The Biggest Myth About Cats and Dogs Dispelled
Cats and dogs go together like water and oil, right? Not exactly. According to a new survey, 80 percent of pet owners say these natural nemeses are actually friends.
The study, published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, surveyed 748 cat-and-dog households across Europe, the United States and Australia. Only three percent of respondents said their pets didn’t get along.
"We really wanted to know what is it that makes cats and dogs amicable," study co-author Sophie Hall, a co-author on the study, told The Guardian. "They are often portrayed as the worst of enemies, but that isn't always the case."
The report also shows that when pets do fight, cats tend to be the aggressors with 57 percent of owners saying that their cats hissed, spat and swatted at dogs. Only 18 percent said that dogs threatened cats. Luckily for both animals, less than 10 percent of cats and just one percent of dogs harmed the other pet.
Despite cats’ antagonistic behavior, dogs were still more likely to attempt to play with cats; more than a fifth of pups flashed a toy at cats while only six percent of felines did the same.
"Owners shouldn't be deterred from having both cats and dogs," Hall noted in The Guardian. "In general, both animals are seen as being really comfortable around each other, which goes against what we might think. We shouldn't think that they can't live happily together."