If you have both cats and dogs as pets, you might wonder if they both can mate. But can cats mate with dogs? The answer is no because both animals are entirely different species that cannot produce offspring.
Dogs love to mount cats, which might make you think they are trying to mate; however, this is not the case because dogs mount for different reasons. Since we now know that cats cannot mate with dogs, let’s look at the reasons why they cannot mate.
So, let’s get started!
Why Cats and Dogs Can’t Mate
1. They Have Different Chromosomes
Chromosomes are molecules found in most living organisms and carry the genetic material of an organism. Cats have 38 chromosomes or 19 pairs, and dogs have 78 chromosomes or 38 pairs.
First, for species to mate and produce offspring, they must be similar or closely related. But this is not the case for cats and dogs as they have different numbers of chromosomes, meaning they cannot mate and produce viable offspring.
2. They Do Not Share Similar DNA
While some species of animals can mate and produce viable offspring, it’s not the same for cats and dogs, as they do not share similar DNA. For example, in the past, interspecies such as lions and tigers have mated and produced a liger as offspring.
Cats and dogs have different DNA because they are different species of animals; hence they can’t form new DNA that is their offspring. So, for cats and dogs to mate successfully and produce viable offspring, they must have similar DNA pairs.
3. Different Dietary
The difference in diet is another enough reason for cats and dogs not to mate and produce viable offspring. For starters, cats are carnivores, meaning they feed on meat to survive, while dogs are omnivores meaning they feed on various foods for survival.
With the difference in their diets, they have different digestive tracts. They also require different amounts of nutrients to survive and stay healthy. So, the two animals would produce no viable offspring due to their different diet requirements.
4. Different Mating Behaviors
Another reason why cats and dogs cannot mate is their different mating signals and behaviors. This means none of the two species can recognize the other mating signals. Also, female cats and dogs get into heat at different times.
Plus, for mating to occur, both species must communicate to know each other’s mating interests. Cats and dogs do not have an interest in mating with each other. Another reason that makes their mating behaviors different is that their reproductive systems are different.
For instance, a male dog’s sperm cannot fertilize a female cat’s egg and vice versa. Furthermore, cats have barbed penises. The barbs can cause harm to a female dog because its reproductive system cannot handle the cat’s penis; hence they are not fit for mating.
How to Stop Your Dogs from Trying to Mate With Cats
1. Separate the Animals
If your dogs and cats live in the same cage, there is a high probability that your dogs might try to hump your cats. To prevent this, put them in different cages and, if possible, in different rooms. This way, they will not have direct contact with each other.
However, if the two species can’t live in different cages, ensure the cage has catwalks and shelves where the cat can hide and where the dog will not reach them.
2. Keep Your Dogs Distracted
Always keep your dogs distracted with other things like toys, games, and treats so they do not try to hump your cats. Watch out for humping behaviors such as licking and pawing; if you notice them with your dogs, distract them.
3. Catch Them in the Act
Another intelligent way to stop your dogs from trying to mate with your cats is catching them in the act.
Look them in the eye and loudly shout STOP or NO. This way, they will know whatever they are doing is wrong and will prevent the humping behaviors.
If they stop, you can reward them with treats. So each time they feel like humping, they will stop because they know they will get a reward.
4. Supervise Their Interactions
Dogs can be very playful and friendly whenever with cats, which can strike their humping behaviors. Having supervised interactions can prevent them from trying to mate with cats.
Can cats mate with dogs? They cannot mate with each other due to differences in their DNA, the number of chromosomes, and dietary and mating behaviors for them to produce viable offspring.
Although the two animals might try to hump each other, you can supervise their interactions, distract them or put them in different cages.