Dogs may hump anything they see.
Like pillows, stuffed animals, human legs…
And oh, sometimes, even cats!
This now leaves many unanswered questions, such as,
“Can a dog and a cat mate?
And will they produce any offspring?”
Keep reading to find out:
- If a dog can get a cat pregnant or not.
- What would happen if a dog and cat mated.
- 5 real dog hybrids that you may haven’t heard of.
- 13 amazing cat hybrids that might blow your mind.
- And much much more…
Table of contents
- Can a dog get a cat pregnant?
- What would happen if a dog and cat mated?
- Can dogs mate with other animals? 5 dog hybrids revealed
- Can cats mate with other animals? 13 cat hybrids revealed
Can a dog get a cat pregnant?
A dog can’t get a cat pregnant. And vice versa. They’re from different groups of species – Canidae and Felidae. Plus, they also don’t have the same number of chromosomes. So their genes are way too incompatible with each other. And these make it impossible for the 2 of them to produce any offspring.
What would happen if a dog and cat mated?
If a dog and cat mated, nothing would happen. There will be no puppy or kitty hybrids. And this is because a male dog’s sperm cells can’t fertilize a female cat’s egg.
A ‘CatDog’ won’t happen as well.
Like in the famous 90’s American cartoon with the same title. Wherein 2 brothers (a cat and a dog) share a single body.
Because of the ‘prezygotic barrier.’
“What is it?”
It’s like a ‘natural fence’ that prevents mating or fertilization from happening.
According to science, this can be:
- Genetic: Incompatible DNA.
- Behavioral & Seasonal: Conflicting mating seasons.
- Territorial: Animals don’t have chances to mate due to different habitats.
- Structural: Mating signals can only be understood by members of the same species.
In the case of dogs and cats, it’s likely the 1st one – genetics.
Because in order for the egg and sperm cells to combine, the 2 animals should have similar DNA first.
As I said earlier, dogs belong to the Canidae group. This also comprises wolves, foxes, and coyotes.
While cats are from the Felidae family. Where lions, tigers, pumas, and cheetahs are also members.
Based on experts, each group has a unique ‘gene pool.’
And creatures who aren’t part of the same category don’t share similar DNA. Just like what dogs and cats are.
So even if they ‘mate physically,’ they still don’t have enough common genetic material, to begin with.
Hence, no hybrids will be produced.
“But why do dogs hump cats?”
There are many reasons for this.
The hound might be sexually frustrated. And the cat just happened to be there.
This usually happens to pups during puberty. Which occurs between 6 to 9 months old.
Or it could also be that the feline is in heat.
She’s giving off an odd scent that dogs can sense. So due to instincts, Fido will be sexually excited too.
And this might be the reason for the dog and cat’s ‘mating behavior’ in this video:
Canines won’t only hump cats to relieve sexual tension.
They may also be so excited or inviting the feline to play.
Wanna know more?
Check out this article: 13 Strange Reasons Why Your Dog Humps Your Cat + 5 Tips
Now, going back to the topic.
Apart from the unmatched DNAs…
Dogs and cats’ chromosome counts are also way too different
“Hold on. What are chromosomes?”
These are thread-like matter that holds the DNA in each of our cells.
(Well, think of them as pairs of bags that carry hundreds of genes!)
Now, offspring will have 2 copies of each chromosome from their parents. One from the father and one from the mother.
And when we apply this to canines and felines…
Dogs have 78 chromosomes (39 pairs) as per VCA Hospitals. While cats only have 38 of these (19 pairs).
That’s a lot of unmatched genes. Not to mention, those chromosomes don’t look any similar to each other.
And this is why no ‘zygote’ or fertilized egg cell will be made.
Dogs and cats can breed with some species that are similar to them.
What are those?
Alright. Let’s dive right in.
Can dogs mate with other animals? 5 dog hybrids revealed
Unlike cats, dogs and wolves are closely related to each other.
One, canines are descendants of gray wolves.
Two, they both belong to the Canidae family.
Three, they both have the same number of chromosomes – 39 pairs.
So overall, they’re compatible enough to produce offspring. And they create fertile ones too.
Look at this adorable giant wolfdog hybrid named ‘Yuki.‘
He was said to be rescued by the Shy Wolf Sanctuary in 2008. And it was found that he was:
- 87.5% Gray wolf.
- 8.6% Siberian Husky.
- 3.9% German Shepherd.
“Are they common?”
There might be many wolfdog hybrids found in the wild.
