Categories: cat aggression

Why does this cat deliberately provoke the family dog?

Cat provokes dog. Screenshot. Words added.

This is a trending YouTube video. It shows a domestic cat and dog together in the home. It is entitled ‘A cat thinks long before hitting a dog’. The ‘hitting’ takes the form of a swipe to the back of the dog’s neck. It is nothing serious but it is deliberately provocative.

It is certain that these two have done some play-fighting before. So the cat knows what to expect. In fact, I’d expect that he/she has done this before on many occasions and the video maker set up the video to record the action. You can hear his voice in the background knowing what is to come.

Feline boredom?

The interesting aspect of the video for someone like me is how to explain this cat behaviour. As mentioned, there is no doubt that it is deliberately provocative. The cat wants to provoke a reaction in the dog. In anticipation of the response the cat moves away very quickly. The dog is used to it and he has reacted in the same way before.

So why does this cat want to provoke a reaction? The logical reason is boredom. It is not about aggression or disliking the dog. I am sure that they get along okay.

My instinctive assessment is that the cat wants something to happen as she is bored. Perhaps it is an instinctive desire by the cat to play which would alleviate boredom but she also realises that her dog companion does not play that well with her and therefore runs away immediately after the provocative swipe. Although it is a failure as an act to initiate some play she still does it instinctively.

I would equate it with domestic cats knocking items off a shelf or table top. They want to see something happen in a quiet home and they are probably full-time indoor cats. Domestic cats have a lot of potential energy stored up waiting to be used. There has to be an outlet. Inside the home there is often little opportunity to use up energy. Sometimes cats do the ‘crazies’. This is also due to boredom. Cats suddenly chase around the home in a burst of energy and just as suddenly stop.

These actions that I have described are often referred to as weird but nothing that a domestic cat does is weird. All forms of behaviour can be explained by reference to feline behaviour.

I have speculated about this feline behaviour. I might be wrong and if so I’d like to hear from you.


Cat non-recognition aggression

I have discussed this before but I have not used the phrase 'non-recognition aggression'. The interesting aspect of this form ...
Read More

Amazing video of a VERY angry cat at the vet. A perfect example as to how a tame cat can be labeled ‘feral’ at the shelter.

While this video was originally posted on YouTube on July 20, 2012, I was hooked from the start when I ...
Read More

Aggressive Cat Behavior

Photo by kjarrett1 (Flickr) Most aggressive cat behavior can be readily explained. The information here is carefully researched and backed ...
Read More

Do cats get mad at you?

Do cats get mad at you? This is another part-anthropomorphized cat question. It's a question which touches upon human behavior ...
Read More

If cats see us as “mama cats” or parents, then why do they hiss and attack us?

This is a reasonable question. Firstly cats see us as providers and surrogate mothers when being cared for or on ...
Read More

Unnecessary row erupts on Facebook over cute funny cat video

This is funny, cute kitten video but some commenters on Facebook say that it is cat abuse and teasing which ...
Read More

I have to declaw my cat because he attacks me 3-6 times a week. Please help.

This lady is seeking help to find a reason not to declaw her cat who in my opinion was never ...
Read More
Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

Recent Posts

Second domestic cat tests positive for Covid-19

Currently there is no evidence that companion animals can be a source of the virus.…

1 hour ago

Picture of a Chinese desert cat a.k.a. Chinese mountain cat

This cat should be called the Chinese steppe cat (an area of flat, unforested grassland).…

2 hours ago

How a nursing home cat had the unusual ability of predicting death within the next hours

You may remember Oscar. He is quite famous (actually very famous). He's a fluffy, grey-and-white…

7 hours ago

Netflix film about the battle between Big Cat Rescue and Joe Exotic is a big hit

It's been reported that the feud over big cats between Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin,…

8 hours ago

Are cheetahs solitary?

The social organisation of cheetahs is unique among the wild cat species. Females are solitary…

12 hours ago

Talking about a cat at a distance because of social isolation

LEEDS, UK: Pictures of a conversation, posted on Twitter, between neighbours at a distance through…

12 hours ago