How to Tell if a Dog is Aggressive Towards Cats

Dogs are born people pleasers, and their congenial nature makes it seem like they'll get along with just about everyone and everything including cats. However, dogs don't always get along with other species due to their instinctive prey drive. Cats can trigger a dog's prey drive and cause even the most mellow of canines to become aggressive towards them. It's not always easy to tell if your dog is going to be aggressive towards cats, but you can get help from our cat and dog vets in Bend at Blue Sky Vet Clinic. Here's a look at signs that indicate your dog may not get along with cats.

Watch Your Dog's Body Language for Clues

Your dog's body language is a major indicator about how she feels about a cat in her space. Dogs typically give off a warning to a cat with body language that includes aggressive postures and expressions. Some of the body language that indicate your dog is going to be aggressive with a cat include:

  • Assumes an attack stance
  • Pins ears back
  • Bares teeth
  • Engages in a biting stance
  • Tucks tail down in a tensed position
  • Glaring at the cat

Dogs tend to be very open about their displeasure with a cat, but if you're unsure about what to look for, talk to the cat and dog vet in Bend prior to introducing a cat to your dog. Your Bend veterinarian can advise you on signs of aggression from your dog and how to prevent an incident from happening.

Listen to How Your Dog Vocalizes Towards the Cat

In the event the cat missed the visual cues that the dog doesn't want them near, your dog will most likely start vocalizing their displeasure. A dog's aggressive vocalizations include growling, snarling, and warning barks before taking physical action. Vocalization is a sign that your dog's anger is rising, and you need to step in and remove one or both animals from the setting before something happens that sends you to our dog and cat vets in Bend.

Test Your Dog With Cats Before Bringing Them Together

In the event you're looking to add a cat to the household, and your dog has never been around them to your knowledge, ask the vet clinic in Bend for advice on getting your dog tested for compatibility with cats. Another option is to talk to rescues and/or shelters to find out if they can help you test your dog with cats in a controlled setting. Shelters understand the desire to provide a safe home for a cat and may be willing to help you. If the shelter can't help directly, they may have a referral to a dog trainer who can help.

Visit the Cat and Dog Vet in Bend for Testing

You may want to have your dog examined by a vet trained in veterinary internal medicine in Bend to perform a complete examination and look for physical issues that may cause aggression. The Bend veterinarian is familiar with causes of aggression in dogs both physical and mental and can help you determine if your dog is going to be aggressive towards cats prior to introducing a feline into the household. A visit to our vet clinic in Bend may seem excessive to learn if your dog is aggressive, but you can never be too cautious when trying to avoid an unpleasant situation.

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