5 min read


Can Dogs and Cats Communicate?



5 min read


Can Dogs and Cats Communicate?


As humans, we are always communicating with one another. We have been raised knowing that we must interact with each other in order to get our points across. We use our emotions, our facial expressions, movements and our words to show other people just what we need. We have it pretty easy since we are normally able to use our words for this type of thing, but what about our beloved pets? Our trusty canine companions? Our furry feline friends? 

Yes, they are able to talk to others of their kind, but what about each other? Dogs do not exactly meow and vice-versa, cats do not bark. When we have both types living in one abode, how do they get their points across?


The Signs your Furry Friends Can Communicate

Cats and dogs are inherently different creatures. They show how they feel in different ways by meowing, growling and simply by how they move. When you are hanging out with your pup and kitty, make sure to look out for these signs that show they can understand one another and maybe even enjoy each others company. 

The first sign to look out for is barking. If your dog is barking at the cat, there is a good chance that they are feeling threatened by the cat or they may not understand exactly who this feline is. Another sign that your dog understands the cat is if you see them wagging their tail. Wagging their tails is normally a sign of happiness and when doing it around the cat, it is showing that they are happy and excited to be around the kitty.

While paying attention to your dog and cat being around one another, keep your eyes on your pups ears. If they drop backward, that usually shows that they are scared or fearful. If their ears are upward and forward, this is usually a sign of aggression or misunderstanding if they feel that the cat is posing a threat.

Body Language

Here are some signs to help tell if your pup understands the cat:

  • Growling
  • Barking
  • Wag Tail
  • Ears Drop
  • Raise Ears

Other Signs

Some other signs to keep an eye open for are:

  • Sniffing A Cat'S Backside
  • Rolling Over
  • Laying Down Near Cat

The History of Communication Between Cats and Dogs


Since dogs and cats have been domesticated, it has been a long-standing myth that dogs and cats just do not get along. That may be because we have always assumed that since they are different types of animals that they are unable to actually communicate with each other. 

This is far from the truth. From many different encounters, it has been proven that if a dog and cat are given the appropriate introduction to one another, they will more than likely get along. There have been numerous reports of dogs and cats even becoming best buds. 

Just like humans, one of the biggest factors of dogs and cats getting along is whether or not their personalities clash. Throughout history, it has been shown that dogs and cats are able to communicate to each other through different body movements, growls, and facial expressions. In households nowadays, it is not rare to find cats and pups living side by side. 

With that being said, you will also find that if they are living together, they more than likely have similar personalities that allow them to get along. History has shown that it is best if the cat was living in the home before the pup arrived because cats get so territorial.

The Science Behind Dogs and Cats Communicating


Throughout time, there have been plenty of studies on whether or not dogs or cats can actually understand and communicate with humans. Those studies show that yes, our animals are trying to speak with us, but there is a slight language barrier. When thinking of it like that, is it really so hard to believe that dogs and cats are able to speak with one another?

Not entirely so. Dogs and cats both speak in entirely different ways, what with dogs barking and growling and cats meowing and hissing. It has been proven that although they may not understand exactly what comes out of each other's mouths, they are usually able to interpret what they mean and they can usually decipher what they are trying to say between the mixture of sounds and body movements. 

For example, if a dog tries to get close to the kitty cat and the cat isn't exactly feeling welcome to that idea, the feline may hiss at the pup. At the same time, the cat may begin to bat its paws at the dog to show they are not happy about the dog's behavior. If the dog has interpreted this behavior correctly, they may communicate back by flattening their ears and backing away. It is hard to tell where the barrier truly is between what they can and cannot understand.

How to Train Your Canine to Be Around Felines


When it comes to cats and dogs actually communicating, you should know that safety is one of the top priorities of this topic. When dogs and cats are near each other, there is a chance that they will become best buds, but there is also a chance that they do not react well to one another and then a fight may begin. You will want to be sure to be around at all times while you train your pup to get used to having a feline around and vice-versa.

The first step for good communication between these two animals is to create a safe and warm environment for both of them to interact in. If they feel like they are trapped or being intimidated, that will create an aggressive environment where something is bound to go wrong. In this type of situation, you will more than likely want to leash the dog or hold the cat in your lap gently. This way, the other animal is able to leave if needed. 

You will want to let both animals explore their future friend, so be sure to allow them an ample amount of time to do so. After this, if all is going well, you may allow them to both go near one another. Make sure you have a handle on the situation if anything does get out of hand. 

While doing all of this, you should give your animals treats so that they recognize that being nice to their new friend is the best option. If you find that they are just not able to get along, you can separate them into different rooms and bring different items to them that smell like the other animal, which will allow them the chance to get used to their scent.

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Safety Tips for Dog and Cat Communication

  1. If they are doing well together, be sure to praise them both and give them treats.
  2. If you see your dog becoming upset, remove them from their current situation and allow them some time to relax.
  3. Hold your pup on a leash if it is their first time meeting a feline. Dogs get highly excited and you want to be sure they don't go too overboard.

By a Keeshond lover Molly Martin

Published: 02/14/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

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