Dogs and cats are our favorite pets. Animal lovers often have both dogs and cats in their home. One of our fur babies favorite games is chase. Or like I like to call it, puppy tag. A cat will boop your dog in the nose and the chase begins. Why does dogs chase cats? It is puppy nature.
It is all About the Eyes
One of my favorite movies is Jurassic Park. The mighty T – Rex are depicted as predators who see by motion. If it is moving, the T – Rex can see it. Your Dog and a T – Rex have a lot in common because of this.
We have movement receptors in our eyes, just like a T – Rex. Your puppy has thousands more movement receptors that you do. If we see something moving in our peripheral vision, we look. Your dogs are even better at this than we are.
The black and white, or 50 shades of gray vision dogs have is the perfect tool to chase prey. Just like a T – Rex, your dog notices movement on levels we can not comprehend. One of the reason why dogs chase cats is because a dogs eyes are perfect for tracking prey.
Why Dogs Chase Cats
Your dog is not unique, but its ancestors were. The cute furry puppy that cuddles you on the couch is far different than its ancestors. A dog is all muscle with teeth designed to tear flesh.
We bred this out of many of our favorite dog breeds over hundreds of generations. Dogs see movement and chase. Wild dogs chase what moves because it must in order to eat. Cats provide an elusive form of prey that can jump and hide better than most other animals.
Once your dog chases down a cat something amazing happens. Your dog has no idea what to do next. One of the things we bred out of dogs were the kill instinct. Your puppy get three square meals a day and never had to hunt a day in its life.
Why Do Dogs Chase Cats?
Never do what you are good at for free. Dogs are good at chasing and hunting. The reward for your dogs ancestors for chasing they got to eat. For your dog, they get pleasure.
When your dog chases a cat it is the ultimate game. The perk is fun, adrenaline and dopamine. Why do dogs chase cats? It gets to use its full range of evolutionary skills. A body of fast moving muscle, eye designed to see movement on a level we can’t comprehend and a desire to to catch dinner.
Your dog may have forgotten that a cat is dinner, but it remembers the rest. Puppy tag is the ultimate game for your puppy to play.
Your Dog May Not Chase Cats
Some people may notice this little game is not one their dogs enjoy. There are a few reasons for this. Most commonly is the reason your dog is raised with cats. Naturally dogs love to chase anything, even other dogs. But not all animals like to be chased.
If your dog is raised around cats it will learn that that cats are apart of the family. Cats dislike being prey and tend to fight back. To a full grown excited dog a scratching or batting cat is not a big deal. When your dog is a puppy, a cat is often larger that it is.
This leads to an awkward relationship where the little cat claw is a fist full of razors. A puppy will learn quickly not to mess with your cat. Other reasons dogs avoid chasing cats boils down to breed and age.
Some breeds just do not have the same chase instinct. We were good at breeding the traits we desire in our furry friends. Other dogs get old and the pain of the rapid chase loses its appeal.
How to Stop the Chase Game
Why do dogs chase cats? Instinct. Pure and natural instinct makes the chase or tag game extremely fun. When chasing stops the game is boring. Your dog doesn’t want to actually catch its prey.
This gives you a very easy option to stop a dog from chasing. Let your dog catch its prey. If a dog is chasing you, stop. Let your dog catch up. It is pretty easy to end the chasing. If your dog is chasing your cat, interrupting the chase works swimmingly well.
Physical obstacles prevent this game from even starting. When I get a new puppy I block off rooms and hallways with baby gates. This is my tool to keep an eye on potty training and keep a teething secluded. This also prevents a chase game from starting.
A cat can often jump over a baby gate, where a puppy can not. If your cat cant get away, you can add a ledge to the baby gate. I use a board screwed to the top of the baby gate. This is an easy spring board for a cat to get away.
Other obstacles I have used include large pop can cases and a long rifle case box. They are wide enough to give a cat footing and get away from a cat. Why do dogs chase cats? It is incredibly fun. But you can prevent the game all cats hate.