If your dog keeps nudging your cat, this post will show you likely reasons why and what you can do about them.

So, why does my dog nudge my cat? Likely reasons why your dog nudges your cat are that your dog is being possessive or dominant or that your dog is playing or showing affection.

There are actually a number of possible reasons why your dog nudges your cat and it might be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are a number of things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are a number of things you can do about it.

Why does my dog nudge my cat?

Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog has been nudging your cat and what would make each of them more likely.

Dominance

If your dog has been nudging your cat in a way that makes your cat move, the behavior would be likely to be dominant behavior. This would be especially likely if your dog does it in situations such as when your cat sits in a certain spot or when eating. In this case, it would help to keep them separated whenever possible.

Play

A possible cause is that your dog is playing with your cat. This would be more likely if your dog shows signs of excitement such as wagging its tail when it nudges your cat. In this case, it could also be the case that your dog is being dominant towards your cat and it would also help to give your cat places it can go that are away from your dog.

Nature

It could also be the case that your dog sees your cat as prey and your dog nudges your cat in order to see what your cat does. This would be more likely if your dog also chases your cat around and if your dog can be aggressive towards your cat. It would also be more likely if your dog is a breed that is known for having a high prey drive such as a German Shepherd. In this case, it would also help to give your cat other places to go.

Boredom

It could also be the case that your dog is bored and looking for ways to stimulate itself. This would be more likely if your dog does it more before getting exercise and less after. In this case, it would help to ensure that your dog is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.

Affection

The cause might also be that your dog is being affectionate. This would be more likely if your dog also licks your cat and your dog is gentle with it.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main cause.

If your dog has always nudged your cat

If your dog has not always nudged your cat, it would help to consider what else happened when your dog first started doing it. If your dog started doing it suddenly, it might be due to things such as a change in the place that your cat sits causing your dog to be possessive or a change in how your cat interacts with your dog itself.

The timing of when your dog nudges your cat

It would also help to consider the timing of when your dog nudges your cat. If there is a certain time that your dog tends to do it, it would be likely that the timing has something to do with it. For example, if your dog does it more when they are eating, it would be more likely that your dog is being food possessive. In this case, it would help to separate them when feeding them.

How your dog interacts with your cat

It would also help to consider how your dog interacts with your cat. If your dog is often aggressive towards your cat, it would be more likely that your dog is doing it because it is being dominant. Whereas, if your dog often is affectionate towards your cat, it would be more likely that your dog is trying to show your cat affection.

What to do about my dog nudging my cat?

Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main cause.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

It might be the case that your dog has learned that the behavior gets rewarded. Instead, it would help to get your dog off your cat when it does it and then to give your dog a “time out” and to avoid giving it any attention until it starts being well behaved.

Give your cat other places to go

It would also help to ensure that your cat has places that it can go to that your dog cannot. Cats often like spots that are high up since dogs cannot get there.

Separate them

If it seems like your dog might be aggressive towards your cat, it would help to keep them separated whenever possible. This is especially the case when feeding them since dogs can become aggressive towards cats when eating.

Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.