A hybrid between a zebra and a horse is called a ‘zebroid.’
While a ‘liger’ is a cross between a lion and a tiger.
But what about dogs and cats?
So, can there be ‘kuppies’ or ‘dittens’?
And has there ever been one that you haven’t heard?
Continue reading to find out:
- If it’s possible for dogs and cats to breed.
- The long list of ‘dog-like’ felines and ‘cat-like’ canines.
- Whether dogs or cats can breed with any other animal or not.
- 5 mind-blowing things you need to know about cat-dog hybrids.
- And so much more…
Table of contents
- Can dogs and cats breed?
- Why dogs and cats can’t interbreed
- Dog and cat crossbreed – 5 things you need to know
- Can dogs or cats breed with any other animal?
- Will there ever be a cat and dog hybrid?
Can dogs and cats breed?
Dogs and cats can’t breed. They belong to different species groups – ‘Canidae’ and ‘Felidae.’ So their genes are incompatible with each other. Plus, they have different numbers of chromosomes too. Thus, they won’t produce any offspring even if they mate physically or undergo artificial insemination.
Why dogs and cats can’t interbreed
Dogs and cats can’t interbreed because they’re 2 different species. The rule is that only animals of the same kind or family can create offspring. And these are due to ‘reproductive barriers.’
What are reproductive barriers?
They’re like nature’s way of keeping things in order.
Experts say that these barriers prevent different species from mating. And also from having offspring together.
To maintain the integrity of each species.
For example, dogs will always be canines. They can’t be half felines or share a common gene pool.
Plus, dogs know cats aren’t like them due to their different scent. And vice versa.
However, Fidos can have offspring with other doggos. And it’s also the same case for cats.
So reproductive barriers help conserve these things.
And they’re divided into 2 types:
First, some natural barriers separate the species before they form a ‘zygote.’ Or the union of an egg cell and a sperm.
They keep the organisms from mating in 5 ways:
- Spatial – separate habitats.
- Mechanical – mismatch sex organs.
- Temporal – different mating seasons.
- Gametic – incompatible ‘gametes’ or sex cells.
- Behavioral – unique mating rituals, dances, or songs.
So, which of the barriers above don’t allow cats and dogs to breed?
It’s number 4, gametic isolation.
Although they live in the same place and hump each other…
They still have incompatible sex cells. So their sperm won’t fertilize each other’s eggs.
Thus, no ‘kuppies’ or ‘dittens’ will be born.
Lastly, this type happens after a zygote is formed.
So it’s either the hybrid dies before they were born. Or they’re sterile and can’t produce babies.
And the latter is true for donkey and horse crossbreeds.
‘Mules’ and ‘hinnies’
The former is a result of a male donkey and a female horse. While the latter is the product of a male horse and a female donkey.
“Why do they become sterile?”
A horse has 64 chromosomes, and a donkey has 62. So when combined, their hybrid has 63.
And due to the odd number, a mule or hinnie can’t bear a child.
“What about canines and felines?”
A cat’s chromosome count’s only around 50% of a dog’s
According to a study, Fidos have 78 chromosomes.
On the other hand, felines only have 38. So there’s a big gap in their number of chromosomes.
And that’s one more reason a dog can’t impregnate a cat.
Plus, their sex cells aren’t even compatible to begin with.
However, despite these facts…
Cat and dog hybrids are still a hot topic on the Internet
Most claims are hoaxes or jokes. But some stories are rather entertaining and convincing to a certain degree.
Want to know more about these?
Okay. Let’s dive right in.
Dog and cat crossbreed – 5 things you need to know
#1: The 1st ‘ditten’ in North Carolina
Years ago, many stories about unusual births made it into newspapers and journals.
And one that created a buzz is a report about a cat litter with an unusual kitten.
The account shows photos of 4 newborn cats. 3 of them have fur and look a lot like their mom.
Meanwhile, the 4th kitty is hairless and seems different from felines.
So the report’s author thought it might be some kind of a cat-dog hybrid.
And he even referred to the hairless kitty as ‘Nonesuch.’
