Cat against Dog?
April 13, 2009 5:04 AM   Subscribe

If a cat and dog, comparably sized - say, a fox terrier and a largish housecat - were to battle, which would emerge triumphant?
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot to Pets & Animals (13 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: We need like a specific item in the Chatfilter FAQ that says something like, "...yes, even if it's an awesome mixed-entrant thunderdome thing." Battlechatfilter is chatfilter. -- cortex

You might want to provide a little background as to why you need to know; this comes across as kind of chatfiltery to me. Otherwise you may end up with a lot of answers involving bears and 5-year-olds.
posted by TedW at 5:06 AM on April 13, 2009

It would depend on how bad the dog wanted to win. The cat would have a good chance of getting the dog do give up and run away, but almost no chance of killing the dog. If the dog were really determined (or hungry) it would probably kill the cat eventually, assuming that neither ran away.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 5:07 AM on April 13, 2009

Having observed a few of small dog vs. cat fights, I'd agree with Stylus and say cats typically deter dogs pretty quickly, regardless of their size. Of course there's always a few outliers where dogs have indeed killed cats, but I'm unsure how often that involves a small breed of dog. I suspect not very often.
posted by empyrean at 5:18 AM on April 13, 2009

Depending on who was defending its home territory or its kids, there would be a lot of barking and hissing, and then one of them would run away.

Predators typically avoid a fair fight with another similar sized predator.

However if you could get them to fight, the dog would win. Dogs instinctually know how to kill larger animals (clamp jaws on throat). Cats only know how to kill smaller animals (grab and shake). Cats have long, sharp teeth, but their jaw muscles aren't nearly as powerful.

(Of course it would also depend which breed of dog.)

The cat would probably seriously wound the dog before the ed.
posted by musofire at 5:26 AM on April 13, 2009

The terrier breeds were developed for the purpose of eradicating rats and vermin. Initially, and ideally, they'd take on rats as big or bigger than they were. They've got nice thick neck padding, protruding jaws up front, and they're fast as hell, with the ability to get in and get the neck for a fast neck-snapping kill.

I'd give it to the dog, especially because the dog starts the fight with 1 mission...kill. The cat's merely "leave me alone." That first 5 seconds is crucial.
posted by TomMelee at 5:29 AM on April 13, 2009

There's really no way to answer this question unless we know specific breed, age, color, etc. For example, would a small bulldog kill a large cat? Yes, probably. But would a bulldog beat a poisonous rattle-cat? Not if the cat struck its poisonous fangs into the dog's skin first. Would a large cat be able to defeat even the smallest dogupine? Not on your life. Cats know better than to get close to those quills. And of course, don't forget the fighting abilities of the translucent Portuguese cat-of-war - small but potent, it can strike and then, almost immediately, disappear into its surroundings, waiting for the next opportunity to harm its bewildered opponent.

These are just a few examples detailing why cat vs. dog is not a cut and dried issue.
posted by billysumday at 5:32 AM on April 13, 2009 [6 favorites]

I've seen a small cat catch, kill and eat a rabbit that outweighed it by about three pounds. I'd bet on the cat.
posted by gjc at 5:38 AM on April 13, 2009

I'd say the audience comes out triumphant.
posted by not_on_display at 5:56 AM on April 13, 2009

When a cat and a dog fight, nobody wins.
posted by box at 5:56 AM on April 13, 2009 [2 favorites]

Dog hunts/kills by worrying and harassing its prey: lots of chasing down, biting, persistent pain, etc. Cat is an ambush predator, one lunge and it holds on to its prey, if the prey escapes you get a hungry cat. The dog wins it through stamina.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 6:01 AM on April 13, 2009

Before we got our dogs, I asked our vet if we had anything to worry about if we got a very small (under 10 pound) dog, because we already had two cats. She told us that the cats would be able to take care of themselves. I clarified that I was concerned about the cats (who weigh in at 13 and 15 pounds) hurting the dog, and she stared at me for a moment and said, in that voice one often uses with 4-year-olds, "No. The cats won't hurt the dog."
posted by ferociouskitty at 6:02 AM on April 13, 2009

Rat Terriers were trained to kill hundreds of rats in a span of minutes.
As far as I know, no cat has ever been trained to do anything.

Also, look at this guy and tell me he's not a killer.
posted by kc8nod at 6:10 AM on April 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Let's just hope the fight is interrupted by the coming of Zuul.
posted by paperzach at 6:11 AM on April 13, 2009

« Older Who leaked the Downing Street "smear scandal"?   |   Mac Address Book to Microsoft Excel? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.