I have always wanted to know why dogs chase cats. I read on the Internet, but it doesn't have any good reason or theories, except that dogs chase away anything that is running.

But then, what if the cats just stay in their position? According to the theory the dog shouldn't do anything, but they will still fight. So why do they fight? Thank you.

2 Answers 2


This is a dogs' instinct and is all about resources, by chasing away cats the dog will have access to more prey to sustain itself and its pack.

A pack of dogs will chase away other dogs too - for the same reason. It is the same with foxes - dogs will chase them.

Foxes will try to chase away cats too - even if they have limited chance of success against an adult cat.

And as you know, cats chase away other cats to avoid competition over the same resources.

If a dog tries to chase away a cat, but the cat refuses to move, the dog will often withdraw from a potential fight (take a look on youtube bad ass cats and you will understand what I mean).

Every predatory animal has this instinct to remove competition - both pack animals and the solitary ones; packs of lions chase away the young males and keep the females (they do most of the hunting), so it makes sense to have them in the pack.

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    Sir but dog still fights even if the cats dont move. I have heard of stray dogs fighting and killing kittens even when the cat defends. All I want to do is to end this stray dog-cat fight and make them live like pets do. Dec 21, 2017 at 10:55
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    think about the result if we remove a dogs wish to protect the area it lives in,an intruder can come or go as he/she pleases and steal all you have and the dog dont give you any warning. Dec 21, 2017 at 15:19

Dogs were domesticated by humans about 12 thousand years ago (rough estimate). What were dogs doing before this happen? They had to survive on their own chasing and catching small prey, they were probably scavengers as well (that's why most dogs will eat anything!).

The hunting behavior was very important to their survival so it has been "wired" in their brain. We call it "prey drive". This means that the behavior is partly controlled by genetics, they will perform this behavior when the right cue appears (something to chase), even if they do not need food (because you feed them twice a day!).

Source: http://www.dog-training-excellence.com/why-do-dogs-chase-cats.html

They probably see the cat as prey and they chase it.

If you want to stop your dog doing this, you can simply teach them to come when you call it’s name. That way, the dog will come anytime, even if it’s chasing something important.

  • Clearly this is not an answer to the question. The question is why cats and dogs fight even if cats stay in their position? That is dog is not chasing the cat but they are still fighting.
    – Sonevol
    Dec 20, 2017 at 0:37
  • @Sonevol They don’t fight every time. Probably the dog wants to play, or improve its hunting skills. Dec 20, 2017 at 12:21

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