Nature is strange and can be quite surprising at times. It’s not unheard of to wonder if a dog can mate with a cat. After all, there have been stories about the phenomenon for centuries.
Can a cat mate with a dog?
Unfortunately, no. A cat can’t mate with a dog, because the species are too different from each other.
What About Cross Breeding?
Hybrid animals are popular today. The Bull Pug and Golden Doodle are just a few dogs that have been created through cross-breeding different breeds of dog. However, all dogs are still essentially the same genetically, which makes this breeding possible.
Another prime example is the result of two different animal species. The mule is the result of a horse and donkey breeding. These animals are different species, and even possess a different number of chromosomes. Horses have 32, and donkeys have 31. This surprisingly doesn’t cause a massive problem for their offspring, but it does make them sterile.
Despite the differences between horses and donkeys, they are genetically and anatomically similar enough to mate. Just as different breeds of dog are similar enough to mate.
Another lesser known example is the liger. As the name suggests, it’s the result of a lion breeding with a tiger.
Reasons Cats and Dogs Can’t Mate
Despite nature’s ability to create hybrids, there are many reasons why cats and dogs can’t mate. One is simply a matter of anatomy. Male cats have a barbed penis. If they were to mate with a female dog, they could cause injury, because a dog’s reproductive organs aren’t equipped to receive the barbed penis.
The sperm from a cat wouldn’t be able to fertilize a dog egg, nor would a dog’s sperm be able to fertilize the cat’s egg, assuming they were able to overcome the anatomical barriers.
Generally, the two animals must have the same number of chromosomes. Dogs and cats have a different number of chromosomes, which creates another breeding barrier.
The last breeding barrier is simply sexual attraction. Dogs are attracted to dogs. They have specific biological features that make them attractive. A male dog will go crazy for a female dog in heat, because the scent is attractive to them. Male cats have the same reaction to cats in heat. However, the attraction is confined to the species. A dog won’t be interested in a cat in heat, and a cat won’t be attracted to a dog in heat. The scents are different.
Stories About Dogs and Cats Mating
There have been several claims that dogs and cats have mated. The most well known involved Roy Tutt. In 1970, he claimed that a black cat named Patch had mated with a terrier named Bones.
He posted an ad in the local paper stating “Half cat half dog. Offers invited”. The story went the 1970 form of viral, appearing in stories across the country. It made its way across the Atlantic to the U.S., making headlines there as well.
The offspring were called kuppies, cat-dogs, and pussy pooch. Tutt claimed that they were docile, and made a sound between a yip and a meow. Unfortunately, they turned out to be dogs.
There have been a few more reputable claims. The Journal Of Heridity investigated Sternberger experiments. He claimed to successfully breed the two species, and said they could successfully reproduce. The only proof supplied was pictures. The experiments were conducted in the 1930s, so editing photos was much more difficult. However, other pictures from the time period have been determined to be hoaxes, so this is far from concrete evidence.
What would happen if a dog mated with a cat?
It’s unlikely but conceivable that a dog could mate with a cat. However, no offspring would result from the coupling for the reasons outlined earlier. Depending on the size of the animals, the cat could be injured as well.
What Would a Dog Cat Hybrid Look Like?
A dog-cat hybrid would certainly be interesting. Floppy puppy ears, a small sandpaper-like tongue, and aloof cat-like eyes would be quite a combination.
When it comes to personality traits, however, there are some cats with doglike traits. The Maine Coon and Ragdoll breeds are a few. They are known to be affectionate, get along well with other animals, and even follow their owners from room to room.
These are traits we associate with dogs, known as man’s best friend. We tend to think of cats as aloof and standoffish.
These cats, also known as puppy cats, are not the result of a dog and cat breeding. Instead, it was through selective breeding. Cats with the desired traits were bred. Over time, the traits become more dominant as generations with the traits are bred.
Why do dogs try to mate with cats?
The truth is, they aren’t trying to mate. They are trying to hump. The behaviors may be physically the same, but they have very different motivations.
Both Genders Hump
Humping is a perfectly normal behavior for dogs. Male and female dogs hump for a variety of reasons. In the case of sexual immaturity or a female dog, it’s obvious they aren’t humping in an attempt to mate.
Dogs hump as a way to show dominance. When one dog humps another, it’s their way of saying, “I’m top dog”. The behavior isn’t confined only to other dogs. Your dog may hump your cat or even your leg in an attempt to establish a dominant role.
