• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Can cats and dogs understand each other?

Mell

Well-known member
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
1,008
Reaction score
145
Location
Germany
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
If a cat says 'mew ow' and a dog says 'bow wow' can they understand each other?
 

ReverendHellh0und

I don't respect you.
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Messages
79,903
Reaction score
20,981
Location
I love your hate.
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Yes, when my dog's ears perk and pays attention to kitty, kitty understands he's about to be chased.
 

Aunt Spiker

Cheese
DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2009
Messages
28,431
Reaction score
16,987
Location
Sasnakra
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
:lamo

I think animals are quite capable of learning body-language and vocalization of humans and animals if they so desire.

My Cat rules the roost around here and will promptly put all the dogs in their place if they get out of line or into his litter box (he hides his secret stash in there, apparently). In order for them to coexist in the home they must understand each other. . . at least - the dogs must understand the cat.

What the cat says, the dogs do.
 

spud_meister

Veni, vidi, dormivi!
DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 6, 2009
Messages
36,167
Reaction score
21,573
Location
Didjabringabeeralong
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Communist
If a cat says 'mew ow' and a dog says 'bow wow' can they understand each other?

not in the sense that we understand speech, but i think they get the gist of it from tone, body language etc.
 

winston53660

DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
29,262
Reaction score
10,125
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
If a cat says 'mew ow' and a dog says 'bow wow' can they understand each other?

My dog and cat play with each other. It really is cute. They also lay down with each other.
 

Mell

Well-known member
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
1,008
Reaction score
145
Location
Germany
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
My 9 year old daughter asked me this last night. I had no answer for her, because I never considered it before. I told her, folks on the Politics forum are sure to know.

Thanks for the replies! :)
 

Gardener

free market communist
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 5, 2005
Messages
26,657
Reaction score
15,927
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
My Cat rules the roost around here and will promptly put all the dogs in their place if they get out of line or into his litter box (he hides his secret stash in there, apparently).

.

Every dog knows that the litter box is where cats hide the roca.
 

Goshin

Burned Out Ex-Mod
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
45,586
Reaction score
50,204
Location
Dixie
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
If a cat says 'mew ow' and a dog says 'bow wow' can they understand each other?

Depends on how much they've been around each other, and in how close of proximity.


I speak both cat and dog, btw. :mrgreen:

Cats and dogs often misunderstand each others' signals, unless they've spent a lot of time together. My mama-cat has been around my son's pekinese enough that she doesn't freak out at him most of the time. The new kittens, and the tomcat that mostly stays outside, are an entirely different matter: the pekinese blows their minds and scares them half to death. Mamacat knows that when he sneezes, he's not hissing in anger; when he pants, he's not baring his teeth in preparation to eat her. The kittens and the Tom misinterpret these things as threats.

When the pekinese wants to sniff Mamacat's butt, she ignores him while he does his doggy thing. The Tom and the kittens think this is some sort of sneak attack and freak out: wild hissing and spitting and other mayhem ensues.

The pekinese never bothers the mamacat, because she never freaks out. However, when the Tom or the kittens bow up and hiss, he interprets this as "I want to fight!" instead of "leave me alone!". A running cat is obviously a cat that wishes to play "chase me", he thinks. :mrgreen:

They have to learn each others lingo, just like humans that speak different languages. Some of their signals are the same, but others differ.
 

The Giant Noodle

DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 22, 2010
Messages
7,332
Reaction score
2,011
Location
Northern Illinois
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
When I lived briefly with my father I brought my 2 cats and he has one dog. He has an Austrlian Shepard which is a herding breed. Well.... one of my cats did most of the herding :mrgreen: They seemed to enjoy each others company. beautybeast.jpg
 

liblady

pirate lover
DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
16,164
Reaction score
5,060
Location
St Thomas, VI
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Progressive
If a cat says 'mew ow' and a dog says 'bow wow' can they understand each other?

i think so.....my dog and cat...both gone, were best friends. when we had our dog put down, on our front lawn, my cat came over to see what was going on, and she NEVER approached strangers and didn't know this vet. the vet had to wave antispetic under her nose to get her to go away. well, a couple of days later she ran away and i never saw her again.
 

MaggieD

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 9, 2010
Messages
43,244
Reaction score
44,662
Location
Chicago Area
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Moderate
They do speak different languages, so even when they get along, they don't trust each other completely. Their body language is completely at odds. Examples: When a dog is wagging his tail, he's probably happy. When a cat is wagging his, beware. When a cat rubs up against you, it's often times a sign of friendship. When a dog does the same thing, it's a symbol of dominance. When a dog is lying on his back, legs up in the air, he's inviting a scratch or showing submission. When a cat does the same thing, he's practicing is "killing skills."

We have a German Shepherd and two cats. They seem to have established an effective detente. They'll even sleep relaxed in the same room which is a sign of trust. But I still think they give off mixed signals to each other that they'll never understand. Funny to watch, actually. A real hoot.
 
Top Bottom