While dogs are, without a doubt, man’s best friend, they can also exhibit strange behavior. They eat plants from the garden and sleep in awkward positions, but one of the most bizarre behaviors you may witness is your dog mounting your leg or even your cat.
As a pet owner, this behavior may make you curious and perhaps even worried that your dog may get your cat pregnant. However, there is nothing to be concerned about, and you can delete the image of puppies-kittens from your mind. A dog cannot get a cat pregnant due to basic biology. Their DNA is so different that a dog’s sperm cannot fertilize the cat’s egg. Furthermore, the fact that we have never seen a hybrid of a dog and a cat should be enough to convince you.
Can a Dog Get a Cat Pregnant?
While cats and dogs are mammals, there are significant biological differences between the two, which contribute to the fact that they cannot reproduce together. Their DNA is significantly different, and sperm and egg cells are highly selective, so the sperm from a dog cannot enter the egg cell of a cat.
The number of chromosomes each species has is widely different. Dogs have 78 chromosomes or 39 pairs, while cats have 38 chromosomes, or 19 pairs. So, a dog’s sperm has 39 copies of a chromosome, while a cat’s egg has 19 copies. These chromosomes carry DNA, which is the genetic material. With the difference in their number of chromosomes, it is evident how well-defined their DNAs are.
A dog and a cat’s reproductive organs are also incompatible, and forcing them to mate can result in infections or injury. Furthermore, a female cat would not be receptive to the male dog, so if a dog mounts a cat, it would be something similar to when they mount a toy—it’s only a behavior, not intercourse.
Can Dogs and Cats Mate?
While cats and dogs can get very friendly, and a dog may have mounting tendencies that can often get confused with mating, a dog and a cat simply cannot mate.
Dogs and cats are different species and will display different mating signals and behaviors, which either species cannot recognize.
Why Does a Dog Mount a Cat?
A dog’s mounting behavior can easily cause confusion about whether dogs and cats mate. However, mounting and mating are different behaviors. A dog mounting is not exclusive to mating; even though a dog can develop an erection, it will most likely not include ejaculation.
Improper mounting by dogs can be due to hormonal, behavioral, or health concerns. An intact dog can display inappropriate mounting behavior due to hormones. However, it could also be their playful and excited nature.
Aggressive dogs tend to mount other animals to demonstrate their power and show dominance. A playful dog may mount your cat as a form of play when they’re bored. It’s true that mounting can be sexual and be a form of masturbation and pleasure-seeking, but it is more likely that the dog hasn’t been neutered. In addition, mounting can also be due to health issues, such as skin allergies, a urinary tract infection, or even prostate issues.
Mounting is a normal behavior for dogs, though it can be managed. If it is becoming too much to deal with and you suspect that your dog has underlying health concerns, you should consult your veterinarian. Mounting behavior can sometimes become a compulsive habit, especially if it is a response to stress, so it’s essential to treat the root cause. A management plan is essential because habitual behaviors are harder to extinguish than those just developing.
How to Keep Your Cat Safe from a Mounting Dog
If your dog often mounts your cat, it can eventually end up in injury, especially if your dog is a lot bigger. If you have ruled out any underlying health concerns, here are some tips to help reduce the likeliness of your dog mounting your cat.
- If your dog is male and intact, consider neutering him. Neutering will help reduce sexual behaviors and mounting.
- Try not to display any positive reaction, such as laughing when your dog mounts your cat, as this can encourage the behavior.
- Don’t use punishment to correct the behavior because it may stress your dog out and do more harm than good.
- Train your dog to stop mounting on command.
- Try to redirect your dog by learning the behavioral cues before mounting and recognizing any environmental or social triggers. The idea is to get them to think about something else so you can actively keep it from happening. Do not reward the dog right away, but rather ask them to perform a few behaviors on command before rewarding them. This way, you will be reinforcing their participation in something else.
- Make sure your dog always has access to toys and enough daily exercise and mental stimulation.
- Monitor your dog and cat’s playtime to ensure that your cat is okay.
- If you have to, keep your dog and your cat separated.
- Consider getting a dog trainer or animal behaviorist involved to help you develop a plan.
To sum up, a dog cannot impregnate a cat. It is biologically impossible. They are different species with very different DNA. Furthermore, they cannot mate. If your dog is mounting your cat, it does not mean they are mating. Mounting is a typical behavior among dogs, and they do it for various reasons. The most likely reason is that your dog is just being playful. That said, you should monitor your dog and make sure there is no underlying medical issue. You also need to start working on preventing this behavior from becoming a habit. If needed, keep your pets apart and consult an animal trainer or behaviorist. But if you have concerns about your cat being pregnant with your dog’s offspring, you can rest assured that is not the case and never will be.
Featured Image Credit: AJR_photo, Shutterstock