Fighting like cats and dogs? Research shows a different picture

Animal behaviour researchers at the University of Lincoln have discovered that the relationship between our cats and dogs may be more amicable than originally perceived.

The relationship between the species is often portrayed as fractious, however, Professor Daniel Mills, Dr Sophie Hall and Jessica Thomson at the School of Life Sciences conducted an online survey to find out what it is that makes cats and dogs harmonious.

Results showed that 80% of homeowners felt their pets were comfortable with one another and a mere 3% stated that their cats and dogs could not stand one another.

dog-833957_960_720

It was found that that 50% of owners reported their cats displayed negative behaviours such as hissing and spitting at dogs, and 18% said their dogs threatened cats, less than 10% of cats and only 1% of dogs ever harmed the other animal. Domestication may play a huge part in this interaction, as dogs have been domesticated for longer than cats and are a lot easier to train.

Overall, the majority of owners perceived their cat and dog as being comfortable living under the same roof.
The idiom ‘fighting like cat and dog’ may not ring true after all!

The paper, titled ‘Evaluation of the relationship between cats and dogs living in the same home’ was published in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour and can be read online.

Follow the School of Life Sciences on Facebook and Twitter, or find out more here.