• Question: Can cats and dogs comunicate with each other?

    Asked by 10rusdanc to Hannah, Ian, Jono, Mark on 26 Jun 2013. This question was also asked by 10cargeoa.
    • Photo: Hannah Brotherton

      Hannah Brotherton answered on 26 Jun 2013:

      Hi 10resdanc,
      Cats and dogs probably understand each other better than we understand them 😛
      Cats and dogs are closely related in the animal kingdom and their strongest form of communication is through scent.

      Dogs will spend more time sniffing a used scratching post than he will a new shirt. Cats and dogs can also better detect warning and welcome signals. So we can over look when a cats ears are set back on it’s head but a dog knows that means “leave me alone”. But the dog will still probably try and mess with the cat.

      Cats and Dogs have been domesticated right next to each other for thousands and years. If I spend that much time with someone, I think I would start to understand what they are saying.

      So have you ever been to a different country and then by the time you come home you just about understand what they are saying. Imagine being there for thousands of years – you probably end up speaking their language 😛

    • Photo: Mark Hodson

      Mark Hodson answered on 26 Jun 2013:

      Hi 10rusdanc,

      yes – through smells, verbal noises – types of growl, barking, meowing etc. The messages are probably less complex than some of ours. Simple things like I like you, I want to eat you, don’t eat my food etc.



    • Photo: Ian Wilson

      Ian Wilson answered on 26 Jun 2013:

      Hi 10rusdanc and 10cargeoa,

      Cats and dogs don’t speak the same language but they are able to understand each other pretty well. It’s kind of like if I were to try and hold a conversation with a Chinese person – neither of us would understand the words the other was saying but we could get our message across through actions. Look at your mum and dad next time you’re in a foreign country – they probably mime what they want when they’re speaking to someone. They use an action to show what they mean and want.

      Dogs and cats do the same thing. They don’t understand each other’s barks and meows but if a cat raises the hairs on it’s back and sticks its tail up, a dog will know the cat’s angry! It’s amazing how animals can interact with one another despite speaking completely different languages and, often, having different body language too!