Now, is this ‘ditten’ story true?
First, let’s check the credibility of the source.
The report was from the March 1937 issue of the Journal of Heredity.
It’s a peer-reviewed paper. So it’s more credible than other made-up stories you see on the Internet.
But if we base on the scientific facts above that a cat and a dog can’t interbreed, it’s not.
Well, the author said that it could also be a case of a hairless kitten. Or it’s a ‘maternal impression.’
“What’s the latter?”
It’s also known as ‘maternal imagination.’
Experts say it’s a theory wherein a mother’s thoughts affect her fetus’ development.
So it’s a term made to explain unusual births.
“Why is this related to the ditten’s case?”
It’s because according to the mother cat’s caretaker…
The feline often fought with dogs during her pregnancy. And it even caused her anxiety.
So the author said that this may have also manifested in her litter.
Thus, a kitten that resembles a puppy was born.
#2: ‘Kotpies,’ Cornell University’s cat-dog
Next, let’s move to a recent story.
In 2009, a cat magazine announced a major ‘science breakthrough.’
It’s news about the first-ever living male cat-dog named ‘Kotpies.’
By the way, his name directly translates to ‘cat dog’ in Polish.
And they even said that Kotpies could both bark and purr. (“I’d like to have one, please!”)
Also, the website shows a picture of the alleged hybrid. And based on it, he looks like a Persian cat with the face of a Pug dog.
So this instantly became a hot issue for the people on the Internet.
“But is Kotpies true?”
Well, at first, you’d believe it.
The news mentioned credible names of top-tier universities, such as:
- UC Davis.
- Cornell University.
- Massey University.
However, if you checked the date when the magazine published the news…
That’s when you’ll know it’s only an April’s Fool joke.
Also, it’s obvious that the magazine staff edited the photo of the dog for fun.
Now, some people may get the humor right away.
But others might take this news seriously. And they’ll think it’s possible to interbreed a cat and a dog.
So you might wonder…
“Why are cat-dog hoaxes and jokes popular?”
Dogs and cats are the most popular pets in the world.
Many people love and adore these animals. So the thought of a hybrid excites and intrigues them so much.
And it might be why they’re a common subject in hoaxes until now.
#3: ‘Dúi’, the real-life cat-dog
Is it a kitty?
Is it a doggo?
Someone posted pictures of a mysterious fluff ball on Reddit 2 years ago.
And people on the Internet nearly lost their minds.
The fur baby in the photos is small and has short legs similar to a Corgi.
But here’s where the confusion comes in.
The fluffball also resembles a Russian Blue cat with their small pointy ears and dense dark gray coat.
Plus, due to its thick body and short snout, some people even say the animal might be 25% bear too.
So, is this fur baby a real-life cat-dog hybrid?
This adorable fellow doesn’t woof and purr.
After confirming it to the fluffball’s owner, it turns out that the alleged ‘cat-dog’ is a Fido.
The pup’s name is ‘Dui.’ And he’s a mix H’mong dog breed.
“What is it?”
It’s an ancient type of Fido raised by the ethnic H’mong people in Vietnam.
Hence, the name.
Now, H’mong dog breeds look like a cat-dog hybrid, especially when they’re puppies. Like the case of Dui.
So if you’re pondering whether you’ll get a cat or a dog…
This fluff ball says, “Hey, why not both?”
However, H’mong dog breeds have strong hunting instincts
It’s because people originally bred them for that purpose.
So although a H’mong dog breed is cute and resembles a cat…
You’d not want to put them near prey like domestic felines. Or else they’ll stalk and chase them out.
Not convinced yet?
Check out the short clip below about Dui:
Trivia: A study suggests that an ancient group of dogs originated in southern East Asia 30,000 years ago. Then they started spreading out after 15,000 years. Migrating to:
- The Middle East.
#4: ‘Puppy cats’
If there are puppies who look like kittens…
Some cats resemble a Fido too.
Is that possible?”
Okay. You might now imagine a cat with a pooch’s face like Kotpies.
