Dogs and cats have a range of interactions. The natural instincts of each species lead towards antagonistic interactions, though individual animals can have non-aggressive relationships with each other, particularly under conditions where humans have socialized non-aggressive behaviours.
Range of relationships
The signals and behaviors that cats and dogs use to communicate are different and can lead to signals of aggression, fear, dominance, friendship or territoriality being misinterpreted by the other species. Dogs have a natural instinct to chase small prey that flee, an instinct common among cats. Most cats flee from a dog, while others take actions such as hissing, arching their backs and swiping at the dog. After being scratched by a cat, some dogs can become fearful of cats.
If appropriately socialized, cats and dogs may have relationships that are not antagonistic, and dogs raised with cats may prefer the presence of cats to other dogs. Even cats and dogs that have got along together in the same household may revert to aggressive reactions due to external stimuli, illness, or play that escalates.