored. Aggression usually happens because they don’t get sufficient exercise, training, or mental stimulation. A different breed of dogs has different levels of fitness requirements. For instance, dogs with high energy have more need for exercise. However, lazy dog breed’s aren’t afraid to sit on the sofa all day. To keep your dog entertained, it is possible to buy fun and interactive games.

Bad Training.

The correct pup obedience plays a significant role in how your dog behaves toward cats. When your pet is well-behaved and responsive, and calm, he’ll be able to contain his anger once you tell him “no” loudly. This, in turn, stops any further escalate.

Faulty Introduction.

If you own a cat too, and you need to introduce your dog to her in a comfortable and calm setting, your pet will likely remain hostile towards your Cat. Inadequately introducing a cat to a dog could cause problems in their relationship.




A predation is an additional form of aggression. The process that occurs is different from distancing. Your dog’s objective is to kill any cat it believes is its prey in this instance. The sequence is quickly completely silent and almost impossible to stop once initiated. For people who aren’t as experienced with canine language, this may appear “sneaky.” The victims of predation attacks are usually small animals, such as domestic cats that could be killed. But, your dog could display an unusual predation behavior towards people, objects, or even moving subjects.

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Ears Placement:

During many aggressive show-offs dogs, they would put their ears in a backward position. Perhaps you didn’t notice it; however, when a dog is trying to perform a normal activity or prepares to commit an act of aggression or even threatening, they usually have pinned ears to indicate their behavior preference at the moment.


how to tell if a dog is aggressive towards cats


The Tail Movement

A tail movement is a different visual indicator of how the animal is feeling. In the case of dogs, it’s similar. When a dog feels well, its tail motion increases in speed to satisfy its appetite. However, when a dog is annoyed by something, its behavior changes; it’s quite straight up and slow.

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Behavior Training

The absence of any behavior training leads to controlling dogs’ aggressive behavior. They can be found disobeying rules, playtime rules, and personal boundaries. A dog owner can hire a professional dog trainer to solve aggressive behaviour problems of their dog.

Both dogs and cats have territorial characteristics. Dogs are protective, alert, and have guardian senses when it comes to dogs. The confrontation of dogs and cats is something historic. Both animals consider themselves a threat. However, dogs are more potent to attack cats. They have a strong prey drive. However, proper training and socialization make it possible for your dog to live with cats. It is also true about your Cat. It would be best if you were patient and persistent. In addition, you should have it in mind that some dogs never get along with cats. It is in their instinct, and sadly you have no way to change it.


how to tell if a dog is aggressive towards cats


What should you do?

  • Use commands such as “No,” “Leave it,” and “Stop” whenever you notice your dog becoming focused by the presence of cats.
  • Treats can also assist in keeping a dog’s attention towards the pet.
  • Use a leash for your dog and only put them together when you are present there.
  • Provide your cat with a safe place and privacy.
  • Separate all of their stuff.
  • Watch your dogs behavior and be alerted when you hear any sound like growling.


how to tell if a dog is aggressive towards cats


Some tips.

If something isn’t right when you’ve noticed, you’ll be able to identify the pre-engaging aggression that comes from the Cat towards a dog. If it’s your pet animal, a pet parent can attempt to soothe it in their way. As a pet is your pet, you must have some form of connection or training between you and your dog in control.

It is important to take care of them as much as possible to keep them safe from any sudden, violent incident or accident. Make sure to examine their health frequently with an expert vet. If any health issue is certain to lead to a fight, it is much simpler to avoid that.


What breeds of dogs aren’t good with cats?

Most dogs that are prey-driven aren’t a good match for cats. They’re often enticed to chase animals when they get away, which the irritable Cat usually does. However, there are exceptions, but it’s recommended to choose a pet with parents who do well with cats in most cases. Then, begin to introduce your puppy to cats at a young age or even take on an adult dog well-known to be cat-friendly.


Video: How to Stop Dog Aggression Towards Cats?



The majority of dogs’ aggression toward cats can be cured by behavior training. Be patient in teaching your dog to be respectful with other animals and cats. This will help prevent dangers and help create a safe living space in your home and wherever you travel with your pet.


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