You have probably asked yourself this question at least once. You have seen videos of cats and dogs mating, but there is never evidence of their offspring. This is of course, due to fact, that mating between dogs and cats is not possible, and somehow unnatural as well.
These two species can't mate together, but they can mate with other breeds inside their species. We will explain why is this impossible and what is preventing them to offer offspring.
Mating process in dogs and cats is specific. There is, however, an example of cat and dog offspring that lived almost 50 thousand years ago. Carnivorans originated in North America. From this ancestor, dogs and cats developed, and the Carnivorans was soon extinct.
Even if cats and dogs could have offspring, their possibility of survival would be minimal. They would have a low chance of survival, due to DNA unnatural mix.
The reason why dogs and cats don’t mate is because of their psychological differences. They don’t usually respond to each other’s signals and the attraction between them is almost impossible.
Their genes are completely different, and mix of these genes is impossible as well. The only possible way a dog and cat could breed is by manipulation of their genes. This has been done in many different ways today, but is messing with this really necessary? It can be just as unnecessary as turning your dogs into vegetarians.
Cats and dog have specific mating rituals, but there are few similarities. They both go into heating period few times a year. Females can be impregnated only during this period and only by one male. Gestation period is 66 days and litter usually contains between 4 to 6 puppies or kittens.
Their differences we have already mentioned above, and it is pretty obvious that these two species can’t produce offspring. They simply don’t feel attraction to each other. Even their reproductive organs are not designed for another species. All of these differences matter, and any other behavior is simply not natural. Learn mor
Examples of successful mating between species
Hybrid is usually a word used to describe mating between species. There are different sorts of hybrids. We can have numerical hybrids, genetic hybrids, structural hybrids, permanent hybrids or simply hybrids.
Hybrids don’t have to represent breeding between completely different species. Today we have examples of breeding between closely connected species such as mammal (mules, zebroids), bird hybrids, reptile hybrids, fish hybrids and others.
We even have examples of hybrids in plant. Hybrids usually combine elements from both species and we can clearly see the similarities to those species. For example, a mule represents a hybrid between a horse and a mule.
Biggest problem with hybrids is that there are certain limitations. Genetic diversity between species, doesn’t allow them to mate and produce offspring. This is why we can’t see examples of cat and dog offspring.
Hybrids are only possible if the two species are connected. If one species belongs to the subspecies category, then it is possible for them to mate because their genes are not completely different.
In animals, differences can be presented through their psychology, their mating rituals, different periods of fertility and more. In plants we have different blooming periods, somatoplastic sterility and many more. These differences are important, and if they are not met, species can’t produce offspring.
So, in conclusion, cats and dogs can’t produce offspring in any way. The only possibility is to use genetic modification technique. The only question is, how necessary is that really? We can enjoy with our pets and in their differences, because they are unique in their own way. Also read: are cats more hygienic than dogs?
Cat and dog hybrids could have serious health issues or restrictions, so we could make their life worse without any possible reason.
We shouldn’t mess with nature and try to correct it because everything that exists is beautiful and we can’t make it better or more perfect. Some behaviors, like dogs twitching while asleep, are just natural and couldn't be changed. Creating hybrids in an unnatural way is not something we can benefit from. If this process happens naturally then it is okay, but forcing something is simply not right.
Making a hybrid wouldn’t be something according to nature, and we wouldn’t gain anything. Both cats and dogs are beautiful in their own way, and we should appreciate and love them equally.
Read more about cats with our article on turkey as cat food.