Why do some cats love dogs but hate other cats?

Why do some cats love dogs but hate other cats? Essentially, the answer is to do with the territorial nature of the domestic cat inherited as it is from it’s wild ancestor. Despite domestic cats being far more sociable nowadays, after about 10,000 years of domestication, they are still essentially independent minded, solitary and remain firmly territorial. A domestic cat will see another cat as a potential threat to their territory. It depends upon the cat but the underlying ‘mood music’ is as stated.

Huge Australian Maine Coon is probably world's longest domestic cat
Omar, a Maine Coon, next to his dog companion.
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Conversely, dogs do not present the same territorial threat. If a domestic dog is socialised to domestic cats as well as people, the dog will get on with cats in the home. The same goes for domestic cats. If a domestic cat is socialised to dogs she will get on with dogs.

It’s a potential major issue with cat owners. We know this by now. A lot of owners don’t really take into account sufficiently the territorial attitude of domestic cats so when they move home, for example, they might place their cat into another cat’s territory, which immediately has the possibility of creating stresses.

That said, some cats are less territorial and more sociable than others and if such a cat likes an existing cat in the home they can become friends and cohabit pleasantly. Sometimes you hear cat owners saying that their cats tolerate each other. These are cats who simply put aside, for the sake of practicalities, their innate territorial tendencies and find a way to get along by, for example, taking up various places in the home, separated from the other cats.

The independence of the cat is attractive to potential cat owners because it means ‘low maintenance’ but with it comes the issues mentioned on this page.

It’s a wonderful thing to see two unrelated domestic cats getting along really well in a home, sleeping together and grooming each other. All domestic cat behaviour is rooted in their wild ancestor. We only have to checkout the behaviour of the Near Eastern Wildcat to understand domestic cat behaviour.

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