Why are dogs afraid of cats? Have you seen dogs afraid of passing near a cat or running away from a cat? It is funny to see that dogs may be afraid since they are bigger than cats and should win in a fight or not?

Dogs are afraid of cats because cats can scratch them in the face really fast with their claws. Even though dogs may win a battle with cats if they find themselves in the position of chasing, in a face-to-face confrontation, dogs are very cautious because of cats’ agility with their claws. This fear comes about when dogs have already been scratched before.

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If you are a cat lover, you may have run across this curios phenomenon of dogs not daring to walk by a cat or seeing a cat and deciding to back off and run away. It is fun to see a dog being 3 or 4 times the cat’s size act like a puppy who has just been scolded by their mother.

Let’s examine what cats do that makes dogs so scared or very cautious when dealing with cats. The funniest part is that cats act like everything, and everybody needs to ask their permission for existing.

You see this when cats area stealing your dog’s bed, expecting him to sleep on the floor, of when cats are standing in the middle of the staircase ready to swing at the passing dog, who is so afraid that decide to wait for the cat to move than rather have to deal with him.

Why are dogs afraid of cats?

  • Cats have claws that can scratch easily; they pray, and not only can they scratch easily, because their claws are sharp, those types of scratches are also excruciating. If you have ever been scratched by a cat, even a small scratch, you may have been surprised by how painful that small scratch is.
  • Cats are very agile, while dogs are bigger and stronger than cats, cats are very fast and can jump in any possible way. If you play with your cat, you know that they are sneaky and can get your toy even if you did not mean to let them catch it. They are too fast and have incredible reflexes. Dogs are fast and agile too, but being smaller and lighter can bit dogs in agility and speed in most moves.

Note: it is not like this for all dogs. Some dogs would start chasing and hunting cats despite everything, especially if dogs never had a bad experience fighting a cat. Some dogs do not care; they will follow their instinct.


You may have experienced a cat swinging at you while you are taking a turn in the house or passing by certain spots. Cats do this mainly because they want to play, they do not intend to harm you in doing so.

Cats do the same with dogs or other household pets. Cats follow or swing at anything that moves; it is part of their instinct. When dogs see a cat guarding a staircase or a particular corridor, they may be afraid to pass by not to get hit by claws and be scratched.

If they are friends, the cat will probably paw at the dog because of wanting to play, without using the claws. But the dog doesn’t know it.

From the above video, you can see how a dog can react when meeting a cat on a staircase or their path.

Why are dogs afraid of cats? If a dog had a bad encounter with a cat in the past, that dog wants to avoid being in the same position and be afraid to pass by a cat. These events can make even big dogs scared of cats, and even if it happened when they were small, they would remember it when they grew up.

There are also many cats and dogs getting very well along, sleeping together, and playing together. It really depends on dogs’ and cats’ personalities.


I am not sure it is always true that dogs hate cats. If you look around on YouTube, you see many videos of dogs and cats being friends and sleeping with each other.

From the other side, there are dogs that, as soon as they see a cat they go for it and try to hunt them. So it really depends on cats and dogs individually.

If cats and dogs grow up together, there are more chances that they become real friends and even protect each other. Grown-up dog’s reactions to cats can be tested. Younger dogs can also follow their instinct and run behind anything that moves, that includes cats.

It is not a point of hate. It is more a point of natural predator instinct for both of them, dogs and cats are hunters, and thus, they run and chase what they think is a target.


Here some related questions to “Why are dogs afraid of cats?” and related answers:

  • How do I get my dog to stop being scared of cats?

If you live with a cat and a dog, it is much easier to train a dog to be afraid of walking pass a cat or being with a cat. You can also train your cat not to be afraid of the house dog.

You can have daily sessions with your cat and dog together; you are with them and make them be near and try to make them interact.

If you do not have a cat with your dog in the house, you may see if you have a friend with a cat who will help you train your dog to be in the presence of a cat.

  • Why does my cat hate my new dog?

Dogs do not have the same type of attitude as cats. If you observe cats meeting each other, you see that they are slowly moving to other cats and smelling them with some delicate approach. Dogs have a more “in your face” type of approach. They jump all over people and new friends, lick them, invade their space, and so on.

Cats do not like their space being invaded. They feel threatened even if the dog is friendly; he put his wet nose onto the ca, and he perceives this act as a threat. When introducing a dog to a cat, it is better to control the event to make the dog less active.

  • How do I get my cat to stop bullying my dog?

You can train a cat to understand that certain things are wrong. With time and patience, you can get some results. For example, whenever my cat does something that is not ok, I say “NO” without screaming. He usually stops whatever he is doing, including chasing the other cat.

But I got to this result after a while. When you start to train him to understand “NO,” first, you say “NO,” and you stand up and stop him from what he is doing. After many times you have done it, he will stop doing whatever he is doing when you say, “NO.”


Why are dogs afraid of cats? I hope we answered the question. If you any more questions, write in the comment below.


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