If you own an intact dog and an intact cat of opposite genders, you might be wondering if it’s possible for them to mate. With the prevalence of many hybrid dog and cat breeds on the market today, it’s not uncommon for owners to question if they could create an entirely different species by breeding their favorite dog to their favorite cat. And if this is possible, what would the offspring of this pairing look like? The truth is no, it’s not possible for dogs and cats to mate, so if you’re the proud of owner of an unneutered dog and an unspayed cat, you don’t need to fear they will mate and leave you with a litter of cogs (cat + dog) to find homes for.
Can Two Different Species Mate?
In some instances, members of two different species can be bred together to produce a new hybrid. Lions mating with tigers to create ligers is the ideal example of this. However, in order for two species to mate, they must be exceptionally closely related. Dogs and cats share very few commonalities, and thus, cannot be bred together to produce new hybrid animals.
Why is It Impossible for Dogs and Cats to Mate?
Dogs and cats are from two entirely different species. This means that they have different genetic material and everything from their unique social activities, preferred environments, and daily routines are distinctly different from one another. They share very little in common with each other.
Ligers are most commonly bred and born in captivity. But ligers are not the only hybrids that exist in our world today. Today, there are whale hybrids, offspring from the matings of grizzly bears and polar bears, and even some cross bred Galapagos iguanas.
What Makes These Hybrid Combinations Possible?
The DNA of two difference species must be closely related in order for a successful mating resulting in hybrid offspring to occur. For species that differ in some respects but that share many strands of common DNA sequences, it is possible for a breeding to occur and for a new hybrid to be born.
If Dogs and Cats Could Mate, What Would Their Offspring Look Like?
Many people are interested in creating new animals that have the best characteristics of both parents. This is how many new breeds of dogs or cats are born today. People select a dog with traits they find very desirable and breed that dog to another dog breed with other characteristics they hope will be passed on to the offspring of the pairing. It is in this fashion that new dog breeds are developed.
For many years, there has been a deep fascination in the public at large of breeding dogs to cats to create a new type of animal. In 2009, the website Catster hosted a prank in honor of April Fool’s Day that had many people duped for a time. Catster published an article that seemed highly credible. In this article, they stated that Cornell University, a highly respected educational institution in the United States, had been able to unite the cat with the dog in a petri dish “breeding” that combined their DNA through sequencing. They included a photo along with the article. Upon closer examination of the photo, it is easy to see that the image was Photoshopped. The article claimed this new hybrid had some very unique characteristics including the ability to both bark and purr and to move its head in a complete 360 degree trajectory.
Catster indicated that the parents of this “hybrid” were a Pug and a Siamese cat. While we have no means of knowing what the offspring of a dog and cat hybrid may look like, we can know for certain that the image presented in the prank by Catster is rather unattractive.
Will Dogs Attempt to Hump Cats, and If So, Why?
Dogs do have some peculiar behaviors that we, as their owners, find difficult to understand. Some dogs enjoy rolling in things like feces, and of course, every dog loves to give a new canine friend a thorough butt sniffing. But why in the world would a dog decide to mount a cat?
One of the most important things for dog owners to understand is that mounting another animal is not always an indication of sexual interest. Some dogs will mount other dogs in play or when they become overstimulated to things within their environment that they find emotionally overwhelming.
We cannot definitively say why dogs do anything, but one theory that is plausible is that some dogs may try to hump their feline housemates to express their dominant position in the home. This may or not be true but is certainly worth giving some consideration.
In some cases, dogs will mount other dogs and cats as well if they sense a change in their body chemistry. Things like yeast or urinary tract infections may smell like a female dog in the midst of her heat cycle, and that triggers within the dog a desire to procreate. This behavior is seen much more commonly between two dogs than between a dog and a cat. While we cannot say for sure why a dog may hump a cat, we can say with one hundred percent confidence that this pairing can never produce any offspring.
How Do I Get My Dog to Stop Humping My Cat?
If your dog is constantly humping your cat, chances are your cat isn’t the only one finding it annoying—you are as well! The best course of action if your dog is engaging in this behavior is trying to get to the root cause of why Fido is doing this. Often, your dog may be mounting your cat because he is emotionally overstimulated or because he is completely bored out of his mind.
Regardless of what your dog’s motivation is for humping your fave furry feline, there is a simple solution to resolving the problem. When your dog attempts to hump your cat, simply redirect your dog to something that will be more interesting for him. This could be something like a raw meaty bone, a brand new toy, or even a fun game that you can play together.
Do Cats Sometimes Try to Mount Dogs?
Yes, sometimes, cats will attempt to mount their canine housemates. However, when cats do this, it is not as overt as when dogs do. When a cat is in heat, their behavior begins to change. Mounting is quite common during a cat’s most fertile periods, and their hormones may drive them to mount any available animal; whether it is a dog or another cat. However, even if your cat is determined to flirt with Fido, we can assure you; your two favorite housepets cannot mate and provide you with any offspring to raise and later rehome.
Can dogs and cats mate? Thankfully, no!