If you have both a furry and feline friend, you may have noticed your dog sitting on your cat. Although it’s quite a funny sight, you’ve probably wondered why your dog does this and if you should be concerned.
So, why do dogs sit on cats, and is it something you need to be worried about?
Dogs sit on cats to assert dominance, show affection, or in an attempt to initiate playtime.
This behavior is normal for dogs, and they tend to grow out of it as they age. It is very unlikely to harm the cat but watch out for more severe aggression from either animal.
Let’s look in more detail at each of the reasons above and then at some solutions that could help stop your dog from sitting on your cat.
Keep reading to find out how to keep the peace between your pets!
Reasons Why Your Dog Sits On Your Cat
Seeing your dog sitting on top of your cat can be alarming, especially if your cat is upset and panicky about it.
Even though this behavior is typical for dogs and is seen by many cat and dog owners, it could end up in a fight with one or both animals getting hurt or scared.
To eliminate any confusion, I’ll explain why dogs do this.
1. Your Dog May Be Trying to Assert Dominance By Sitting On the Cat
Although you can train dogs to be obedient (at least to some degree), they still have an innate drive for dominance, particularly over other animals.
Dogs communicate with gestures and body language, so a dog sitting on a cat can translate to “Hey, I’m the boss around here!”
You can’t blame the dog for behaving this way. With wolves being their ancestors, domesticated dogs still have primal instincts, one of them being to be dominant over other animals.
Your dog sitting on your cat is also a way of setting a boundary and letting your cat know not to overstep it, even if your cat doesn’t know what’s going on and thinks doggo is just being annoying.
If your dog becomes violent in the pursuit of sitting on your kitty, it can be hazardous and end up in a brawl.
Although this behavior is unlikely to turn violent, it’s best to watch out for it, as animals can be unpredictable.
There are some tips further down this page to help you stop your dog from sitting on your cat if it is creating tensions and fights between them.
WAIT – Before we continue, check out this short but super-cute video of dogs sitting on cats. Just click to play.
NOTE – You might like to read this post answering the question – why does my dog sit behind me on the couch?
2. Your Dog Could Be Trying to Show Affection
You may wonder how your dog could be trying to show affection by putting its butt on your cat.
This might sound like an odd way to show affection, but you can think of it as the dog sitting on the cat to get closer to them, lol!
Obviously, the relationship between a cat and a dog is famous for being volatile in many cases, especially if they didn’t grow up together.
But sometimes, dogs and cats get on well, and your dog may try to sneak in some cuddles without getting scratched or bitten.
Cats tend to be extremely strict regarding boundaries, and dogs generally aren’t the same in that regard.
And if your cat allows your dog to use them as a chair without fighting, it’s a win in your dog’s books!
NOTE – You might also want to read this post answering the question: what do dogs think of cats?
3. The Dog Could Be Sitting On Your Cat to Try and Initiate Play
If your dog is well aware that sitting on your cat gets a reaction out of them, your pup might use this when they want to play.
If your cat swipes at the dog or starts chasing them after being sat on, your dog could see this as an effective method to start playtime.
It’s often helpful to remember that most pet relationships within the home can be similar to that of siblings. They make conscious efforts to annoy each other and get a reaction.
So your pet dog sitting on your cat might be a lighthearted way of trying to play with or irritate your cat to get a reaction out of them.
NOTE – You may like to read this post asking the question: what do cats think of dogs?
How to Stop Your Dog From Sitting On Your Cat
Teaching your dog to stop sitting on your feline friend may take time, especially if they’ve been doing it for a long time.
Even though this behavior is very common and generally harmless, it can be very frustrating for your cat and lead to fights erupting.
If this interaction is always friendly and lighthearted, you shouldn’t worry too much about stopping it.
However, if you notice that your two pets start fighting because of it, you may want to look at the following tips.
1. Reinforce Designated Areas for Your Dog and Cat
In cases where the dog has been around longer than the cat, they may have specific spots where they like to lay.
If your cat starts lying in that spot, your dog will probably try to get your kitty to move by sitting on them.
It’s crucial to enforce boundaries regarding space for animals. A good idea is to purchase a cat tower. A cat tower gives your cat a designated area out of reach from dogs, and your dog will have their special spot all to themselves.
Of course, your cat won’t always be in the tower. If you find your cat in your dog’s favorite spot, you may have to shoo them away.
It might seem mean, but animals need boundaries to keep the peace. Shooing the cat away will reinforce that they shouldn’t sit in that spot if they don’t want to get sat on.
2. Make It Clear That Your Dog Shouldn’t Sit On Your Cat
Every time you see your dog sitting on your cat, or even better, you catch them just before they do it, give them a loud, firm “no” command.
You don’t need to shout and scream or hit your dog. This will only scare and confuse them. Instead, tell your dog with a firm tone that you mean business and that what they’re doing is naughty.
NOTE – You might like to read this post asking the question: Why are dogs scared of cats?
Final Thoughts On Why Your Dog Sits On Your Cat
Dogs sit on cats for a few reasons. They do it to show affection, be playful, and show dominance over the cat and let them know who the boss is.
Seeing your dog sitting on your cat is often a sight to behold, and it can be pretty entertaining if it doesn’t end in a big fight. But dogs do this with other dogs, so it’s safe to say this behavior is quite normal.
If your dog does it repetitively and it always ends in a fight, it might be time to call a professional dog trainer to keep your dog and cat safe.
Hopefully, this has answered the question – why does my dog sit on my cat? I hope you enjoyed reading it!
Tim is a proud, vetted, and experienced dog foster carer for a charity helping dog owners escape domestic abuse.
He has years of experience training and caring for dogs, both his own and other people’s.
He is an expert in canine behavior and is highly skilled in dealing with all dogs but specializes in the difficult ones that other people may struggle with.
When he isn’t fostering dogs, he is making friends with other people’s pups!