Although they could be rare too due to the strong territorial instincts of wolves.
Note: Can wolfdogs be a household pet? In some places, it’s illegal to own one or any kind of animal hybrid. To know the laws in your area, you may visit this site. The reason for this is that hybrids can be unpredictable. So they might pose hazards for people.
According to experts, dogs and wolves mature at different times. So when combined, the hybrid’s behavior and temperament will be uncertain.
Some wolf dogs can be highly territorial. While others might be clingy to people like domestic hounds.
This is a hybrid of a male coyote and a female dog.
Aside from wolves, coyotes are in the same group as dogs. And they have the same number of chromosomes too.
So, it’s possible for them to cross-breed as well.
One study reported some observations about this hybrid.
It’s based on the offspring of a male coyote and a female Terrier. And they’re as follows:
- Coydogs are aggressive to each other.
- Some of them might not be able to reproduce.
- Male coydogs don’t tend to their offspring. Which is the exact opposite of coyotes.
- They have a different mating season than coyotes. Theirs are in December while coyotes are in February.
Interesting fact: Did you know that horses and donkeys can also have children? Yup. It’s possible because they’re from the same Equidae family. But because they have different chromosome counts, their kids are mostly infertile. Same with ‘zorses’ or zebra and horse hybrids.
(Quick info: Horses have 64 chromosomes. Donkeys have 62. While plains zebras only have 44.)
Now, this is the result of a male dog and a female coyote.
Although ‘coydog’ is more commonly used for both kinds of offspring.
Note: Coydogs and dogotes are said to be more uncommon than wolfdogs. This is because coyotes have a specific mating season. And also, they usually don’t get along well with dogs. So they might only allow canines around them when there are no mates available.
Golden jackals are also one of the 4 species that have the same number of chromosomes as dogs. So they can mate and have kids.
Research has proven that this is possible.
In the study, 3 wild canids were examined.
All of them have dog and jackal-like features. And the results explained this phenomenon.
It was found that they were actually offsprings of a male dog and a female jackal.
Aside from this discovery…
There’s also a jackal-dog hybrid that’s made for a certain purpose – to sniff bombs.
These are called ‘Sulimov dogs.’
Their name came from the founder of the breed, Klim Sulimov.
He developed this hybrid to be a new type of sniffing dog in airports. Especially for Aeroflot Airlines in Moscow, Russia.
At first, it was a mix of a jackal and a Lapponian Herder. Which is a shepherd dog from Finland.
But later on, Siberian Huskies were also used.
Interesting fact: Have you heard of Tanuki or raccoon dogs? Nope. They’re not hybrids of dogs and raccoons. These are small wild canids found in Eastern and Southern Asia. And although they look like raccoons, they’re actually part of the Canidae family.
“Can dogs and dingoes interbreed?”
Yes. Canines can also breed with Australian wild dogs. And experts say that they usually look like pure dingoes.
In fact, in some areas, dingo-dogs are said to be higher in population than pure dingoes. And this is a huge problem in Australia.
But one study reassures people that only 0.62% of 5,039 wild dogs in the continent are feral canines.
Dr. Kylie Cairns from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) says that it’ll be different in some places.
Based on her, there are more hybrids in areas with:
- Higher human densities.
- Practices of aerial baiting – laying of traps for dingoes.
These things can break the packs of pure dingoes. And this could make way for feral dogs to move into the group.
So, if wolves, dingoes, and the like can breed with canines…
Can foxes also breed with dogs?
They’re also in the same group as canines. But, they have a different number of chromosomes.
Red foxes only have 34 chromosomes while dogs have 78. (It’s a huge gap, same with cats.)
According to experts, this is because they diverged from the Canidae family 7 to 10 million years ago.
On the other hand, it’s been only 3 to 4 million years ago for wolves, golden jackals, and coyotes.
So they’re more closely related to domestic dogs.
Now, let’s talk about the felines.
Can cats mate with other animals? 13 cat hybrids revealed
#1: Bengal cats
Domestic cats can also interbreed with other similar species.
But most likely, those animals are wild cats with around 36 chromosomes. As they’re still compatible with house felines that have 38 chromosomes.
One famous example of this hybrid is Bengal cats.
They’re a crossbreed between a domestic cat and an Asian leopard cat – a wild feline in East, South, and Southeast Asia.
As per ASPCA, Bengal cats originated in 1963. And they’re known for their marbled or spotted coats – which are ‘leopard-like.’