Humping is also a way to relieve stress. Some dogs hump when they are anxious. The sensation is pleasurable for them, which can reduce their stress. You may notice other signs of anxiety include a lowered or tucked tail, flat ears, whining, pacing, or tense body language.
Dogs also hump out of boredom. Dogs require both mental and physical stimulation. If they don’t get enough activity, they will get bored. A bored dog may become destructive or start licking excessively. They may also hump. It gives them something to do.
If you own a male dog, you may have noticed that excitement can quickly lead to sexual excitement. The two are closely linked, for humans as well as dogs. This is why men are advised to take women to a horror movie on a date. Excitement leads to excitement.
Both sexes can hump as a way to express excitement. It also helps them get rid of excess energy during a period of high excitement. Some dogs get the zoomies, and other dogs hump.
Invitation to Play
It sounds a little strange to us. After all, we initiate interaction with a hello or a handshake. For dogs, however, humping is often used as an invitation to play. You may notice your dog humping your cat when they want to play.
If you found it hilarious or adorable the first time your dog mounted your cat, you may have accidentally trained them to continue the behavior. Dogs are trained using positive reinforcement. This means when they perform a desired behavior, they get a reward.
The dog learns when I do x, I get y reward. Owners consciously use this for housetraining and behavioural training. However, it’s easy to inadvertently train your dog to do things as well.
They mount the cat. You laugh or give them attention. The message they get is mounting the cat results in something I like. I should keep doing it.
What to Do About the Dog Humping the Cat
This depends on your personal preference and how your cat reacts. If your cat seems unphased or amused, the behavior isn’t a problem. If you are uncomfortable with it or find it embarrassing, it’s fine to train your dog not to do it. If your cat hisses, runs away, or otherwise shows they don’t like being mounted, you’ll need to stop the behavior.
It’s best to prevent the behavior. Watch your dog and determine why he is humping the cat. Is he anxious? Overexcited? Bored? Does he want to play?
Once you know why your dog is humping the cat, you can redirect them before it occurs. When you notice overexcitement, take them for a walk or pet them calmly. If they are bored, give them a toy or a play session. If they are anxious, try to pinpoint the cause of the anxiety.
Lastly, if you don’t want your dog to hump the cat, do not give them attention when they do. Either ignore it completely, or redirect your dog when it occurs.
Can dogs mate with other animals?
Yes, a dog can mate with other canine species. Canines all come from the group Canid. They all possess 78 chromosomes in 39 pairs. The genus includes the domestic dog, wolf,dingo, coyote, jackal, dhole, and the African wild dog.
The Canid Family
It’s thought that the dhole, jackal, and the African wild dog can not interbreed with other species. Other members of the canid family, including dogs, wolves, dingoes, and coyotes, can breed with each other.
Interbreeding between these species is rare. They don’t often encounter each other in the wild, and the encounters that do happen are not always friendly. However, interbreeding does occur occasionally.
Dogs and Wolves
Dogs and wolves can breed. In fact, they are genetically the same. When dogs and wolves mate, the offspring are fertile. Wolf-dog hybrids are sometimes bred intentionally and kept as pets.
It’s impossible to predict which traits the offspring will get from each of its parents. Dogs have been domesticated and bred to do well with humans over centuries. Wolves are their wild counterpart. They are independent, territorial, and typically shy of humans.
Dogs and Coyotes
Dogs and coyotes are different genetically. They are similar enough to mate, but the offspring will be sterile. A dog-coyote hybrid is known as a coy-dog.
Coy-dogs have the same issue as dog-wolf hybrids. It can be difficult to predict what traits the animal will get from each parent.
Can cats mate with other animals?
Cats can mate with other animals in the Felidae family. Technically, all animals in the felidae family are cats. Although the term cat often refers to a domestic house cat. There are some reports of interesting hybrids from different species.
Raccoons, particularly domesticated ones, will voluntarily mate with cats. It hasn’t been scientifically proven that this results in offspring, but there are reports of it happening. It’s suggested that the Maine Coon cat is actually a cat-racoon hybrid, which is where the name comes from.
Cats have also been known to nurse baby raccoons. It’s thought that the raccoons will imprint on the cat. When they reach sexual maturity, they will be sexually attracted to cats because they see the animal as the species they were born to.
The domestic cat is a descendant of the African wildcat. There are a surprising number of felines that the domestic cat can mate with. The Asian Leopard Cat, Caracal, Jungle cat, Scottish Wildcat, Fishing Cat, Sand Cat, and the Serval can all breed with the domestic cat.
There have been claims of domestic cats breeding with bob cats and jaguars, but these reports have not been confirmed.