Can Dogs Communicate With Cats?

Dog and cat snuggling up together

Why would we want to do this? Have you ever sat down and had a conversation with a cat? It’s horrifying. They are condescending and judgmental. But you asked a question and I’m here to answer it for you.

Can dogs talk to cats?

Dogs and cats use behavioral signals to communicate with each other, much like they do when communicating with humans. Their personality traits differ, thus causing an antagonistic relationship, however they continue to use innate and animalistic behaviors to relay feelings or emotional responses.

I feel like I need to go on record to state the obvious. I really enjoy chasing cats. To me, this is my kitty-love-language. They seem to understand me perfectly when I take off charging towards them because they turn and sprint too. It’s the ultimate tag session, except now that I think about it, they never turn around and chase me back. Just like a cat to never reciprocate.

Disclaimer: The Can My Dog articles contain information based on the individual research and opinions of the author of the site – who just so happens to be a dog. How you utilize the information given is completely up to you. Proceed at your own risk.

The Typical Cat and Dog Relationship

I blame it on social pressures, but the mass majority doesn’t want us to get along. Cats and dogs, that is.

Why, you ask? Because it makes for a better story line.

Let me explain:

  1. Tom and Jerry
  2. Lenny and Squiggy
  3. Caster Troy and Sean Archer

A good story needs a problem and a problem needs a hero. We can’t have two heroes now, can we?

Of course we can!

Enter cats and dogs (together) stage right.

While this may be my personal experience with cats, this is not always the narrative. A lot of the miscommunication can be attributed to, well, miscommunication.

Because dogs generally come off as super playful and overly excited, this can be a massive deterrent for their feline counterparts.

You see, cats read this as aggressive behavior eliciting the fight of flight response and since cats are typically much smaller, they choose flight more times than not.

Total misunderstanding.

I for one just want to frolic through the grass with my cat friends.

Okay, I understand that I’m not like most dogs and some pups out there may have some unresolved issues with cats and could possibly do harm to them – or vice versa.

This is super sad to me, but facts are facts and should not be swept under the rug. Please take my personal experience and research as just that. Not all dogs and cats get along – just like not all humans get along.

Cat Nature vs. Dog Nurture

A tail (get it?) of two speeches (get it again? – a play on animal “communication”?)

Okay, I’ll stop.

Is there a difference between dogs and cats who have been raised together, in the same house, versus those who meet for the first time later in life?

Short answer: possibly, but also maybe not?

Do I look like an all knowing wizard to you? I mean, this question alone has so many variables I could write an entire book on it with each chapter offering a completely different narrative.

Nevertheless, I’ll keep it simple for you and speak in my overly generalized terms for the sanity of Google snippets and content optimization.

If you raise a puppy with a kitten, they will both be raised in a nurtured environment where they understand each other to be a natural part of their individual lives. They know no other concept derived from nature and / or survival mode.

In other words, they would see each other as family and communication between the two would be second nature.

This is typically not the case when exposed to one another for the first time later in life on neutral ground. I have three words for you under these circumstances: PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

It’s all about the individual relationship. Wikipedia to the rescue – feel free to click on over if you need a more in-depth analysis.

For the Visual Learners Out There

Learn how to read the good and bad signals your cat or dog is showing. Allow me to illustrate a few of those below for your reference.

The GoodThe Bad
Purring (happy kitty)Hissing (scared kitty)
Nudging and Rubbing with Head (happy kitty)Arched Back (scared kitty)
“Milking” with Paws (happy kitty)Paw Swiping or Boxing (scared kitty)
Laying on Back with Exposed Tummy (happy puppy)Showing Teeth (scared puppy)
Light Pawing (happy puppy)Tail Straight Out (scared puppy)

My table is less than comprehensive but a good place to start. It’s near impossible to predict the behavior of all animals and how they’ll respond or adapt in certain situations.

Regardless, always socialize your animals in a responsible manner. Never leave them alone or unattended, especially in a new environment.

Cats and Dogs – When Opposites Attract

It’s important to understand that cats and dogs are different. I mean this literally and on a deep subconscious and cellular level.

We think different, we love different, we play different, we smell different (cats stink). We even attract different humans.

But don’t let the fact that dogs and cats are polar opposites deter you from integrating them.

I happen to like playing with these furry little cat ninjas. I also like to eat their food, but don’t let us do that. It’s terrible for us. If you want to dive into why that is, click over to this article where I covered the topic in depth.

All of this different doesn’t mean we don’t understand each other. We’re not humans! You guys are ridiculous when you happen to disagree on something or one of you looks or acts different than what happens to be socially acceptable at the time of convergence.

Get over yourselves. Take a page from the Jax’s Opposites Attract Playbook. It’s universal law, people. If we didn’t observe opposites we would never have reference to appreciate or understand the things we like in direct comparison.

It’s simple. Stop over-complicating life. Yes, dogs love you and yes we can speak to cats.


You heard it here first. Now go about your day with a little more knowledge and a lot more clarity.

The “Clatmatic” Conclusion

Okay, so the play on “climatic” might have been a stretch, nevertheless I’ll bring her on home for you.

Not all dogs get along with cats and not all cats hate dogs. BUT both cats and dogs are brilliant in regards to social cues and behavioral signs.

End of story.

I hope you all continue to brighten the world with your human beauty, and as always, continue to Live, Love, Laugh, and Scratch our bellies often!

Love you guys,


P.S. If you’re new to this world, you may want to check out my Ultimate Guide for First Time Dog Parents. It’s a great reference to get you started on this journey.

Related Questions

Why Does My Dog Act Like a Cat?

A dog has a tendency to acquire cat attributes when they have been primarily raised in the presence of a cat or are outnumbered by cats in their home.

This is common when you bring a puppy into your home where you already have an adult cat or a couple of cats living there.

It’s important to also consider notable character traits that may cause your dog to portray more “cat-like” behavioral responses. This is often due to an isolationist desire from your dog.

While this isn’t a typical characteristic you see in dogs, it isn’t completely off the table. Cats are generally more independent creatures, but that’s not to say your dog can’t curly up on the top of the couch and demand time to themselves too!

Read more here: Why does my dog act like a cat?

Can Dogs Eat Cat Food?

While cat food isn’t necessarily toxic to your dog, it is advisable to keep your dog out of the cat’s food bowl.

Cats are carnivores and require more animal protein and fat in their diet when compared to their dog counterparts. Too much fat and protein can wreak havoc on your dog’s kidneys and liver.

Dogs on the other hand, are omnivores just like humans and can actually benefit for a plant based diet.

Read the full article here: Can dogs eat cat food?

This article has been reviewed by our Editorial Board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our Editorial Policies.

Recent Posts