#2: Cheetoh cat
No, I know what you’re thinking.
This isn’t the crunchy snack that you usually crave at midnight.
A Cheetoh cat is a new breed that’s a mix of a Bengal cat and an Ocicat.
The latter is a house feline that looks like a young Cheetah due to their spots. Hence, the name of this hybrid.
They’re said to be highly sociable. So they need enough interaction every day. Plus, they’re easy to train too.
Judging from the name, it may seem like this is a hybrid of a cat and a tiger.
House cats can’t breed with larger felines. Such as lions and tigers.
One, they have overwhelming physical differences.
Two, they’re from different subgroups of the Felidae family.
House cats and other medium-sized wild ones belong to the genus Felis.
While tigers are in the genus Panthera. As well as lions, jaguars, and leopards.
So, a Toyger was developed only by breeding a Bengal cat and a domestic shorthair.
But with their black stripes and orange coat, they look like tiny versions of the mighty tigers. Which was the goal of the breeder, Judy Sugden.
Next, this is a mix of a jungle cat called ‘Felis chaus’ and an Abyssinian house feline.
They were developed around the ’60s to ’70s. And they got the active and energetic traits of their wild cat ancestors.
But to ensure that they have a suitable temperament for a pet cat…
They must be separated from their wild cat ancestors for at least 4 generations.
Interesting fact: Chausies may have already existed in ancient Egypt. And this isn’t impossible as some ritual felines were found to be jungle cats.
#5: Jungle Curl
This is a hybrid from the jungle cat a.k.a. Felis chaus and an American Curl.
The latter is a domestic cat breed that’s known for its odd ears. As they appear to be curling towards the back of their heads.
In humans, highlander refers to people living in the Highlands of Scotland.
But when it comes to cats, it’s a crossbreed between a Jungle Curl and a Desert Lynx.
The latter may seem like a wild cat.
What if it’s the other way around?
Check out also: Why Does My Dog Act Like A Cat? 8 Reasons + 5 Tips
This is a combination of wild cats called Caracals and Abyssinian house felines.
They’re said to be made accidentally. And this happened in a zoo in Moscow in 1988.
But from then on, Caracats became one of the most uncommon and expensive hybrids.
Interesting fact: Caracals are famous for their huge pointy ears. And NatGeo says that these have more than 20 muscles. So they can detect sounds easily.
This is another exotic-looking cat hybrid. With huge pointy ears, smoky color, and spots.
“How are they developed?”
They’re a crossbreed between a house cat and an African Serval.
The latter is a rare wild cat in Africa. And they’re known for their long legs and black spots.
#9: Kellas cat
If you’re also into felines, have you heard of the myth about the Kellas cats?
Well, this hybrid was first thought of as a mythical creature.
This is because there were only a few sightings of it.
And also, people can’t seem to understand where these big black cats with long legs came from.
But this myth was proven to be true in 1984.
When a dead body of a Kellas cat was found in a village. (The place is called Kellas, Moray. And this is where the hybrid got its name.)
Then, scientists discovered that it was a mix of a domestic feline and a Scottish wild cat.
One more hybrid that’s developed from a Bengal cat is a Serengeti. Along with an Oriental Shorthair.
This breed also has dark spots all over the body.
But compared to other wild hybrids, they have round-tipped ears instead.
#11: Pixie bob
This hybrid is said to be the result of mating a Bobcat and a domestic shorthair. (Or a barn cat in some stories.)
But what’s more interesting is that cats of this kind are usually ‘polydactyl.’
“What does it mean?”
It means that they have more toes than usual.
Note: Bobcats a.k.a. ‘Red lynx’ are native wild cats in North America.
This is a new breed that’s still in its experimental phase.
It’s said to be a mix between a house cat and a Sand cat. Which is a small wild feline found in the deserts of Asia and Africa.
Interesting fact: Sand dune cats usually catch venomous snakes as their meals. And they also have thick pads and fur on their feet as protection from the harsh weather – extreme heat and cold.
Last but not least, there’s also a hybrid between a black house cat and a Fishing cat.
“What’s the latter one?”
As their name suggests, Fishing cats dwell in wet areas like swamps and mangroves.
They have a flat nose, a small head, and rounded ears. Paired with short legs and paws with webbings. Which is similar to ducks and geese.
These webbed feet help Fishing cats to swim efficiently. And also, to walk steadily in muddy areas.
But sadly, they were listed as one of the endangered species in 2016. As their habitats (wetlands) are being destroyed.