However, these ‘dog-like’ felines aren’t similar to canines because of their appearance.
People call them that because these cats ‘act’ more like a puppy than a kitty.
“What do you mean?”
Dogs are known to be friendlier and more affectionate than cats.
And it’s because most felines have a reputation of being aloof. Also, getting their trust takes a longer time.
But guess what?
It’s not always the case.
Some cat breeds can also be as gentle and clingy as dogs. And they even:
- Enjoy frequent cuddles.
- Follow their humans everywhere.
- Have a lack of aggression towards other animals.
Now, these behaviors remind you of your Fido, right?
And that’s why people refer to them as ‘puppy cats.’
Some examples of these felines are:
- Maine Coon.
- American Curl.
- Turkish Angora.
- Oriental Shorthair.
You might also like: 37 Scientific Reasons Why Dogs Are Better Than Cats
Lastly, this ‘cat-dog hybrid’ list won’t be complete without foxes.
Like dogs and wolves, foxes also belong to the ‘Canidae‘ family.
However, experts say that they’re distant relatives of our furry friends.
And it’s because foxes separated from dogs and wolves’ lineage 12 million years ago.
But even though foxes are closer to dogs, they’re known for being ‘cat-like.’
They have pointed ears like felines. And sometimes, foxes behave like cats too.
“What are those behaviors?”
Just like cats…
#1: Foxes spend most of their time alone
Dogs are social animals.
Meanwhile, felines are solitary and independent.
But when we talk about foxes, they usually live in groups.
However, they always hunt alone.
For example, a fox will find and stalk prey by themselves as much as they want to.
And it’s a lot of alone time, like cats.
Fun fact: Foxes’ eyes are also ‘cat-like.’ Unlike other canids with round pupils, they have vertical ones. And experts say that these help in knowing the exact distance of their prey when hunting.
#2: Foxes make ‘purring-like’ sounds
Okay, let me be clear here first.
Foxes don’t purr like cats.
They only produce similar sounds when humans are petting them. And also when they feel safe and content.
Now, felines purr when they’re happy too. So foxes and cats also have the same meaning for these sounds.
#3: Some ‘foxes’ can climb trees
Most canids like dogs and wolves aren’t built for this thing.
But unlike them, gray foxes can climb trees like cats.
“How can they do it?”
According to experts, gray foxes have:
- Rotating wrists.
- Semi-retractable claws.
These help them climb larger and higher trees. And this skill is helpful when finding food or escaping predators.
So for these reasons, do they also count as cat-dog hybrids? 🙂
Trivia: Some dog breeds have retractable claws too. But they’re not for climbing trees. They use these to move faster and have a better grip on ice as they’re ‘sled dogs,’ such as:
- Samoyed dogs.
- Siberian Huskies.
- Alaskan Malamutes.
Can dogs or cats breed with any other animal?
Dogs and cats can breed with any other animals. But only if they’re members of their respective groups. And also, if the 2 species have a similar number of chromosomes.
For example, wolves can interbreed with Fidos.
It’s because they’re also part of the ‘Canidae’ family. And they both have 78 chromosomes.
Meanwhile, there are no ‘fox-dogs.’
“What’s the reason for it?”
Foxes are canids too. But they’re in a different subgroup from dogs and wolves called ‘Vulpini.’
In addition to that, they only have 34 chromosomes. So like cats, foxes can’t also interbreed with dogs.
Now, apart from ‘wolfdogs,’ other possible Fido hybrids are:
On the other hand…
Domestic cats can only breed with small wild felines. And some of its popular kinds are the following:
- Pixie bob.
- Jungle Curl.
Will there ever be a cat and dog hybrid?
There would never be a cat and a dog hybrid. They come from different species groups. So their genes don’t match, and they can’t reproduce.
However, some cat breeds behave like dogs too.
And they can be as friendly and clingy as most Fidos, such as:
- Borzoi dogs.
- Chow Chows.
- Shiba Inu dogs.
- Afghan Hounds.
- Pekingese dogs.
- Japanese Chins.
- Finnish Spitz dogs.