Before you scroll further down this guide, “Why is My Dog Fixated on My Cat,” you can check out these other similar dog-related guides from our team at We Love Doodles: Do Poodles and Cats Get Along and Why Does My Dog Act Like a Cat?
Reasons Why Your Dog is Fixated On Your CatDepending on the size of the pets and their relationship, as well as the breed of dog, a dog may be fixated on a cat for various reasons. Here are some of the more common reasons why your dog may not want to let the cat out of their sight.
1. Your Dog is Jealous of Your CatEspecially if the cat is new or is known as the favorite pet, there is bound to be some jealousy felt by your dog. As most dog breeds crave personal attention and affection from you, bringing someone else into the picture can make them feel left out or abandoned, even though that certainly was not your intention. This jealousy can manifest itself in other ways, as well. They may find ways to exclude the cat from certain activities or rush toward you more often to secure your praise and approval first. If you’re bringing home a new cat, be attentive to your dog’s overall behavior. Watch for signs of discomfort and depression as your dog adjusts to this new reality of having another animal to share your time and attention with. Especially if your dog is of a breed that requires a heightened level of affection and attention, you’ll want to ensure you can still meet their needs even with the changing family and pet dynamics.
2. Your Dog is Demonstrating Dominance Towards Your CatSome dogs, in particular, can exhibit fairly dominant personalities and approaches to behavior. While it’s one thing to navigate this behavior with just them by themselves, adding a cat into the mix may make them accentuate their dominance even more so. This expression of dominance is part of a dog’s natural prey drive. They see cats as their prey and will respond accordingly with their inclination the attack. You can often identify this behavior as a dog stiffens quite rigidly when a cat approaches. They won’t look away, and it may be difficult to distract them once they are locked in on the cat. Hunting dog breeds may have a stronger sense of dominance and prey drive than others. Therefore, it’s important to monitor their relationship with a cat, especially with breeds like the Greyhound or Terrier. Even other breeds that do not have an innate hunting sense but have a strong prey drive or dominant personality can put cats at risk.
3. Your Dog Wants to Play with Your CatSometimes, dogs do not have malicious intent as they become fixated on a cat. Instead, they may choose to use their fixation as a way of playing. They may look to other friends for entertainment when you’re not around to play with them. Since playtime is vital to a dog’s ability to thrive and stay healthy, they may look to friends like a cat to meet their need for playtime. A dog fixating on a cat may be their way of asking them if they want to play. Sure, this may appear as a strange reason for fixating and demonstrating a seemingly dominant behavior, but it can also mean just a request for some entertainment for a while. A request for playing and spending time with them.
Related: Fun Games to Play with Your Poodle.
What Can I Do If My Dog is Fixated On My Cat?Whether your dog is fixated on a cat or some other thing outside, it’s helpful to address this habit of fixation. Not only will it support the relationship between your dog and cat, but it can also help improve their overall behavior. It can improve your dog’s listening skills and help them learn to relax more when the situation may become somewhat stressful for them. When determining your next steps if your dog is often fixated on your cat, it’s important to discover why your dog is fixated on them. Knowing their reason can help you more fully and effectively meet their needs. For example, if your dog is fixated on your cat out of jealousy or dominance, behavioral training can help correct its approach. Teaching them that the appropriate response is not to shut the cat out or express their dominance over them can help to improve their relationship. You’ll also want to be sure to stop this behavior of dominance and prey drive in your dog right when you notice it. Preventing your dog from developing a habit of seeing your cat as pretty can help to support their relationship over the long term. As part of this training, early socialization with cats can be extremely effective in making dogs much more comfortable around these feline friends. If possible, bring your puppy around cats from an early age so that they can establish positive relationships with other animals. Doing this early can also prevent the development of negative and prey-driven habits and behaviors. While all dogs may still have an innate sense of prey and dominance, proper training can help minimize the negative effects of that instinct. As with all training cases, be sure to incorporate a lot of positive reinforcement that celebrates their positive behavior. Have a lot of patience as they learn the appropriate approach to dealing with cats and shower them with praise whenever possible. Not only does this affirm their newly learned behavior, but it also shows them your care and attention to them, even with a cat around. Since dogs can also become fixated on cats out of a desire for play, ensure they are well entertained. Even when you are not around. If you’re not all that excited about your dog and cat playing together when you are not around, ensure that your dog has access to a wide range of toys and activities to entertain themselves with. These toys and activities can help redirect your dog’s attention and see the cat as not worth messing with.
Frequently Asked Questions: Why is My Dog Fixated On My Cat?Here are some frequently asked questions about this topic. It’ll give you a better insight into why your dog is fixated on your cat.
Why is My Dog Obsessed with Chasing My Cat?The reason why your dog is obsessed with chasing your cat is that your dog is most likely following its instincts. There are dog breeds that are used for herding and chasing. Another probable reason your dog chases your cat is that it wants to play.
How Do I Get My Dog to Leave My Cat Alone?You can get your dog to leave your cat alone by redirecting it. You can redirect your dog by providing its favorite treats or toys. If your dog is still at its puppy phase, you should teach it the “leave it” command early.
Will My Dog Ever Stop Chasing My Cat?If your dog chases your cat based on instinct, it’ll eventually learn to adapt to the environment with the cat around. If your dog chases your cat because it wants to play, it’ll get bored and eventually stop.
Can You Train a Dog to Be Good with Cats?With time and patience, you can train your dog to be good with cats. If you’re raising a cat and a dog in your home, it will eventually learn to adapt to the environment with the cat around. If your dog encounters a stray cat, then it might bark. A dog living with a cat or encountering a stray cat are both different stories.
Conclusion For “Why is My Dog Fixated On My Cat”We often assume that cats and dogs can’t have an amicable relationship. With such different personalities and desires, getting them to get along may be difficult. Your dog may even develop the tendency to become fixated on your cat due to a variety of reasons. Yet, it is still possible despite the challenges in creating this friendship between a dog and a cat. With proper training and aligning behaviors and personalities to support the relationship, cats and dogs can live together harmoniously. Although training and monitoring their interactions may take a bit more effort, your dog and cat can celebrate life with you. If you find this guide, “Why is My Dog Fixated on My Cat,” helpful and informative, you can check out these other dog-related articles from our team at We Love Doodles:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
Why Trust We Love Doodles?
At We Love Doodles, we’re a team of writers, veterinarians, and puppy trainers that love dogs. Our team of qualified experts researches and provides reliable information on a wide range of dog topics. Our reviews are based on customer feedback, hands-on testing, and in-depth analysis. We are fully transparent and honest to our community of dog owners and future owners.